A non-blog by Luca Ammendola

Month: February 2021


From the Film “Ready Player One” by Steven Spielberg

“He goes in search of liberty—so precious,

as he who gives his life for it must know.”

Divine Comedy, Purgatory, Canto I by Dante Alighieri

Hikikomori, a Japanese phenomenon that first gained attention during the 1990s, is a severe form of social withdrawal which involves a complete withdrawal from society for six months or more. It is currently viewed as a sociocultural mental health phenomenon, rather than a distinct mental illness. Although the phenomenon began in Japan it is rapidly being identified in other countries all around the world. The term Hikikomori (derived from the verb hiki “to withdraw” and komori “to be inside”) was coined by Japanese psychiatrist Tamaki Saito and is now used across the world to describe anyone who fits the criteria.

The phenomenon is most common in young people, especially young men, and research shows traumatic experiences of shame and defeat are commonly reported as triggers across cultures. These young adults are unable to work, go to school, or step outside the house for months or years. They also don’t make or maintain any personal relationships outside their families. Often, they have a sense of apathy that is believed to border on nihilism. They might be disillusioned by the society in general and have a lack of motivation to engage with anyone. They might also have difficulty expressing their emotions.

Hikikomori tend to use the internet profusely, they prefer communicating online, and they often spend much of their time in the online world. The emergence of smartphones, food delivery services, and all services that reduce social interaction has a compounding effect on the issue. Essentially, you can live your entire life from your bed and, guess what, this is exactly what many hikikomori are doing.

Now close your eyes for a minute and think back about the last twelve months of your life… does the above sociocultural phenomenon sounds familiar? It should: we have all become Hikikomori or on the dangerous road to do so! Mandatory and anti constitutional lockdowns have imposed such a lifestyle on us. We are isolating in our homes, retracting from social interactions, unable to work, go to school, gather, protest, party, travel, experience art, laugh together, cry together, hug each other, have sex, meet new people, share new ideas… in one word: live! 

Plugged into a virtual reality dictated by technology, we have zoom “meetings”, shop online, visit virtual museums, share ideas on Facebook and release our sexual frustrations on Pornhub. Meanwhile society around us is crumbling into an economic catastrophe of biblical proportions (and that, in very practical terms, means extreme poverty and death) while a feudal resource grab by multinationals and financial interests is stealing our future. And all of this to “fight” a virus that, according to the WHO, has a fatality rate (the chance of dying if you catch the virus) under 1%. That is a 99% survival rate folks! We must be the most hysterical generation in human history.


The ancient Greeks, people much wiser than us, did not have a single term to express what we commonly refer to as life. They used two words: zôê, which expressed the simple fact of living, common to all living beings (animals, men or gods), and bios, which indicated the form or way of life specific to an individual or to a group. Such an elegant distinction should be a primordial source of conversation in a cultured society facing matters or life and death. Such distinction forces us to ask the oldest question in the world: what is life? Or more precisely what constitutes human life? Is human life nothing more than a beating heart and a breathing lung? Or is human life defined by the quality and the quantity of experiences it encounters?

Of course it goes without saying that there is no bios without zôê. Without a beating heart and a breathing lung no experience can be encountered within this earthly reality. But that’s a simple minded superficial fact. The real interesting question is: what is the purpose of a beating heart if such heart is deprived of emotions, memories and experiences that make it’s beating a worthwhile endeavour? Is the act of breathing enough to consider human existence an experience worth living?

One of the mantras of the daily political propaganda is that lockdowns, social distancing, masks and all of the other freedom murdering measures put in place by unelected “experts” are meant to save lives. In reality, if these systems have any usefulness at all (and it’s a big if) it is to save the zôê, the simple fact of living. But in doing so they kill the most important form of existence: the bios, the form of our lives. We therefore fall into a strange contradiction in which politicians and scientists are killing the meaningful and profound experience of being in order to save the bare life.

A practical, albeit extreme, example of the distinction between zôê and bios is the condition of irreversible coma. In such cases the bare life of a human being is kept alight by artificial means: his heart beats, his lungs breathe and from a medical stand point the patient is alive. But what of it’s human experience? Without entering into the intricate discussion of dreams and brain function within a comatose state we can clearly assess that human beings in such a state are unable to cultivate new experiences nor nurture emotions. Their bios is de facto inexistent. In science fiction literature such figure is best represented by the zombie, a creature that lives but yet is not fully human. In our attempts to combat the virus we are “zombifying” ourselves and living as if already dead.

