“And the reason for the dispute would have no basis
if only what he is now were taken into account”
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar II.i.10.34
RAI on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Raul Gardini (Ravenna 7 June 1933-Milan 23 July 1993) broadcast the docufilm “Raul Gardini” in first vision and prime time. It was interesting to note how the actor who played the entrepreneur from Romagna did not have the physicality of a diver1, his straight gaze, his speaking as clear as an elderly man who expressed himself rhetorically, his gaze turned to the sky, full of himself. The interpreter wasn’t from Romagna, no big deal, but he acted in dialect, forcing the accent and gestures. The discrepancy between the actor and Gardini was evident when a scene from the television drama was immediately followed by a period film. There was something excessive about the difference. If the intent was to anchor the script to the facts, the outcome was counterproductive. A diversity not only of aesthetics but of personality. And it was a documentary film where the representation had to concern the character and events related to him. It could be added that the acting of some actors was mediocre, that the story, certainly very complicated, was not clearly reconstructed and above all an unpleasant and irrelevant portrayal of Gardini was offered. That tragedy deserved an up-to-date representation and one wonders what could have contributed to such a flawed staging, at least in my eyes.
In the June issue of last year Mondoperaio published one of my articles: Raul Gardini – story of an outsider2with which I tried to briefly reconstruct that story, to give it a reading, but in my writing I overlooked a fundamental issue: envy.
Envy for a handsome, intelligent, brilliant man, with a beautiful family, an America’s Cup navigator, who had achieved unparalleled wealth and success. The envy that harbored and harbors, at least unconsciously, in the hearts of provincials with dubious careers, in dull bourgeois, in those many who lived and live secure in their positions; like Shakespeare’s Brutus3 they knew and know that the Gardini must be hindered in time, put in an opaque light.
Envy is a feeling as strong as it is perennial, not without consequences in acting and remembering. For this reason, when writing historical and political analyses, the moods that permeate events should never be overlooked.
It can be said with Nietzsche, that envy has within it the desire to lower the supposed superiority of others to a lower level. Envy was once recognized as such: there is no popular tradition that does not place it at the center of the interpretation of adverse phenomena and that does not spare itself in superstitious formulas and colorful amulets. In our times it does not find specific disapproval, it is seen as a natural spring that pushes towards an egalitarian society; a sort of mimetic rivalry that leads to desiring what the other loves. It is, instead, a destructive element, because it is bitterness for the success of others, subtle and perverse enjoyment of his failure4.
Those local politicians who did not care about a national and internationally relevant chemical centre, many commentators, some moralists in toga, some subjects who opposed Gardini’s entrepreneurial activity were, and remain, also envious. I had overlooked it even if nowadays the phenomenon, the capital vice, of envy should be more easily identifiable: we had a mass party founded on envy towards Mario Draghi.