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Italian woes: a nation in conflict


Overpopulation is perhaps the biggest problem facing us, and immigration is part of that problem
David Brower

Dear Friends whoever you are,

I present myself describing the situation in another land (Italy and Switzerland) and later on trying to give news from other parts of Europe which I know a little of. In the meantime, I shall offer some opinions, and even some suggestions….

I live in Switzerland (Lausanne) but was born in Italy (Gorizia) and I possess two nationalities. (very useful).

I have founded the Assisi Nature Council, an organisation in Italy (Assisi), at the time when it was à la mode (sorry: like AGW ! ah ah!) the figure of its most beloved Saint Francis as a symbol of Christian environmental conservation.

Times have changed, demographical growth and not conservation is the main problem, as conservation can only be obtained by less people and less of everything that too many people do.

My attention to the problem of overpopulation started rather earlier on, when I collected figures and statistics and news articles and so on. I made links with many major environmental organisations in the States and Italy and here’s a limited account of some of the feedback:

  • SUSP USA = they said that they only concentrated on US problem;
  • Earth Island Institute (San Francisco USA)= no answer
  • WWF Italy = well, we have other priorities, like consumption
  • Friends of the Earth Italy = no answer
  • Italia Nostra- Italy = only conservation please
  • And so on.

I approached a well known TV programme in Rome, but no success.

With Academy, no support, but some hostility. A University Professor from Perugia (Italy) asked me if I was a racist — and I didn’t even mention the immigration problem!

This resumé to tell you how overpopulation is not a respectable subject.

Lately, I have joined a group, which is related to the Radical Party, a Party of libertarian leanings, which hasn’t much representation in Parliament. Better than nothing, because the group I joined, called Rientrodolce, is the only political lobby I know in Italy, whose objective is to diminish the population. By non-violent methods (dolce) of course. No China solution, then. No other political or economic force in Italy seems aware of the existence of such a problem, though exists a number of online sites that talk about it, but their material is mostly a translation from English documents. The opinion makers in the media who refer often to overpopulation are a few, very good and informed, but they are called Cassandras (actually Cassandra was telling always the truth but nobody wanted to believe her, for the obvious reasons: she was a purveyor of Bad News!)

I get along very well with my group, we discuss lots of issues related to population, like the oil and food crisis, but there’s one blind spot in their vision.

It is called immigration.

Now, I do not understand that someone can be worried about population growth and not see that, in our western countries, it is fuelled by the relentless invasion of people from less affluent countries.

These people have found the solution to their fertility by sending the surplus to us.

This way, there will be no possibility for them to limit their population, if they have the economic incentive to emigrate.

The refusal to talk about Immigration has more than one cause.

In the case of Rientrodolce group, the philosophy behind it is libertarian, plus a complex sense of guilt towards the Third World.

This sense of guilt pressures seems to be widespread in our societies, whose ethos has been influenced by excessive left-wing rhetoric. We feel obliged to repair a perceived damage that our civilisation might have done and relish the occasion to demonstrate solidarity towards the hordes of suffering humanity rejects.

Though these sentiments, if genuine, might be laudable, they are suspiciously based on a leftist ideology (our sin is to be richer than they; we have robbed their resources through capitalism, etc.) and so are the solution we propose : quasi open borders, free circulation of goods, services and humans, solidarity, hospitality, tolerance and all that utopian vocabulary, which rests on the principle that what is desirable is also possible, and that “all you need is Love ”.

For the sake of the Third World’s problems it would be certainly better to find ways to help them there, and specifically to tie up any financial help to a serious antinatalist programme, which would really decrease their fertility while at the same time bring more wealth.

But this solution doesn’t appeal to the idealists, who prefer to enslave — which is what they really do — a foreign labour force to serve the basic necessities of a relatively wealthy civilisation. This is not piety, it is exploitation.

The Italian situation has been getting steadily worse under the previous governments that have maintained a lax attitude towards the problem of immigration, while at the same time encouraging couples to have more children.

