1994-2014 Berlusconi’s new ventennio

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A PORTRAIT OF ITALY AND ITS GODFATHER – FROM TODAY’S EROSION OF DEMOCRACY TO A NEAR-FUTURE NEW KIND OF NON-VIOLENT TOTALITARIANISM. This book is not only a portrait of Italy’s godfather, it is also a detailed picture of Italian society at large, an attempt to let the foreign reader understand how it has been possible for a mafia-linked business magnate and media tycoon, constantly in trouble with justice and drenched in vice, to become the most popular political leader and the absolute master of the country for the last twenty years. Berlusconi is the very symbol of a concentration of political, economic and media power in one single person never seen before, a fact that has created the greatest conflicts of interests in the Western World: his almost complete control of all Italian information became a Weapon of Mass Deception that turned viewers into faithful voters, his laws ad-personam made him almost untouchable by the Judicial Power and favoured his business and financial activities in an unfair game. Berlusconi is the emblem of corruption, of disrespect for the law, of the liaison organized crime – politics, of immoral behaviour that are typical of that ‘immoral majority’ of the country which has no civic and civil consciousness. The author points out these dark sides of Italy and, in so doing, he gives voice to the law-abiding ‘moral minority’. The tone is often satirical, as the writer describes his country also through his eyes and his everyday experience. The Italy that emerges is a double sided nation because its well-known surface beauty – its monuments, its art, its creativity, its climate, its natural beauty, its fashion, its cuisine, the friendship of the people – hides an underlying Inferno. The author claims that the erosion of democracy of Berlusconi’s ventennio should be a warning to Western democracies as it represents a trend of modern capitalism. This tendency has been predicted by some British and American ‘dystopian’ writers since the mid XX century (from Huxley and Orwell up to contemporary writers) to whom a chapter is dedicated. An appendix is devoted to A. Huxley, whose 1958 essay Brave New World Revisited is an astonishing anticipation of a would-be techno dictator like Berlusconi and of the risk of a near-future new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. VITTORIO VANDELLI is a teacher of English Language and Literature, a writer of fiction and an essayist. He has made seminars, lectures and courses on British and American literature, music and cinema. He has written articles and essays on education, a series of satirical novels and short-stories on the Italian school system and noir novels (his latest one is Dark City, Solfanelli publisher, 2013). For a complete bio-bibliography visit his personal internet site.

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