I would like here to suggest Professor Carlo Maria Cipolla's five fundamental laws of stupidity to analyze the Italian case. Professor Cipolla divided the society in 4 groups of people on the basis of:
- Benefits and losses that an individual causes to others.
- Benefits and losses that an individual causes to him or herself.
- Intelligent people (top right)
- Helpless / Naive people (top left)
- Bandits (bottom right)
- Stupid people (bottom left)
Cipolla further refines his definition of "Bandits" (B) and "Helpless People" (H) by noting that members of these groups can either add to or detract from the general welfare, depending on the relative gains (or losses) that they cause themselves and society. A bandit may enrich himself more or less than he impoverishes society, and a helpless person may enrich society more or less than he impoverishes himself.
It would appear that in the bottom right quadrant, the B could also stand for Berlusconi:
I do remember that on 4 April 2006, less than a week before the upcoming political elections in Italy, during a speech given at the National Chamber for Trade, Berlusconi stated that he holds "too high esteem of the Italians' intelligence to think that there are so many coglioni (literally "testicles", a vulgar term often used about people considered stupid) around voting against their interest".
I wonder if Mr. Berlusconi studied the book of Professor Cipolla, although he omitted to place correctly himself in the quadrants.
On the other hand, according to the Third Basic Law of Stupidity, a stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses. This is exactly happening voting for Berlusconi's government and parties. We still do not see any gain for Italians but we are seeing losses such as Italy negative economic growth, debt and deficits increases, country international image being tarnished, let alone apparent losses in taxpayers money as state flights are being used to fly singers and other guests to private parties in Sardinia and to carry out election campaign by Government's members.
Under these circumstances, Italians voting Berlusconi would appear helpless people (with perhaps some overtones of stupidity of area H1) as they take an action and suffer a loss while producing a gain to somebody else.
In a country which is moving downhill, I would add clearly like Italy, Professor Cipolla writes that "the fraction of stupid people is still equal to å; however in the remaining population one notices among those in power an alarming proliferation of the bandits with overtones of stupidity (sub-area B1 of quadrant B) and among those not in power an equally alarming growth in the number of helpless individuals (area H in basic graph). Such change in the composition of the non-stupid population inevitably strengthens the destructive power of the å fraction and makes decline a certainty. And the country goes to Hell."
Is Italy going to Hell?