Category Archives: Erosion of Democracy in Europe

This section is about the shrinking of democracy in contemporary Europe (and of course in America). Is it the fulfilment of A. Huxley’s predictions that the constitutions will not be abrogated and the good laws will remain on the statute book, but these liberal forms will merely serve to mask and adorn a profoundly illiberal substance? Are we already living in a painless concentration camp where a mind-controlled population loves its servitude? After Silvio Berlusconi’s oligarchic ventennio, Italy has become a privileged observatory on the matter.

World Cup 2018 – out of the cup, into the mud: corruption,violence, beauty in Italian football

All the World is a football Stage Italian football is the mirror of our society: it means organized crime connections, both at top management level or at mafia and camorra rank; it means corruption, in match-fixing, slush funds creation and drug use; it means another weapon of mass consent in the hand of the demagogic political candidate.…

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‘Trattativa stato-mafia’ verdict: The Berlusconi government’s deal with the devil confirmed, good omen for his recent official ‘rehabilitation’

state-mafia-negotiations

‘In 2013 I wrote a whole chapter dedicated to the trattativa stato–mafia in my book about Berlusconi when just a few believed it had happened. Proud of it. A post will follow with the chapter. Thank you Di Matteo‘ is my first tweet after the sentence (trattativa stato-mafia means state-mafia negotiations). So here is the chapter in…

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Who Killed Giovanni Falcone? ‘Don’t say murder, don’t say kill, it was destiny, it was God’s will’

Falcone-Borsellino

Twenty-six years later: Falcone and Borsellino are victims of Totò Riina’s ‘negotiating by bomb’ strategy. Victims and martyrs indeed, and of course heroes. Nevertheless, I always have a bitter taste in my mouth every year at the celebrations, and the feeling is not because of the inevitable rhetoric. Hypocrisy lurks in the air: today, slowly,…

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Review – ‘1984’ adaptation for the Italian stage: not a play about the past, but about us, now

1984

Emilia Romagna Teatro has produced this stage adaptation of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four). The play is directed by Matthew Lenton, Artistic Director of Vanishing Point, a multi-award winning theatre company based in Glasgow, Scotland. The play is performed in Italian by young talented actors. As we all know, Italian politics and Big…

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Elezioni 2018: le foche ammaestrate e il cavaliere oscuro

Berlusconi-presidente-fake-news

The tame seals and the dark (ex) knight (article in Italian). La news più fake: Berlusconi Presidente. Passando occasionalmente davanti ad un televisore acceso ieri sera, ultimo giorno di campagna elettorale, ho avuto una visione surreale: l’ex Cavaliere, in uno avanzato stato di sfacelo che chirurgia plastica e trucco pesante non riescono a celare del…

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Mafia Republic, a true crime book by J. Dickie – review

mafia-republic

Mafia Republic: Italy’s Criminal Curse. Cosa Nostra, ‘ndrangheta and Camorra from 1946 to the Present by John Dickie My rating: 5 of 5 stars … a wise traveller should bring this book with him on an Italian holiday and read it while tanning on a gorgeous Sicilian beach. As I was researching for my book…

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Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (1958): Trump, Berlusconi and Brexit were already scaringly there

Aldous Huxley

The essay Brave New World Revisited is an astonishing prediction of the XXI century’s shrinking democracy in the West. Here is an annotated long extract I edited as part of my research work for Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy. In times of Brexit, Trumpism, abandon of social commitment and triumph of ignorance, I think it is worth re-reading…

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Clean Hands’ 25th anniversary: and they lived corruptly ever after

1992 is modern Italy’s D-year. It is the time of the death of the decadent First Republic and the birth of the more degenerate Second one, which is probably about to end these days. It is the year of Mani Pulite (Clean Hands, or Tangentopoli), an investigation that revealed the corruption of politics and business…

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Who killed Giulio Regeni?

Giulio-Regeni

Of Arab Springs turned dictatorships, state tortures and murders, commercial bonds over human life: one year after, we don’t have to live and let Giulio die. Shocked, outraged, bewildered, overwhelmed: that’s how I feel today, on the sixth anniversary of a revolution (the Egyptian Arab Spring) turned fascist dictatorship and on the first anniversary of…

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Well-fed young television-watchers or freedom fighters? Of juvenile rebelliousness and social commitment

anti-war-demonstrations

Since my book on Italian society in the last ventennio is also a warning against the contemporary erosion of democracy in the Western World – as I have said time and again, the Italy of the so-called Berlusconi Age is a privileged observatory -, a chapter of my work deals with some dystopian writers of…

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