The Roman Philosopher Lucius Anneaus Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE) was perhaps the first to note the universal trend that growth is slow but ruin is rapid. I call this tendency the "Seneca Effect."
Showing posts with label Meloni. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meloni. Show all posts

Friday, May 5, 2023

The Rise of Elly Schlein: How a Young, Woke, and Fashionable Politician is Shaking up Politics in Italy, and Perhaps Worldwide


Many times, Italy was a political laboratory that influenced the rest of the world. Just think of Mussolini and, more recently, how a government led by an obscure bureaucrat named Giuseppe Conte started the trend of nationwide lockdowns, then adopted everywhere in the world. Italy may be a backwater country, but it is a murky memetic pool brewing memetic microbes. Above, you see Ms. Elly Schlein, recently elected as secretary of the Italian "Partito Democratico," (PD) as shown in a recent interview in the Italian edition of Vogue magazine. I think you'll hear a lot about this lady in the future. 

When Elly Schlein was elected secretary of the Democratic Party (PD) in Italy, two months ago, I thought it was just a desperate attempt to revive a party that had nothing more to say in politics. But I was wrong. Elly Schlein is not the result of the convulsions of a dying organization. She is a major innovation in public relations, designed to revolutionize the Italian, and perhaps the world's, political landscape. 

Up to not long ago, politicians tended to project the image of the strong man, the "father of the country" whose decisions were always wise. That's past and gone, perhaps forever. The levers of political power have moved to the obscure lobbies that control governments, while the job of politicians is now mainly to maintain a semblance of popular participation in the governing process. In short, they all image and no substance. 

Ms. Schlein is part of this evolution. She is the tip of an innovative PR campaign launched by the PD and their sponsors, and she is using the same strategy that Silvio Berlusconi, former Italian PM, used for decades: it doesn't matter how many people hate you: what matters is how many people vote for you. 

So, Berlusconi targeted the least cultured sections of the Italian population with a personal image of a rich man who could do whatever he wanted. If you are poor, it is a figure that you may dream of imitating. Plenty of people hated Berlusconi for his image, but he consistently won elections over a political career of a few decades. 

Elly Schlein is doing something similar. She is not trying to appear to her potential voters as "one of us," but, rather, "what every one of us would like to be," at least for the target she is aiming at; that of young, left-oriented people in the West. So, she projects her image as young, independent, bisexual, globalist, feminist, and, more than all, a successful woman who can manage herself and her sexual preferences the way she wants. Among other things, she had no qualms in disclosing that she employs a "harmochromist" a sort of assistant buyer at Eur 300/hour to take care of the color combinations of the dresses she wears. In short, the perfect image of  "radical chic," now better known under the name of "woke." And the fact that she does not look like a fashion model shows that her success is the result of her skills, not her looks. 

The PR strategy of Elly Schlein has been very successful, at least up to now. Huge numbers of "leftists" rushed to their keyboards to defame her on all social media for betraying the working class because of her interview with Vogue, her fashionable dresses, and her harmochromist assistant. Remarkably, none of them realized that they were doing exactly what Schlein's PR managers wanted them to do. They wanted her to gain the attention of the media; and avoid repeating the mistake they had made with the lackluster former secretary, Enrico Letta. These good leftists didn't realize that they were making the same mistake they made with Berlusconi: the more they attacked him, the more they made him popular. Again, it doesn't matter how many people hate you; what matters is how many people vote for you. 

Of course, politics is not just a question of physical image; you have to have opinions, programs, and platforms. In this field, Schlein seems to have understood the critical point of modern politics. You may be criticized for what you said but not for what you didn't say. So, the skill of a modern politician is to be able to speak a lot while saying nothing. Schlein appears to have mastered this skill, at least from what we can read in her recent interview with Vogue Magazine. (excerpts in English). If you ever heard terms such as "cliché fest," "banality bonanza," or "vapid verbiage," consider this article as a good example of these concepts. It is all part of the image: it is the way politics works nowadays. 

So, I think we are seeing a trend. Note how Schlein's image is remarkably similar to that of the former New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden. 

