• Francesco Caracciolo ha ricevuto il Premio alla cultura nel 1985 e nel 1994, conferito dalla Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri

  • Ha ottenuto finanziamenti per la ricerca scientifica dal Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione e contributi dal Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

  • È stato Forschungsstipendiat dell'Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung

  • America and Europe tomorrow like Italy today

    by Francesco Caracciolo


    What happened in the Italian peninsula yesterday happens today and will happen tomorrow in some Western countries. In ancient times the hybrid and decadent Roman society generated the tolerant, chaotic, conflictual Italian society. From the second century B.C. Rome and the Italian Peninsula received millions of individuals from very different places in the then known world. They hosted them to be served and to burden them with the fatigue of work no longer borne by the natives. The Capital deported them to Rome and to the Peninsula from their lands to gorge itself by providing arms to the latifundia and servants and comforts to the Trimalchioni, to the old and new patricians. It was then not only the formation of large latifundia that ruined Italy, but it was also and above all the excessive inflow, the heterogeneous multitude of foreign individuals destined to cultivate and serve. Not only the "latifundia perdidere Italiam", as Pliny the Elder noted, but above all those millions of newcomers, of which the latifundia and the decayed customs of the hosts needed. Many millions of individuals, many of them unwillingly, came to Italy as serfs. Many of them settled in, emancipated themselves over time, learned the Latin language and observed the laws, progressed, became freedmen and free. Many became rich, played roles at all levels, even very important as members of the government. But they, whose number in those centuries grew in society, were and remained strangers even among themselves. They did not and never acquired a common feeling. They never fully understood even each other and never shared a common feeling of dedication to the society in which they lived, to the institutions and to the state. Many of them were exemplary Roman and Italic citizens, they obeyed authority and observed laws and rules driven by convenience. Usually, they remained strangers even among themselves and transmitted to the following generations their extraneousness, the lack of cohesion, the prevailing conflictuality, the protection and defense of particular interest.

    In the following centuries of the Middle Ages and the Modern Age, the peninsula was prey to homogeneous invaders, armies, hordes, peoples. But it was in the Ancient Times that the disposition and conduct of so many heterogeneous beings gave rise to the character and social relations of the Italians.

    The pathological defense of one's own particular, the indifference and the lack of attachment to common and general needs, from Ancient times were transmitted over the centuries. Francesco Guicciardini saw the prevailing "particulare" in Italy in the sixteenth century. The substantial extraneousness, the unhealthy affection for one's own particular and the consequent conflictuality can be seen in the twenty-first century in Italy and in the character and behavior of Italians. And it can also be seen that extraneousness and conflictuality have nothing to do with the value of single individuals, whose personal capacity for work, commitment and genius are undeniable. Because of their character, Italians are able to carry out profitable individual work that requires sacrifices and renunciations, but they are lazy and distracted, driven rather by need or calculation and not by spontaneous and cheerful participation, when they carry out collective work.

    In the West and in America, society had a completely different sprout from the Italian one. In the European provinces of the decadent Roman Empireentire peoples poured in, with their customs and traditions, and not myriads of individuals extraneous even to each other. Therefore, in the Middle Ages and in the following centuries, the society of those provincials was homogeneous, it was the result of the evolution of communities and compact peoples. The adversities and obstacles that those provincials had to overcome did not affect their compactness and cohesion. Their conduct was greatly influenced by the religion reformed by Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, observed by numerous sects and entire peoples. The direct reading of the Bible, in much of the West, produced the appreciation of the responsibility of single individuals, of the sense of their personal weakness and the need to learn about and to pray directly to God. Western society was cohesive and the ability of its members to act, to work, to sing in choir remained almost unchanged until some novelties disturbed it. And this happened when in European and American countries arose the need to support the economic growth at all costs and by importing immigrants. It happened when the colonization of other peoples and the industrial revolution made unlimited economic growth essential. To support it, the Westerners moved outside their countries, colonized others, from which they drew raw material necessary to support the economic growth, but in return they imported millions of individuals of heterogeneous origin into the West. Their influx grew with the economic growth, with the growth of the negative effects that this produced, such as vices, excessive consumption, inability to bear fatigue, to perform normal work, and therefore with the need to integrate the working population.

    In the West, in the European and American countries, the same course that the ancient Romans and Italics followed millennia ago was followed in modern times and continues to be followed in the late twenty-first century. The capital, today as then, annihilates the existing, overwhelms values and traditions, corrupts customs, introduces upheaval in human and social relations. And it does all this above all to impinguate and increase itself.

    These lethal effects of the capital are not easy tobe detected. The wealth and power of individual countries continue to grow or to remain high. In them, the economy makes progress, society pulsates with life, citizens continue to operate and to progress, to provide proof of their abilities. But in the heart of thriving society, a woodworm gnaws at the whole system. In it social pollution, indifference to institutions, extraneousness of many progress. Slowly the many newcomers crumble the compactness and cohesion that were at the origin of the strength and progress of the original nucleus. And it would be useful to know how much of the illegality, criminality, chaos, conflictuality, indifference to institutions to the point of hostility, is to be attributed to immigration flowed through time. It could thus be ascertained that the West, from the European countries to the United States and other American countries, has followed and continues to follow the same path followed by Italy for many centuries.

    Francesco Caracciolo

    For comprehensive information on the subject, the following is suggested:

    - Francesco Caracciolo, L'integrazione dell'«arcipelago migratorio» in Occidente, pp. 168;

    - Francesco Caracciolo, Come muore una civiltà e come sta morendo la nostra, pp. 408;

    - Francesco Caracciolo, Mali estremi, pp. 176;

    - Francesco Caracciolo, La folle corsa, pp. 304.


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