The Old Establishment Crank beat the Fresh Populist: does it matter?

Renzi and Bersani

Renzi and Bersani

A guy beat another guy in a Primary: big deal!

Here’s a quick recap to understand some aspects of Italian politics; we can use what follows as a starting point, departing from there to get into more general stuff.

In Italy the Partito Democratico (the most important party, founded in 2007) tried to mimic the US Democratic Party even in the choice of the name. It’s actually the inheritor, through a complicated series of transformations, of the defunct PCI (Italian Communist Party). Many things changed through the last 2 decades, but a strong sense of partisan commitment and a political apparatus that takes no prisoners are still a mainstay, a visible legacy from the Soviet-loving era. It’s a sort of ingrained habit, sedimented through the generations since 1945: seeing everything through a us-vs-them filter, where if it’s for the Cause, everything goes.

Of course they substituted the Revolution with Reforms some time around the 60s, and in essence substituted Communism with Nihilistic Radicalism, in alignment with Western Left Parties, in 1991. But a defining trait remained the push to control culture and education; always serving first and foremost the interests of their faction.

Recently they decided to introduce Primary Elections to show the world that they were embracing a modern, dynamic -and above all open- political platform.

This actually caused an electoral process that was already resting on shaky grounds to fall in the hands of a few party operatives, subtracted from the control of public authorities. We already saw (notably in Naples mayoral primaries) many cases of aliens, Chinese, Gypsies all of a sudden getting in line to vote. People who may not be eligible and are ready to accept some compensation for the inconvenience…

Predictably, the Apparatus Candidate, the Secretary Pier Luigi Bersani, won the Primaries. This time they probably didn’t even need to resort to dirty tricks.

The outsider that seemed able to clinch the prize but lost, Matteo Renzi, represented a new, different party: less ideology, more business; less us-vs-them, more “let’s get things done and radically modernize the country”. Tantalizing speeches for the hopeful indecisive voters, instead of pandering to the social justice radicals.

The thing is, Renzi is in fact an alternative both to the radical left, that in the 90s stormed off and tried to mount an opposition from the left side, and to the establishment (post-)socialist party. But only in the sense that he’s not willing to waste energies on their excesses. He’s just a little more pragmatic, a lot more focused on appearance and catching wind of populist slogans.

If you follow debates with a critical eye you notice that politicians are good only at one thing:  campaigning and winning elections (it’s their job). Renzi is good at this game. But what really matters (beyond day to day administration and hopelessly trying to manage the economy) is hardly discussed, and here you’d be hard pressed to find candidates holding alternative positions.
People are delusional if they think Renzi could really be able to transform the country.

Many ruinous policies that are ravaging the Western World are kept beyond reach, not even discussed, as something that is already settled, inevitable or somewhat invisible to the public. In many countries, as it’s happening in Italy, momentous political decisions will be taken without ever being examined with a critical, reasoned, fact-based approach.

Media entities are typically operating on the premise of needing to “educate” the masses to cheerfully join the push for new laws and values; since humans are born conservative, they are conditioned to change through peer pressure and conformism.

Update - August 2016
While originally drafting this article, the judicial power seemed to have been already mobilized to dig dirt on Mr.Renzi, investigating his tenure as mayor of Florence and some business deals involving companies owned by his family members… The all-too-predictable justice system that happens to appear inflexible in flogging losers…
Journalists and judges hold the most effective levers of power, because they are never actually held accountable.

But this was 2012.

Matteo Renzi has become in the meantime (February 2014) President of the Council of the Ministries (i.e. the head of Italian Governement) without even the inconvenience of waiting for new elections: he’s the third President in a row put in place through a top-down decision, without consulting the People.

After another 2 years, now we can safely bet even Mr. Renzi is on the way out. To be replaced in a few months by someone closer to the heart of EuroBureaucrats. This is democracy, apparently (?)

4 years ago the Old Guard of the Partito Democratico seemed to come out victorious.