Since politicians are a product, the industry that produces them (the PR industry) tends to imitate and repropose successful products. In a previous post, I noted how the Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky adopted a dress code very similar to that of the Italian right-wing leader Matteo Salvini. About Schlein and Arden, note how both women have relatively elongated faces, a feature that is often associated with a "masculine" appearance. These ladies tend to produce an image of independence, self-reliance, and assertiveness. At present, there is no exact equivalent in the US political landscape, so far, although Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has some elements of similarity with them. Perhaps the US politician who looks like Schlein the most is Barack Obama, at least in the sense of being another expert in talking a lot without saying much.   

My impression is that starting from Italy, this kind of heavily promoted female political figures may soon spread all over the Western World. Not that anything will change; we'll just have "front persons" rather than "front men" at the top. And we keep marching toward the future, whatever it will be.


As a further note, here is Schlein's adversary in Italy, Giorgia Meloni, leader of the right. 

She is a more traditional kind of politician: a classical "populist." She is aggressive and outspoken, but overall she projects a more "feminine" image than Schlein, and it would be hard to imagine her employing a personal armochromist. My impression is that one of the purposes of the creation of Elly Schlein's image was to prepare an anti-Meloni memetic weapon. In my opinion, if push comes to shove, Schlein will easily trash Meloni by making her look like a fruit vendor in a provincial market. But that we'll have to see.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Italy: Giorgia Meloni as a Scapegoat for the Incoming Disaster


My blog titled "Chimeras" explores mainly mythological and literary themes, but the world we call "real" is often intertwined and affected by the world of our ancestral beliefs and fantasies. So, I published this week an interpretation of Giorgia Meloni's success in the recent Italian election in terms of ancient human sacrifices that all human societies practice when under heavy stress. Ms. Meloni is facing an enormously difficult task and she risks to be playing the role of the victim in a new sacrificial rite. Hopefully, it will be just a virtual sacrifice, but we can't exclude a real one. Below, I reproduce the text from the "Chimeras" blog. I recognize that it is a bit esoteric, but do not forget that it comes from a blog that deals extensively with human sacrifices.

 Reproduced from "Chimeras" 

The victory of Giorgia Meloni's party in the recent Italian election has generated a wave of hate on social media, with many people showing on their social accounts pictures of the dead body of Benito Mussolini hanged upside-down in a square. A clear message to Ms. Meloni, and a reminder for all of us of how nasty people can be. It is a characteristic of all human societies that, in periods of heavy stress, the removal of a high-rank leader may take the shape of a human sacrifice. The most common victims are men, but in the direst situations, women may take the role of sacrificial victims. Ms. Meloni is at risk of becoming a sacrificial victim, the scapegoat that Italians will search for when, this winter, they'll find themselves freezing in the dark.

In the Iliad, we read about the sacrifice of Iphigenia, the daughter of King Agamemnon, performed to propitiate the travel of the Achaean fleet toward Troy. After having destroyed Troy, the Achaeans repeated the ritual, this time with a Trojan girl, Polixena, daughter of King Priam. Both were high-rank women for whom we could use the term "princesses."

In "The Golden Bough," (1890), James Frazer noted how a high-rank victim makes the sacrifice more valuable and more effective to appease the dark deities to which it is dedicated. So, the victim may be raised to the role of "king" just before being killed: groomed, exalted, showered with gifts, and made to access the best goods available. The typical victims are men, probably because young males can be considered expendable, whereas the reproductive value of a young woman cannot be replaced. When things are truly dire, though, "queens" may be sacrificed, too, as especially valuable victims. 

Human sacrifices are often not explicitly recognized as such by those who perform them. For instance, the ancient Romans strongly condemned human sacrifices but they performed them abundantly in the form of bloody and cruel executions. Think of the killing of the Jewish leader named Yeshua bin Yusuf by the Roman government in Palestine, ca. 30 AD. On the cross on which he was nailed, there were the words in Latin "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum." It was supposed to be a mockery, but it is also true that Yeshua was of a noble Jewish family, so he was a king or, at least, a prince. 

Moving to our times, we, like the Romans, strongly condemn human sacrifices. But, like the Romans, we may indulge in bloody sacrifices much more often than we are willing to admit. The Christian roots of our view of the world originate from the slaughter of the Christian martyrs, starting from the 1st century AD. In more modern times, we can see World War One as a ritual slaughter of millions of young men, sacrificed to obscure and malevolent deities called "states." The most difficult moments of WWI also implied the sacrifice of Queens. One of them was Mata Hari, a famous actress and dancer, ritually sacrificed in 1917 in France. The same destiny befell the wife and the daughters of the Czar of Russia in 1918. 

