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Peace-seeding in Italy

After too many years of diffused and continuous clash among subtly different worldviews and loud voice quarrel it's quite clear we go nowhere.

Sure, continuous confrontation, laws made just to comply the desires of a little part, insult, overt machismo and unwillingness to listen may tickle thrash TV audience a bit. But does nothing to solve the real problems real people is facing.

This is my night-time reflection, but may be a starting point as well.

We need, first of all, a new agenda, with an important priority shift from mainstream way-of-doing.

My view (a personal view) is, to date Italy is facing problems in need of an urgent solution. They are not often debated on media, and so receive little attention. Yet, they are there. This is my subjective list.

- Italy is not any more producing innovation systematically. This should change as quickly as possible, with a system-level policy, and massive resources allocated, to encourage the courageous entrepreneurs to build and sell worldwide new products which are useful, well manufactured, and supported by structural selling capacity (havens, transports). All, accompanied by the courage of letting unsuccessful business models to wane out and fail gracefully, too. And, accompanied by a restore of the "pleasure to work".

- Women representation is scant. This is unacceptable both for ethical and practical reasons. A cultural change is strongly needed, starting from women themselves. After all, it's in part our problem if we accept the constrictive roles imposed by thrash television acritically. This change needs assuming and giving voice, on a large scale.

- There are too many parasitic positions. Traditionally, Italy is the country of the many guilds, each fighting to protect their own tiny interest despite the general wealth. It's also the country of mafias, with organized crime building its own GDP (a significant fraction of the whole Italy's). Italy is also the shameful world center of nepotism, corruption and recommendations. All these things, in addition of being immoral, are wasting an astronomical amount of resources. And, they kill many souls. We should get rid of this all, as quickly as possible.

- Wealth is distributed very unevenly. The unevenness has increased as in last years the governments led by mr.Berlusconi have pursued a policy of help to the wealthy. There are parts of the society (even in the rich Italy) who live below the threshold of poverty. And some others, in some cases with no personal merit (if not thanks to criminal acts, like evading taxes or joining mafia), who visibly had increased their ability to spend. On average, in addition, women earn less, at same professional level (they are much less, too). All these are not that god.

- In Italy a massive fiscal evasion is not only tolerated, but also encouraged. People should be educated, by making very clear to them than evading taxes is an act of war towards the weak, and maybe with the didactical encouragement of drastic measurements (for example: civil rights, police protection, welfare, right to vote, water/gas/electricity supply, health protection, subordinated to the demonstration of having paid all taxes due to the last penny).

- Justice is clearly not working, as trials are almost endless (especially the civil). This hinders the possibility to invest seriously in Italy, and should be changed too. In a partnership spirit. To date, in Italy there is a strongly vehement debate on reforming justice, but the measurements envisioned seem more apt at suppressing or voiding trials, more than making things work.

- Territory is wasted massively. Natural environment is quickly being covered by masses of ugly buildings a decreasing population is not likely to inhabit or use. This is a direct compensation to the contraction of industrial production, itself due to lack of innovation and investment, in the complete lack of a system-wide policy. Environment is seen as a "good", which can be wasted at will. The waste is irreversible. This mentality too has to change quickly: we live of our environment.

- Education is contracting, under the pressure of an enormous public debt (in part due to massive fiscal evasion and industry decline). This is not acceptable. In a complex society, people may thrive and contribute to the overall wealth and goodness only if they possess complex and articulated skills. Otherwise, they are creature without any value, mere expendables. I can't accept this. For everyone to express their potential, education is essential.

- "Details", like water reservoirs, oil and gas supplies in an unstable world, food production, environment protection, ..., need attention. And resources, to fix them.

- Position in the World, too, should be planned, with a long-term strategy in mind. Italy, due to its positin, is in the ideal place to make a difference for the good in the years to come. But this should be envisioned, and planned appropriately. Moreover, Italy should get rid of its fear of others and the new. She needs a tiny unifying thing: a new "frontier", to explore and expand in Not necessary in physical space - it might "just" be in finding new ways useful to all. This may help justifying her presence.

I have no solutions to date. Only vague ideas.

It seems clear to me, however, that solving these problems and identifying others can not be made within the quarreling framework of today's "politics". We need a shift, from politics to policymaking, from streetfight mentality to cooperation and partnership.

But first even, we have to heal a whole society.

Years of politics without policymaking have built a sort of permanent conflict. Not too many shoot, thank goodness, but the overall climate is of division, and cold civil war.

Sure, quarreling divides.

But I guess the reason is deeper, rooted in the very model of "politics", with military- (or company-) style parties where one or few "leaders" try commanding all others' opinion and action. Left without a discipline, this command-and-control way of doing may degenerate in a fight of all against all others. In Italy, this has just happened.

A lot of precious time is thrown away by these "leaders" to do face work, or to (apparently and ritualizedly) fight one another. They attract a lot of attention, as thrash television thrives in tiny nitty gritty divisions and quarreling. But also reduces the time available to address and try solving the real problems.

In my view, a verticistic hierarchy is not strictly necessary however. I remember the elaborate plays we made when children, and no one acted as self-appointed commander in chief.

Imagine, for a moment, a swarm of bees: nobody directs them, but they all together act as if they know what they are doing - and do it very effectively. Countless examples may be found in the natural world, even inside of us (have you considered whether someone instructs your immunitary system how to protect from a new threat?) Each little agent (a bee, a leucocyte, a good will man or woman) may act by very simple and firm rules, and from the interaction of a multitude of them a superior behavior emerges, unexpected, maybe even beyond a rational possibility to explain it.

This is my idea: a swarm of good will women and men, with some clear statements and shared goals, willing to connect among them and with others.

(Women especially: I guess they are more sensitive to this kind of message - they still act as a swarm, connecting and interacting freely, without hierarchies. But many men too may find this attractive).

As a whole, we should concentrate on shared goals. We need some fantasy to identify them, but I'm sure we can. After all, all of us, as a human being, has deep desires and will in common with anyone alse. Let's restart from there.

And build peace, by restoring the cracked connections one by one. And building new ones, more powerful.

I imagine this will not be a quick process. Years of bad habits will condition us for a bit. Yet, the change is possible. Just, in the beginning, by connecting, and spending time in what we already enjoy, person-to-person interaction. Just, a bit more systematically, and with antennas frenetically searching for anything new.

Does "nobility" has a role in a modern democracy? I guess so (and need to explain). My concept of "nobility" is not that of an aristocracy based on blood and heritage - that would be nonsense. I intend, the people who know they may do a difference. There are very many.

May you allow me a historical remark? The flag of Milan municipality is (still today) white, with a large red cross on its center. The cross arms extend until the flag border. The cross is not a religious symbol. Its original meaning was of the four districts Milan was made of (the white parts), and the town nobility connecting them.

May we do?

We can, I'm sure.

The world is also ours, after all.

Mauri

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