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First They Took Rome

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Hardback
Published: September 2020
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Author: David Broder
Category: /
BIC Subject: Philosophy: aesthetics
Published By: Bloomsbury
 
Published: 01-Sep-2020
Format: Hardback, 192 pages, 0x0mm
ISBN: 9781786637611
Stock Code: 6637611
Product Description
 
It is difficult for Italians to have much faith in the future. The last Labour Minister said it was a good thing if young people emigrated, to stop them 'getting under our feet'; one recent Prime Minister said that young Italians should not invest their hopes in securing a stable job, for that would be 'boring', anyway.
Examining Italy's history since the end of the Cold War, Italy is the Future argues that its dismal situation should not be understood in terms of a stereotyped narrative of Italian chaos or backwardness. In a country that could once boast Europe's strongest Left, Italy today epitomises the crisis of democracy in the West.
The scandals of Silvio Berlusconi's rule, the pervasive corruption of public life and sky-high youth unemployment are indicators of a particularly sick society. Yet what is also apparent is the difficulty of any new force emerging to renew Italy's institutions, as its atomised citizens lose hope in political change.
What has broken apart in Italy is not just its once-mighty Left but the very bases of social solidarity. The parties of the 1990s and 2000s directly express the social demolition wrought by neoliberalism, as isolated and endangered individuals face the consequences of the crisis alone. Not this or that political party, but public life itself, is in full-scale collapseIt is difficult for Italians to have much faith in the future. The last Labour Minister said it was a good thing if young people emigrated, to stop them 'getting under our feet'; one recent Prime Minister said that young Italians should not invest their hopes in securing a stable job, for that would be 'boring', anyway.
Examining Italy's history since the end of the Cold War, Italy is the Future argues that its dismal situation should not be understood in terms of a stereotyped narrative of Italian chaos or backwardness. In a country that could once boast Europe's strongest Left, Italy today epitomises the crisis of democracy in the West.
The scandals of Silvio Berlusconi's rule, the pervasive corruption of public life and sky-high youth unemployment are indicators of a particularly sick society. Yet what is also apparent is the difficulty of any new force emerging to renew Italy's institutions, as its atomised citizens lose hope in political change.
What has broken apart in Italy is not just its once-mighty Left but the very bases of social solidarity. The parties of the 1990s and 2000s directly express the social demolition wrought by neoliberalism, as isolated and endangered individuals face the consequences of the crisis alone. Not this or that political party, but public life itself, is in full-scale collapse
David Broder is a Rome-based writer and translator. He is a contributing editor for Jacobin magazine and regularly writes on Italian politics for publications including Internazionale.