In an open letter to the President of the Italian Republic on “Il Corriere della Sera” – Thursday 4, September 1975 – Pier Paolo Pasolini had written a critique on modern lifestyle. Specifically, it’s about Italian politics, but the picture he traced of mass society is clear.
It touches on the topic of summer holidays to show the reality of Italy around the 70s. This cross-section highlights the change Italy faced, making you feel the craziness of what was happening. So, Pasolini explains a vision of the world that fascinated us. Which we have welcomed, accepted, and, therefore, contributed to prosper.
Although it is about Italy, we can find commonalities in many other countries. Indeed, it is worth reading to understand modern lifestyle and how to change it for the better.
Pasolini’s words on modern lifestyle
Here is an excerpt:
“I saw them, I saw them in crowds on August 15th. They were images of the most insolent frenzy, and they put such a commitment to having fun at all costs that they seemed in a state of ‘raptus’: it was difficult not to consider them contemptible or, in any case, consciously unconscious.
They have been deceived, mocked. A sudden and violent reversal (as regards Italy) of the method of production destroyed all their ‘particular’ and ‘real’ previous works, changing their form and their behaviour: and the new existential, purely pragmatic, values of the ‘welfare’ have taken away all dignity from them. But that was not enough: after being made monstrous (puppets guided by a ‘new’ hand, and therefore almost gone wild), well-being, the cause of their monstrosity, ceases to exist, while the puppet dance continues.”
So, call it welfare or progress. An illusion of richness and well-being, which is fake. In fact, the cost of this illusory prosperity and what it leaves behind is out of control. How many people cannot afford to satisfy basic needs? And what about the environmental devastation? Is it real progress?