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Il Tradimento di Napoli

The Betrayal of Naples: suggested version


The Neapolitan waste /rubbish crisis prompts wider debate /raises questions on so-called sustainable development and the ideology behind it: triumphant and undisciplined liberalism.

Sustainable development no longer means centuries of expansion, endless exploration and unlimited consumerism. The earth’s resources are not infinite, cities are not without limits, the squalor that could once be transferred from rich to poor is now on everyone’s doorstep. 

Civic cohabitation / living in civic society is no longer a question of individual will but of social commitment / duty / obligation. If someone makes a mess, they make a mess for everyone. Recycling waste calls for discipline, in mature societies it is it is an example of socialism, and is not simply a question of fairness but is essential for our very survival. We are witnessing the end of the pioneering form of individualism and the right to defend one’s independence regardless of the cost now appears absurd. To say that the rubbish crisis provides a lesson in civic duty / public spirit will provide meagre consolation, but certainly everyone needs to play a part in communal duties and communal defences.

Social anarchy is no longer an option. Our way of producing and of consuming can no longer be tolerated if it means retaining both personal and administrative divisions.

The tragedy of the waste disposal crisis in Campania forces us to reflect on corruption and the tolerance of corruption. The greatest fault of ‘Berlusconismo’* (the policies of the Berlusconi government) that is to say the worst sort of liberalism, has been the continual and often impudent preaching of tolerance for the corrupt and for the arrogant and devious capitalists.* Above all, the Neapolitan waste disposal disaster stems from the corrupt management of public administration and from private criminality.

  • The term Berlusconismo is commonly used in the British media
  • i furbetti del quartierino is an idiomatic expression, often used by Italian journalists, with no clear English equivalent.