Finally it has been possible to identify one of the places visited by Gulliver during his famous journeys.
The country which has been reduced to misery in its attempt to create happiness for the whole of mankind, the country in which everything happens upside down, is certainly Italy.
The mystery of the strange floating island in space (which could have only been conceived by the mind of a sailor) has also been definitively resolved. The floating island is, in reality a prototype of a modern airship, commissioned by the House of Savoy in order to carry out acts of espionage.
The description of the land of the Balnibarbi however, is faithful to the truth, given that that this description corresponds exactly with accounts of other travellers who visited Italy in the same period, even though we have no more news of the Academy of the Inventors.
The most convincing proof however, that the land visited by Gulliver on his third journey is Italy, is demonstrated by the fact that present day Italy has also been ruined by intolerant idealists who have not hesitated to sacrifice the economy, the world of work, the pensions, and indeed truth, coherence, common sense, economic compatibility and social justice using the pretext of creating a system of perfect justice and social equality.
THE AIRSHIP MISTAKEN FOR A FLOATING ISLANDE
ON THE FLOATING ISLAND
DESCRIPTION OF THE LAND OF THE BALNIBARI, THE HOSPITALITY OF LORD MUNODI AND A VISIT TO THE ACADEMY OF THE INVENTORS
THE MODERN LAND OF THE BALNIBARI
THE PERFECT FISCAL JUSTICE
THE PERFECT SYSTEM OF JUSTICE AND SOCIAL EQUALITY: THE PENSIONS
SOME DELAYS AND OTHER OBSTACLES IN THE REALIZATION OF THE IDEAL SOCIETY
After much research the mysterious land visited by Gulliver on his third journey has finally been identified.
Lengthy investigations, bibliographic, historiographic and geographic, have been necessary. In the end consultation of documents made available to historians by the heirs of the House of Savoy, on occasion of their recent return, proved decisive. There can be no longer any doubts as to the identity of the bizarre land in which everything works the wrong way round, it really is Italy!
Not everything, however, described by captain Lemuel Gulliver, should be taken literally. Gulliver, like all sailors was prone to exaggerating, (simply think of his description, totally out of proportion, of the inhabitants of Lilliput and the Brobdingnag!). This bold navigator, rendered famous for the accounts of his journeys, put in order by his friend J. Swift, would never have admitted to having arrived in the exotic land of bell towers as a result of a navigational error during the American Cup.
Gulliver was an able sailor and the orders which he gave his crew during the furious storm are an ample demonstration.
Foreseeing the approaching storm, he took in the spritsail and handed the foresail, hauled aft the foresheet and ordered the helm “hard a weather”. Then, as the sea grew rougher and rougher he thought it would be better to face the breakers rather than heaving to. Making sure that the guns were all fast, he hauled over the mizzen, and hauled the decksheet to the stern. In the meanwhile the “helm was hard and the ship wore bravely”. He ordered the mainmast sail to be hoisted, but it was split by the storm. The yard was hauled down and after cutting the rope, and unbinding all the things clear of it. The sail was taken onto the deck. It was a very fierce storm and all the sea ” broke strange and dangerous”.
Gulliver gave orders to the sailors to hold fast onto the ships wheel, to help the man at the helm.
Once the storm was over, the foresail was hoisted, then the mizzen sail, the main top sail and the foretop sail. He ordered the sailors to” haul the starboard tacks aboard, to cast off the weather braces and lifts and to set in the lee braces. Then he hauled over the missen tack and ordered the ship to proceed with the bowline, hauled tight and to sail close to the wind”.
Unfortunately the sailors, confused by the storm and all these orders, made a few mistakes. They pulled the tacks from the portside (and not from the starboard) and they cast off the lee braces and not the weather braces.
In this way the ship went off course and ended up in Italy.
THE AIRSHIP MISTAKEN FOR A FLOATING ISLAND
Today we can say with a certain degree of certainty that after the storm Gulliver’s ship arrived in Italy. It has been possible to reach this conclusion only after having resolved the mystery of that strange floating island, called Laputa. Up until now this represented the stumbling block in locating historically and geographically the mysterious land of the Balnibardi.
An island which, according to Gulliver, was suspended in the air because of a strange situation regarding local magnetic forces, able to move around and fly over the land, able to take off and land at the discretion of its majestic owner, the king of Balnibarbi, big enough to contain the royal palace, its immense park and all the court.
