Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
BTW, those little town stories are connected to a very dark, repressive past in many cases.  

The connotations of the kind of traditional-type small-town rivalries I illustrated are, for different-history reasons, a lot more "mixed" and ambiguous in Italy's case - light and shadow.

The "light" is linked to the history of Italian "communalism" = our medieval and renaissance city-states and seafaring republics - many of which were in fact, at least at times, "semi-democratic"... in an era of huge vitality and truly great comparative prosperity for central and northern Italy, with unusually (for Europe) extensive social mobility ... resulting, amongst other things, in our most splendorous-ever intellectual and artistic achievements. And here the Church, I'd say till until around 1600(?) - is perceived as having been a heck of a lot more cynical and corrupt but somehow at the same time far less fanatical and intellectually oppressive than elsewhere, and particularly than in Spain and Portugal - also as the papacy itself had become little more than big fat pawn in the variegated pattern of our communal and dynastic rivalries-strife.. under the subsequent caesarist system of the "signorie" under which so many of our "republics" later fell. So popes and cardinals didn't have to be particularly devout here - some were humanists, some perhaps more pagan-superstitious than conventionally christian? Good thing or bad?  Dunno - kinda mixed? Plus the reach of the church's temporal power - the papal states themselves - was little more here than just one of many warring territorial entities - a kind of large duchy? - in Italy's quarrelsome, murderous, treacherous but intellectually and economically vibrant medieval and renaissance patchwork.

The worst "shadows" = in the age of the "city-state republics", the resulting communal-localist system was so extremely fractious in its competitive rivalries that it ultimately self-destructed! Or at least that's how we tend to "read" our national historical origins-myth: i.e. our lack of national/regional unity and constant inter-communal rivalries and warfare opened the way, on the one hand, to the imposition of autocratic rule and on the other to the devastating presence of invasive foreign armies on Italian soil. So the lesson traditionally drawn here is that fierce communal/localistic rivalries = constant warfare, treachery, division = general political weakness = foreign armies = foreign and/or autocratic domination = oppression, exploitation and impoverishment = decline and backwardness.


Here it is colloquially called "España Profunda", almost in an occult sense...

"Italia profonda" too can be distinctly sinister AND occult! - not really christianity's fault either because the worst of it seems to be as much pagan-survival as flipside christian-origin: the worst of our all-too-common black magic practices can be traced back back to roman times or even earlier. Incredible how often superstitious practices including straight black magic crop up here in our most sinister and headline-grabbing national intrigues, murders etc...

Slight difference - again for historical reasons - in our perception of the catholic church in relation to fascism.  Fascism here had anti-clerical origins, allied with the church for opportunist reasons. And our murderous post-WW2 Fascist-heritage far-far-right had an atheistic anticlerical streak in some quarters, in others a strong esoteric-occultist tendency - while the catholics instead tended more to "mediate" with the socialists and communists - result being that catholic leader Aldo Moro got himself killed by Gladio-infiltrated and remote-controlled "red brigades", essentially for being too "left-friendly".  So again, different history = different perceptions.

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Thu Dec 7th, 2006 at 02:21:11 PM EST
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