20 referendums? Maybe 2.
By Adriano Autino and Diana Baroni
The promoters of the so-called liberalist revolution succeeded, by now. They collected 800.000 signatures for each referendum: 16 millions of signatures all together. Obviously many people signed for more than one referendum, and many people signed all, therefore such a number is to be divided, not 20 times, but surely for an anyway high number of times. However this is a big result, that testifies the wide innovating will, pervading the Italian society, at the Millennium. But is it really the liberalist revolution, able to free the new social classes, emerged from the electronic age? We can agree with some referendum, but in general terms, we believe that the 20 referendums operation is still strongly based in the industrial age. It is full of the political atmosphere and of the links of a world still represented split between the "jobs givers" on one side, and dependent workers on the other side; absolutely unable, these last ones, to enterprise and will. Bonino and company are aimed, maybe, to increase the freedom of the first ones, without giving to the second ones any hope, or tool, of liberation.
We don't notice, reading the rationales of the referendums, any sign meaningful of an up to date social analysis, able to realize the socio-economic realty of the advanced electronic age, where we are. There is no awareness of the person's values, nor humanism. There is, instead, even this time, the blind and absolute faith in the so-called free market, in the thaumaturgic capabilities of the competition, as if the numerous examples, even recent, weren't there to testify the absolute insufficiency of the market, to create welfare and development. We detect, in such a market fundamentalism (as name it George Soros, genius of the finance and decided supporter of the need of the politics) something of maniac, not less absolutist and dangerous than the Stalinist ideology, at last over. The recent crisis of the Asian economy took to the light, for instance, how the fossil recipes of the International Monetary Fund were utterly insufficient, if not opposite, to contain the crisis. Used to face crisis caused by the public debit, the IMF prescribed the usual increase of the interest rates and the good old cuts to the public expense. Such a recipe shown itself fully unequal to the task to reduce the Asian crisis, born in the world of the financial private speculation.
The Russian case is another sounding sample: the liberalization without ethics only served, up to now, to create a few enriched mafiouses, that ferociously shared the ex-state properties, and an economy that only stands up thanks to sounding occidental billions dollars. The current Russian society is not surely a prosper society nor a path of liberation for the individuals. These last ones, instead, find themselves slaves of the new gangsters, regretting the times when they were slaves of the bureaucracy but, at least, their children could go to school. A society where the greatest freedom is enjoined only by the criminals, and not surely by the most intelligent and creative persons. And we aren't, or we are no more, so much idealist to dream that all can suddenly achieve the total freedom. We would be happy of a step that would be anyway an historical one: that a change of the guard could take place, that the primacy of the physical power and of the astuteness make a step back, leaving place to the primacy of the intelligence and of the creativity. For a sentient and cultural animal, in fact, the strength and the astuteness are no more evolutionary characters (as they are however for the non-sentient species, and as they were for millions years for mankind itself). The human kind will survive, keep on developing, to evolve, since the current situation, only if it will put, at the pilot sit, the intelligence and the creativity, sided by a deeply and innovating humanist ethics.
Any political Initiative (we speak of the ones deserving at least the effort to be understood and criticized) should therefore be analyzed first of all from the evolutionary point of view. Now, the social system built during the industrial age is properly made to prize the powerful ones, the clever ones, and the thieves. The intelligence and the creativity are, instead, ferociously punished and repressed: it is extremely difficult, for an honest micro-entrepreneur, to go over the reef from 50 to 200 millions lire of earn per year, and to adventure in the open sea. Who is in such a situation works only to pay the taxes and continuously runs the risk to sink: in his pockets only remain the debit to the banks, and absolutely nothing to invest, to make the enterprise grow up. The micro-enterprise is systematically eliminated; while the big industry, at the opposite, continuously receives tax allowances, helps and borrows for thousands of billions never given back. The state remains advocate of the big industry and big commerce interests, and still defends the market of these ones from the entrance of the ones that try to enter. In such a system, only the tax evaders or the leaders of cheating activities are able to go over the tax barrier. The intelligent and creative persons, duly paying the taxes, having developed their own ethics as providers and in the commercial relationships, are ferociously torn by the guard-dogs of their majesties, and their freedom of enterprise is simply non-existent.
