Broken windows



'Broken window' describes a type of social behaviour. If one window in a building gets broken, itís likely that another one will. If there are two broken windows, the probability that a third is added gets greater. If however the window gets mended, the process usually stops.
Italy is the Country of broken windows. Every time a window is damaged, thereís immediately the queue to:
- break an unlimited number of them
- find a justification for the new antisocial behaviour
- and if necessary, make it legal
Legalization of antisocial behaviour, more simply called ďcrimeĒ, depends on its dimension. The more people who practise the crime, the more likely it is that Parliament will make a law to make it acceptable, or at least not to be punished.
Normally however, this is not necessary. Itís enough to raise the level of tolerance. Or to insert bureaucratic procedures to block any possible chance of remonstrating or denouncing. If some naÔve citizen protests, someone explains to them the rules of uncivil accommodation. It helps to call them populists, demagogues or man in the street.
To insist on the application of the law if it is not being respected, in Italy is an antidemocratic exercise, a wee bit fascist.Every day, new ways are explored, new windows are broken. The pioneers, if they manage to get followers, become successful people, untouchables. At times fugitives from justice. It can happen that they even get squares and streets named after them.
And that they are called statesmen.
The Italian is anthropologically fascinated by broken windows except when the broken window is his. But, in this case, after being initially indignant, he resigns himself and goes off to look for a stone.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:10 AM in | Comments (5)
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These little stories tell us how screwed up business is in Italy.

Unfortunately it's not only business; these "broken windows" extend also to the way Italy is politically dealt with at all levels.

How many times we get pissed off and all we receive in change is the famous shrug accompanied by the saying: "what you wanna do? It's always like that!"

Every time this is said, is a lost occasion to make things better.

We all eat shit and then we complain if we find a hair in it.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | February 5, 2007 05:08 PM


Can't blame you, Tonia!

I had to cancel my flat Internet services with Tiscali because I was recieving a tone of Spam from their servers AND some of my email was being bounced because some of the major ISPs had blacklisted Tiscali IP addresses.

When I filed for a "disdetta", Tiscali said fine but that I had to still pay for another year of services. WHY? Because I did not cancel the service with at least 60 days notice (I had done it with at least 11 days notice).

Regardless of the fact that my contract was "stipulated a distanza" in this case over the Internet, I had the right to cancel my service within 10 days of activation as stated in the law (Legge 185/99). This is even stated in the Tiscali contract.

To this day, I still receive Tiscali bills for a service I no longer use!

Posted by: Sam Ciccarello | February 5, 2007 03:38 PM


After living in Italy for 17 years I am hoping that your site might help me come to terms with the absolutely "Third World" standard of telephone companies. I refer to our problem with Infostrada and our non-functioning fixed home telephone line that has been out of service since the 25th January. My husband has called Infostrada every day (using his mobile of course) alerting them to our problem and to date we are without a home telephone. Sometimes we ring and we are told "all operators are busy, and to call later". Sometimes to our amazment we actually hear the phone connected to an operator only to hear the phone being picked and and hung up on us. If we ring on weekends, we get an actual person, but they tell us to call Monday. We have just tried to ring and we are now being told that the operators are on " agitazione sindacale". Last week we established with Infostrada that our call had been logged and subsequently removed by the technicians from the list as "problem being fixed". I know of no other country that leaves it's clients without assistance for 12 days (and still counting) and then expects us to "pay" for a service. I know this blog can't remedy the problem, however, I do hope as many people read this and perhaps change their minds about signing up with Infostrada or even recommending them to their friends.

Posted by: Tonia White | February 5, 2007 02:10 PM


Dayton Ohio is still like NYC in 1996.

Downtown is dead and dangerous.

The majority of working people lives in the outskirts.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | February 5, 2007 01:56 PM


In New York this has really worked. In1996 you couldn't go in many places where you can actually go now .You couldn't run in the Park in areas where you can now (still a woman has to be carefull of course ).

Posted by: giuliana capo | February 5, 2007 10:53 AM


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