Collaboratori di giustizia e testimoni di giustizia

Aggiornamento: a questo link si trovava originariamente un post nel quale confondevo per errore “collaboratore di giustizia” con “testimone di giustizia”. C’è una differenza profonda, ben descritta su wikipedia alla voce “pentitismo“, cui si arriva anche cercandovi “collaboratore di giustizia”.
Gli amici che conoscono meglio di me questo tema sottolineano che i testimoni di giustizia rivendicano questa differenza come fondamentale distinzione etica tra loro stessi, vittime di reati, e i “collaboratori” comunemente chiamati anche “pentiti” che questi reati hanno commesso.

Ringrazio chi mi ha segnalato l’errore e spero nella comprensione di chi ne fosse stato infastidito.

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The Internet Strikes – Strike with the Internet – SOPASTRIKE

For what I know about SOPA and similar initiatives in my country over the last few years, I am joining and urging fellow members in my communites to. Please check out the SOPAstrike site and consider joining.

Decidere bisogna – sul mercato italiano del lavoro il momento è oggi

Il libro di Pietro Ichino “Inchiesta sul lavoro” è difficile, utile e tempestivo. Spiega la sua proposta di riforma del mercato del lavoro.

Il nostro governo probabilmente avvierà una riforma di questo mercato presto; una riforma probabilmente vicina nei principi a quella che Ichino descrive.

Su un tema come il mercato del lavoro bisogna decidere. Il momento per maturare una decisione personale è oggi.

Io ho provato a farlo, anche con questo libro. Il risultato è in questa recensione su Anoobi – http://www.anobii.com/books/Inchiesta_sul_lavoro/9788804614258/01e1080075c7d449f4/

Caro Gennaro, domani …?

Caro Gennaro,

Sono tempi di grandi cambiamenti. Tanto grandi che capita di veder organizzare dibattiti su “e adesso, cosa facciamo?”

Finalmente!

Così, dopo tanti anni, ho pensato di venire di persona ad ascoltare un dibattito. E’ una domanda che mi interessa da sempre, “Cosa facciamo?”; figurarsi adesso.
Ho voluto tornare a sentire le risposte di organizzazioni che per decenni ho seguito solo di seconda mano; attente a questioni importanti, alcune che occupano i miei pensieri fin da ragazzino, alcune che per tanti anni io ho trascurato e oggi riscopriamo in molti.

Insomma: dopo decenni, sono venuto a sentire un dibattito politico, organizzato da un partito.

Uno dei motivi che mi ha spinto a venire è che c’eri tu – avevo trovato interessanti altri tuoi interventi. Allora, visto che il dibattito mi ha fatto nascere una grande domanda, ho pensato di indirizzarla a te.

Sala piena, molte centinaia di persone. Partecipazione intensa, più giovani di quanti pensassi, molti anziani come pensavo. Applausi misurati, attenti a influenzare il dibattito dimostrando quanti tra il pubblico approvano cosa. Qualche esclamazione gridata per farla sentire a tutti; una o due perfino raccolte dai relatori e dal moderatore per alimentare la discussione.
Moderatore acuto – sì, un po’ sono venuto anche per lui – rispettoso del partito che lo ospita e della platea che li sostiene, rispettoso dei relatori e della discussione, attento a indirizzarla con domande anche aggressive. Per dare un’idea, la prima è stata più o meno: siete tutti ex-qualcosa, avete perso ruoli importanti; come pensate di recuperare?

E subito la sorpresa: i relatori rispettano i tempi, sono concisi, sviluppano l’analisi di cosa sta succedendo … e  rinviano le risposte.
È vero: quel che succede è importante, rovescia probabilmente alcune delle prospettive con cui abbiamo interpretato per decenni l’economia.
Ancor più vero: oggi molte analisi di quel che succede, moltissime proposte su che fare, proprio quelle più vicine ad essere messe in pratica, applicano ancora quelle prospettive che sembra si stiano rovesciando e vadano rovesciate.  Saranno probabilmente proposte sbagliate, dannose.
Ma le analisi servono per decidere cosa fare! Nonostante le domande del moderatore, nonostante il titolo del dibattito, tutti i relatori ne parlano il più tardi possibile, come a tenere le loro proposte al riparo dal dibattito, oppure – tu, Gennaro – in toni che mi sono parsi lievi, come trattenuti.

