Prepared Remarks by Movisol Member Claudio Giudici to the
Schiller Institute Conference in Berlin, Feb. 25
"The Mass-Strike Process in Italy and the Role of the
"I dedicate this message to those who
"To all those who see things
"You can quote them. Disagree with them.
"You can glorify or denigrate them, but the only thing
you can't do is ignore them.
"Because they are able to change things.
"... And while some might call them crazy, I see their
"Because only those who are crazy enough to think they
can change the world, really change it."
Greetings to everyone! First of all
let me thank the Schiller Institute for this opportunity. I think that
considering what we risk facing in this period, it is important for me to tell
you the story of the Italian taxi drivers over the past three months, as a
symbol of a process of resistance -- as I was able to explain to the Financial
Times -- of the workforce against speculation.
In fact, this is a first idea we can concentrate on if we
want to understand the historical phase we are living through, and where we can
find the solutions to make it full of success for all of humanity: we are faced
with a clash between speculation and work, empires and the nation-state, and
thus between those who act as parasites, and those who express the most
profound nature of man with a specific social function. Work versus
speculation! Nations versus Empires! Not workers versus consumers as is said
today, or laborers versus capitalists! Not Italy versus Germany! Not a clash of
civilizations as proposed by Prof. Samuel Huntington! And thus not the West
against the Islamic world!
The clash is between financial speculation and productive
work, between those who have an imperial conception of the social order and
those who have a republican one, centered on nation-states. The clash is
between those who have an optimistic view of human nature and believe in the
deepest cognitive-creative abilities of man -- as we are taught in the
Judeo-Christian tradition, from the 13th Century B.C., to Socrates and Plato,
St. Augustine, the Florentine Renaissance, Leibniz, Schiller, up to Martin
Luther King and Lyndon LaRouche today -- and those who, on the other hand, have
a pessimistic view of human nature, a Hobbesian view where an oligarchy of
presumed illuminati must hold off the many in a vision that is precisely
anti-Promethean. If I think of the current Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti,
or Minister Fornero, these people are demanding sacrifice and restrictions for
Italian citizens, while for themselves, as ``enlightened ones,'' and for their
relatives, the rules can be diametrically opposite.
In Italy, the process that Lyndon LaRouche
has described for decades has become evident: speculative processes are taking
over of people's lives, the economy, nation-states, and democracy. In
Italy, this all became evident at the time when an elected government was
deposed by a series of speculative attacks which allowed for the financial
oligarchy to place its own men at the head of the government and important
ministries. The specific methods were different, although the same framework is
the same, and thus we are seeing the second phase of what in Italy is called
the ``Britannia'' operation, after the first phase back in 1992.
We all know that the first time, George
Soros played an important role in the disintegration of the European Monetary
System (EMS) and the devaluation of the Italian currency, the Lira, thus
facilitating the acquisition of public industries and policy banks by private
national and international financial potentates. Today, we do not yet
have a specific name to identify this second phase -- although it is very
likely that once again Soros has played an important role -- but we know that
behind all of this is the British Empire that implements a strategy of
destruction of nation-states and reduction of the global population. On the
latter point, the winds of war blowing from Syria and Iran, as the detonator of
a broader conflict that would involve Russia and China, are there to tell us
that the Malthusian design of Prince Philip of Edinburgh could be fulfilled
very quickly. However, we have a historic chance to prevent all of this and
restore an authentic perspective of development for the entire planet. We will
come back to this point later.
In Italy, with the announcement of the
initial measures to be taken by the Monti Government, a mass-strike broke out,
which has already begun to emerge in various areas of the western world, and
that in Northern Africa led to the fall of governments, although without a
strategic and positive solution for the relevant populations.
With the ``Grow Italy'' decree, Monti
attempted to transfer entire markets to the financial oligarchy. While
he told the citizens that it was necessary to create development, lower prices
and new jobs, those who no longer believe in fairy tales recognized the same
old free trade scheme that Friedrich List called ``kicking away the ladder,''
that ``little system'' that by essentially eliminating any rules in the market,
places entire sectors at the mercy of the strongest financial interests, which
then end up fully controlling them.
