The economic and social crisis we are experiencing is the product of a deception, a lie, a trap. Unemployment, recession, the general progressive impoverishment, destruction of natural resources and of fundamental human relations, are the poisonous fruit of a mystification, a deadly illusion: that the free market is the path of individual freedom, that the satisfaction of the spirit lies in consumption, that money is the true God and the source of happiness. The truth is that the finance’s dominance is the cause of material poverty and of the ethical and civil misery of our society. In the specific case of Italy, the political and legislative choices the ruling class has made over the last few decades have not been oriented to the pursuit of the common good, but to the achievement of power and personal wealth. It has betrayed the principles of equality and solidarity, the very principles that the Italian Constitutionalists Fathers indicated as the basis of a peaceful and fair national coexistence.
So, if Yes wins in the upcoming Italian Referendum on the constitutional reform, it will be the ultimate disaster and a real coup against the Italian Parliamentary Republic. This is not what eleventh-hour conspiracy theorists fed by John Le Carre’s novels say – the latter, by the way, was born from first-hand experience as a secret agent -. To wave the banner of national consciousness, with a newly released book: “Gli inganni della finanza” Finance and Its Treacheries (Donzelli Editore, € 19.00) is a distinguished magistrate, Paolo Maddalena, former Vice-President of the Constitutional Court, after a long career in teaching and science, a judicial career in administrative, constitutional, and environmental law, and as President of Chamber at the Court of Auditors. An eventful career, which began immediately after graduating as an assistant to a great jurist of Roman law, Antonio Guarino, holding positions in different areas of law, as a consultant for the Ministry of Education and that of Environment, or as a professor of European Community law for cultural heritage. The judge Paolo Maddalena has an all-round experience in law, he has always lived in the light of an authentic and profound Christian faith. In Terris has interviewed him. Below his personal slap in the face of those who support Yes in the referendum and all the sleeping citizens.
Judge Maddalena, neo-liberalism – an extreme form of liberalism that lies at the basis of the capitalist system and proposes a notion of freedom understood as absence of moral rules, which are considered “laces” for private initiative, regarded as the supreme good, and for the free market – as you say, created the economic disaster, causing an ethical and social massacre. We need “renovation.” Where should we start?
“We should begin with people’s direct participation in politics and in the decisions that affect the life of the community. To understand the dangers and the great deception of neoliberalism, with the promise of infinite growth, we must look at the roots of its inspiring thought. Neoliberalism has come forward in the thirties, with Hayek. US President Roosevelt, intelligently and well advised by his wife Eleanor, had put aside these ideas in favor of Keynes’s economic vision, inspired by the social good and the concept of equality. According to Keynes, redistributing wealth to the workers, who spend money in shops, is not only right from an ethical and social perspective, but it also triggers a virtuous economic circle. Unfortunately, the neoliberal commodifying thought advanced with the American Friedman, who convinced the lobbies of power and money with its ideas of centralization of wealth in a few hands and a market based on competition rather than exchange, replacing the value of real goods with that of the currency. Pinochet has applied this method in Chile, and we have all witnessed that, after an initial expectation of an economic ‘miracle’, Chile precipitated into a disastrous situation. Unfortunately, Friedman’s thought prevailed also in the United States. It is at the basis of the International Monetary Fund and was applied also by President Clinton, and was implemented in Europe under the Lisbon Treaty. Here is the origin of the serious economic crisis we are living at present. It is the crisis of a wrong economic model. Citizens need to understand it and partake in politics, exercising their civil rights again instead of leaving their choices in the hands of the few people who govern and who are in the service of private interests and not in that of the common good. Political representatives are slaves of financial powers, oil, weapons, and drug lobbies. Citizens must recover their sovereignty. The first meeting is to vote No in the referendum on the Renzi-Boschi constitutional reform.”
Why do we have to vote No in the referendum?