Of course the most common rebuttal to such thinking will be: “but this is an emergency! These measures are provisional!”. Such a proposal is, in my opinion, flawed on many levels. First of all with a survival rate of 99% can we really claim this is an emergency? Secondly, if this is an emergency how long will it last? Many scientists seem to believe the virus is here to stay and the current crisis will continue for years to come. How long are we supposed to survive rather than live in the name of a 1% chance of dying? Thirdly, are we sure that these measures are provisional? Are we sure that what we are experiencing is not social distancing as a political model? A model run through a digital matrix that replaces human interaction, which, by definition, will henceforth be considered fundamentally suspect and politically “contagious”?

We’ve already experienced such a change in paradigm after 9/11. At the time the political propaganda had a very similar approach in convincing us that we were all in imminent danger and that in order to save our lives we had to sacrifice more and more of our freedoms. Such arguments were always underline by the assurance that such measures would be provisional. Of course twenty years after the facts the security measures put in place are still standing (think airport security, biometric passports, digital spying of citizens by the governments, data gathering… just to name a few obvious ones) The threat of terrorism made each of us into a potential terrorist and therefore a potential threat who needs to be surveilled. With the virus, an invisible terrorist that circulates in the air, we have all become potential carriers and spreaders. Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben hits the nail on the head when he states that “it is not that citizens of the whole West have the right to health security, they are now legally forced to be healthy. This, in a nutshell, is the essence of biosecurity.” It is intrinsically linked to the logic of this thinking that the pandemic will have consequences that will transform the whole of society into a monitored area, into a permanent quarantine, where everyone will be treated as a potential carrier of the virus. 

The third article of the Italian Constitution (which inspired the United Nations’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights) states: “It is the duty of the Republic to remove those obstacles of an economic or social nature which constrain the freedom and equality of citizens, thereby impeding the full development of the human person and the effective participation of all workers in the political, economic and social organisation of the country.” The full development of the human person is precisely what’s at stake in our current situation. How can we aspire at the full expression of the “better angels of our nature” (to quote Abraham Lincoln) if stepping out of our own homes has become a crime? How can we exercise empathy and love and our moral sense and our reason? How can we quench our thirst for knowledge, emotional growth and human relations? How can we still call ourselves human beings if what makes us so (the being) is shackled to the chains of mere survival? 

Echoing these principles, while sitting in a prison in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. eloquently described our predicament when he wrote: “A just law is a man-made code that coincides with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is not in harmony with the moral law. Any law that elevates the human personality is right. Any law that degrades the human personality is unjust… One has not only the legal but also the moral responsibility to obey the just laws. On the contrary, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”. 


We are living very dangerous times ladies and gentlemen and the real danger seems to me not the virus itself but our social, political and cultural response to it. We seem adamant to comply with the idea that our bare life, removed of it’s form, is the supreme good to which all other goods must bow. This is a very dangerous idea and the thinking of slaves. 

Our grandparents, when death stared them in the eyes, had a different understanding. When the German war machine rolled over Europe destroying, killing and burning all that they held dear they took the brave choice of fighting back. Without much hesitation they decided that their freedom, the sacred fire that burns inside just human beings, was more important than everything else, including their lives. They understood that without freedom, total, non-negotiable, self determining freedom, all expressions of human existence are voided of any profound meaning. And so they fought and died in the millions to conquer that freedom we, today, are so casually compromising. Had they, like we are doing, put their bare life rather than freedom as the supreme good, today we would all speak German and Hitler’s vision of history would be a reality. 

But us? What will we tell our grandchildren when they’ll ask us about these times? Will we tell them, with pride, that for fear of infecting ourselves with a virus with a lethality rate of under 1% we have sacrificed all other values? That we threw away all the freedoms and conquests for which our grandparents gave their lives? Will we swell with pride in telling them that, out of fear, we erased the pillars of our civilisation?

Understandable reasons of health safety are imposing on us the acceptance of an indeterminate limitation of personal freedoms, without debate and without this being questioned. In doing so we run a serious risk of addiction to slavery, with the combination of the almost totalitarian one-way information system. It is clear that in such a situation the peoples either adapt or go towards extremes (an expression of anger also due to the perception of suffered violence).