Now we know that this floating island was in reality an airship camouflaged as a cloud, commissioned by the House of Savoy in order to control the payment of taxes and to carry out acts of espionage.
In documents which have been made available by heirs of the House of Savoy on occasion of their re-entry in Italy certain evidence has been found making it possible to reconstruct the characteristics of this peculiar form of transport with which the Savoy regime exercised their power in an occult and despotic manner.
The airship, or if you prefer, the floating island, was circular in shape, not a perfect circle as a perfect geometrical shape would have made it easily recognisable. Its diameter was around 200 m (and not 7,837 as claimed in the obviously exaggerated account given by Mr Lemuel Gulliver). The bottom part was flat, although once in the air it dipped slightly because of the weight which was concentrated in the middle part. The shape in general resembled a basin with a higher outer rim, about 30m high and an upper surface which sloped towards the centre.
This was the “inhabited” part, a large area closed at the highest outer rim, round in shape, about 180 metres in diameter. In the centre, in the lowest part, as Gulliver correctly remarked, there was a wooden pavilion 15 m wide and 15 m high, laid out on three levels with ample basement space for the servants.
The area was organised in a regular symmetrical way. A small canal, about 2 m wide, flowing around the pavilion, at a distance of about 10 m, acted as a water supply. The rest of the surface was covered with a meadow in which horses grazed. In addition there were many fruit trees and four elegant little bridges for crossing the little canal. All of this led Gulliver to imagine a royal palace immersed in a large park. It was possible for about fifty people, including officials and servants to live for a brief period aboard the airship.
In the centre, below the pavilion (this is another detail, which is also remarked upon correctly by our good sailor) there was a passageway leading downwards, several metres in diameter.
During navigation the bottom part of the passageway was closed by a wooden panel, by looking through some little holes in the panel it was possible to observe the territory below. When the airship was resting on land people were able to get on and off through this passageway and at the same time it was possible to take supplies of food, water and firewood aboard (it was through this passageway that Gulliver boarded the airship).
The solutions dreamt up by Mr Montgolfier, on behalf on the eccentric members of the House of Savoy, regarding the construction of the airship and the mechanisms which allowed it to move around were ingenious and very advanced for those days.
The outer structure was created by weaving together two layers of the best quality hemp, produced in the Canavese (an area near Turin), the upper part was rendered waterproof by a coating of tar, while the sides and the lower parts, those visible from below were covered by white silk tarpaulin. In order to disguise the airship more successfully a “cloud effect” was created, from time to time a special pump activated by horses caused steam to escape downwards from the central passageway.
The airship was filled with helium, yes really, helium!
In fact, after having been designed in Turin by Mr Montgolfier, it was assembled in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to be precise at Monterotondo, a place which later changed its name to Larderello. With a simple experiment Montgolfier had demonstrated that the famous smoke holes, known since antiquity, contained a “levitating” gas. In order to collect an unlimited supply of this gas you simply had to place a small lead cupula over one of these “springs” and this worked even better than hot air as it didn’t have to be heated.
Montgolfier built the first hot air balloon fuelled with helium and managed to land right in front of the royal hunting palace of Stupinigi. There to the amazement of the court he presented a project to build a flying royal palace!
But how was this incredible flying palace able to move around? This has remained a secret right up until the present, thanks partly to the exile of the Savoy, despite the description given by Gulliver.
It was very simple: using the energy supplied by horses. By going around in a circle, the horses were able to set the poles in motion thus causing the airship to advance. It was again the horses which worked the pump which blew air into the airship (in an inner balloon where the air was separate from the helium) thus increasing the volume and causing the airship to rise.
The airship was used for many years for checking the taxes paid by the farmers were proportionate to the size of their farms. But we know that they were also used regularly for acts of espionage, both within and outwith the borders, and even for controlling military operations. For all these reasons it was important that the existence of the airship remain a secret, and Mr Montgolfier was ordered not to construct any more airships fuelled by helium.
The airship flew only in good weather, when there was no danger of strong winds which could blow it off course (but it was always possible to land before this happened). In normal weather conditions the “mooring” points were located in parks and in royal reserves, the taking off and landings took place prudently at night time. During the winter period it was parked on land belonging to the crown, in a place which has not yet been identified. There, there was a paved clearing crossed by a trench so that people could get on and off by passing under the airship and then enter through the central passageway. When it was parked it was not too much of an eyesore and could easily be confused at a distance for a boundary wall.
