The summer of rebirth

Publish date 13-09-2023

by Gian Maria Ricciardi

Then, in the years of rubble on the street and at home, it was an explosion of ideas, gestures and choices: a human, sociological, political, economic phenomenon, almost like the wave of an immense underground river that he put together the pieces of a mosaic dismantled by the war. The Italy of reconstruction took shape like this. It was 1946 when Alcide De Gasperi flew to New York to ask for grain because there was hunger. Here he walked with his clothes "turned inside out"; on the table the scent of anchovies; only fantasy in your pocket. Then, as now, a new wind was blowing, but we had to be able to stop it. In Romagna, after the "water earthquake", they have already done it. We will do it again too.

After the war the panorama was desolate: houses with too many damp spots; the economy of a cow, chickens and two plots of land; no factory, but only a few artisans' "boita"; on the roads devastated by the armored vehicles of the Nazis and fascists, only carts; in the fields the fragmentation of a cultivation of necessity; the woods splintered by bombings and roundups. Yet, that underground river of energy moved everything. In fact, there was a strong integration between economic value and social values. The secret lies there. Even now we will need a new alliance, a solidarity pact between municipalities, businesses and companies to merge state welfare with that of businesses. The desire for redemption was extraordinary and it will be like this again in the flooded lands and within us devastated by Covid.

The closing credits of the last film (which after Covid paralyzed the world) have already passed. The lights go back on in the room and we start again.
– We begin to "feel" the fragilities again, but also "that desire for a turning point" after tragedies. The climate, strengthened by the disaster with which the earth has been managed until now, is multiplying floods, deaths and droughts. Maybe it's no longer a good idea to stand by and watch. We are the tragedy of Emilia. But the "mud angels", young and organized with social media, are writing the turning point. Thank you!
– In homes, in the streets, in society there is a rapidly increasing level of dissatisfaction that is poisoning all relationships. What to do?
– The national health service, which saved us, is crying (like Modugno's telephone!). Woe betide it if it doesn't grow and strengthen by trampling on the poor to the advantage of the usually rich.
– Stop surviving on precarious employment: we need a strategic plan for work. Industrialists are trying, but the State must intervene heavily so that costs decrease and are competitive.
– There are signs out there of a heartbreaking loneliness that certainly cannot be cured with social media. It must be embraced with all strength and form. Condominium carers are welcome.
– There is also a great desire to isolate oneself and take refuge in private life: everywhere you see people fiddling with their cell phones, covering themselves with headphones. An exaggeration!
– The Italy of resentment for everything is growing again: for trampled and denied rights, for injustices, for abuses, the arrogance of power and so on. But now there is more: there exists, with many factors to blame, a thin thread of hatred that risks undermining relationships, lives, days.

Then, in the post-war period, the cities and towns slowly revived; the crowded oratories; games, dances, prayers are back; we discussed and voted even then; cultural circles and social networks were born; mutual aid societies have changed the face of society. Good politics saved us once, it can do it again. It is a dream that can be repeated, perhaps, with a pinch of madness and the impetus that comes from the "social saints".

Gian Mario Ricciardi
NP June / July 2023

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