Corruption? Maybe. It's worse
by Maurizio Blondet
Corruption? Maybe. It's worse, it is that we are invincibly stupid and underdeveloped. A dear friend turns to me, from the Secolo d'Italia [Century of Italy - an Italian newspaper born in 1952], this evocation of the earthquake in Vulture, which struck 50 municipalities in 7 provinces of Basilicata, Campania and Puglia. Year: 1930, in July. Magnitude over 6.7. Number of deaths, 1404. Title:
In 1930 an earthquake in Vulture: the Mussolini government in 3 months built 3,746 houses and it repaired 5,190 more.
"Benito Mussolini, as soon as he heard of the disaster summoned the Minister of Public Works, Araldo Di Crollalanza and entrusted him entirety the relief work and reconstruction. Araldo Di Crollalanza, born in 1892, was minister from 1930 to 1935. He later became president of the National Organization Fighters and linked his name to the reclamation of the Pontine. Already squad during the March on Rome, Podesta of Bari, in the Italian Social Republic was the special commissioner for the Parliament, in which he had sat for three terms. After the war he was arrested but acquitted immediately. In 1953 he became part of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Italian Social Movement, and was re-elected until his death in 1986 ".
I would like to underline how the government proceeded. The italics are mine [of Blondet].
"Crollalanza arranged in a few hours the transfer of all the offices of the Civil Engineers and technical personnel in the area, as provided by the plan of action and by the mobilization tables that were periodically updated. In the station of Rome, on a siding, a special train was always parked, complete with first aid material, provided with demolition equipment and everything else needed to provide for the first needs for aid and assistance to the earthquake victims. And on that train sat the minister himself and all necessary personnel in the direction of the epicenter of the disaster. Throughout the period of reconstruction Araldo Di Crollalanza never walked away, sleeping in the special train that was moving from one station to another to follow directly the reconstruction works. Work began immediately. After securing the tents and the first service, they were charged numerous construction companies who promptly arrived on site with all the equipment. Working with draft of standards schemes it was possible to begin the construction of houses on the ground floor with two or three anti-seismic rooms, and at the same time began the repair of thousands of homes restructurable, so return them to disaster victims before the arrival of winter. Just three months after the earthquake, October 28, 1930, the first houses were handed over to the people of Campania, Basilicata and Puglia. They were built 3,746 houses and repair 5,190 else. Mussolini thanked Crollalanza like this: because it was your duty, but thanks for having saved 500,000 lire to Treasury...>>. Among other things, the buildings built during this time resisted to another major earthquake, the Irpinia, which hit the same area 50 years later".
Araldo Di Crollalanza repeated the feat, indeed surpassed, even in the reclamation of the Pontine marshes "reclaimed 1 million 600 thousand hectares", "detonated for seven months 4000 mines per day, around 800,000", built "in three years 2500 farmhouses with toilet ... city (the three largest were Littoria, Pontinia and Sabaudia), channels, roads and public works on 14,000 hectares". Remediation expenses "turned out 4,500 lire per hectare". The State had allocated 5,500 lire per hectare" (as Oscar A. Marino reports in his "The Interrupted Journey", Messina 2006).
Far be it from me every nostalgia. The experience of government of Fini and Larussa, of Alemanno and Meloni should have vaccinated me forever.
I just want to point this out: in 1930 Italy was modern. It had facilities and staff abreast of the times (at the time), public knowledge and intellectual skills on par with those European and now no more.
Today we are not modern. We are antiquated compared to the times, we are outdated. And you see it in the debate, or chat, born around the school of Amatrice, made earthquake-proof in 2012 with 700,000 Euros (the Lazio Region, the Municipality and the Province of Rieti) and collapsed the other day.
A reader: "I live in Japan, and I tell you how to build here the buildings (anti seismic): SOLID STEEL beams and pillars. Nothing concrete and other crap. Pure steel. Resistant, flexible at the right point, impossible that collapses". Another: "The Italian anti-seismic criteria for new construction are equivalent to what was done in California and Japan in the 70s and 80s. Now in these two States virtually nothing is build in concrete, even the viaducts. The buildings are all made of steel or wood for the smaller ones. Concrete is confined only to the foundations, but there, the construction criteria are very different too. I tried to talk to some engineer and some surveyor but only one replied <>, others have shrugged. Many of them, simply, have no knowledge of earthquake-resistant techniques. Modern ones".