ON THE FLOATING ISLAND
Mr Gulliver, after landing safely at Santa Margherita Ligure, was mistaken for a spy because he spoke English and took many notes in his notebook. He was persuaded to follow two unknown policemen and was led from the coast to the top of a hill just at the moment when the airship was passing by – from here was pulled aboard with a chain to which a chair was attached, in order to be interrogated (the date of the journey doesn’t coincide exactly with the documentation belonging to the house of Savoy, but this small detail need not create any great difficulty, it is well known that Gulliver was not always precise in his accounts).
Once aboard the misunderstanding was quickly clarified – Gulliver was still wearing the colours of the English team – and he had the opportunity of seeing this extraordinary airship and its inhabitants and was also able to experience the obtuse local bureaucracy at first hand- we can take his story with a pinch of salt!
Naturally it is not true (as described by Gulliver) that the officials had one eye fixed to the end of their noses and the other directed to the sky. Neither is it true that they had to be reminded when it was their turn to speak or listen by their servants whose job it was to tap them lightly on the mouth or on the ear. In fact everything was done by the servants, and all that was required of the noble officials was to occasionally express themselves with a yes or no by giving a nod of the head or by signing documents. In addition to this their gaze was so scrutinizing (from above to below) and their behaviour so haughty (from below to above) that they appeared cross eyed.
And those strange garments! all the same, with geometrical patterns, stars, planets and strange musical instruments which represented their uniforms. Gulliver with his fertile imagination has transformed the decorations into stars and planets, the belts, the bandoliers and the girdles into geometrical designs and other things into original musical instruments. These noble officials and civil servants appeared to Gulliver to be completely cut off from reality, and not only because they lived hundreds of meters above the earth. Accustomed as they were to giving orders and not occupying themselves with concrete issues, they were certainly unable to understand the problems of everyday life. Their minds were completely taken up by esoteric matters, astrology and alchemy. Their speeches were concerned principally with art and science, but not in a practical way, not concerned with resolving everyday problems, but simply with demonstrating their superior intellect.
THE DESCRIPTION OF THE LAND OF THE BALNIBARI, THE HOSPITALITY OF LORD MUNODI AND THE VISIT TO THE ACCADEMY OF THE INVENTORS
Gulliver, was soon allowed to leave the airship, and he landed near the town of “Lagado”, affirmed capital of the so called kingdom of the Barnibarbi (it is likely that the policemen had persuaded him to keep the airship a secret, and for this reason Gulliver has changed the name of the city, at the same time hinting to its Italian origins). Thereby he was able to experience in first person this strange land where everything (according to him) worked “upside down”.
According to his description, faithfully recorded by his friend Jonathan Swift who patiently transcribed all his tales, the countryside was badly cultivated, the people, miserable and dressed in rags, and the houses in terrible condition
This description corresponds exactly with those of other English travellers who were visiting Piemonte in the same period.
“The roads were often in such poor condition, because of the poverty of the people who used them and who were responsible for the maintenance, that they were practically impassable. The rich hardly ever left their residences in the city and so were largely unaware of the problem…, but the journey from one big city to another was really difficult and tiring, the tourist had to pay, not only from his own pocket but also in person in order to satisfy his love of the arts. You could say that in this country, famous for its beauty, the inhabitants considered dust, dirt, cobwebs, flees, lice and all kinds of rubbish a necessary form of mortification in order to merit better treatment in a future life”.
From “The Present State of Music in France and Italy” by Charles Burney – 1770.
These miserable conditions were the result of the mentality of the government of that period, so convinced of their superior intellect that they ignored common place things and simple common sense. They dedicated themselves exclusively to “higher” activities under the pretext, not completely without justification, that through such mental activities they would be able to identify the correct policy for governing their country.
A fundamental role in all this was played by the Academy of the Inventors, visited by Gulliver shortly after leaving the airship.
This Academy was make up of several scientists who believed in the absolute superiority of intellect, (a philosophy which took an extreme position regarding the thoughts of the philosopher Plato). This same Academy enjoyed a period of fortune, expanded and had an profound influence on life in the country.
Research was carried out regarding alternative ways of cultivating the land, revolutionary ways of building houses (starting with the roof), inventions of new instruments and tools for every kind of work with the objective of making the harvesting less tiring and a hundred times more efficient, of constructing houses in a few days which would last centuries etc.