Such perception of injustice is exponentially growing because it is ever more clear that the virus is not fought by locking citizens up, but by strengthening public health (destroyed by the nefarious policies of liberalism). It is not fought by hiding in our homes but by protecting the 1% amongst us who is most fragile. It is not fought by creating millions of new poor but by enhancing timely medical care on the territory. It is not fought by putting in charge scientists and experts riddled by conflicts of interest but by implementing clear guide lines following the knowledge of the doctors who have successfully treated thousands of patients (and there are many such doctors). It is not fought by less democracy but by more democracy. It is not fought by censorship but more discussion. But above all it is not fought by renouncing to live in the name of survival but by unleashing the best part that resides in all of us… by giving wings to the better angels of our nature.

It is everyday clearer that we are at a crossroad and the only question everyone should ask is which side of history they want to be on! Those of you who are afraid of the virus you can shut yourself at home, lockdown, wear two masks and shower with disinfectant gel. We understand you and, if we can, we are here to help! But do not selfishly demand the same for everyone. If spending years of your life on a couch watching silly TV shows on Netflix and having Deliveroo bring you semi fresh food at your door sounds like a life worth living to you, be our guest! But don’t arrogantly request for all to do the same. If you think that freedom is overrated and a well worth bargain chip in exchange for health safety, feel free to chain yourself to whatever master will have you! Just don’t hysterically urge for all to be enslaved. If you wish to live in a virtual world of digital realities, plug yourself in! Just don’t childishly expect we all stop walking through the mystical woods of our lives. Some of us don’t want to give up living for fear of dying. 


From the Film “The New World” by Terrence Malick

Neoliberal globalist capitalism is animated by two tendencies, diametrically opposed in practice and yet absolutely converging in purpose. These propensities are both political and economic. The first is a separative trend while the second is a propensity for homologation. The separative tendency of neoliberal capitalism is a political manoeuvre whose purpose is the attempt to practice the famous Roman adage “divide et impera” while the propensity for cultural homologation of the masses is a condition sine qua non for the unification of the market, of consumers and of products. These two aspirations, despite their apparent divergence, are none other than the two primary methodologies aimed at maintaining, strengthening and developing the system. 


The capitalist economic/political system, as Marx explained much better than me, is naturally, structurally, divisive. In fact, it tends to create, strengthen and favour the division of society into classes of “winners and losers”, exploited and exploiters. The globalist and neoliberal drift of capitalism today has not only highlighted this innate tendency of the system, but has accentuated it. Nowadays, the disproportionate difference between rich and poor has grown out of all proportion and tends to accelerate. As an example, I report the following data: during the year 2018 an average Amazon worker earned $ 30,000; roughly the same amount that Jeff Bezos, CEO of the company, earned every 10 seconds.

Although neoliberal globalist capitalism has as its sole purpose the greatest profit for the least number of people, this discrepancy between the economic power of the “masters of steam” and the vast majority of the people has become a serious problem. Obviously it is a problem for the working people, who see the fruit of their work transferred and concentrated in the hands of a transnational elite, but it has also become a problem for the elite themselves who, responsible for the social injustice (or legalised theft) in action, runs the risk of being overwhelmed by an ever more conceivable “awakening of consciences”

One of the strategies adopted by the “masters of the world” to respond to this problem, and to subvert and channel the growing anger of the people, is that, as mentioned above, of the use of the old Roman stratagem of “divide and rule”. The greatest danger to the status quo, in fact, is a condensation along party lines of the people. A massive organisation of intentions and their political coordination would mark the end of the current system in a short time. It is therefore of paramount importance, from the point of view of the elites, to ensure that this does not happen. Any form of commonality of objectives, of community aggregation and legislative compactness must be (and in fact it is) blocked, ostracised and discouraged.

The capitalist system, in fact, has as its first enemy the social pact intended as a defense of the interests of the many and as a cohesive attempt of the human brotherhood. The dominant economic and political apparatus therefore desires individuals emptied of any collective belonging and therefore politically solitary individuals unable to refuse everything that capital will want to impose on them.

This politically separative tendency is evident in many aspects of today’s social and working life. From the systematic weakening of trade unions, to the impoverishment of community work in favour, for example, of teleworking or the gig economy, which exploits the worker in his condition as an atom separated from the working community (and moreover devoid of any form of right), there are many examples that could be made of this current. But no example is more evident and oppressive than the perpetual separative effort of identity (individual and individualist).

