After World War II the USA and NATO labeled Italy the “soft under-belly of Europe”, chiefly because of the presence of The Italian Communist Party (PCI), Europe’s biggest political formation of the left. Because of capitalist Italy’s unpredictable and individualistic character existing like a Trojan Horse inside the European Union (EU), that label stuck even after the PCI died following the dissolution of the USSR. The party’s later iterations were reduced to rivulets as dry as the river Po in August and about which hardly a murmur is heard today. That label however has conditioned US-NATO relations with Italy since then. The Bel Paese became not only a US vassal state but an occupied country, an aircraft carrier jutting out toward North Africa and hosting dozens of US military bases. Today’s La Repubblica, Italy’s major newspaper, reported that 70 American atomic bombs are concealed on the US Airbase of Aviano in NE Italy, the greatest number in one country of the 180 atomic bombs scattered across Europe.
“We work for the moral and traditional values which Socialists neglect and despise….”
It’s their strutting. That detestable image of the strutting that links them, the strutting and prancing Fascists and their swaggering and parading military cousins, up front for their conveniently concealed corporatist controllers. A strutting and swaggering couple they are, Fascism and the entrenched class of war. Their distorted visions of gallantry and nation come so naturally to both. The spick and span generals, employers of mercenaries and killers, chin in, chest out, and their majors and their colonels (especially the generals in the offices and the majors in the tents), thick chests covered with ribbons and medals and rows of multicolored decorations—awarded for killing. And the political Fascists! Defiant chins thrust forward, hard fists clinched, swaggering and prancing and strutting across the stages of piazzas nations and continents—in support of the killing.
by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
May 14, 2017
I read a Facebook post by an American Liberal comparing the refusal of the French Far-Leftist Jean-Luc Melanchon to choose between Emmanuel Macron and the rightist Marine Le Pen as President of France to the Left’s rejection of the German Social Democrats on the eve of WWI, resulting, ultimately, in the emergence of Naziism. He cited other similar cases where Communists of the 1920s and 1930s who refused to distinguish between the far right and those “insufficiently to the left”, ie. Social Democrats, thus paving the way for the fascist right and the rise of Hitler and Mussolini. He cites also the case of Fausto Bertinotti in Italy who withdrew his support for the center-left government of Romano Prodi and paved the road for the disastrous return to power in Rome of Silvio Berlusconi. This indeed sad history is compared to the choice (non-choice) between Clinton and Trump. And thus the nightmare of Trump in the White House.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Sep 3, 2016
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by journalist and author Adam Hochschild to remember the rebels in history whose moral conviction drove them to battle. Hochschild chronicles rebels who joined the fight against fascism in his latest book Spain in Our Hearts: Americans and the Spanish Civil War. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil provides a brief history on why the idealists from the U.S. and Europe made the journey in the 1930s to join the civil war.
Brexit could trigger a $500 trillion derivatives meltdown, by forcing the EU to allow insolvent member governments and banks to write down debt. Italy is in financial crisis and is already petitioning for that concession. How to avoid collapse of the massive derivatives house of cards? Alternatives are considered.
Demonstrations in Hong Kong, China, raising demands on the procedures to be followed in city elections in 2017, have become an international issue and a source of political confusion.
The protests, called Occupy Central, have received enormous and very favorable U.S. media coverage. Every news report describes with great enthusiasm the occupation of central business parts of Hong Kong as “pro-democracy” protests. The demonstrations, which began on Sept. 22, gained momentum after Hong Kong police used tear gas to open roads and government buildings. Continue reading
Default on the public debt, nationalization of the banks, and a citizen dividend could actually save the Italian economy.
Comedian Beppe Grillo was surprised himself when his Five Star Movement got 8.7 million votes in the Italian general election of February 24-25th. His movement is now the biggest single party in the chamber of deputies, says The Guardian, which makes him “a kingmaker in a hung parliament.”
The Rome Radical Left daily, Il Manifesto, recently headed a recent article about European politics (which I have summarized here) with the name of Emile Roemer. The 50-year old Roemer is the leader of Holland’s leftwing Socialist Party (SP), a man almost unknown in much of Europe even though today he is the most popular politician in The Netherlands and favored to win national elections on September 12. A Socialist victory there would represent a major electoral turn-about in The Netherlands. The sudden rise in popularity of the leftwing Socialists in Holland is attributed to the left’s opposition to the rightwing government’s proposal for austerity policies calling for a 13 billion euro budget cut in order to reduce the national deficit to less than 3% of the GDP, as per the Fiscal Compact decided and imposed on European Union members by the non-elected technocrats of the EU in nearby Brussels…
Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Italian: Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna) is a 1972 film directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring Graham Faulkner and Judi Bowker. The film is a biopic of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Francesco, the spoiled son of Pietro Bernardone, a wealthy textile merchant, returns home from fighting in the war between Assisi and Perugia. Continue reading
“A Debate On How To Get Out of the Euro” with Marshall Auerback, Michael Hudson, William K. Black and Stephanie Kelton in Rimini, Italy. What withdrawal from the Euro system would mean for households and businesses in Italy; how to manage savings; what would likely happen in a return to sovereign currency; how the government and National Bank of Italy could manage the change; monetary and fiscal policy; interest rates; bond markets; loss of national power due to the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact and the inability to set employment policy.
Designer Yves Béhar has teamed up with Sodastream, an Israeli company operating in violation of international law, and will be presenting a new design for the company next week in Milan, Italy. Human rights groups from Canada to New Zealand, from the US to Europe signed the letter below from Stop Sodastream Italy calling on Béhar to terminate collaboration with Sodastream.
2,181 Italians pack a Sports Arena to learn Modern Monetary Theory:
The Economy doesn’t Need to suffer Neoliberal Austerity
I have just returned from Rimini, Italy, where I experienced one of the most amazing spectacles of my academic life. Four of us associated with the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) were invited to lecture for three days on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and explain why Europe is in such monetary trouble today – and to show that there is an alternative, that the enforced austerity for the 99% and vast wealth grab by the 1% is not a force of nature.
The Italian Coalition Stop That Train celebrates the news that the City Council of Naples, Italy has approved a motion condemning Pizzarotti for its involvement in a project in blatant violation of international law, the Israeli high-speed train cutting through the occupied Palestinian territories. The decision of the Naples City Council, which follows that of Rho (Milan) on November 30, 2011, is a strong sign for responsible action by local authorities, in this case one of Italy’s largest cities.