|Italy's new government|
Almost exactly one year ago, I half-seriously described the Italian political panorama as an epiphenomenon and a symptom of a wider global trend which I called Kali Yuga (“Age of Darkness”), that is the last of the four stages of development (Yugas) that the world goes through as part of the cycle of eras, as described in Hindu scriptures. Kali Yuga—as who has the slightest idea of what I’m talking about know—is an age characterized by spiritual degeneration, moral decline and decay, materialism, chaos and evil. Well then, perhaps now is a time in which Italy might switch from the darkness to the light. Seriously, the switch is within reach for the first time in years. And I am not just talking about the economy, namely about the need to bring the country out of the most acute phase of the financial crisis, and to win back the indispensable trust of investors and European institutions. I’m talking about the future of democracy as well, about the way we are as citizens, tax-payers, public servants, entrepreneurs, workers...
I mean, as everybody here knows, the country needs what we call a “liberal revolution” (“liberal” in the British sense, not in the current American sense!), that is, something that—since there is no Reagan or Thatcher over here—can be carried out only by a bipartisan government, by a “Grand coalition” in which the two largest political parties of opposing political ideologies unite in a coalition government—call it as you want: Große Koalition, national unity government, “technical government,” emergency government, whatever. In this sense—and not only in this sense, to be honest—the new Italian government, besides having to face a daunting challenge and a final redde rationem, is a historic opportunity for the country. And Prime Minister Mario Monti is without a doubt the right man, in the right place, at the right time. Add to this that what led to the fall of Berlusconi is also what forced the entire political establishment, opposition included, to give way to Monti, and this for the simple reason that there is no alternative, and that it would be foolish to hold elections while the country is under unrestrained attack by financial speculation. This makes Monti as invincible as his nickname, Super-Mario, suggests.
It is also to be said that, paradoxically, the political party which has clearly the most to lose—from an electoral point of view—in all of this is not the defeated center-right People of Freedom party, but the leftist Democratic Party, and this for rather obvious reasons. Let’s admit it: If the Democratic Party will be up to the task, if they won’t throw a monkey wrench in the works, they will amaze us all and far exceed our expectation. In other words, they will earn the gratitude of the entire nation.