World War Two had similar threads of ritual killing. The Japanese "kamikaze" fighters are a good example of how a society under heavy stress may punish its young men in a ritual of death. On the other side of Eurasia, the German government embarked on an elaborate mass murder program that involved the elimination of people considered inferior ("Untermenschen"), Jews, Gypsies, and even German citizens. Not for nothing, the term "holocaust" is used for these mass exterminations. 

Another ritual killing of WWII was that of the Italian leader Benito Mussolini, in 1945, together with his lover, Claretta Petacci (in the image). Their bodies were hung upside down in a public square after a cruel ritual of beating and mangling them. They were the sacrificial victims designated to atone for the defeat that had nearly destroyed Italy and killed hundreds of thousands of Italians. Claretta Petacci was not responsible for the disaster, but she was killed, too. As it often happens in history, a young woman may be the ideal victim for the atonement that the sacrifice is about. 

And now, let's take a look at our times. If there ever was a society under stress, it is ours. We passed all the limits of survival: destroyed the old-growth forests, killed off large numbers of species, poisoned the atmosphere, depleted our mineral resources, eroded the fertile soil, polluted water and the atmosphere, set the planet on a path to irreversible warming, and a few more little things, including having deployed a sufficient number of nuclear warheads to wreck the ecosystem and, most likely, kill everybody. And we haven't renounced our beloved habit of making war against each other. 

Would you be surprised if we were to indulge in large-scale human sacrifices? We are not yet there, but the path seems to be traced. Have you noted how popular are "Zombie" movies? Take a look at them in light of what I have been saying here: don't you see them as a blueprint for the mass extermination of suburbanites? Truly, the fascination with this idea casts much light on what our society has in mind for the near future. We are not yet to the point of seeing the elites booking zombie-killing safaris in the suburbs of our cities. But other possible large-scale sacrifices are possible. I already mentioned how, during WWII, the German government hired the country's doctors to cull the undesirables. They complied, happily. That could be easily done in our times, too.

Human sacrifices, though, are not so much about numbers, but about the visible high status of the victim. Now, after the electoral victory of Giorgia Meloni in Italy, many people commented by publishing on their social accounts the images of Mussolini's dead body and of his lover Claretta Petacci. A clear message to Ms. Meloni.  For sure, Italy is going toward a difficult period. With the supplies of natural gas cut, this winter Italians are going to find themselves freezing in the dark, and without a job. Whoever will be leading the country at that moment, risks being deemed responsible for the disaster. And it is also true that people can be extremely nasty when they are in a dire situation. 

Look at this image with Giorgia Meloni's face upside down. It is reported to have been taken in Torino during the electoral campaign of 2022 in Italy. "Fasci Appesi" means "hang the fascists." Giorgia Meloni seriously risks becoming a new sacrificial victim, perhaps not just a virtual one,  to appease the dark Gods that humans have themselves created. I mentioned how the victims were exalted and turned into kings before killing them and we might even imagine that Meloni was chosen as "queen" for exactly this purpose by the subconscious societal mindsphere. 

Several commentators, in Italy, have expressed the same idea, although not in terms of human sacrifices, but simply in terms of political expedience. In this interpretation, the hastily organized election of September had exactly the purpose of placing at the top a figure that will act as a target for the ire of the population, when Italians will actually realize what it means to be without electric power. The term "scapegoat" has been correctly used. It doesn't mean that Ms. Meloni will be shot and hanged by the feet. Simply, that her rapid demise as a leader will lead the way to an authoritarian government that will impose draconian (a word charged with meanings) measures on the Italian population. On the other hand, Meloni may also do better than expected and succeed in spite of everything. Who knows? Good luck, Giorgia, because you'll need a lot of it.  