For example, one of the most famous scientists tried to obtain food directly from excrement, thereby skipping all the phases of cultivation. Everyone knows that vegetables feed on these “fertilizers” and they are transformed into food. If it had proved possible to extract the nourishing elements from the excrement, then all farm work would have become unnecessary.
Other interesting studies which could have brought happiness to mankind were: the attempt to extract solar energy from pumpkins, the transformation of air into a solid substance (this would have been useful in substituting glass), the attempt to soften marble in order to construct mattresses at a low price.
The Academy had a great influence on the political life of the country, basing itself once again on the principle that intellectual powers were far superior to any other. As a consequence, everything that was concerned with simple everyday experience, practical matters, and plain common sense was outlawed and condemned by society. Certainly none of the above mentioned areas had produced results, and the consequences were, for the time being, badly cultivated land, people lacking in food and clothes and the houses in ruins, but in the end all problems would be resolved and nobody would be forced to work.
Even though the Academy had not yet produced any useful results, it had been able to build up a vast popular consensus because people were attracted to the idea of obtaining things easily, without having to work. In fact a certain hostility had arisen among the public regarding those who still held to the traditional ways of doing things, based on common sense and well tried and proven methods. People who held such ideas were accused of standing in the path of progress. In addition they were considered anti-social because they put immediate personal gain before the future well-being of society.
As Gulliver says, the few who remained attached to the past had well constructed houses and well tended fields, producing good harvests in contrast to the rest of the population who were practically reduced to starvation. They were the ones who made sure that things got done and that everything still functioning in that country continued to function.
However they were not looked upon kindly by the people, in fact they were regarded in a very negative light. This because, not only were they considered an obstacle to progress, but they were also envied for their wealth. For this reason they were excluded from society and forced to stay in the wings, far away from court life. The only reason that they were able to put up with this situation and the general hatred of the general public was due to the fact that amongst them was a close relative to the king. Although he was also unpopular he could not be touched. Gulliver describes in a wealth of detail the hospitality that he received from this important personality, to whom he refers to as Lord Munodi, a rather improbable English name, more likely an Italian name.
This person can probably be identified as the hated Count Berluscus, one of the richest in the land and perhaps for this reason seldom mentioned in documents of the period. We don’t know what happened to the Academy. Perhaps it was closed by Napoleon when he occupied the territory belonging to the House of Savoy in 1798. But it is possible that this institution closed down before this date due to the complete failure to produce results. There are also no records regarding the fate of the airship.
THE MODERN LAND OF THE BALNIBARBI
Further proof that the land of the Balnibarbi is definitely Italy lies in the fact that, despite the lack of success, the ideology which emphasizes the absolute superiority of intellectual powers has continued to be upheld.
Long after the disappearance of the Academy of the Inventors, Italy is still a land in which many people continue to cultivate the utopian dream of a perfect future society rather than face practical problems. It is a country which continues to listen to a class of intellectuals who are completely cut off from reality. As in the land described by Gulliver, those people who have achieved results in their work, those who study problems and are able to pinpoint solutions, those who point out what must be done, those who actually do something, are considered to be the real enemy by the public who are in no way grateful to them. Those people destroy the utopian ideals and put their own personal gain before the ideal of the perfect future society, for this they are hated. Not only are the public angry because they see their ideals shattered, they are also envious of the success of others, and the consequence is moral condemnation and political aggression.
Who knows how Gulliver would have described the land of the Balnibarbi today!
THE PERFECT FISCAL JUSTICE
Thanks to modern “inventors” Italy is the country which comes closest to achieving the ideal of perfect fiscal justice. No other country has shown so much imagination in inventing new laws in order to make the amount of fiscal “punishment” exactly equal for everyone. This is a country in the forefront, a country which is setting an example to the rest of Europe, which is, in turn subjecting the members of the European Community to laws inspired by the ideal of perfect fiscal justice and social equality.
The cathedral of Ferrara
The devil stirs the cauldren in order to distribute punishment in equal manner:
allegoric image of fiscal justice
In Italy the Inland Revenue occupies itself with everything, even indirectly, which can demonstrate a person’s buying power and thus his ability to pay taxes. For this reason numerous rules (about 3,500 laws and decrees still in force) have been passed which require the tax payer to perform countless accounting procedures, the gathering of all kind of data, records and complicated calculations. All these laws either modify or supplement the preceding ones, therefore the continual updating of explanatory circulars, resolutions, announcements, specifications etc. is necessary. All this with the objective of gathering data considered necessary for determining the exact amount of tax to be paid.
