I want you, dear reader, to use your imagination for a moment. I shall now provide a little mental stimulation and tell you which nation you have just imagined, though you may guess before reaching the end of this far from imaginative text.
Imagine a nation where:
- politicians have worked for decades to create a system which promotes, reinforces, and promulgates corruption.
- politicians are little more than crowd pleasing entertainers.
- the very same politicians create laws to protect themselves from arrest and in so doing openly flout one of the most fundamental principles of the nation’s constitution. A nation in which stories of corruption appear in newspapers and on television virtually daily. A nation whose capital city has been penetrated by a corrupt mafia.
- this nation’s anti-corruption laws are carefully drafted by the corrupt.
- the justice system has been rendered so slow as to be virtually ineffective.
- statutory time limits have been manipulated to ensure court cases can rarely reach their natural conclusions.
- the corrupt control banks and run virtually all of the nation’s most powerful institutions.
In the very same nation, earthquakes and natural disasters are seen as business opportunities by unscrupulous business people who may have been involved in the construction of buildings which collapsed when earthquakes occurred.
A nation where an immigration emergency became so lucrative for the corrupt that it was seen as being more profitable than dealing in drugs.
A nation in which the costs of massive public works schemes mysteriously and repeatedly double and triple. Nobody does a thing to prevent the same situation from occurring over and over again. In this same nation, shell companies have never been declared illegal. Nor is it likely they ever will be.
Imagine too that this nation has a massive national debt owing to dire administration.
This nation has an enormous problem with tax evasion yet never acts to counter the problem. Instead, it piles taxes on those who cannot avoid paying taxes.
The youth of this nation see no future and are leaving in droves. Others have no jobs and no prospects.
In this nation, areas have been polluted, valuable cultural assets crumble and certain politicians steal valuable relics.
A nation in which real estate is purchased one day and then, barely raising eyebrows, disposed of the next at a massive profit.
A nation in which palatial villas are bought as presents and where friends are offered seats in the nation’s legislature so they can hide behind parliamentary immunity.
In this nation, corrupt politicians can only be arrested if this is the will of their fellow politicians and it rarely is. One can imagine why.
Imagine too that in this nation, an electoral system has been constructed that is so distorted that it ensures the corrupt are recycled repeatedly.
In this nation, part of electorate has been duped into voting for the same corrupt people over and over and over again. This section of the nation’s voters are so numbed, they rarely complain.
The other section of the nation’s electorate keeps voting for the same corrupt people repeatedly because it knows it will benefit from relationships with certain friends.
In this nation, fewer and fewer citizens believe voting does any good.
The vast majority of the media in this nation is not used to inform and educate but to distort the truth, spread propaganda and protect those occupying ivory towers.
In this very same nation, there is not one, but several organized crime gangs. These gangs have been allowed to grow so powerful that they can buy all the politicians and officials they want or kill those they don’t. Indeed, in this nation, certain politicians and officials welcome and often encourage the approaches of ruthless criminals. The president of this nation is suspected of having negotiated with criminals and then abused his power to hide evidence.
Another politician in this nation formed an alliance with a ruthless criminal organization and ended up as the nation’s prime minister on more than one occasion. This individual is still pulling strings despite being kicked out of the nation’s parliament.
Imagine that in this nation those who have built up such an extensive, lucrative, and corrupt network suddenly turn round one fine day and announce they will end the system which makes them very rich and protects them from arrest, over and over again. The very same system which has been tweaked to ensure punishments for corruption are so lenient as to be laughable.
The nation you have just imagined is Italy. Does anyone in their right minds really think Italy’s inherently corrupt politicians are really likely to shoot the goose which supplies then with so many golden eggs? No, of course not. Poor, ill, Italy.