Actually, without having to go back to
examples from the 1800s that made the clash between the republican resistance
and the British Empire (the empire of liberalization) famous in Italy as well,
there have been numerous instructive cases of this type in the recent period:
from the liberalization/deregulation measures introduced in the retail sector
in 1998, to those for real estate in 1992, and truck drivers in the 1980s. In
all of these instances of ``noble'' liberalization of the market, the result
has always been the same: concentration of the sectors in a few, dominant
hands, unstable working conditions, and a reduction in the quality of the
This is why, when I read in the pages of
the Financial Times that the ``resistance of the [bad] corporations'' was
blocking ``Robin Hood'' Monti, I immediately acted to point out that in
reality, we were seeing a case of true democratic resistance in the labor force
-- taxi drivers, newsstand owners, pharmacists, shopkeepers, independent
professionals, etc. -- who were simply legitimately defending their work in
order to avoid becoming a morsel for the sharks of finance, who are running out
of oxygen and thus frantically seeking new assets, after the beginning of the
financial crisis in August 2007.
The government launched a campaign of
mystification against these workers, depicting them as a privileged few who had
caused the crisis in Italy. Despite not saying this explicitly, the
media drumbeat was literally driving this message into the collective thinking
of the Italian population. This led to the mass-strike, which I consider to
still be going on, although it is physically less evident.
What we organized thanks to the union I am
a part of, Uritaxi, with the full support of the national leader Loreno
Bittarelli, can be called Operation ``Truth.'' We produced thousands of
leaflets denouncing the true goals of Monti and liberalization, the real rates
and quality of the Italian taxi service, and we supplied all of the taxis in
Italy with these leaflets and others; we then used the strength of social
networks and the word-of-mouth communication that approximately 60,000 taxi
drivers could deploy and to launch a parallel information system as a
counterweight to the mass media which had literally ostracized us: in fact,
entire prime time talk shows were spent talking about taxis or other categories
of workers, without every allowing a representative of the category to respond.
So thanks to Operation ``Truth'' the mass media began to realize that
these workers also have the right to speak on their shows, to the point that we
even got our point of view published in the financial oligarchy's own
newspaper, the Financial Times.
Once we were able to address the general
public, we raised the stakes and publicly denounced the role of speculation in
the current crisis, and spoke of Glass-Steagall, the role of Lyndon LaRouche,
and the need to stop the liberalism of Adam Smith and rediscover Franklin
In a similar manner, the pharmacists,
newsstand owners, and others began to move. Gradually, the resistance
movement, this mass-strike, expanded to the point of involving not only those
who were directly affected by the ``Grow Italy'' decree, but affected in any
manner by Monti's blood and tears measures, in particular due to the new taxes
on gasoline. So truck drivers, fishermen and farmers, took to the streets and
even blocked parts of the highway network. In the South -- a region that is
poor, and thus feels the effects of Monti's measures even more -- there have
been mobilizations of the entire population, that starting from Sicily ended up
involving other regions in a protest against the government.
Today, the Italian population is more
conscious of the fact that the current crisis is due to speculation by the
large investment banks. More conscious, but of course, not yet conscious
However, if we succeed in forcing the
adoption of the Glass-Steagall standard, that separates investment banks from
commercial banks, in addition to restoring the true conditions for development
of the global economy, we will have averted the danger of a third world war. In
fact, the pretext for provocative diplomatic actions by western diplomacy in
areas of the world they don't control but that are under the sphere of
influence of Russia and China, would be removed.
In the campaign for the restoration of
Glass-Steagall, both the LaRouche movement in Italy, Movisol, and the NoBigBanks.it
Committee are on the front lines. The General Secretary of Movisol
Andrew Spannaus worked directly with Sen. Oskar Peterlini to call for the
restoration of Glass-Steagall. If Italy were to do this, we would become an
example for many other courageous countries.
We must believe in the possibility to
change the course of history. The hundreds of activists present here can
be decisive for changing history and transforming this 2012 from the year of a
tragedy -- as a certain popular fad is promoting with the prophecy of the Mayas
-- to a year of cultural revolution and development for all of humanity.
We have to be crazy as Gandhi says, as
Erasmus of Rotterdam says! We will succeed in changing the course of
history! We must believe that we can and must change the course of history!
This will be the greatest act of love that we can carry out for our neighbors.
On the day before his death, Franklin
Delano Roosevelt wrote: ``The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be
our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.''