The fiscal declarations have become as big as books, full of pages to fill in, often with complex calculations and abstruse mathematical formula. In order to help the tax payer fill in the tax declaration entire volumes of instructions (which are renewed every year together with the tax return form) have been published, and as mentioned in the introduction, it is necessary to read them very carefully so as not to waste time…
However, despite the instructions, not even the specialists would dare to compile their tax returns manually, there are so many things to take into consideration, it is so difficult to be sure about the correct interpretation of the rules, the calculations are so complex that it is impossible to avoid making mistakes. And the sanctions for formal errors which would compromise the ideal of perfect fiscal justice are of course very severe and would bankrupt and sometimes even send the tax payer and his or her accountant to prison.
In the meanwhile, fortunately, someone (not in Italy) invented the computer and the photocopier and fortunately a newspaper called “Il Sole 24Ore” is published.
The newspaper “Il Sole 24Ore” is not just any newspaper, because it has become an official organ of the state. In fact things work like this; the newspaper regularly publishes the new fiscal rules (a continual flood) and the amount of tax to be paid is worked out for all the different categories according to tax experts. At the same time the newspaper prepares computer programmes for keeping the accounts and for the completion of the tax returns. In this way people only have to worry about the areas which concern them personally, and the computer does all the work. When, after months or even years the circular arrives with the official interpretation of the Ministry, you don’t need to worry about being sent to prison for having acted differently, because everyone can say “I followed the advice of the “Sole 24Ore”. And because it is not possible to send millions of tax payers to prison, the Sole 24Ore has become the official organ of the state.
Even though the computer is able to help in performing complex tasks, (what would we have done if it had not been invented) it is not able to solve all the problems. It is still necessary to gather and record a vast amount of data which will appear in the tax returns. A small business needs to spend all its time gathering and recording data for the inland revenue, and the costs involved mean that practically all its profits are spent on performing this task. In fact accountancy costs (at least for the small businesses which make up the majority of the businesses) almost always exceed the amount of tax which they must pay, (an amount which is continually growing at an alarming rate).
Despite this, the system is still not perfect, and, for sure we need even more laws and more accounting procedures for the tax payers, who are able to perform these duties thanks to the photocopiers, the computer and the Sole 24Ore.
PERFECT JUSTICE AND SOCIAL EQUALITY: THE PENSIONS
It is not just in the area of fiscal policy however, that Italy pursues the ideal of perfect justice and social equality.
Everyone knows that the rich spend their money on enjoying themselves and travelling all year without having to work. A real injustice, which is rightly attacked by the Italian Trade Unions, their members are not able to allow themselves this luxury.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone had free time just like the rich! In the end this has become the objective of our Pensions System, thanks to the commitment of the Trade Unions and some progressive political parties inspired by the philosophy of the Academy.
The “traditional” pensions system limited itself to providing a decent standard of living for those people who were too old to work. The new Pensions System has a much more ambitious aim, guarantee everyone the opportunity to enjoy their free time even when they are in the prime of their life.
In fact, if you think about it, it would be much better to have free time available when one is young, as when you are old and full of aches and pains it is more difficult to enjoy life.
For this reason the Italian laws started to retire public officials at the age of 35/40. About 30 years ago this brilliant scheme was tried out a few categories of workers with great success. As a result this pension scheme was extended to the banks (at the time all state owned) and all the different state sectors. With a great spirit of chivalry, women were allowed to retire after 14 years 6 months and one day of service, while men could retire only after 20 years. The Bank of Naples managed even more successfully than the others: their employees were able to retire after 12 years of service.
However, in order to enjoy life it is necessary to have money and so the Italian state increased the pension so that it corresponded to the last salary. Early retirement was a great success and the politicians together with the Trade Unions who supported this scheme became very popular. Finally many people in the prime of their life could dedicate themselves to things they enjoyed doing. Not only the rich, but all state sector workers, teachers, public officials, about half the work force.
Many took advantage of early retirement by travelling abroad and in this way promoted the image of Italy as a wealthy state, (thus helping to attract millions of poor people from all over the world attracted by the land of milk and honey). Others were able to go around with a wonderful suntan after a stay in, for example the Maldives. Others were able to dedicate themselves to interesting hobbies, such as decorating old roof tiles, or pebbles, take up new age philosophies, learn how to read their horoscopes and, for the men, learn how to crochet, or to breed cats.