From the blog of Alfio Krancic: il Governo Meloni, an interpretation similar to mine. The author does not say what will be the destiny of Giorgia Meloni, accused of genocide, but we may imagine it

Early November 2022, the Meloni government takes office

New government oath in the hands of President Mattarella;

5 November: 1st Council of Ministers;

November 7; Spread at 275 points;

November 10: Increase in food prices by 30%;

November 12: 100% gas price increase; 90% gasoline and diesel;

November 16: A wave of frost hits Italy;

November 18: The government decides that indoor temperatures must not exceed 17 °C;

November 19: First demonstrations with clashes in the squares. Interior Minister Salvini accuses social centers of stirring up the mob;

November 20: Clashes with victims in Rome. Barricades and urban warfare. Salvini accuses the black bloc;

November 21: The government allocates 10 billion euros to Ukraine;

November 24: Demonstrations against living costs end with clashes in the streets, with several victims. Brawl in Parliament when Salvini takes the floor;

November 25: The headquarters of the right-wing parties, Fratelli d'Italia (FdI), Forza Italia (FI) and Lega are stormed by angry crowds;

November 26: Stern warning from President Mattarella to the Government;

November 27 Spread at 380 points;

November 29: Food prices increase even more;

November 30: 3 million people protesting in the streets. Violent clashes in many cities;

December 2: The grip of frost does not leave Italy and Europe;

December 5: Gas emergency: reserves can't last more than 2 weeks;

December 6: Salvini criticizes the Meloni government in a speech at the Papeete beach. Meanwhile, the polls give FdI at 6%, FI at 5% and the League at 4%.

December 7: The Italian Institute of Statistics (Istat) claims that since the birth of the center-right government, 100,000 people, mostly elderly, have died of hunger and cold in 6 weeks. The news provokes violent demonstrations with deaths, injuries, and looting.

December 8: President Mattarella sends an ultimatum to the government.

December 9: To mitigate the lack of food, the government markets insect meal and dried grasshoppers.

December 10: Spread at 590 points. There is talk of bankruptcy of the Italian state. First demonstrations of the left in favor of a return of Draghi.

December 12: Salvini and Berlusconi withdraw from the government. 

December 13: Prime Minister Meloni resigns. Demonstrations of jubilation throughout the country.

December 15: Defections in FdI, FI and Lega. Half of the deputies form a group in favor of Draghi's return. Mattarella appoints Draghi as Prime Minister. He immediately forms a new government.

Warranties sent to Meloni, Berlusconi and Salvini for genocide, treason, and more.

December 18: The Covid 22 epidemic breaks out. Tens of thousands of infected. The new Minister of Health Roberto Speranza recommends a very tight lockdown. The government approves. Curfew from 4 pm to 12 am the next morning. The army appears in the streets with tanks and armored vehicles. Draghi in a dramatic appeal to unified networks says that the measures have been taken for the good of the Italian people because of the disasters of the "fascist" CDX government and because of the new pandemic. People stop taking to the streets and hide in houses. On the balconies and windows appear sheets with rainbows and slogans: "Everything will be fine!", "We'll do it!" The ventennio of Draghistan begins.

(h/t Miguel Martinez)

Monday, September 26, 2022

The Italian Election: the Right Wins, but don't Expect big Changes


The data are now almost definitive and, as you probably already know, it was a historical triumph for the right-wing parties, and in particular for the "Fratelli d'Italia" coalition led by Giorgia Meloni. 

The triumph of the right may make people outside Italy worried, but there is no reason. Elections in the West are now mainly for show. The Italian government has almost zero power, it is all in the hands of the European Commission, in turn controlled by the global powers. To say nothing about the pervasive corruption that affects the West as a whole. No decision can be taken without satisfying the various lobbies and mafias engaged in the feeding frenzy on what is left of the Italian economy. 

In any case, the left-wing parties in power up to now have made such strongly right-wing choices that I doubt that the "real" right can be more rightish than them! 

So, don't worry too much about who is the theoretical leader of the Italian government. Ms. Meloni is, in my opinion, not a bad person, but she can't do much more than rubber-stamp decisions taken elsewhere. Changes are going to come, but not as a result of elections. Right now, it is difficult to divine what's going to happen in the difficult winter that's coming, but something is going to happen. Something big.

Incidentally, the left played the game hard by using the "Putin card," that is, telling Italians not to vote for Putin's friends. Instead, Italians flocked to vote exactly for them. I leave to you the task of interpreting this interesting fact. 

"Do not vote for Putin's friends." La Repubblica, Sep 23, 2022