Nowadays we can attest to the triumph of the Renzi faction, a sort of the-end-justifies-the-means pragmatic, cynical and shameless new wave of arrogant social climbers that one could argue is more of a the-end. Scandals involving people close to the executive cabinet, banks going bankrupt… at this point I don’t expects any major politicians getting a conviction, even though corruption in the municipality of Rome, for instance, got to embarrassing levels…

We got to know the real Renzi, beyond the image created through a well orchestrated initial campaign. He’s been laughed at by people from all over the world (his insistence of delivering speeches in English despite his limited English skills being just the most obvious flaw). He’s all words, but no clear ideas, no resolve or courage to challenge European leaders. We got to know his nickname from youth was “il Bomba” (the Bomb=Mr.Liar, through the idea that really big lies create a huge impact).

Remarkable. Some things really changed. And yet, the radical revolution proceeds unabated. Worse, it’s gaining even more momentum, and encountering less and less resistance, even within the Catholic Church…



The real winner is…

The philosopher Augusto Del Noce correctly predicted in the 70s that the Italian Communist Party would eventually morph into a Mass Radical Party. People not living through that time can’t comprehend how far fetched that prediction appeared. Radical here means a well crafted, detailed vision: abortion, euthanasia, widespread use of psychotropic drugs, destruction of the family, destruction of Christianity, transforming people into vulnerable, isolated individuals that don’t believe in anything. Radicals even included pedophilia in the mix.

Antonio Gramsci, the sinister socialist ideologue, laid the ground for the leftist approach that eventually prevailed: forget about banks, director boards and political power; take control of media and universities instead! Focus on the culture.

He correctly but diabolically predicted, in 1919 (!), that Catholic Democrats, as useful idiots, had the role of bringing people and votes in the hands of socialists, gradually and indirectly rewiring the minds of the faithful Catholics; after that, those same leaders were destined to commit political suicide. So we saw, time and again, a coherent movement of so-called Christian Democrats that were convincing scores of supporters that the only way to be a good Christian was that of rooting “for” the poor and the destitute, to bring more government subsidies to “help” them, and scoff at prudes that pretended to impose “their” values about life and human rights. Eventually those CINO politicians fade in the background obtaining everything their original political adversaries wanted, and the electorate gets more and more into socialism, while losing their faith.
Not just in Italy: think for instance of US Democrats flaunting their Christian identity while expressing a political view diametrically opposed to that of their nominal faith, including lots of prominent examples of Catholics, fron the Kennedy family to Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden…

Renzi is just one of those “Catholics”.

It is difficult to mount a resistance to this revolutionary avalanche, because the Right is a barren land, where a viable “alternative” is represented by a libertarian spirit that gets to most of the same policies of the radical left, only filtered through a juvenile and utopic anarchism.

Predictably, the moral decay of our civilization deepens, while people desperately look for some leader offering impossible recipes to get the “system” to work. You are not tackling the real causes (financial speculators and “bad politicians” are but a symptom of a malaise that originates from how we educate our children: egotistical, vulgar, superficial, ignorant but self-important and touchy, interested only in material possessions…)

In Italy it’s been more than 2 decades since we began hearing politicians promising “reforms”, insisting on the need for “change” from the original post-WWII Republic. And we’re still at square one, the reform of the electoral process. Next time will do. Next time we’ll finally get to a total and successful overhaul of our government, getting rid of excessive regulations and bureaucracies, trust them! Next time.

Again, not that such a scenario represents a peculiarity of my country!
Elections matter. Sympathetic journalists that cover your back matter too. Getting things done, setting up the country for a better future, not so much: too long-term and difficult to measure.

Lacking productive ideas, European politicians, including Renzi and Bersani, jump on the bandwagon of an inevitable unification and centralization of Europe; you can’t control the process, but at least you can take credit for the results (while actual undesired and worrying outcomes are swept under the rug).

The Euro currency is already a failed project; this fact is just not registering with some observers. Yet.
And they are pushing for even more power to be put in the hands of Bruxelles bureaucrats.

One of the predictable consequences of this attempt to create a dystopian future, a powerless European Citizen deprived of choices and identity: a push in the opposite direction; a reaction that is already fueling independence movements in major regions, including Scotland and Catalunya (but possibly, surprisingly, even Veneto).

