by Bernardo Ferrero
On the night between the 23rd and the 24th of August, panic hit the central cities of Italy in the wake of an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 on the richter scale. 295 deaths, 293 severely damaged medieval churches, and semi-destroyed cities (including Amatrice, Accumoli, and Pescara del tronto) were the result.
In light of this tragedy, instead of reconsidering the role of free markets and property rights — thereby questioning the economic and social implications of keeping the security of an entire population in the hands of the most byzantine bureaucracy in Europe (it costs the Italian public 30 billion euros per annum) — politicians and journalists have clung to another question: “who’s to blame for the disaster?” Just as every other question formulated by the political-intellectual elite, it was soon to be followed by: “how much more to spend?”
Anxious of finding “the bad guy,” newspapers and different public figures have embarked upon some witch hunting. Among them were some conspiracy theorists — like Gianni Lannes — who blamed NATO and its the secret program of aerosol chemotherapy, as the real homo faber of this natural calamity. Another absurdity came from Daniela Martani — a particularly respected figure in the vegan movement — who went as far as to say that the earthquake was just the karma revolting against Amatrice (epicenter of the earthquake) for being the birthplace of the “meaty” pasta all’amatriciana.