This scheme was such a success that employees in the private sector, backed by the Trade Unions, also requested early retirement. Unfortunately, despite strikes and demonstrations in the city centres, they were unable to obtain this. In the meanwhile, in fact certain problems had come to the forefront which made it impossible to realize such a scheme. In order to pay the state pensions in the public sector, the pensions funds had gradually been eroded.
Now the pensions are financed by the social security contributions paid in the same tax year. Despite the fact that these contributions have doubled they are able to cover only two thirds of the pension costs, the state
pays the rest. For this reason the rate of taxation has increased. Given that all the pension funds have been eroded over a long period of time (money stolen from the taxpayers) all the burden of paying the pensions now falls upon the shoulders of those who work. This is particularly true for young workers who will not be able to retire before the age of 90. You must also take into consideration that in order to work, first of all you need to be able to survive, and if the taxes are raised up to 80% of your salary, then survival becomes very hard. In this way the wonderful idea of allowing everyone to retire at the age of 35/40 has had to be shelved for the moment. You never know, this idea might be taken up again in about 60 years time.
Our enlightened politicians, inspired by the philosophy of the Academy, have not limited themselves to the pensions and fiscal justice. The school has also become a means to constructing the perfect society. In fact, it is in the schools that the ideals of a perfect justice and social equality can be best realized. To do so, however, it is necessary that the superior intellectual branch of knowledge is bestowed upon everyone (not just the privileged few) and thus the objective is to give everyone an education based on the classics, the only kind of education which able to enlighten peoples’ souls.
But if everyone or nearly everyone leaves school with a degree or a diploma in the classics what job opportunities await them? For sure there aren’t too many businesses who need philosophers, sociologists, graduates in political science or in ancient history, experts on art or literature etc. The state has naturally stepped in to help them find a job. What better job for them, for all these graduates than a job in the state sector, even better in the school system.
As a result the number of teachers has increased out of proportion to the extent that the Ministry of Education has become the second largest employer in the world after the United States Army, with one and a half million employees. It has arrived at the stage where there are four or five teachers for every class, despite the falling numbers of pupils. In reality there have been many more teachers hired, because the majority of teachers were women and almost all took advantage of the early retirement scheme after working fifteen years, six months and one day. All these teachers, grateful to the politicians, have helped to spread the ideals of the Academy.
Even the professional schools, where possible have tended towards the classics. As a consequence we in Italy can boast that our industrial experts are well informed about Dante and Virgil, while the students who leave American schools have never even heard of Julius Ceasar or Leonardo da Vinci (though they can console themselves with the fact that they will find a job immediately while our school leavers will remain unemployed for years).
At the same time all the different state sectors, the banks and the health system, like the schools have been used to create jobs for everyone, and here also the hiring of new employees has been increased by early retirement.
In this way we have come close to realizing the concept of the perfect social state; millions and millions of people in the prime of their lives have finally been able to enjoy their free time, and at the same time have money to spend on travelling and enjoying themselves….
Other millions of people have found their ideal job. Many of them were teachers with very small classes, easy to teach, with interesting subjects and lots and lots of free time and lots and lots of holidays. And soon they could look forward to retiring. Here again an almost perfect situation, a good job, even though not too intellectually challenging, a good timetable and not too much responsibility.
Naturally the objective was to extend the public sector, with all the obvious benefits, to include the entire Italian society. Unfortunately, however also this very interesting project, like that of the pensions, has had to be rethought, with the taxes reaching the level of 60% any other increase would have cause the complete collapse of the economy.
Many people have tried to put the blame on tax evaders, if everyone paid the taxes….. In this way the sanctions for tax evasion have become far more severe, in many cases prison sentences are handed out. In the meanwhile, someone thougt up the idea of forcing at least those with a fixed salary to pay all the necessary taxes. Everyone knows that the employees in Italy pay the taxes to the very last lire, while the self employed are all evaders. Those who have a fixed salary are usually state workers (their taxes are “withdrawn” from the state funds to be deposited directly in the Treasury before paying the salaries). However in the end this ideas had to be renounced as the small companies, which make up the majority of the businesses in Italy, all started closing.