“This so-called reform helps only the strong financial powers. Amending Article 138 of the Constitution, which guarantees the constitutional review, through the double resolution of the House and that of the Senate, after reducing the latter to a bunch of easily maneuverable puppets, would alter the parliamentary nature of our Republic, hence democracy itself. It would be an internal coup, an Erdogan-style Italian coup. Afterwards, the Government will be able to easily cancel all the rights. It would be a dictatorship of the finance. A real coup, which has begun with the assassination of Aldo Moro. In the name of freedom of investment and competition, everything has been sold to the international economic powers: the country’s assets, future, and even rights. This referendum will decide on the fate of the Italian Republic. Citizens need to understand it.”
What is the biggest financial deceit?
“First of all, that this is the only way, the only viable economic theory. Then, the idea that everything has a price and ca be quantified in money. The coin is a fraud. The free competition is a lie. There is no free competition. Decisions are take during secret summits, where decisions are made to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, trampling basic human rights to health, education, work, and family. This is a goal of Freemasonry: to gather the world’s wealth in the hands of a few people. The world market has become a big casino, which functions as a supranational Parliament and plays with our lives. In Brussels, the large monetary lobbies enter and leave with envelopes in their hands, write laws, Regulations, Directives that affect our lives. It is the genocide of the peoples that live in democratic regimes.”
Your book is dedicated to Luciano Gallino, who died recently. A shiny analyst of contemporary society. What, in the thinking of this great intellectual, has inspired you the most?
“His death was ignored by the media. He was the only one to tell the truth. He spoke of the ‘Coup’ of the banks and governments. The crisis of capitalism and the anthropological and environmental crisis are two sides of the same coin, Gallino said. The public debt is a financial lie. It consists of interests on interests on more interests. On the average, Italy spends much less than other European countries on social spending, we should be able to spend more, renegotiate the debt, as it happened in Germany in the past, which did not respect for five years the budgetary constraints imposed by the Maastricht Treaty, did not pay war damages, requesting a 30-year extension to pay the debt and eventually it was allowed not to pay the interests. Monti introduce the balanced-budget in the Italian Constitution, but this is contrary to all the fundamental values of the Constitution itself, with the principle of substantive equality of all citizens and the principle of solidarity. They are reducing us to absolute material and spiritual poverty. A real economy is based on real goods. Whereas at present monetary and financial assets that do not even exist are sold and bought. People are being killed because of them.”
Recently, Norberto Bobbio analyzed political crisis exactly in terms of inability to effectively ensure the principle of equality. According to him, the latter played a role of utmost importance in political success. The single, liberal thought has canceled this principle. Politicians no longer talk about justice and solidarity, but about change or preservation…
“As always, Bobbio has grasped the crux of the issue. Of the three Enlightenment principles, which are the basis of democratic constitutions – liberty, equality, and fraternity -, equality is the most important, because without it, there is neither freedom nor fraternity. Inequality produces war, power struggle, and social hatred. Politics changes the language, speaks of ‘change’ and ‘innovation’ to deceive people and lead them to destruction, like the Pied Piper and the mice in Hamelin’s fairy tale. And this is taking place in general indifference.”
In Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Praised Be”, you see the design of a path for a new and healthy economy, which starts from the “beauty” of being together, in the human family, the true wealth…
“Yes, exactly. Pope Francis follows the thread of beauty on the way of spiritual and economic salvation. Beauty lies in nature, art, and life. That is the beauty of life, to live together, in peace, communion, and exchange. Thus was born the human civilization. The man left the herd and became a citizen, a civilian. Life is relationship and collaboration, among ourselves and with mother earth. If we are unable to give primacy to life, in all its forms, as unity in diversity, we will not find salvation. Life is the fundamental value of nature, and positive law has degenerated when it lost its connection with the natural law. We affronted the laws of nature long time ago, to legitimize our vices and errors, in individualistic arrogance. For Christians, there can only be an economy of communion. In my opinion, a liberal cannot say (s)he is a true Christian, because liberalism is contrary to our faith. Jesus said you cannot love me and Mammon. The god of money creates injustice and oppression and is irreconcilable with the God of Love.”