Exactly. But our palazzinari-type [the typical house-builders more capable as tricksters than as constructors], which have the second grade even if perhaps are billionaires, are not capable of building with steel and (the small buildings) in wood. They can learn? But no, they can not - do they not have the culture - and at the same time does not want to learn: their business is in reinforced concrete with sand compounds, earth moving machines, in subcontracting mobsters to nurse public money. It's from there that they receive the money, where there are ras and masters - and the new technology should risk to give the crown to others, who can use the steel. The palazzinari-type (you name some names) would lose the domain of the only market where they know to move.
So, here it is that the 'anti-seismic laws' are those in California, Japan and Chile are overdue by 50 years. They were the ones who suggested: congressmen so ignorant as they did not understand that they were backward, and they have their own gain patronage, because they can recommend to "the place" some generic mason ignorant like a shoe, some poor peasant of the mix that you can not even imagine purchasing the dizzying skill of his American colleagues of '10s.
And I speak not only of the South underdeveloped. When it was built the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan (1958), signed by star architects Gio Ponti and Pierluigi Nervi, the city boasted: "The only skyscraper in the world built in reinforced concrete". That fools the others that made the skyscrapers of steel since 1902. As we are smarter than us. To do something that "looks" modern, but it is not. Which it has "a beautiful line" and makes "his figure": appearance and not substance.
Look that all the sectors in Italy have become so: from the judiciary to universities, from journalism to teachers who do not pass the general knowledge exam, by Equitalia [tax agency] to the hyper-paid staff of the Prime Minister who does not know English, down to the municipal surveyor to the public absentee who covers his head with a box to stamp the colleagues' time-cards, it is - for seventy years - a whole to accept a bit less responsibility than it was required, a coming to terms with the lack of professionalism, of ethics strictness, of the intelligence that are necessary to fulfill the task. One conspicuous deterioration of the 'quality' of everything: work, but also of people, quality of life, incapable of courtesy and kindness: Italian society is crude, rude, unbearable for the same Italian.
Even the Church has expired so much, that a monsignor - the well-known Galantino - could boast that Sodom was saved by Abraham's prayer (as instead was incinerated) and remain in place: now, it is clear that he does not even read or understand the Bible. After such an example of incompetence, emptiness and superficiality (cloaked the bargain of "modernity a la Pope Francis"), can you offend yourself if the mafia building speculator who built the school in Amatrice has used sand, polystyrene and reinforced concrete on the roofs? And the building was declared anti-seismic by a special bureaucracy?
Tout se tient. If bishops do not know the Bible, building speculators do not know the technology of steel building.
Do We talk about the business of immigrants, which makes rich the usual known and gives "work" to the Sicilian patronage of the Minister Alfano? Do we want to explain once and for all that the "host" of "refugee" is a ragged affair - as well as rogue - grabbed by non-professional hoteliers? Sicily should do billions with tourism, as the Canaries do or the more rustic Greek islands do. But the Sicilians simply have not been able. They do not have the expertise, they do not know or want to provide quality services, swimming pools, Wi-Fi so that now in any Greek island are the routine. Worse, tourism does not sell hotel accommodation, "sells" a population and its kindness, the ability to put yourself in the shoes of others, a minimum of collective attention - that in Mauritius as in Karpathos, is called "everyday culture". A friend Sicilian who works in Milan, very angry, told me: I go back to Acireale and I could not bathe the children because the sea is polluted. From sewer sludge that throws overboard as in the 17th century. Acireale! A destination that should be in world international circuits, has the shitty sea: the shit of the Sicilians, whom the shit in the sea does not seem intolerable archaic residue. "Modernity, however" is to be governed by an invert: you see that we have overcome the archaic prejudices! We are no longer strongmen! It is like Mrs. Cirinna and his journalistic pimps: "The law (of gay marriage) will finally Italy a more modern country and civil!".
No, modern and civilian would be the country if Acireale should have the depuration-plant. If the temples of Agrigento were not besieged by high rises of 8 floors inhabited by gangsters that, the temples, want them to see and only them, even if I miss they know what they are. And not the horrible abusive homes that have made ugly every square meter of shoreline because the Sicilians want to have the little house there, and in the summer to fill unfair little streets of tons of mussel shells that stink in the sun because no public service is to pick them up. If it had a gentle population that in front of a tourist wonder: "what he needs?" and not "how can I screw him?".
Well, everything is missing. For which there are dozens, hundreds of hotels 'family-style', the hovels of few rooms and no quality, put on with very little capital and few resources, managed by people who have no professionalism, don't want improve, not inquiring about how it is the modern tourism in the twenty-first century and also puts disproportionate prices because "as you eat well here you do not eat anywhere in the world". However, these hoteliers are professionally failed and incapable; their "hotel" are not to be proposed on international websites, do not stand up to global competition with the boarding houses of Greece. They have no market. But - very clever man - have adopted the business immigrants as a last lifeline of their lack of professionality. 35 euro per night per person, put forty Sudanese Somali Eritreans "fleeing wars", and the State will pass already 1400 Euros per day. You know that free ride. And you not have to provide services that satisfy, not those are tourists, not complain about the sea full of shit or dry pool or the toilet stinks. You do not have to compete in the market: you receive public money - which as always is your highest aspiration.