This effort – of culture, media and propaganda – aims to separate the mass, the people, which if united would represent a revolutionary potential, into small nuclei closed in on themselves, not communicating, antagonistic and therefore in constant struggle with each other. This is often rightly defined as a “struggle between the poor”

The people are then incited by power, mainly through propaganda, to form factions at odds with each other. These factions, or non-dialoguing dichotomies, are continuously and alternately fomented by the ruling class through the lever of individual, particular and exclusive identity. So we see white versus blacks, natives versus migrants, men versus women, Christians versus Muslims, heterosexual versus homosexuals, yes-vax versus no-vax and so on step into the ring of social conflict. These conflicts, albeit spontaneously existing, are continuously amplified both by the media drums and by the system itself which, by producing masses of dispossessed forced to compete with each other, creates the conditions for conflict. The purpose of this operation is to push the divided people to fight against themselves horizontally and to distract them from the true source of their discontent (the elite capitalist system) which would instead require a vertical struggle against the guardians of the established social condition.

In other words, the separative attitude of the capitalist system is nothing more than a weapon of mass distraction unsheathed in defense of the uncritical and static conservation of the system itself. The citizen is led to believe that the fault of his condition is, for example, the migrant and that if he were to disappear this would change his social and economic situation. At the same time, the migrant is pushed to believe that he is not well liked by the native population because of the color of his skin and not because, probably without knowing it, he has arrived in a country whose social and economic fabric is at the end of it’s tether and his presence is therefore seen as one too many. These contrasting and specifically targeted narratives allow the system and its defenders to transform two potential allies into bitter enemies.

This is an old trick but it is very efficient. A bit like skilful pickpockets, the defenders of the established power distract the citizen by attracting his attention to the left hand while stealing his wallet with the right. 


The second propensity of globalist capitalism is diametrically opposite to the one just described. The globalist economic system, in fact, is formed on what the philosopher Diego Fusaro calls “neutralising inclusion” and that is a necessary, from the point of view of the system, neutralisation of regional cultural specificities. This has a purely economic function.

The economic task of this trend is to standardise the production model and the way of consumption of goods. To summarise this task, we can cite the famous exclamation of Henry Ford who, speaking of the choice his customers had on the color of his cars, said: “They can choose the color they want. As long as it’s black! ”. Here, global capitalism similarly exclaims: “You can choose the product you prefer. As long as it’s ours!

The aim of globalised capitalism is to sell as many products as possible to as many consumers as possible. To achieve its aim, the system needs neutral, indistinct, narcissistic and above all homologated consumers. This allows the merchant to exponentially expand the market and therefore the number of consumers that can be reached by the same product. In other words, to achieve the maximum possible profit, the globalised capitalist system wants everything to be selfsame. The product must be the same as must be the consumer.

The homologating trend of the market is particularly visible in the clothing sector. The new frontiers of fashion are pushing more and more towards a thinner proposal of differences. Just think of unisex garments or homogeneous prêt-à-porter whether it is sold in Italy or sold in China. Perhaps the most striking example of this homologation can be found in the famous “United Colors” advertising of the Benetton brand where children of all races, and therefore representatives of different cultures, all pose together dressed in the same way. In short, “United Colors” yes, but under the sign of dollar green.

The biggest obstacle to this consumerist relativism therefore remains the regional and cultural identity under the spur of the specific popular tradition. This tradition, deriving from the particular history of a given people, reflects its peculiarity and therefore, consequently, its identity. This regional typicality is what global capitalism refuses and tries to destroy and level by any means, be it propaganda, cultural, political or economic. It should therefore not be surprising that the two prevailing political visions fork between sovereignty and globalism and that the economic ones between globalised production and consumption and locally sourced one

In short, the capitalist and globalist “open society” wants nothing more than a society emptied of its specific cultural values, a society which, therefore, devoid of tradition, can be moulded at will by the market and in which it is possible to insert products manufactured in mass and consumed by the multitude. This economic system yearns to neutralise any communal aspiration other than that of commercial exchange, that is, the market. The state, a fundamental organ for the democratic expression of the polis, is therefore extorted from its congenital function and forced to govern FOR the market instead of governing THE market.

