Friedrich Schiller Denkmal
Friedrich Schiller

25.-26. Februar 2012

"Nichts mehr davon, ich bitt euch. Zu essen gebt ihm, zu wohnen.
Habt ihr die Blöße bedeckt, gibt sich die Würde von selbst."
Friedrich Schiller


Securing Mankind's Future

Die Zukunft der Menschheit sichern

International Conference
25 - 26 February, 2012 - Berlin, Germany

Claudio Giudici
Italian Taxi Union Leader
Resistance in Italy to the EU Dictatorship

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 LaRouche Movement"


"I dedicate this message to those who are crazy.

"To all those who see things differently.

"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 genius.

"Because only those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, really change it."

--Mahatma Gandhi--


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 economic process.

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 Roosevelt.

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 enough!

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 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.''