It is, Sicilians, a business ragged. As well as ragged, scoundrel: that is, marginal, residual, an expedient although for now pays money. Unworthy of you, if you were the Sicilians who you say you are, people "fierce and proud".
Try to measure how we are overdue in "modern" compared to 1930. There was a train equipped and ready for intervention in perpetuity on a siding. Today that train would be, in order: 1) abandoned by overseers paid to watch him; 2) looted and cleaned up the material value from the gypsies of Casamonica's clan, that no courts and no police are able to dislodge from the nation's capital, for lack of professionalism and diligence; 3) its empty shell, would become smelly bivouac of bums and immigrants, addicted to prostitution and alcoholism; 4) any attempt to dislodge them would be frustrated by accusations of "Il Fatto Quotidiano" [another Italian newspaper] against police brutality, the opening of a dossier against the agents of known magistrate, indignant questions in Parliament of Senator Manconi (17,000 per month), compassion and solidarity of Caritas media, screams and shrieks against Salvini and the "heartless Northern" which is a shame for this Italian who has the big heart and never fails to make feel its closeness and indulgence to those who violate the law, instead of applying it and get it applied
Certainly: as nobody makes his job well and knows how to do it properly, with the times, it all feels indulgent with those who can not do it. Schettino, you are all of us! Poor thing!
Just imagine minister Crollalanza in the '30s, if he found the train not ready. Or if he had come to Amatrice, in front of the earthquake-proof collapsed school and paid almost a million of public money. He would have indulgence for the mayor? He would have turned a blind eye because Party member? On the contrary. Yet it was from Puglia. The non-professionalism, not to do things better and even more of the best, did not enjoy any large sleeve. The fascism was modern. Not the democratic Italy, it's underdeveloped.
You can not accuse the "corruption", in front of the collapsed school. I come to say, perhaps, it was 'only' corruption, because you could correct and punish it. But when ''corruption" is so obviously self-defeating - like that of Schettino, the public totally-lazy public employee that covers himself with the cardboard box, the Apulian stationmaster who sends two trains on single track - it must be admitted that corruption is simply the consequence. The primary cause is another. How to define it? How to define such indifference in adapting to the demands of their job? This cunning that is to save concrete mixing more sand? This does not link the causes to the effects, if indeed inevitable, that will showcase your professional capacity and your moral delinquency? How to define this lack of foresight, this inability to put themselves in other people's shoes?
There is only one way to define: it is stupidity. The special mixed Italian dullness of callous selfishness and rudeness underdeveloped, non-compliance with their duties, and lack of foresight, that those who practice it - above all - call "cunning". Alas, we are indeed a not very intelligent people. And that has long ceased every effort to become better, competent, rigorous and honest in the craft - because "Damn! We are no more in fascism!". Yes, we are "in a democracy" and the ignorant tells her. Of course, the ignorant exist in all countries. But only in Italy ignorant are arrogant, imperious, imposing their standards, they say, win the concuorzi [plural - the public test to became public employee], ranging in Parliament and on television, imposing reinforced concrete where steel is necessary. Only here, instead of being silenced, they are satisfied in their needs of ignorant - as I see those of Amatrice who want "the reconstruction of the houses as they were", and will give it to them the other ignorant.
It's too easy (if we are not stupid) see that the "democracy" has contributed to our stupidity. Administrative decentralization, the eight thousand municipalities, the regions, they gave the last hoed. Decentralization makes sense in countries where skills are numerous and widespread in the bottom, where people know exercise autonomy, where the building speculators do not have the second grade, the priests know Latin and the bishops read the Bible at least once. In countries where there has been no rigorous training in their profession whatever, the stupidity and the most callous ignorance are the plebeian norm, underdevelopment is plain to see, the scarce intellectual resources, the high professionalism very little, you need the centralized state, which brings together the few, precious best professionals at the top to use them and also enhance them, not leave them to waste from the mass of callused ignorant callused unable to predict, but imperious and arrogant to impose their will of stomach and intestines.
Such a society needs a centralized state: that understands modernity, teaches it, and if necessary impose it by force. An authoritarian state. I understand these are words to the wind. So the next earthquake. A recall how modern we were in the '30s, and how we are Neanderthals today.
Translation by Costantino Ceoldo - PRAVDA freelance