Alla fine, le proposte arrivano. Specifiche, chiare pur se espresse con attenzione, a volte con cautela. Legate strettamente a quella lunga analisi – come trincerate, incanalate tra pareti di analisi della realtà.
Proposte soprattutto concentrate su cosa fare con le organizzazioni politiche: in parlamento con gli altri partiti, più ancora fuori dal parlamento con movimenti che in Italia e altrove fanno politica altrimenti. Proposte, insomma, molto più su come fare politica che non su cosa fare, con la politica, nel mondo della vita quotidiana.

E allora la mia domanda finale nasce dalla prima domanda del moderatore, quella su come costruire una maggioranza. Perché una maggioranza serve, per realizzare una proposta. Per attuarla nelle leggi, e in quella vita quotidiana.

Le proposte dei relatori mi sembrano attente all’esigenza di aver ragione, di averla avuta domani, quando gli eventi avranno dimostrato la fondatezza di quell’analisi così attenta. Attente ad avere una maggioranza dopodomani, più che a fare qualcosa; più che all’urgenza di fare oggi, che pure nasce proprio da quella loro analisi.

E allora mi chiedo: come facciamo oggi a far succedere domani qualcuno di questi eventi nel modo che vogliamo noi, come è nostro interesse che vada? Prima della maggioranza di dopodomani.

Insomma, caro Gennaro: secondo te, domani … sarà più utile avere avuto ragione su tutto, o aver provato a fare qualcosa?

Al prossimo dibattito

A New Page in the History of the Western World Now – in Italy, through Italy

I believe what is happening in Italy these very days is a milestone in the post-World War II history of the Western world, perhaps the true beginning of what XXI century will be like.

Our country, our national community, is addressing a huge challenge managing its sovereign debt. Italy enjoys in a special degree a combination of conditions that all Western developed national economies share. This puts us at the forefront of how the Western world can and will address its sovereign debt challenge.

Here are the conditions: Italy’s sovereign debt is the third largest in the world; sovereign debt is based on borrowing against greater future wealth; greater future wealth requires wealth growth; Italy’s growth has long been among the lowest in the world.

I believe the last few dozen years, up and through the 2007 crisis in Western developed economies, are really a long story of coming to terms with the notion that these economies’ sovereign debt has outgrown their ability to serve it and manage it by growing wealthier – or by providing financial return equivalents to economic wealth growth.

The global economic and financial community has been able to manage one very large economy struggling with huge debt and tiny growth for many years: Japan. This was because others appeared to be growing – and finance appeared to provide adequate returns at reasonable risk. After 2007, Western developed economies and fast-growing economies outside the West have all shown ever more clearly that it will be extremely difficult to grow out of deepening sovereign debt, while this very debt grows to rescue financial institutions, economies, businesses and communities.

Now that Italy is becoming a second Japan at the heart of Europe, we are also turning into a test bed of how all other Western developed economies can, and very likely will, have to manage an explicit or implicit sovereign debt default. The first phase of this test took place in the last few weeks: global political, economic and other institutions have focused on influencing Italy’s politics to encourage our government to start addressing this problem. This is precisely what we are doing now as a national community and body politic.

I do hope the next phases will include Italy addressing both its specific problems and more general problems it shares with Western developed economies and with many others – from rule of law to ease of doing business, from social mobility to equity and justice.

I am optimistic some of the solutions we will come up with, with our fellow countries’ support, will be effective. I am optimistic some will be more effective than some of the solutions the global financial consensus has been recommending or imposing to smaller high debt countries over the last few decades.

In the end, this may be the one chance Italy has to devote its creative resources, together with its wealth, to shaping the future of the Western world, and so of the whole world, in the XXI century. A major feat and role, that ironically comes within our medium-sized country reach just because of the relative size of our debt – and possibly of our natural, cultural and artistic resources, rather than the smaller relative size of our manufacturing and of our finance.

Gio Ponti in Italian Life – and Mine

Last weekend my family, great old friends and I visited various design exhibitions at La Triennale in Milan. There, we enjoyed Chinese design (surely the most impervious for us), Italian design, and photos of Pierpaolo Pasolini.

Espressioni di Gio Ponti” has been by far the most impactful of all these exhibitions for me – so much that it got me reasoning why, and how deeply.

