Tonight I attended a public discussion with an important Italian journalist in my hometown Cesena. Although the main theme was gaffes and politicians, this evening gave me a good chance to analyze Italians and italian politics.
Here’s a few facts on Italians:
1-Italians regard themselves as the highest achievement of the human race and civilization- Well, this is indeed a fact.
2-An Italian will always have the last word on any given issue. Period.
3-Italians are firmly convinced that their jokes are extremely funny. If these jokes go too far, and end up being considered offensive- well, that’s only because others don’t have our sense of humour.
4-Italians can’t take any responsibilities. Italians blame other Italians, in order not to bear any responsibilities.
These antropological features make it possible for us to have such a Prime Minister as Silvio Berlusconi, and to bear his jokes and gaffes. Having lived and travelled for a long time around the world, I know what foregneirs think about us- I know they can’t accept the idea that we have re-elected this guy over and over again since 1994.
Italy has a long history of charismatic leaders ruling our territory. Even during the ancient times, wealthy business men decided to pursue their interests through the conquer of political power: they were indeed ante-litteram Berlusconis. A charismatic leader completely fulfills Italians’ expectations: he guarantee them someone to blame when things go wrong, and set them free from any responsibilities. In modern times, the political leader has turned into a populistic leader- overcoming the disadvantages of representative democracy in order to enjoy direct contact with his public.
Well, Berlusconi is a populistic leader. We love him because of this. And he makes good jokes.
He makes good jokes because he reflects the deepest essence of Italy: our cultural superiorness, our arrogance, our laziness, our love for food, wine, and sex. Last but not least, our fear and suspicion for others: take one of latest jokes- calling B.Obama a “tanned” , young and good looking guy.
He pays prostitutes to have sex, he is caught by his wife, he gives tips on orgasms, and holds huge trasgressive parties while his family is away.
He’s one of us: this is why we like him. Like it or not, this is a fact.