CULTURE AND TOURISM ON-LINE MAGAZINE
- FEBRUARY 2018 -
HOME - Puglia - Dialect Proverbs - The over-privileged who wield the money: a never-ending story
Dialect Proverbs
The over-privileged who wield the money:
a never-ending story
Ci maneggia fisteggia
[Life is a party for those who control the money]
(Salento)
by Alberto Sobrero
SHARE Facebook Twitter

Bruno Maggio. China

      And they say that proverbs are old junk, stone-age stuff. I challenge the reader to find a law on the new economy or a new philosophy maxim more up-to-date than this old proverb, more fitting to describe the moment in which we are living. Life smiles on those who administer other people’s money: today they are called usurers, loan sharks, bankers, brokers, managers, and top level executives, yesterday they used to be called money changers and money lenders. The work is the same, and there are two types: lending money to make money by charging interest getting it by taking risky financial gambles, with unsecured speculations or derivatives. To put it briefly, it’s about convincing someone with a nest egg to trust you with it, and together with other nest eggs, using the money to make a profit, with ploys that have over the centuries become more and more sophisticated, including virtual, non-existent money transfers (the modern method) and shell companies that move money further and further away from the tangible economy, with great profits for those who “control” it, opening an ever-deepening chasm in the real economy between those who work and produce along with their children and grandchildren (post-modern method) and those who don’t.

      It seems like an eternal truth, and indeed the power of those who wield other people’s money is so immense that it can change the course of history. To cite one example, in ancient Rome the conspiracy of Catilina (63 b.c.) originated from the position the over-privileged obtained, due to a shortage of cash, by money-lending, and the revolutionary social and economic consequences that resulted from that practice. Two millennia later, the President of the greatest power in the world jeopardized his re-election due to the enormous difficulties involved in putting a plan in to action – something so obviously needed – a cap on the super bonuses bankers are given: and this had the support of irate Working Families. It was good common sense (supported on this occasion by the basic principles of democracy, or at least by tax progressiveness), but nothing seems able to weaken the position of the over-privileged who have done terrible damage to the U.S. economy through their unscrupulous financial dealings that have enormously enriched a small segment of the population, but which have brought another, far larger, segment to total ruin. Something very much like what we are living through now here on this side of the Atlantic.

      “Life is a party for those who control the money”: this is not a makeshift adage from a small town in the deep South, but one of the few proverbs that is good for all seasons, all historical periods, for all levels of society: high society (super bankers and top level executives) and low (back alley loan sharks), the Right (cynical and shameless capitalism) and the Left (fake cooperatives and fake NGOs). A rhyming couplet that entwines ancient and modern times, and leaves an unpleasant sulphureous aftertaste: behind the economic plague which has left the economy in ruins we sniff the sinister stench of money ‘the devil’s dung’. Stuff of medieval times in fact. Hopefully we won’t be going back to the Middle Ages in the near future.

 

More articles
Dialect Proverbs   Wives and oxen… Dialect Proverbs   That bad reputation priests have… Dialect Proverbs   Goat Woman From the Middle Ages to Sgarbi Dialect Proverbs   “After Christmas the cold sets in” The meteorological proverbs that have deeper roots than religious ones Dialect Proverbs   A fantastic state-of-the-art teaching tool: the nursery-rhyme Dialect Proverbs   When parody flouts the sacred Dialect Proverbs   Happiness depends on how we manage our time Dialect Proverbs   If the branch indicates quality… Dialect Proverbs   Women, what deceivers! Dialect Proverbs   Back when the proverb was dictated by the calendar... Dialect Proverbs   Be prepared for disappointment! Dialect Proverbs   Hands off the female sex! Dialect Proverbs   That lack of faith in science… Dialect Proverbs   To get to heaven… you have to suffer Dialect Proverbs   From poetry to “prose” This is love Dialect Proverbs   …But Love is Hope Dialect Proverbs   “Verba volant” What has changed between then and now Dialect Proverbs   From the philosophy of Heraclitus to Vasco’s rock music “everything flows” Dialect Proverbs   Beyond the garden there are “the others”. The hateful prejudice dies hard Dialect Proverbs   Hypocrites? More dangerous than the kick of a mule Dialect Proverbs   Nothing can beat wine-Christ’s blood. When folk wisdom is “differently sophisticated” Dialect Proverbs   The revenge of cooking ‘poor man’s style’ Dialect Proverbs   Troubles? Let everyone take care of their own Dialect Proverbs   What “Eldorado”?! Dialect Proverbs   Peasant wisdom The State should consider it too Dialect Proverbs   …And so the idler’s week goes by Dialect Proverbs   Don’t fly into a rage if you want to keep healthy Dialect Proverbs   Rather an “old hand” than a “know-it-all” Dialect Proverbs   If a “poor man” falls ill there’s no hope Dialect Proverbs   The harsh law of hunger Dialect Proverbs   Our first lesson in life? In a nursery rhyme Dialect Proverbs   Man and woman: an old proverb – incredible! – is in favor of equality. As far as hitting each other is concerned… Dialect Proverbs   Women? Witches who lead you to the gallows To be used for love and child-bearing Dialect Proverbs   Marriage: what a sentence for men! Dialect Proverbs   Women “diabolical carriers of perdition” Dialect Proverbs   Women Closer to the devil than to holy water Dialect Proverbs   The longstanding diffidence of the people towards “the caste” Dialect Proverbs   A playful rhyme for the bitter fatalism of underlings Dialect Proverbs   That hateful prejudice towards anyone different Dialect Proverbs   The power of the poor Dialect Proverbs   If “you add a place at the table”… Dialect Proverbs   The unwritten laws of social injustice Dialect Proverbs   The arrogance of the flea-man Dialect Proverbs   Authority and subjects A relationship without hope Dialect Proverbs   Fatalism of the weak Dialect Proverbs   Why proverbs