It should be briefly remembered that all dictatorships tend towards standardisation because this destroys individuality and consequently weakens the attitude and habit of dissent. The concrete example is the uniform imposed by the dictator; which on the one hand unites the wearer and on the other kills all forms of originality. The peculiarity of today’s financial dictatorship is that it simultaneously promotes uniformity of tastes and encourages a false choice (the Fordian “As long as it is black!” Which updated becomes “As long as they are jeans!”). To summarise, it could be said that without cultural roots the citizen loses his specific regional identity, without identity he loses the sense of belonging to a community and without communal awareness he loses his ability to resist. Which is exactly what the system wants.

Following this thought, a question arises spontaneously: if the aim of the system is to homogenise the heterogeneous cultures, which dominant culture must they adapt to? What is the original archetype to clone? The answer is obvious and predictable. The cannibal and oppressive cultural model is that of the “American way of life”. A North American model based on unbridled and low-quality consumption, on extreme individualism, on wild competition and promoter of a childish and infantilising culture. In short, the “fast-food and quick money” model. 


The greatest fallacy of modern thought consists in confusing the right and necessary yearning for equality with the erroneous and destructive claim of sameness. While equality is a sacrosanct political claim built on justice, both social and economic, sameness is an overbearing and tyrannical attempt to level the different. This levelling assumes, as we have seen previously, a collective approach to a basic model (in our case the North American one) from which to clone the multiple manifestations of being. Like a virus, sameness takes hold of the other to make it the same, thus destroying the individual and collective identity of peoples.

In fact, identity can only exist in difference. One is one because it is not the other. I am me because I am not you. It is precisely in the mediation of differences that the individual understands, nourishes and enriches his own specificity. Open and respectful dialogue, therefore, becomes a necessary means to ensure that two distinct realities can communicate. Without difference, the dialogue becomes a repetitive and demeaning monologue, a killer of fantasy, education and relationships. On the contrary, true dialogue forces the parties to try to understand each other without therefore abandoning their own perspective. In doing so, true dialogue enriches and embellishes one’s own identity, and that of the other, through comparison.

This peculiarity of the human experience is most noticeable in the act of traveling. During the trip, the citizen comes into contact with a social and cultural reality different from his own. From it, in the first place, he observes and learns different visions, rites and approaches to the human adventure and secondly he compares them with his own. The exploration of the different increases his wisdom and the comparison with it increases his awareness of identity. Anyone who travels, once back home, brings back not only new knowledge and the scent of distant worlds, but also a new sensitivity in observing his own gardens.

It is too often forgotten evidence that every culture, however different, is nothing more than a manifestation of the human race. Humanity, unitary in itself, stands out in its plurality, complexity and variety. In fact, regional cultural identity is nothing more than a narrative identity deriving from specific stories, traditions and memories. 

Just as between two human beings, at the micro level, identity arises from the distinction from the other, at the macro level the national culture is geographically distinguished within the border. The national border, the frontier, is nothing more than the delineation of the limits of a reality beyond which the other exists. This limit defines the historical, cultural and traditional identity of a people but also, and perhaps above all, determines it’s sovereignty, that is, the possibility of governing it’s own destiny.

In ancient times of war the victorious aggressor, as a first move, demolished the walls of the conquered city. The demolition of the walls was a conquest for the aggressor but a loss for the attacked. During the Peloponnesian War, when Sparta conquers Athens on the battlefield, it orders, according to the surrender pacts stipulated, to tear down its walls. This is not done to unite Sparta and Athens in brotherhood but to leave Athens naked, so to speak, defenceless, vulnerable to the command of Sparta. It should therefore come as no surprise that Athens would never regain its former prosperity and that the collapse of its walls marks the end of the golden age of Hellenic civilisation. The demolition of the border is always an act of colonisation by the dominant army or thought or economic system which, as we have seen repeatedly, wishes to impose its own supervision and consequently dominate the other. It follows that the famous speech of Pericles to the Athenians “Here in Athens we do so”, in which the famous politician describes the characteristics of Athenian democracy, once the city walls have fallen, no longer subsists. Without the walls that delineate Athens, there is no longer a “here” or a “we”. And without them it is impossible to define the “we do so” as distinct from another doing. 

