Pasolini in ‘La Terra Vista dalla Luna’ (1966) said that
Neo-capitalism’s consumerism is a particularly insidious form
of fascism because it homogenises what it assimilates. He saw
the faceless power of its household god, television,
‘transforming peasants and workers into a new middle class,
fuelling further production and consumption’. I was there at
the historical moment. Circa 1970 travelling from Sicily to
the mainland across the straits of Messina, I saw the peasants
throw away the rye bread and cheese and dig into cellophane
wrapped cookies. The wine was turned into coca cola. A miracle
in perverse, I thought (the delicatessen next to John Barnes
in West Hampstead was educating my palate away from Mother’s
Pride and Kerrygold).

Berlusconi’s television stations consolidated with bombarding
living rooms with the representative model of the normal
family, something to aspire to, acquisitive and
self-interested, surrounded by a multiplicity of commodities,
tolerantly Catholic, vaguely inclined to gender equality but
with mamas still playing a central role as all purpose service
providers and lots of young people partying to chichi pop
(Dino Risi’s ‘Les Monstres’, 1963, saw them coming), Alfa
Romeo-ing towards realising someone else’s dream. This
relentless promotion of ‘moderate’ values by ruthlessly
eliminating the alternatives was for Pasolini even more
totalitarian than ‘historical fascism’. Though Mussolini had a
vision of PIG8O two generations before it came into being. ‘It
is faith which moves mountains because it gives the illusion
that mountains move.’

The American model was brought back to Italy where Rocky 4
said it began, pasteurising what Mussolini couldn’t, a great
culture, into neat little rows of plastic topped bottles. Here
at last was Benito’s ‘revolution of everyday life. Our way of
eating, dressing, working and sleeping, the whole complex of
daily habits’. First it was the power-barons appropriating the
modern media towards their fast food options. East and West
alike (the South followed in a pathetic straggle). Then the
counter-radicalism of marketolatry. That is, the Left’s
historical materialism taken over with a vengeance by the
Right, giving the repressed nearly enough to be contented so
they stay in line and stop upsetting things. Not so simple,

The Oil crisis of the early nineteen seventies shunted
cross-ideological globalisation into the mainstream of world
politics. Its multi-national club was G7. It coincided with a
much larger shift. The elevation of economics into a new
popular religion which bypassed justice, social equity and
cultural diversity into a universal potage for the masses to
dip into when the club committee considered they needed a sop.
Trickle down they called it, a chalice filled by banks and
their political masters. Rock and roll allows some spillage.
The overflow (of what? No one knows. The formula is a trade
secret) is consumed and almost immediately excreted leaving an
emptiness to be filled, again and again. The customer’s
instant satisfaction does not include sustained nutrition.
It’s not what you want makes you fat but what you get.

G8 in Gleneagles in 2005 made 'Food for Africa' its slogan.
Everybody was there, except Sharon and someone from China
(promised for G9). Bush, Putin and all the front men, with
Blair as master of ceremonies. ‘Justice not charity’, sang
Bono. But nobody was listening. His song was drowned out by
the London Bombings. All’s changed and the same. 7/7
supersedes 9/11. At least for the holier-than-thou Host who
knows he’s amongst his own but needs to get back to talking
about the War on Terror (‘We aren’t going to let them spoil
everything, are we?’). Business as usual (democracy as bombing
and shopping). When civilisation breaks down, man returns to
George W. Bush, whose step visibly lightens as the bad news
sinks in. A nominal declaration is hurriedly signed promising
charity (not justice). Outside the golf course the little
people carrying placards such as ‘Make Poverty History’ are
history. They re-enact a past that is always forgotten. The
present ignores them. Their future is not ours. But who are

PIG8O refills the void, and the cycle once again perpetuates
itself. Bono decides not to sing Brecht’s ‘What Keeps Man
Alive’ in Burrough’s version to Billy Graham on his eightieth
birthday, but soft-focuses ‘Thank you, Billy’ instead.
Journalists also have fallen into line. The press releases
have been prepared for them. The more copy you produce the
richer you get. You too can be one of the million millionaires
in the world. The phalanx of politicians behind the paranoia
platform built to stabilise the PIG8O launching pad myrmidons.

Nicholas Sarkozy’s ‘Les règles du jeu ont changé’
spontaneously translates Blair’s ‘The rules of the game have
changed’ (after the 7/7 bombings). Ridiculous Sarko, Minister
of the Interior and President in waiting, needs your fear.
Terrorist attacks in Paris. If there is one, it’s 'I told you
so'. And Wolfowitz’s World Bank ups its loan for security. If
not, we have made the world more secure (zero tolerance =
reducing your civic rights. Retrenched social security =
increased repressive state machinery). Keeping in with PIG8O
is how to stay in power. Blair in Brighton, gagging for a
fourth term, rants soothingly, ‘In 1997 we modernised’
(euphemism for shifting to the right) ‘and now we’ (euphemism
for himself) ‘must modernise again in a world of ever faster
change’ (it hasn’t changed). ‘We’ (meaning those who have no
choice) ‘will have to step up to the mark’ (whose mark?) ‘to
meet the challenge’ (who’s?). Chaos like never before, once