The Electronic Society looking for new political points of reference

by Adriano Autino

Before the recent electoral turn it was often said that Mr. Berlusconi and Mr. D'Alema transformed the regional elections in a national political conflict. I don't agree. The two above mentioned politicians are surely responsible of many nefarious deeds, but they aren't to be considered guilty for the murder of the regional political themes. The "responsibility" is to be searched in the most restless levels of society. I'm speaking about people, and it's a lot, who live in the full electronic age and who don't see preserved its own interests by the old-industrialist political forces. Such social subject, now largely widespread, has been looking for new political outlets for many years, and it urges very hard a stupid and quarrelsome political class to update its own social analyze. In the course of such vain research, this part of the electorate focuses every time its own hopes in what seems just innovative: Forza Italia in 1994, Ulivo in 1996, Mrs. Bonino in 1999; and remains disappointed, after unwise enthusiasm, when the "new" conforms it-self to the fixed schemes of Right and Left. Since the demand of new ideology grows up exponentially while the industrial society is delivered to the history and we step into the electronic age, they are inevitable both the radicalizing politicization of every electoral event and the recurring disappoint, at less until it does not exist a nucleus of a new ideology, able to understand and to express the aims of the emergent classes. The area of expected and impending alternative is so large, for who want to see it, that it seems astounding as the politics keeps being blind and deaf, fixed in its superseded schemes.

We can't deny that the big industrial factory model is nowadays death, and that the labour world is formed most of all by medium, small and micro enterprises. But the two so-called "poles" – that in the lately reached bipolar model claim to represent the whole society -- they keep operating politically in the name of two social blocks, worthy of waxworks, believing that society is still divided in two classes with clear outlines, like in the industrial age. In the meanwhile millions of micro enterprises get born and die, mown by a fiscal system studied for big enterprises and dependent workers, which never gives a moment of respite to whom has a yearly turnover less than 500 millions. Tax allowances and golden bridges to big firms, in the name of "employment", another advantageous hallucination inherited from industrial age. Every kind of exploitation to micro-enterprises: the segment studies, for instance, represent a system to encourage tax evaders (according to the old school of tax amnesty) and punishing the honest ones. Since the State isn't able to arrest criminals and to keep them in prison, it must award a prize to ‘pentitos’. In the same way the government, which can't make tax evaders pay taxes, it comes to terms with them and it taxes them according to a presumed income. The tax evader is very happy to pay according to the presumed income. because he has already pocketed more. But let's suppose that you paid how much you must, and that the business haven't been going very well for a year: according to the segment studies you must pay the difference respect to the income you would had if the business was good! The damage, the mock and other damage more! The evader is awarded of a prize, the honest is punished, as we aimed to demonstrate. Well, did they propose any solution about such problem in the last electoral campaign? Yet it wouldn't be difficult to find alternatives: it would be enough to see the dimension of the mocked people, and perhaps not to be linked to the interests of the big propriety and of the bureaucracies. Why not to invert the paradigm, for instance granting tax allowances to the tax payers that pay regularly since many years? The real winning move should be to make the tax evasion no more convenient.

But we are enough of the generic and opaque tax system. We lump money without any return in a big mishmash, and neither we get even any simple explanation how much it is spent, who undertakes the contracts, who makes a good use of the public money and who waste it. Well, did anyone speak about methodologies to make the government balance transparent and controllable by the citizens? Did anybody tell you what is the total amount of the public expense, and what is the pound of the main voices? Do you really expect that the new elected president of Lombardia, for instance (suspected to be colluded with the murders of the hyperbaric chamber burned two years ago in Milano), will explain the balances to us and will enlighten us about the different criteria of expense, as a really responsible president should so, if he felt to serve the sovereign citizens? Since years they dole out to us a very partial information, about the percent variations of some voices, with respect to the previous year. And nobody tried to propose, at least as a goal, a tax system where the tax payers are allowed to drive the flow of their contributions on well known objectives, the reaching of which would be publicly monitored. They prefer the comfortable hallucination of the geographic federalism, that will add the appetite of the local bureaucracies to the appetites of the Roman and European bureaucracies. No mention of the possibilities to altogether decrease the pound of the bureaucracy, toward an increased self-government, for which the people and the technologies are more than mature. In order to help the self-government it would be enough to assure a good, true, information, and to stop with the smoke into eyes, the baby food that we are forced to get each day, by who considers us dependent, forever. Dependent means someone who depends by someone else, the whole life: by the teachers, to get the education, by the job givers, to get the job, by the media, to get the information, by the entertainers, to get the entertainment, waiting for extinction.

