We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Italy is by no means immune to the problems affecting everybody else in the Western world, but her odds are better than those of several other countries. Through contact with Italians, I get the impression of a country whose national heart is still beating, a people still in touch with their roots and believing that their cultural survival is desirable, which is no mean feat given the suicidal state of our civilization in this age. When observing Italy, I see sickness but also life; and where there is life, there is hope. Something tells me that the story of Italy as a vibrant heartland of European civilization still contains more chapters to be written. If we are lucky, her struggle for survival and rebirth can inspire others far beyond her borders.
...commenters speculated that Italy’s innate regionalism might be one of the key factors that inoculates it against the most pernicious post-modern political diseases.
Our regular Italian commenter Ioshkafutz confirmed this viewpoint, and provided us with a comprehensive and engaging summary of Italian culture, which is reproduced below. It has been edited minimally for spelling, punctuation, and clarity:
Italy is many countries. A Milanese is closer to an Austrian than to a Sicilian, A Torinese to a Frenchman than a Calabrese. When I go to my Roman caffé / bar at night and Neapolitans truckdrivers enter, I don’t understand a word, or rather, just barely enough to know they are Italians. The rest could be Ancient Greek.
They — the Neapolitans — have their own musical genres, theater, and even cinema… all still thriving.
They’ll defend the legacy of the Borboni when Naples was a Capital city. They never really digested the Piedmontese invasion. The Romans instead have, also because when Rome became the Capital city and Mussolini brought cinema to Rome (he is responsible for cinecittà) Turin was marginalized.
I read the brief outline of Italian history above.
I would like to remind the authors that Italy has never been a mere "province" of the Roman Empire,but it actually was identified since the beginning of the Empire with Rome itself.
Italians were the only people in The Empire who were exempted from paying taxes,and the most trusted and loyal of all militay units in the Roman army,the Praetorian Guard,had by law to be made up only by Italian natives.
Italians were granted Roman citizenship by birth from Republican times right afetr the social wars,the only ones to enjoy such privilege for a long time.
I suggest reading Andrea Giardina's "L'Italia romana" for an in-depth look at the biunivocal relationship existing since the earliest times od the Republic between Rome and the rest of Italy.