Re: R: italiam interest (part 2)

From: Waldemar Ingdahl (
Date: Sun Jul 09 2000 - 12:24:38 MDT

>To: <>
>Subject: Re: R: italiam interest (part 2)
>Date: Sun Jul 09 12:30:02 2000
>I liked your description of Italian governmental philosophies during the
>20th century, vert apt indeed. The only thing I noticed (as an ignorant and
>ugly American) is that even when governments 'colapsed' the new Italian
>governments would frequently re-install the same cabinet members--perhaps
>hoping for a means to vote away a 'deadlock'?

Of my personal experience of politics in Italy (I was once a member of the
Italian PRI- party in Ancona). CYNICAL PRAGMATISM. Sell out all your
principles, just to stay in power, form a five or six- party coalition with
whoever might want a piece in the pie. That's how for instance Berlusconi
could make a coalition with the extreme right, separatists, and "reformed"
fascists some years ago.

>More interesting to me is how Italian bussiness leaders and families were
>able to produce a decent standard of living with all what we American's
>would superficially, see as chaotic? This may be considered an unheralded
>Italian success story, and perhaps a lesson for the future?

Having worked for the Istituto Commercio Estero (ICE) in Stockholm, I can
say that the corruption in the government is a big problem for people and
business. The cleptocracy is still in business, though the present
government uses a more "politically correct" language.

How has Italy prospered? The strength of the civil society- a very positive
one in the north (the province of Lombardy is the richest in Europe) and a
negative one in the south (the Mafia, Camorra, and the n' drangheta). Why
this difference? For historical reasons.The relative success of Italian
society has been despite the state, not because of it (dragging the country
down with a terrible deficit). I think that is why Italians are so positive
towards the EU, it isn't a thief government. But of course this cannot go on

The lesson of Italy, a country can prosper without a good government but not
indefinitely with a bad one.

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