He was so hungry that he chose Ireland to eat.
In addition to fiscal favors, when a sovereign arrives there is a great deal of red carpets and trumpets: here is Sergio Marchionne in the chair (literally), listened to as they should have listened to Galileo in the seventeenth century. And what does the king of machines tell us – among other amenities? That his kingdom would like a stable Italy, a reliable system. In short: a foreign head of state who comes to tell us how he would like our country and our Constitution. Exactly how the king of the Apple wants to have his say on European fiscal policy, exactly how the health multinationals intervene on the health systems of countries, and so on. Some companies have realized that it pays to deal directly as sovereign states. They have their ambassadors, they make gracious concessions, and they claim a social function: we create jobs.
Now, the war, as you can see, is complicated. The large multinationals now have a power that cannot be regulated with simple laws designed for normal companies. In addition, their function is only to create work (always ready to fire if there is none, of course, therefore with the weapon of large-scale occupational blackmail), while a state has that problem there, creating work, but also other things to do: hospitals, schools, make sure everyone eats, and so on. Troublesome burdens, which the new kings don’t want. Who knows, maybe in the near future the mega-companies will also think about this, but I warn you: do not be admitted to an Apple hospital if you have a Samsung by-pass, I am saying it for your own good. Other things they would be able to do, such as collecting taxes: between IDs, passwords, telephone numbers, fingerprints, localization in every minute of the day, the King of the Apple knows more about us than the Revenue Agency and perhaps even the our relatives. It is only the beginning, the scenario is changing, the war will be long. The one on the Central Empire and the King of the Apple, perhaps, will be a question at maturity for our grandchildren.
As always, it’s a question of expectations. If someone tells you that he gives you a confectionery industry and then just offers you an ice cream, and often not even that, poetry escapes you a little. Thus one becomes allergic to triumphant narratives and it becomes difficult to see three leaders in elections – each with its own problems, diverging from those of the other two – as presidents who “relaunch” or even “re-found” Europe. Nothing less. But be it, the scenography is well thought out, the sea, the wind, the homage to the original idea, the symbols, and a certain solemnity of a great event, very telegenic. To read the news, it would seem that from there, from Ventotene, Europe started again, a new beginning, new perspectives, a new life for everyone, hurray.
Even with some skepticism that emerges from the comments, a great desire to believe in it seems to prevail in the big media, more than high out of desperation. It is the usual ideoligisation of the dream. That is: not only is an idyllic, efficient, powerful vision built up, full of beautiful promises – a dream, in fact – but it is transformed into a vision of the world, and whoever challenges it, or dares to doubt it, is enrolled in the opposite ideology, negative and “defeatist”.
But in short, where the great idea of Spinelli, Colorni and Rossi had timidly germinated, there was an ostentation of power, the aircraft carrier, the press deployed, the sailors saluting. Only the Mission accomplished banner was missing, like the one Bush had hung on the aircraft carrier to say he had won a losing war, and the picture was complete.
The distance between the narrative of this new “reborn” Europe and the real Europe, then, is easily bridged. From Ventotene, once you have reached Naples and made a two-hour drive to the outskirts of Foggia, you can visit the slave camps, something that is not exactly modern and progressive, let’s say.