Neverfail,neverfail wrote: ↑Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:01 pmYou very likely invited Cassowary to explain the comparison and I am also waiting to read his take. But the temptation for me to butt in is irresistible - so please pardon me if I appear rude.
Italy, like China, is ancient. It is the second most ancient pocket of civilization (as we normally define 'civilization') in Europe after Greece. The times I have been there I came away with the impression of layer upon layer of civilization superimposed one atop the other - like successive layers of organic trash in a compose heap nurturing the dense growth of weeds sprouting on top.neverfail wrote: ↑Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:18 pmhttps://www.asiatimes.com/2019/10/artic ... -spengler/
The idea of public trust and subsidiarity that’s fundamental to democracy is unknown to the Chinese.
Compared to Italy, even France looked and felt like a young country.
(Bearing in mind that I dwell in the very last region of planet Earth to have emerged from stone age conditions - so I am, sort of, a bit of an expert on young countries and correspondingly something of a connoisseur of antiquity. )
Now, after that digression I get to the point. Ever since the end of the Second World War, after the Italians lynched the Fascist dictator Mussolini and his mistress, Italy adopted parliamentary democracy as its mode of government. Democracy was after all the mode of government cherished by Italy's WW2 invaders and Italians have a long history behind them of striving to please and flatter their invaders and conquerors.
Democracy in Italy has not worked. The whole point of elected government (or so I have been led to believe) is to provide good government. Italian democracy has failed to furnish even a single term of good government. There are millions of Italians who hanker for their sham of a democracy to be abolished in favour of something more autocratic. Benito Mussolini (so legend has it) "made the trains run on time". Authoritarian government gets things done whereas elected politicians waste their time and the country's resources frigging about trying to perpetually outmaneuver one another.
Italian society, like Chinese society, lacks public trust and subsidiarity. For this reason I consider parliamentary democracy to be something like an alien graft on the surface of Italian society. Like the Chinese they lack a culture that sustains democratic forms of government that truly and accurately expresses who and what they are.
Here is food for thought for you Sertorio. With Mediterranean Europe I get the impression that they all suffer from a touch of the Italian syndrome of great private virtue in combination with equally great public squalor. manifest in ineffectual government and high public debt. By contrast the Nordic countries are well governed with wonderful public probity; high levels of trust and with national indebtedness under control. Yet while the Latin and Hellenic nationalities, allegedly the longest civilized, seem to collectively represent Europe's southern zone of corruption and public mismanagement the Nordic lands, allegedly the last in Europe to emerge from barbarism, seem to be by far the best governed. Having an old and venerable record of civilization is not necessarily an unmitigated asset while there is lots to be said for being a young country - don't you agree?
You might want to look up Venice and Florence, and see how they were run in the renaissance. Not being democratic in the modern western model, they were nevertheless pretty democratic, in the sense that people had a true voice in the running of public affairs. And Portugal had its version of the Magna Carta less than one hundred years after the English kings were forced to sign it. And in 1383 the Cortes only elected Prince John as king of Portugal under the condition that he would assemble those Cortes (where the common people were represented, together with the nobility and the clergy) every year, to consult the people about state affairs. Which he very much did. It was only starting in the 18th century (17th century as far as Portugal was concerned) that southern Europe got into trouble. Trouble that got worse when we failed to have an industrial revolution at the same time England was starting it. We fell behind, economically, and it is only now that we are starting to catch up. And corruption is not worse than in northern Europe.