The evil grin of the unpunished


In Italy, the resident population is divided into two parts. One part is unpunished. The other is normal. To be unpunished is a status symbol. The main motive of the attraction that our country has for the mass of people from outside the European Union. A condition to be envied. Whoever gets there finds themselves at the top of the social scale. It’s worth more than riches. The rich can finish up in prison. The unpunished never. The laws don’t even get near them. The lawyers and the friends of the friends sort everything out.
There are various levels of unpunished, a pyramid structure. At the top there are the gentile classes. Then the politicians. Then their servants. Below that in layers one on top of the other, there are a few million people.
It’s easy to identify the unpunished. They have an evil grin that sets them apart. That particular expression of the unpunished, of people who are indifferent to laws. Whole groups are unpunished.
Financial, political, ethnic, criminal groups. There are clubs of extra-legal unpunished people. If the State by mistake or just casually tries to enforce the law, the unpunished get angry. They scream at the provocation.
If they can, they change the laws. Otherwise they change the features of the police forces. Whole neighbourhoods can go out into the streets to support the unpunished.
A citizen with a clean record who pays taxes and who holds dear the good of the public cannot intervene against impunity.
They would be accused of being racist, extremist and a bit fascist. They have to delegate the police and certain party office workers: our employees in Parliament and in the Government.
Cesare Beccaria maintained that the certainty of punishment is necessary in a State based on the rule of law. We are a State based on the other side of the coin. We have the certainty of impunity. However there is the usual exception. If you annoy the unpunished, then you are punished in accordance with the law. The punishment is implacable for those who denounce the system. RESET!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:39 PM in | Comments (23)
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Hello Mr. Chiametti,

Thanks for your reply, which I read with interest. I wish my family had made the same decision 26 years ago and left. (It would have saved me the trouble of doing it later on.)

My impression is that the EU is far from perfect: it´s too much bureaucratic, too attached to old socialist-style ideas and too political. Even the common currency, with its single interest rates and fx rate for all members creates problems--especially in the face of the wide discrepancies of performance btw member states and the lack of workforce mobility.

Nevertheless, I agree with you that Europe´s influence on Italy is positive. Hopefully, also strong enough to prevent an Argentina-style meltdown (which, to be honest, I can envision).

But why don´t Italians protest?

My impression is that most people, who acquired wealth during the post-WW2 period, do not even have a concept of how a normal economy works.

Another big problem is that it is very dangerous to stand up against the system. There are perverse mechanisms that protect the crooks and criminals--and crush normal citizens.

As you say, it is hard to expect much good to come from politicians.

And in the end, it is possible that, as you envision, people will start to do something about it. But who knows what will happen afterwards.


Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 18, 2007 05:05 PM

Hello there Mr. Matthews
Is has been more than 26 years since I left Italy, and although it wasn’t much different back than I want to be positive on it more for my kids not for or for the immediate future.
I am not positive as well on Italy as a Country, but more incline on the positive influence Europe (More advance Democracy and with real value system in place!).
I always saw two big problems with Italy as a Country, “The Church and Politicians”.
Evolution and Education has subtracted the Church from the Equation, although Politics and Politicians have completely taken Italy into a stranglehold society as a whole.
Italy for good or bad is too close to Europe, therefore something like Argentina although maybe necessary is very unlikely to happen.
My faith is on the Italian as individuals, that with a tremendous shock to the Establishment (Something in the line of Mr. Moro, maybe something more shockingly like a rampage at Senate like in Chile!) in order to shake the three from the rotten apples chocking this society.
Not until the Joe Blow in the street will realize that even with all the nepotisms and benefit system for the few, Italy will not survive as a society, but rather be swallowed up by vibrant, educated, meritocratic, new society of today (India, China, Korea and Spain just to stay in Europe).
Not a moment too soon people will realize the time of this Incompetent, Monolithic, Obsolete Professional of Nothing are finish and only try to survive their inadequacy, the light at the end of the dark tunnel Italy is in will start peeking through.
The three needs to be shaken to his roots and the roots are each and every individual fr45om which they suck the life out of You.
Otherwise they will win and you’ll be left watching the world go by while Politicians laugh all the way from their Yacht to their Bank.
I am not surprised at all reading Italian newspapers about the level of Incompetence of the institutions but rather of the level of tolerance and apathy of the people?
Politicians on the last beach, make combination, federation, coalitions, aggregations and on, new Parties because they don’t have a clue out the get out of their own demise.
Electorial law? They are looking everywhere, France, Germany, England the US, they can’t even make the laws to elect themselves! How stupid is this?
They are like dinosaurs, trying to stop evolution from obliterating their asses from the face of the hearth.
Like I sat many times before: “How low do I have to lower my expectation before I will appreciate an Italian Politician with a clue”.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | April 18, 2007 03:53 PM


I am not sure what´s written in Wikipedia about Mexico. If I understand it correctly, people can write whatever they want in Wikioedia... and they probably do ;)

Just out of curiosity, I cheecked the Merriam Webster and it indicates Mexico as North America too.

