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Berlusconi natives and the state of health of the young

The passing of King Silvio: what did the thirty years of his reign produce in the new generations?


“The expression digital natives indicates those who saw the light and grew up in correspondence with the spread of new information technologies”. With these words, the pedagogist Anna De Luca brings together under one banner the generations that have formed under the firmament of the binary system. She attributes to them different characteristics, inclinations, modes of expression than the so-called digital citizens, i.e. those who, born in a period preceding the introduction of the Internet, have progressively assumed awareness and control of it without being passively subjected to it.

Just as there are digital natives all over the world, in Italy there are Berlusconi natives, a community whose common trait is that it has come to life in the last thirty years. How much His Emittance has marked cultural development, how much he has affected the customs of young people, how he has conditioned their growth processes, has been debated and will be debated for a long time, without necessarily reaching a conclusion. Because there is no counter-evidence.

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What would Italy have been like without the advent of the Cavaliere? Putting provisionally in a corner the analyses of Berlusconi's orphans - according to whom, without his entry into the field, the country would have been militarily occupied by the communists and bent to Bolshevik logic, complete with troops in uniform and colbacs descending on Rome to water the horses at the Trevi fountain -, it is easy to argue that it would have been a different Italy.

On the other hand, it is no mystery that King Silvio, even before ascending the throne, had put the television system, the country's main communication tool, at the centre of his action. Profoundly changing its nature. Commercial TV in Italy, as we know it today, is the result of his extraordinary entrepreneurial skills. Berlusconi, more than any other, he was the man who, by leveraging a political system with very little focus on pluralism, centralised a frightening number of broadcasters on himself. First with Canale 5, then Italia 1 and Rete 4, he created a television pole capable of opposing Rai, a television pole cleared by the Craxi government through the Mammì law. On the publishing front, he brought together under the banner of the "biscione" the most solid companies, from Mondadori to Einaudi to Rizzoli, and progressively put 35% of Italian publishing under his control.

Because of this anomaly, which has no parallel in the western world, it is not difficult to understand how, during the periods in which it held the government of the country and its influence spread dangerously to the public service, Italy plunged into a communication tunnel at the bottom of which it was almost impossible to detect a glimmer of light.

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The unique thinking with which the courtiers of king Silvio they filled their mouths denouncing a left-wing cultural monopoly that was objectively improbable, was the bluff of the thirty-year period. The real single thought was in fact the thought spread by the handful through the impressive communication system set up by the Cavaliere. And on that thought the generations of Berlusconi natives were formed. A thought tending, first and foremost, to put merit in the background to make way for intuition and cunning.

The intolerance of rules, the primacy of the pretty ass and the pretty tits, the spectacularisation of politics, the obsessive search for an enemy, were the cornerstones on which the trivialisation operation was founded. Beguiled and seduced public opinion to the cry of “Hands off the pockets of Italians” The objective of unhinging the principle that taxes are matched by services rendered to citizens has also been achieved: in the reign of Silvio, one of the country's largest taxpayers - it is right to remember -, taxes are an unjust compulsion and, especially during election campaign periods, it is useful to arm the troops in the battle against any kind of tax. On the other hand, the heir to the throne, Queen Giorgia, has slavishly followed in the footsteps of Her Emittance when in Catania - we repeat Catania - she declared that taxes are in fact a “state lace”.

So: the loss of values of the new generations on which rivers of ink and words have been spilled has perhaps something to do with the Berlusconi phenomenon considered, especially by Anglo-Saxon analysts, the true precursor of populism. Just as it perhaps has something to do with the brain drain abroad that robs the country of its best minds every year.

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Is it by chance that no one outside our borders understood why such a solemn spectacle, complete with state funeral and national mourning, was staged on the occasion of the death of such a divisive man? Is it by chance that right-wing newspapers continue to wave the communist bogeyman incessantly in search of an enemy to hurl themselves against?

“The de facto communists no longer exist,' Pierluigi Bersani pointed out at a conference, 'but anti-communism is in good health”. So much for the native Berlusconi. And of Italy as a whole.



Illustration by Fabiola Graziosi - Acrimònia Studios