Let us then see the proposed referendums. Are they opposed to the above logic? Are they oriented to the freedom of enterprise? Do they clear the way for the growth of the micro-enterprise? Do they free the access to the capitals for the ones willing enter a growth path? Or they only increase the freedoms of who already has many freedoms, without taking care, once more, of the ones that have no freedoms at all? It seems to us that the radicals operation was, overall, static and less or not at all evolutionary. It appears first of all oriented to the freedom of negotiation. As the market, the freedom of negotiation can be useful, but it depends from how it is used. The freedom of negotiation, if not sided by an ethical aim, will not prevent, for instance, a small entrepreneur to be forced to accept a inequitable contract by a client hundreds of times bigger than him. The radicals don't speak, for instance, to put hands in the jungle of the payments delays, in Italy particularly dangerous for the small enterprise. The referendum operation is lacking of analytic approach, it doesn't realize the realty (more than 3 millions companies with less than 9 workers, on a total of 3.5 millions, according to the ISTAT 1996 report), and doesn't make any effort to detect the evolutionary needs of the emerging persons and enterprises, in the strongly changed social context of the electronic revolution. The pursued freedom is the one of the "jobs givers", an obsolescent category and on the way to become extinct, while no attention is paid to the freedom of growth and emancipation of the ex-waged, becoming entrepreneurs. The long time experienced, big economic dimensions entrepreneurs and the autonomous workers are, it is true, all entrepreneurs, but they aren't equal at all, as far as the rights and the effective freedoms are concerned. The historical goal could be the one to make all more free (with a bigger attention to the ones that still enjoy less freedom), with attention to the interfaces among the different freedoms (and rights) of each one.
For instance, the sudden change of the laws in the matter of dismissal, can trigger violent social phenomena, depriving many of a minimal freedom before they can achieve a bigger one, instead of help the flow, even impetuous, of the ongoing revolution. The increase of the different freedoms and of the capabilities to translate the own potentialities of the persons in welfare and in better functionings at the society level is directly linked to the information, that must not be confused, by the way, with the education. The education process requires time and concrete experience, and fully justifies the different earns between the more experienced -- that gives education to the young people working with him -- and the youngs, that give their operative capabilities. The lack of the essential information, in the commercial and work transactions, or in the law process itself, represents instead a culpable omission. Such an omission is strongly cutting the freedoms and the rights of the others. The lack of fundamental information ends to give an enormous and disloyal competitive advantage to the owners of big experience and financial means (the big entrepreneurs) versus the ones that approach the market for the first time. The assess on any proposed law change cannot thus avoid to take into account the information, that should clarify the motivations, the rationales and any other aspect; such an information should be integral part of the proposed text.
To go on, about some themes proposed by the referendums, the cost of the work is surely a relevant parameter, and it must be seen together with the enterprise risk -- that's very high, for the micro-enterprise. The enterprise risk is something that the most experienced and biggest entrepreneurs well know, and they are perfectly able to get money for it, by the state and by their customers. The absolute beginners, approaching the market for the first time, instead, rarely are aware of it, and often they accept an earn not so far from the one of a dependent worker, though they don't have the same social warrants (if they can still have any value, anyway). The small entrepreneurs too should be fully aware of the enterprise risk. This information will have an impact on the cost of the professional services, but this is bearable by the customers: to have at their disposal fully flexible manpower is a benefit that can be paid the right price. Speaking about part-time, defined time, homework, it should be well accepted and clear, and become matter of negotiation, that the work with uncertain duration cannot cost the same, or less, of the work with certain duration.
Furthermore, for the ones decided to start a path of entrepreneurial growth, it should be available an easy path, a strong reduction of the taxes weight, allowing them to go over the taxes barrier and to cumulate the capitals needed for the growth.
And why not to introduce the concept of a tax prize for the regular taxpayers? A criterion like the car insurance bonus-malus, would make a little happier those citizens that always beard the yoke, that became deadly, in the last years, for many small companies. If a citizen regularly pays the taxes should reach to pay half, or even less. What advantage will then remain to the tax evaders? The evasion will be no more convenient. But the radicals don't reach to formulate such proposals, which sound even obvious, once we really put ourselves at the side of the persons, of the honest citizens, of the individual emancipation and growth.
We can also detect that, once more, the legitimate and concrete need of change, strongly felt by the people, at different layers of the civil life (economic, legal, political, etc ) will be deluded by the lacking of analysis of the political leaders, and by their lack of social "entrepreneuriality".