There is a lot to say about Italy, these days. It is not a country that seems to count very much in terms of what’s happening to the world. But we have found out that even a place like Italy can be far more problematic at a global scale than we thought: everything is linked, even an Italian crisis can be a global crisis.
Well, it is not exactly flattering to be a country that matters only because it can be a source of trouble.
And Italians seem to be having some new thinking about this. Usually we are good at complaining about our faults, but we are quite scarce at working united on a long term project. We are very critical about ourselves, even cynical. But we have a hard time when we need to rebuild our trust in ourselves as a whole.
Italy is a laboratory. The world can learn by looking at what happens here. We have invented fascism and we have perfected an authoritarian version of videocracy. We have also been good at fast industrializing and at fast post-industrializing. We are trying now a new experiment: regret and move on.
It is not complain and be stressed. It starts with remembering what we were. It allows us to be emotional about what we lost, which we should know very well. But it opens the door to studying our history in an effort that goes over our present passions. There can be an emotion about our future, too, which can also be better than decline: there is source of cultural energy in our deep rooted history which can be synchronized with our long term future.