The first reason is that I feel I get Gio Ponti more than I do most artists.
I am used to going through fine art museums across cultures and art forms with moderate appreciation, little understanding and few moments of true emotion. Gio Ponti’s works are an exception: they have consistently struck me  as meaningful, rich and moving – including many that I had ignored being his.
Casa Rasini is a case in point: I have long felt and very recently restated it is the most beautiful and impactful building in Milan: it projects novelty and modernity rooted in architectural tradition to a key spot, where a long high street (Corso Venezia, Corso Buenos Aires), a pivotal square (Piazza Oberdan) and a large, central park (Giardini Pubblici) connect. At this very exhibition I discovered that Gio Ponti designed it.
[Ironically, the most visible and impressive tower in the twin building is mostly ascribed to his partner Emilio Lancia.]

Another reason is how I have felt Gio Ponti capable of shaping his world, impacting environments – Milano perhaps mostly – by injecting meaningful shapes and designs in them. The sheer list is impressive, and the map produced for the exhibition is even more; I hope organizers will make this map available online.

Then there is the sheer personal coincidence of how often his work has engulfed and touched me in my daily life: I had the privilege of working in at least two buildings he designed – Primo Palazzo Montecatini  and Palazzo Savoia Assicurazioni, and only realized this at this exhibition, facing artworks of him that I had seen there many times casually. This makes me understand how one person can help so much shaping a business environment that many people and organizations were still catering for and leveraging dozens of years later in this town.

Last, a double lesson for myself and Italian businesses and people these days; a lesson on how we make decisions based on our past, and how we set about to shape our future.
Gio Ponti founded Domus, a design and architecture magazine still active. Its early issues strike me almost physically as a Fascist magazine and cultural tool. More generally, Gio Ponti flourished from the mid 1920s and obviously contributed to development of Italian culture and design during Fascism, effectively supporting and contributing to Fascism. He contributed to the new town plan of Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia that Italy conquered in 1936, and even designed furniture for a Krupp silverware shop in Milan in 1943!
He continued working and achieved some of his greatest results, including designs in the Americas, after the Second World War. He is then an example of creating significant business, cultural, technical value through very difficult times and irrespectively of deep ideological barriers and concerns.
It is difficult to argue against what happened – to argue for instance that he should have refrained from creating during Fascism, or that our community should have banned from doing so after its fall.

Here is what I see as the more relevant impact of this lesson today: Gio Ponti’s works look to me as making a clear, deep difference from routine work in the same domains in the same periods. This was through easy and difficult times, also by engaging very rich individuals and organizations in deeply unjust, unequal, even ideologically revulsive communities. Creating similar value is probably just as possible and beneficial now, in very difficult economic conditions, as it must have been in the early 1930s and late 1940s.

How can each of us, with what little talent we have, go beyond routine and do something that impacts activity and drives value in our own environment?

Gallantly Challenging Rule of Law out of Personal Courtesy – Welcome to my Country

Today, pretty early on a Sunday morning, I have bought services from an incumbent (former monopoly) provider in my country. This was at a teller, with a kind, helpful and very careful clerk, er, service representative. Good.

So careful he was that as I pulled out my payment card, he correctly spotted in my card holder a loyalty card from this provider – now that is *personal* service, isn’t it!
He helpfully recommended that I record the purchase with my loyalty code and earn loyalty points.

Now, for readers from different cultures:  in my country and culture this counts as walking the extra mile, both for the proactive suggestion and for the extra effort he was volunteering to do to read and enter the loyalty code – more often than not, his colleagues would complain about the fuss if I requested that myself. Privacy concerns such as peeping my card holder pale in comparison with this keen and helpful offer.

As it happens, this particular service provider only grants loyalty points on services purchased *for individual use of the loyalty card bearer* – with characteristic stinginess, deeply rooted in its monopoly heritage. I dutifully shared with the keen and helpful representative that others were going to use the services I intended to purchase through him. In fact, keen as he was, he must have guessed some of this, since what I purchased is a two-person package, so at least half of it had to be for somebody else.

The representative dutifully shrugged away my concerns, as he commented “it’s points charging up a card anyway, isn’t it?”

With a more competitive, market-savy provider I just might have suspected that representatives were rewarded for driving customers to obtain and use loyalty cards, so this one were actually asking me to break his employer’s regulations in self interest.

My country’s culture being what it is, I am convinced instead that this person believes he is helping customers make the best possible use of his service and the provider’s, based on the obvious assumption that regulations are purposeless, so the cost of breaking them must be lower than the reward.

Please do come to my country and enjoy personal, helpful service. I look forward to meeting you then.

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