A bitter blood feud between two rival southern Italian crime families erupted on the streets of a northern German city early Wednesday morning, as the police in Duisburg found the bodies of five Italian men in two parked cars.
There's a lot that can be said here, but let's highlight some of it:
In some ways, two allies in WWII, have chosen very different cultural and economic paths. Germany is a thriving industrial nation that at one time was known for having a strong currency (Deutsch Mark), which for many years post WWII was the backbone of the European economy. The West Germans worked hard and played hard (in the days after the war), rebuilding a modern state that in many ways was the envy of Europe.
But more importantly, I'd like to highlight this: During my two years spent in that nation (1978-80), I found the German people to be respecters of the law and lovers of order. The only reason Germany has had trouble socially and economically in recent years, is due the reunification. Years of Communist rule in the former East Germany has been a drain on those that live in the area that was once West Germany. And to be sure, many former East Germans have had some difficulty adjusting to life in the new Europe. But on this one point let's be clear on something (and make no mistake doing it): Almost all Germans, whether from the former East or West, still have deep respect for law and order.
On the other hand, Italy has seen numerous governments, since the end of the war; and historically, their economy has struggled much more so than their German counterparts. So, in stark contrast to Germany, Italians seem to thrive on chaos and uncertainty. Whereas Germany has progressed, Italy has (in many ways) regressed.
In the days before the unification of the Italian States, rich, powerful, and sometimes ruthless families ruled the peninsula, which once housed one of the most powerful empires in the history of the civilization, Rome. Today, there are still areas on that peninsula that have yet to modernize their thinking, sufficiently enough to shed the image of those pre-unification days.
If you've read Mustangs latest post, then let's do some pondering, shall we?
We know that Rome fell for many reasons, some of which are clearly outlined in Mustang's piece. Many people are very much of the opinion that the U.S. is headed down the same path as Rome. So we see how things are done in some areas that Rome once controlled, which are inhabited by the descendants of that culture. And yet, it should come as no surprise that there is always the distinct possibility of our nation deteriorating further than it already has, maybe to the point the Italian peninsula has managed to reach.
I wonder, how would the U.S look carved up into sections, similar in the manner Italy was, after the fall of the Western Empire? Would it yield the same outcome(s)? Or have we gotten to that point already and just do not recognize it, thinking we are okay? Would we return to a chaotic state like it was in the days pre-WWI, with lawlessness reigning supreme (like in the days of the old west)?
I do not ask these things to be flippant. Because from where I sit, it looks like we are almost (if not already) there.