Anyway, it´s not all that important.

As for moving, I think an interesting place would be China--especially for business. Have you considered going there?


Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 17, 2007 03:21 PM

Hello, Mr. Chiametti,

I appreciated your argument and I agree with you on the importance of education and information.

Education, especially, is essential to the sustainability of a modern economy (which Italy formally is).

But what does one do in Italy with an advanced education?

That´s the problem: that change from the bottom (at the individual level) is, in my opinion, unlikely to be effective. The whole system, from politics to the economy to the judiciary system, is so rotten that only a complete overhaul could do.

But a complete overhaul through normal procedures is unlikely (if it could have, it would have happened long before). A popular movement also leaves me with little hope: usually they cause more damage than good.

To top it all off: there is little time. (Or it may well be too late already.) Italy´s economic structure (based on small firms in low-tech sectors) is very dangerously exposed to the fierce competition of emerging economies. How is Italy going to cope with the huge burden of public debt in the future?

It could happen any day that the markets get jittery about Italy´s ability to make good on its debt and require a higher spread on its debt issues. That would then spiral quickly out of control and lead to a default and a likely exit from the euro.

Even in the best scenario (given today´s politicians) is that Italy keeps up with its debt payments--but choking its economy with high taxes...

So, returning to education, I think that the efforts of acquiring one in Italy are only as good as the opportunity of finding a job abroad afterwards. Many bright people do leave.

The result is that Italy subsidized their education and, when they finally complete their studies, for lack of opportunity at home they go abroad and contribute to another country´s economy!

My conclusion (after all this rambling) is that either a country provides a context for education to be rewarded--or it may well stop providing education altogether and save itself the cost of subsidizing talent that will then go help other nations to get rich.


Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 17, 2007 03:08 PM

Hello there, Mr. Matthews
I do agree with you, coming up with positive solutions is a lot harder than calling each other names.
Although I always believed in Education, Knowledge and Evolution, therefore a first good step (This is what I think) would be for Italy to pretend a Free and Truthful Press (Newspaper, Magazine, Government etc).
A first good step would be for every Italian to stop buying newspapers , Magazines and whatever other mean of communication these Idiots are feeding you, with the obvious goal to lead you stray.
Stop buying into Italian Press and Television, they are in one of the two sides, what do you expect, they either cheer or demise the side they belongs too.
Italian Press is at par with Cameroon, while Resumes of Political Appointees are hidden or unknown.
Each and every Political Figure (From the Meyer of the little town to the President of Italy) should make public their Resume and Financial Statements (Tax Returns and Investment Portfolio).
Having sat that, I recognize it will get uglier before it will improve, although if every individual with truthful information at hand will make up his/her own mind I do believe Italy will have a chance.
Why do you think the Press is owned by the Elite Industrialist and Politicians?
You make up your own mind?

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | April 16, 2007 03:22 PM


In reply to your post, I would say that I also do not see any good parties, nor any good politicians in Italy.

As for Grillo... I think he´s a comedian. If he went into politics, I do not think he would bring about any improvements. But anyway, we got Luxuria, Franca Rame... why not Grillo.

I am glad I do not have to trust my future into their hands.

Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 16, 2007 02:59 PM

Philosophical question:

If two parties in the current government openly include the word "communist" in their names--can the word "communist" be considered an insult?

Posted by: Confucius | April 16, 2007 02:38 PM


I agree with your message about what is wrong with Italy. In fact, I think all see what is wrong.

But we differ greately on which solution would be desirable. This is a problem: how can a group of people embark on an enterprise, when they do not agree on the means and objectives?

Another problem is that, even if we all agreed on a solution, I do not see something practical that Italians can do to really change the situation.

My opinion is that it can only get worse. Much worse. But I would be interested in reading a different view. What do you think should, or could, be done?

Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 16, 2007 02:33 PM

Hello there,
I am very unimpressed by this blog and the participant, that rather than put forward a positive and pro-active ideas, simply cuss at each with name calling and parties affiliations.
Come on guys, I believe we all have past adolescence and the pimple stage, so let’s be realistic here, Italy’s leaders in today society we have to agree are the lowest common denominator of society (Any society!).
Reality is that while Italian Salary have been ranked amongst the lowest in the western hemisphere, Politicians Income (In Italy specifically) are the highest, and to make the matter worst, these Incompetents can’t keep a Government together for more than 11 months!
Mrs. Rice the Secretary of United State earns $183.000,00 a year for her job while Mr. Prodi is at Euros 212.000,00 ($ 286.200,00 more than the US President!).
Now you guys can continue calling each other names, and LOL which could be considered a very entertaining past time, although as far as improving Italy’s situation I have some serious doubts!
Many things get’s my Italian blood up to 3000 psi (204 Bars) in a hurry, although the primary reasons remain the fact that each and every Italians knows why Italy is the s**t up to the eyeballs!
There are laws up to the kazoos, none is implemented!
In Italy a Politicians never quits, loose his/her job? Why? Regardless of his/her performance or judicial status? Why?
The government sucks in 67% of the income generated by Italians while not a single Agency of the Government performs to expectation? Why?
Which planet are these Political Managers are coming from? Mars or Venus?
Reality is each and every one participating into this blog, knows the real reasons, incompetence, apathy, personal gain, nepotism and on and on!
I could not emphasize more the magic word “Responsibility!”, until each and every individual in Italy will learn the real meaning of Responsibility the Country will for ever remain full of street smart people but poor and miser as a whole!
The devil made me do it justification will persevere, and no one will be ever responsible for anything, not even you for your own destiny!
Thanks for the patronage of these Idiotic Bunch!

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | April 16, 2007 02:00 PM

A non-communist could express a communist idea and therefore lead others to perceive him/her as a communist.

Posted by: Confucius | April 16, 2007 12:29 AM

Yes, I noticed. Grillo is also serving a master in my opinion, again, nothing new under the sun in Italy...although I have to say, a funny communist is anyway better than a depressive communist like Bertinotti.

I just keep getting confirmations that I did the right thing when I left this poor country.

Goodbye for good

Posted by: Antonio Disarò | April 15, 2007 10:27 PM

"However I profit by occasion to point you out that is not just Mr Prodi who is eager to avoid the referendum but also all the others little parties belonging to the left-wing coalition (plus LEGA NORD and UDC parties on the other side) you have foolishly voted one year ago in your firm and foolish belief,by doing so, to change the Italian democracy and economi policy."
Read my post. I included all Parties.
I didn't even vote one year ago. I challenge you to prove where and when I wrote that I voted for Prodi or one of his coalition Parties. I also challenge you to prove that I wrote anything positive about the Communist Party. I'm not a Communist, never been one and never will be. It's time for you to admit that you are a lier as well as a lunatic.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | April 15, 2007 09:10 PM

Prodi, one of our employees, is trying to stall the Electoral Reform Referendum. He announced that the Government and Parliament will initiate this much needed reform without any input from the voters.
Of course he thinks that the Parties that have killed Italian democracy and business are the best qualified to reform this gangrenous system. Shame on you Prodi together with all the privileged and incompetent sycophants that are sucking the blood of Italians.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | April 15, 2007 06:09 PM

I think elections in Italy are just a pastime.

The results of the elections and even what happens afterwards have little to do with what the people want.

Besides, what the people want often is not what is in the best interest of the country.

Therefore, a change through the normal means provided by democracy is unlikely.

So, how about through a popular revolt?

In my opinion Italians have no concept of "society". Therefore, it can only be the individual against the system--as few would risk the little they have for a causa. One individual against the system has no chance.

It would follow that a popular revolt could ensue ony when people have nothing left to lose. That is, a popular revolt would ensue only when it´s too late.

Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 15, 2007 01:07 PM

Why did I get a message removed? Is it because it contained some criticism to Beppe and Di Pietro?
I thought constructive critics are allowed here...


Posted by: Antonio Disarò | April 15, 2007 10:06 AM

Antonio Disaro'
I grew up in the same way.
My dad took me to jazz concerts where I met a lot of musicians who taught me a lot under the profile of personal maturity.
My dad took me also to art shows, where I learned to appreciate a lot of painters.
All this contributed to wake up my mind into always looking for the concept that generated what I'm looking at, while getting it into my system.
Later on, I ventured into Classical music, Rock, Blues, etc.. and I found out that all this has a common denominator: creativity.
Being able to recognise creativity sometimes allows you to see through words and programs.
Going back to the topic, probably I would not be a specialist in the field, but my gut will tell me a lot when something doesn't sound right.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | April 15, 2007 01:10 AM