SOME DELAYS AND VARIOUS OBSTACLES IN THE CREATION OF THE IDEAL SOCIETY
In conclusion, Italy is the country which has come closest to the realization of a perfect society. Everything has been sacrificed in order to realize this objective. For 30 years no public works have been carried out, no infrastructure has been created, no investments have been made in research, no interventions in urban policy have been made, no plants for the production of energy have been built, army equipment has not been updated, schools, hospitals, universities and state offices have not been modernized, and thus lots of money has been saved.
In addition all the pension funds which were earmarked for the payment of the pensions have been spent, taxes and social security contributions have doubled, the public debt, initially practically non existent, has reached a level of 125% of the PIL. Given that the state must pay a huge of amount of interest on the debt the future of the state has been mortgaged.
Given the impossibility of increasing the taxes even more, in the end it has been necessary to shelf the plan to give everyone a well paid intellectual job followed by a generous pension, at least for the time being. Perhaps it will be possible to rethink this in perhaps several decades time, after the hated capitalist government has succeeded in creating some order in the state coffers.
The ideal of a future perfect society has been pursued at the cost of sacrificing the salaries of those who keep the country’s economy on its feet, at the cost of sacrificing jobs, of sacrificing social guarantees, and the pensions of young workers. In addition, certain universally accepted values such as truth, common sense, economic compatibility, freedom, justice have been turned upside down.
In the end all the money has been spent. This happened about 10 years ago. Since then, no more teachers have been hired, with the bizarre consequence that we don’t have any young teachers any more and in the near future we will have only old teachers. Furthermore the salaries of both the teachers and the other state employees are among the lowest in Europe, they cannot be increased until the economy begins to grow. In fact the high level of taxes and social security contributions, and also the costs of fiscal administration has produced economic stagnation, high unemployment, low salaries, and the spread of the black economy. The young people who leave school, even if they have a degree, find it very difficult to find a job, and once they have found a “good job” they hang onto it because finding another is like winning the lottery.
This difficult situation has resulted in the loss of many Trade Union rights and safeguards, now overtime is not paid, people accept positions below their level of qualifications, there are high risk situations at places of work, and we can find every kind of injustice.
In turn, small industries find themselves in the predicament of having to face high taxes and deal with a state assistance which is practically non existent. They find themselves forced to make use of outside workers who work in the black economy, in order to remain in business they have to live continually under the sword of Damocles, the threat of heavy fines and the risk of being reported to the authorities.
And another strange phenomena has become widespread. More and more people, given the impossibility of finding a real job, or a job which they really want to do, accept a precarious situation or accept a really low salary. We are not speaking about unintelligent people, on the contrary, they are often motivated people, able and intelligent. People who are competent and professional, who accept a lowly paid job simply in order to work in the sector of their choice. Then we also have millions of workers who work “in the black” with low pay and without protection. Then there are all those people who leave school or university and never find a job. Rather than doing nothing they often offer their services as volunteers, without pay, of course and in this way make up for the inefficiency of the main state services, offering assistance to the “new poor”. But who looks after them? In the majority of cases they are maintained by their families, while they await the job which never arrives.
In fact, if the economy is still on its feet, if the entire society has not collapsed, if the country has not yet gone bankrupt, like the countries in Eastern Europe, it is thanks to them. They are the ones who produce goods and services, often of high quality at low costs. They are the one who keep the companies, both big and small, open, in spite of high levels of taxes. Many companies, even famous brands, delegate a great part of their production to outside workers who operate in the black and in this way manage to balance the books. At the same time, many social problems avoid becoming explosive thanks to the presence of many volunteers.
However, general living conditions have seriously deteriorated. On the surface Italy is a country which enjoys a certain affluence. However, in order to maintain a certain social status, to avoid losing their jobs, the Italian people have had to pay a high price: not only have they been forced to live life continually in the fast lane, but they have been practically forced to renounce the upbringing of their children. Italy has the lowest birth rates in the world, 1.2% while Ferrara has a birth rate of 0.8%, the lowest in Italy.
So much for a humane and fair society: the famous “Emilian Model” which has been adopted by the whole country has had the same effect as racial cleansing.
There is no need for further proof that the bizarre land of the Balnibarbi, where the intellectuals misinform, where the people with progressive ideals hold back the country, the defenders of the welfare state have robbed the weakest members of society, the trade unions strike against the reduction of the taxes and cause an increase in unemployment and the black economy, the environmentalists are not interested in solutions for the environment, and the pacifists protect the bloodiest and warlike states, the country in which everything functions upside down in certainly Italy