To return to our times, it is clear that the principles of nation, sovereignty, tradition and cultural identity are under attack from an anthropophagous economic system that intends to destroy the different in order to impose its own. In this context it seems obvious that the current demonisation of national borders is nothing more than a trick of capitalism which wishes to colonise the minds and bodies of the world in the name of profit. The political and media campaigns conceived to execute the very principle of nation as an intrinsically racist, warmongering and isolationist principle serve transnational capital to destroy and abolish all the legal, political and economic defense systems available to the various peoples. The globalist and capitalist “no border” society wishes to see the same triumph on a global scale: one language, one thought, one law, one single way of producing and consuming… in short, a single way of life dictated and controlled by an always narrower elite.

We can therefore conclude that there are two types of universalism: the first perceives the levelling and in-distinction of the parts as the only way of union; the second, on the contrary, celebrates and defends differences as the only healthy and fraternal attitude of being in the world. 


In an episode of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s masterpiece “The Brothers Karamazov” a noblewoman, as pious as she is rich, visits the starec (Christian mystic) Zosima in her monastery. Moved by a profound crisis of conscience, she confesses to him that: “I love humanity, but to my great surprise, the more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular.” The episode described by the Russian master perfectly describes the dilemma in which today’s societies find themselves.

Driven by an honest desire for peaceful and fraternal coexistence, peoples, guided by globalist propaganda, believe that borders are the problem, forgetting that true equality and true brotherhood is not the elimination of differences but rather the development of them in respect of their specific identity and therefore of their otherness. In short, true equality is the antithesis of standardisation. Or as one of the characters of the Idiot, also by Dostoevsky, exclaims: “In abstract love for humanity, one almost always ends up loving only oneself.”

And it is for this strange game of the human soul that the “no border open society” is nothing but the most vulgar form of nationalism. True nationalism, in fact, is the reduction of cultural differences to one; the desire, in fact, to impose a vision (the “American way of life”) on all the others and to standardise all human expressions. This is called colonialism.

I leave you with extracts from Pericles’ “Speech to the Athenians”, which was pronounced over 2500 years ago. 

Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. Our government does not copy our neighbours’, but is an example to them. The administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few and for this we are called a democracy.

Here in Athens we do so. 

There exists equal justice to all and alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognised; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit and poverty is not an obstacle.

Here in Athens we do so. 

There is no exclusiveness in our public life, and in our private business we are not suspicious of one another, nor angry with our neighbour if he does what he likes.We are free, free to live at ease, and yet are equally ready to face the perils which we face.  While we are thus unconstrained in our private business, a spirit of reverence pervades our public acts; we are prevented from doing wrong by respect for the authorities and for the laws, having a particular regard to those which are ordained for the protection of the injured as well as those unwritten laws which bring upon the transgressor of them the reprobation of the general sentiment.

Here in Athens we do so.

We do not consider a man uninterested in the state harmless, but useless; and although few are able to give life to a policy, everyone here in Athens is able to judge it. We do not see discussion as an obstacle on the way to democracy. We believe that happiness is the fruit of freedom, but freedom is only the fruit of merit. In short, I proclaim that Athens is the school of Hellas and that every Athenian grows by developing in himself a happy versatility, self-confidence, readiness to face any situation and that is why our city is open to the world and we we never chase a foreigner. 

Here in Athens we do so.


From the Film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” by Steven Spielberg

Note to the reader: the following article was written by my father Luciano Ammendola. Although I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, I find his perspective interesting and wanted to share it with you. The English translation is mine (the article was originally written in Italian). 

If you, dear readers, are among those who intend the STOCK EXCHANGE (Milan, London, New York) as a place where owned shares of companies, whose original owners have decided to monetise the growth of their child, are exchanged for the public investment of shares and you are convinced that the change in price is connected to the good economic performance of their creature as well as responding to exogenous factors such as the inflation rate, the cost of money, the progression of turnover, unemployment then you are educated to consider how the market price on the stock exchange is linked to the supply and demand created by what has just been described. Well… forget it: this historical description is no longer valid


Gamestop is a videogame company created at the turn of the century buying and selling video games for which the youth went crazy; it had over 5500 stores in the world but what is even more amazing was the fact that it created a symbolic place for “afficionados”, a meeting place where you could buy, sell and exchange Video Games, creating passion and loyalty to the brand.

Then around 2005 came Google, Amazon, Apple and Steam: going to a store to buy a video game or a CD became obsolete in a few months and was ultimately killed by the growing digitisation of games allowing costumers to download games directly from virtual portals without therefore buying the physical medium. And Gamestop’s turnover began to tumble. 

