The “Corporal” States

Absolute regimes are like certain loves: they make huge turns and then return. Think of the irony of fate, and of history. The last "general states" that we remember have not done very well to despotism. They were summoned in 1789 by the dying French monarchy. It was a way like any other to keep going (always better than hiding, Andreotti would have said). And instead, the third state – that is, the shopkeepers, small and medium-bourgeois and pre-capitalist – took a left-handed turn to those who had given them back after more than a century.

From there, the trigger of that whirlwind of events from which the end of the ancien regime and the advent of that "democracy", that "progress" and those "lights" of which we are children . Somehow, our alleged democracy is (also) descended from the general states improvised by Louis XVI. Who lost his mind for this. Today, however, our leaders are on their heads, and they think they are Louis XVI. So they reconvene the "general states", and the media are just about to go out of their way. Once upon a time anyone who believed he was Napoleon, without being, ended up in a mental hospital. Signs of the times.

But let's go back to the bomb. If, at the end of the eighteenth century, the general states were the gestation of each subsequent experiment of "popular" will and more or less "direct" democracy, today the exact opposite occurs. The general states of Conte represent the end of any populist ambition. For a sort of mocking counterpoint, the event lends itself as a symbol of an oligarchic, elitist and classist governance model.

For a whole series of reasons: 1) the place where they are held: that is, "outside" the parliament, the ideal perimeter of any real democracy; 2) the protagonists: a parade of VIPs with a "brilliant mind" so similar, in their unattainable distance, to the "brilliant diadems" of the clergy and aristocracy of 1789; 3) foreign "authorities": from Kristalina Gheorghieva, director of the International Monetary Fund, to Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, to Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

In short, to discuss the future of Italy which was democratic, they prepared extra-parliamentary sets, extra-popular figures and extra-national institutions. Therefore, the States General do not count so much for what will be decided (ie nothing), but for what they communicate to us (ie everything). They are shouting at us, with pompous boldness, that the recreation that began with the Revolution is over. We had already noticed this, of course.

What remains for a country where the laws are written in Brussels, the money is bestowed from Frankfurt and the jurisdiction of last resort is based in Luxembourg? Only Rome remains to act as a claque. And to us the role of applauding servants. We pay 945 representatives to heat the burgundy red armchairs of Montecitorio and Palazzo Madama and to delegate decisions to the task forces remotely guided in London by people from Bilderberg.

Only a laugh can save us. Totò, in a memorable 1955 film, asked himself: are we men or corporals? Where men are the impotent mass that everything suffers, the corporals are the "apparent" holders of an autocratic power. Because this is the phenomenal detail of the farce: we don't know the real "Generals", and maybe the "Colonels" are missing; we see only the simple emissaries of the invisible "pre-powerful" behind the scenes of the scene. Welcome to the "Caporali" states.

Francesco Carraro

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The article The "Caporali" States comes from .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL on Sat, 13 Jun 2020 18:02:30 +0000.