You can hardly hope that any successful attempt at reversing top-down decisions would be able to undo most of the damage. You can possibly get Scotland to become a new country; I don’t really know if it’s a good idea. But you can bet Scots won’t reverse the transformation of the culture and the toxic laws that they got used to as Europeans.
It’s a complex System; conformism and control of popular culture is the key. It’s not a conspiracy, mind you. It’s a convergence of interests.

Again, the real decisions are those with lasting consequences, changing your identity, your control on what you think or desire, transforming your values instead of mandating or forbidding any actions.
A long time ago we got abortion, and they even managed to extend the legislation promoting it. Divorce has become easier, fast and way more common. Artificial insemination, check. Including sperm or egg coming from “donors”. In a future we’ll get human clones.

Also, in no particular order (timing is unpredictable, many different phenomena with a wide range of scopes and gravity): legitimization of incest, gay marriage, a trend towards de facto abolishing marriage and giving legal status to more fleeting cohabitation arrangements; polygamy and composite open families; legalization of infanticide; euthanasia as a human right, followed  by legal suicide provisions, forceful euthanasia silently inflicted on elderly people, eventually theorizing the suppression of the unfit.
On a cultural plane, we’d have to get used to sexual perversions as the norm, with self-harm as a new fad. Putting so-called animal rights, and Earth rights, before human rights.
We will also get plenty of ethnic enclaves closed to outsiders, hostile to each other; Islamic tribunals in Europe (to be fair, they are already sort of a tradition in the UK; but they will get more and more powerful).
Expect children to become more and more detached from their parents; social workers gaining a position of dominance, taking children away from ideologically non-compliant families.
Schools even more hell bent on indoctrinating children, re-branding submission as openness and freedom.
More and more invasion of our private space from the governments, while being mired in endless useless privacy rules. Special laws will punish citizens for their hateful, unacceptable ideas (ex.: “homophobia”, “church interference in politics”, you name it…)

Widespread intoxicating drugs abuse (ironically, the present trajectory suggests the exception of severe restrictions on tobacco.)

Eventually in the name of equality and religious freedom, barring any substantial reaction we’ll get satanic rites performed in chapels (in hospitals, prisons, airports…), the legalization of pedophilia (which was already underway, but was canceled for tactical reasons) and the open persecution of Christians.


The key here is, once again, a revolution against humans and within human minds.

Sooner or later this self-destructive trend should be stopped. Maybe the opportunity will arise when this nihilistic culture will clash against Islam (we are already observing signs of an inevitable conflict: Islamist and Gay Rights groups accusing each other, respectively, of homophobia and islamophobia).

While it’s clear we can’t let this dystopic future happen, politicians like the two Bersani and Renzi we used here as an example would never represent a reasonable voice, they invariably side with the “change” and are not alternative to each other in any meaningful sense. You just get a false impression of choice. I’m sure you can find proper examples of the same phenomenon in your country.

The point is that you could hypothetically put in power a random guy picked off the street, or maybe a top corporate manager, or a union leader, a career politician, or even a clone of Richard Nixon hailed as a New Emperor… you could put a genius Economics Professor in a position of President, or instead the humblest and most selfless monk… you wouldn’t obtain significantly different results! Because what really matters is the imposition of laws, presented as ultimate and unchangeable bastions of the new era, that are essentially destroying the very basis of our civilization, under the guise of guaranteeing freedom and human rights.

As the sociologist Massimo Introvigne brilliantly put it, paraphrasing (or better reversing) a famous quote by Bill Clinton:

“It’s not the economy, stupid!”


Ok, there are many issues you can legitimately consider very important in an election, and trying not to ruin the prospects of economic growth for your country is a big one. But ultimately, when fundamental choices about human life are systematically kept out of reach of a public (that is misinformed anyway), and both sides in a debate or election insist on picking the wrong, self-destructive policy, your efforts will always be vain, and the society will lose cohesion and scope. (And you’ll ruin the economy too, your brilliant growth plans notwithstanding.)

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