Did anybody show a real interest for the millions of micro-enterprises that populate the electronic society? Many concepts should be redesigned, starting from the concept of company. The company is no more the industrial one, with its deliriums of omnipotence, omniscience and universality. The companies of the electronic age are worth as the persons which compose them and, when they lack of some boasted skills, they make terrible flops. But we don’t see any attention for the persons, by the side of the politics. Even Mrs. Bonino, with her referendums, makes nothing else than help the survived big industry -- stubbornly attached to the economic command buttons – to the detriment of the smalls: the dependent workers will be dismissed and thrown on the market without a minimal information about their rights and about the reality they are entering; the micro-entrepreneurs, that, for the referendums keep on being cannon fodder, without any lightening of the tax yoke. Did anyone propose an analysis of the customer-provider relationships, in order to really help the small technologic enterprise to have market, and to assert themselves vs. the clients, often hundred or thousand times bigger? Did anybody try to analyze the real nature of so much bureaucracy that infests the survived big companies, both public and private? Did anyone feel the need to light a spot on the order-work-relationship (nowadays the norm in the electronic society), and on the small suppliers, that often risk the bankruptcy for an order in deficit, but they often try, notwithstanding all, to work with professionalism and responsibility? Did they speak about new credit concepts, to allow to who has no capitals to start their own activity and to enter the market? Yet the theory (and the practice too) are not missing, nowadays: please see the Grameen Bank’s experience and the micro-credit methodology. Did anyone fell the urgency to touch the great themes of the human development, over the borders of the closed world and the intoxication of the new economy?

No: from the policy of the percent variations we passed to the policy of the insults, and the attention for the people’s real problems was never so low. It appears rather granted to me that even the last try, put into the saddle again Knight Berlusconi and his servants, is destined to the disappoint. Notwithstanding such consideration, I think that Mr. Berlusconi is right: the political elections should be made at once, and who will get the majority should govern the Country as soon as possible!

It is anyway clear that such lords are also anxious to put their hands on the loot of the growing economy and of the public finances on the way of recovering. Though lacking of ideas, and anchored to industrialist and collectivist ideologies, their center-left predecessors showed, at least, a certain rigor in the balancing policy. They don’t allow us to know whether the money-pipes that fed for decades all kinds of Mafia and client nowadays are closed or the flow is only reduced: lacking of transparent and clear balances we will never know it, as well as we only can guess the real amount of what was stolen by Demochristians and Socialists during more than 40 years (2 millions of billions lire?). Nevertheless, it seemed that the trend was inverted: it means that Mr. Prodi before, and Mr. D’Alema and associates then, were at least able to restrain their voracity. I don’t know whether the lords of the center-right will be as much moderate, or they will simply re-drive their hands in the pie, according to the custom of their political parents (Christian Democracy, Socialist Party and their satellites). Notwithstanding all these considerations nobody can, in a paroxysm of paternalism, to keep on protecting the Italians from themselves. The voters are grown-up and self-sufficient: if they believed that this right-wing was grown-up in responsibility and sense of duty, or if they deceive themselves that it can work as an incubator or even only as a dialectic push for a new ideology, they have all the rights to experiment their choice.

Let then draw aside, the industrialist center-left residuals, and let them no more try to patch up the decay of the politics. If we are to experiment another false solution, boasted by the industrial center-right residuals, better to do it quickly: the electronic society has urgent needs, and urgent needs new political references. I am sure that these last will not be late in manifesting themselves. When real strong and resolutive ideas will be on the scene, even the tormenting themes of the majority system vs. the proportional one will show themselves for what they are: pitiful moanings of politicians lacking of politics and ideologists lacking of ideologies. Such lords still keep on focus on method problems, in order to avoid the judgment about their absolute political insipience.

AA - TDF 2/2000 - 30/04/2000
[Translation from Italian language by Massimiliano Autino]

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