Hello there,
Absolutely not, a blank vote speaks volumes for the currents Politicians.
As for what it would happen, well my guess is that the current system would implode with infighting between these Idiots.
The current establishment may have another idea, although the moral would and should be up to the Italian Voters and what they would tolerate!
As for changing the current system, sorry same argument from Banks, they hold your money although you pay interest or charges.
Wake up, either people participate in the rules writing or is no game at all, just look at the miserable state of affair right now?
They laugh all the way to the bank, while you try to figure out what happen to the beautiful Italy (Bel Paese after all for the few!).
Still, this is only my opinion; you can still consider your idea feasible although I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | April 15, 2007 01:02 AM

You've hit the target.
Parafrasing JFK, us, the Italians, must ask ourselves, instead of what our nation could do for us, what we can do for our nation.
Until we keep the same mentality nothing will get done and we will keep sliding into the sewer.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | April 15, 2007 01:00 AM

if everybody live a blank vote,what really happen,do the same partys stay in power?wouldn't be better to reform the political system?

Posted by: evakulnura | April 14, 2007 10:57 PM

Hello there,
I can sincerely sympathize with honest and hard working individuals in Italy, daily life in shouldn’t be as hard as it is for the majority of people.
Having sat that, reality is that the few (And disgustingly incompetent I may add) that have the power, the money and the will to do anything about it, either are too fat, too old or have already achieved their personal pinnacle, therefore have no desire to fix your problem.
Their goal is to survive and float to obsolesces, or even better become a Life Senator.
Reality is, each and every individual has to take this matter in his/her own hand, and like a drop in a huge bucket when the number of drops will turn into a stream, even better in a river then these Idiots ruling the Country will start to take notes.
As a reminder, just look at the chaos Parties are in, since the looming Referendum is on the Horizon.
Since the majority of Italians are disgusted with their Politicians (Right and Left and anything in between) the flood of Parties Aggregation, Combination, Federation and Summation just to achieve survival of these Idiotic Buffoons.
They mismanaged Italy for the last 50 years at the rate of a Government every 11 months and now that people is feed up with their unfulfilled Promises, they would love you death if you would one more time vote their Coalition of Idiots (New Parties) and rest assured a slew of new promises will come with them.
How many of these Politicians it takes to manage a Country the size of Italy?
From Township, to City, to Province, to Regional, to the Capital, while above all the mention administrations there is the EU (Can’t wait until the EU will make all the rest irrelevant and therefore un-necessary, honestly already are irrelevant).
These Idiots have to be held accountable to You and not the other way around!
Look at each end every Party Congress how many people you are supporting and paying their handsome way of life.
Where are their Tax Returns?
Make Public!
The Prodi Government has missed each and every estimate possible and imaginable, now they have too much of your money (Or so they say!) where will they put it, they know better 3.7 billion to Government workers (Inefficient already, now with pay-raise will be even less incline to perform).
Pretend more, and if they do not perform don’t vote for them a blank vote or nothing speaks lauder than the same old and Incompetent bunch.
It takes Generation although Italians must start sooner rather than later, because until now You believed each and every one of these Incompetent Idiots.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | April 14, 2007 07:07 PM

I would add:

If you see your tax money being wasted: protest!

But who will listen to your protest? Who will do something about it??

As long as taxes are high and services are poor--there will be tax dodging and the quality of life will be low. But it´s hard to expect change.

Ah, one more thing about Kohl: He fixed what Hitler broke, that´s right. Though, if I may add, few Germans today seem to be very happy about it ;)

Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 14, 2007 05:09 PM

What's the stand of the European Union on this?

Shouldn't this be part of a closed scutiny?

It's like having a country like North Corea into our union and ignoring all the crap that it's going on inside.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | April 14, 2007 03:29 PM

Exactly this "unpunished" culture should be removed, starting from the bottom though, not from the top.
You don't win against the mafia, catching the boss of the last hour. You can only work on the background which promotes mafia or other illegal behavior, starting from the culture.

Italians have to learn to respect the rules themselves, even when they park, or drive, or pay tax. THEN the politics will be automatically cleaner.
Think of Helmuth Kohl in Germany, the Chancellor who reunited Germany, he fixed for good what Hitler destroyed.
Well, his career ended because of half a million Euro black contribution to his party, end of the story.
This is enough for a german to get rid of a politician FOR EVER. Friends in Italy, at the time of "mani pulite", would't believe it.

Legality has to start from the bottom, when you are offered to save 20% without invoice, ask for a 50% discount WITH invoice, to close an eye and don't tell the fiscal police for this time.
If you see somebody hitting a parked car and drive away, take the plate number, and tell the police.
If you know of a fake disabled person, tell the police, don't try to do the same!

Once this culture will be changed, politics will be automatically cleaner.


Posted by: Antonio Disarò | April 14, 2007 01:39 PM

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