You have probably come across news of the Italian coasts being inundated by hundreds of illegal immigrants month by month, so that nobody is now sure how many are around and what the hell are they doing: drugs or prostitution, underpaid employment without insurance, small crime or a life of misery? The incredible thing is that this kind of life costs them a lot of money, that they pay to unscrupulous exploiters: because commerce of humans is a very lucrative business and it should be stopped.

But any discussion on this subject wakes up a sort of Pavlovian reaction. If you mention immigration in the wrong crowd, accusations of racism, xenophobia, or fascism are thrown immediately at you.

This is why most people who rationally, as opposed to racially, object to illegal immigration, are very careful in expressing themselves. They do not want to be part of wild testosterone-filled young hooligans who go around bashing anybody who happens to be or look a stranger, No doubt, these gangs are made up by the less intelligent members of society, youths without jobs or proper education, who would be violent even if the foreigners didn’t exist, it is a pretext to let out frustration.

Lately though, the general public is waking up to the dangers posed by immigrants who commit violent crimes. Berlusconi, so much criticised by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, the Bibles of liberal culture, has won the last election because promised a stricter policy in immigration. This new policy has given rise to loud protests from radical left quarters, but the recognition of the force of a popular vote is stronger.

Anyway, regarding immigration, Italians (as Americans, I hear) have a schizophrenic approach. It is well known that the economy would not function without immigration. Here in Switzerland, where I was treated in a clinic, more than half of the medical personnel was from abroad.

Families employ baby sitters and home help from the Philippine, South America, Ukraine, … They are the same people who cry against immigration . It is not sufficient to berate the local workforce which doesn’t want to do certain jobs which are then taken up by foreigners, it is a matter worth of deep and open investigation.

Moreover, the immigration issue is also a responsibility of the Catholic Church.

Italy is the country in Europe mostly influenced by the Church. Though Italians obviously do not respect the ban on contraception, the Church’s influence is felt in the political arena and in the media. No days pass by that some declaration of a Bishop isn’t printed in the media or publicised on TV. At the moment the Church is worried about the “culle vuote” (empty cradles) phenomenon and it is urging the government to offer more incentives for the Italians to procreate.

Similarly, every newspaper of the land is in favour of such government policies, and perfectly in tune with the fear of “birth dearth” and consequent pensions crisis, that is sweeping the European Union (EU).

These fears, while totally in accord with the Christian doctrine (of grow and multiply: the Providence will… well, provide, it is its job), they are very foolish coming from a secular presumably rational body.

I shall shortly post some anti-Malthusian articles by Vatican-approved sites, that explain this point of view. Interesting.

Immigration is justified also by the Church in the name of the “accoglienza” (welcome) to the needy, which is the charitable Christian doctrine: in fact, the Church is doing its job.

But government policies shouldn’t be dominated by external pressures.

But in this matter, the government is listening not to the Church but to rather other influent lobbies, mainly the powerful industries.

Especially the manufactures of the North East and the construction industry. This last body is the most obnoxious polluter and destroyer of what is left of a beautiful country. It makes me cry, when travelling along the Adriatic coast I see kilometres of disgraceful secondary homes hastily arranged in front of a once pristine beach, and all this is done with the help of some poor Albanians and Romanians, who, when the bonanza is finished, as it will soon (see Spain and France’s housing crisis) be without work. And the Italians, the ones who didn’t want to take such a lowly jobs, will also remain without hope of even those lowly jobs.

Further information: with the Italian group Rientrodolce, we are trying to influence policies, pushing for a recognition of overpopulation together with the concomitant issues of energy depletion and food crisis. Unfortunately at the moment I am not allowed to explain the dangers of immigration, but you cannot have everything….

I would like to do something similar through this groups which I have just joined, to propagate the message of overpopulation and, where possible, the madness of unlimited immigration, in the public arena. We must not only talk to each other , but find a way to be visible and authoritative.

I do not know yet how, but we will come up with some ideas, OK?

See you soon

Marisa