During 2020 America’s most aggressive hedge funds decided that Gamestop would go upside down and began massively shorting the company’s stock. Since almost all Hedge Funds no longer reason with human thinking but through the algorithms of their computers, there were many who bet on Gamestop’s death. In addition to their financial power, the big Hedge Funds also have the power to influence the ongoing financial novel by shooting at the victim they have decided to kill from specialised newspapers. Normal administration for sharks used to biting their prey.

I hope it will be easy for you to understand which mountain was created by the algorithms that acted in unison. On the market, the number of shares sold short was higher than that existing in the company’s assets. I emphasise the incredible: sold in much larger quantities than the existing ones!!! 

And here comes the most beautiful and mysterious story of 2021: the ants, the small investors, get pissed off! I’m too old to give you an easy explanation, but the fact remains that within a few weeks the ants compacted to the cry:

“Enough! We are tired of Hedge Funds abusing the financial markets: they wanted to win big… let’s screw them!”. There are those who say that this electronic alliance was more sentimentally created for the love that the ants had for the Gamestop of their youth. I doubt this tenderness, but it’s nice to imagine it.

The union of the ants is implemented in no time thanks to a site, Redditt, which has more than two million followers in a specific group called “Wall Street Bets”. Electronic word of mouth triggers purchases and catches hedge funds unprepared: the ants slaughter the elephant.

The fact is that, coordinating with independent brokerage houses (Robin Hood for example), they started buying Gamestop stocks at the beginning of January at 17 USD to bring them to the USD 347 of these days.

The ants broke the Hedge Funds’ elephant as they were shorting, as mentioned, in quantities exceeding the capitalisation itself. For your knowledge, when you sell short you don’t have to guarantee all the overdraft but only about 20%: but if the overdraft that you have to guarantee goes from 17USD to 347USD, the leverage effect kills you: you have to cover your overdraft in a bloodbath of losses

I quote the “Wall Street Bets” and some of the most pissed off ants:

“The Hedge Funds tried to perform beyond their hunger for money. The time has come for them to taste the flavour of their own medicines.

“I make it a personal matter and so do millions of other investors. I would like to see you suffer until the end. “

“There was and still is a ruling class whose sole purpose is to keep power. They enlighten us by making us think that they care about what’s best for us. They are convinced that the 1% has more brains than the remaining 99%. Our war must inflict not equities but a real financial revolution.

When it is anger that manages the field the most absurd situations can arise. The populace is pissed off because it has been whipped, set aside, segregated by a disproportionate well-being which a very small percentage of blessed by God enjoys. Furthermore they are now being thrown out by a virus that obviously causes many more deaths among the dispossessed.

The powers that be reacted in a brutal way, managing to suspend the trading of Gamestop shares on the Stock Exchange in several sessions (this never happens when the small investors are being slapped). At the time of writing, Gamestop’s stock market opening is expected to rise by 10% after rumors spread that Elon Musk (the richest “electric car man” in the world) has joined forces with the ants.

The stock market madnesses that I have illustrated to you are nothing more than the financial face of the other ongoing uprisings, may they be racial, social, political or religious. 


Keynes wrote “it is better to fail in a conventional way than to succeed in an unusual way”.

Compared to when Keynes wrote this, the situation has dramatically worsened. I worked on the stock market with important positions until a few years ago and from the end of the 80s, before very timidly but gradually increasing, the markets have ceased to be the honest mirror of the economy they represent.

It is my job to make financial suggestions following the ant revolt. I think that the anger of the populace is not over. The discrepancies between the rich and the rest of the world are too enormous not to presume political intervention. Obviously I’ll take it back if Biden turns out to be just the long manus of the status quo powers.

For the moment, therefore, for the more traditional of my investors I recommend staying off the stock exchanges, for the more aggressive ones to take open positions on the smallest shares in the United States (Russell 2000 Index) or buy volatility indices given the follies described here above.

I am in favour of gold (10%) and real estate positions in the Right countries (Greece, London, Berlin). 


From the Film “Snow White and the seven dwarfs” by William Cottrell

Note to the reader: this article in no way wants to argue that Vladimir Putin is a patron saint of democracy, that there is no corruption within his government or that political murder (or attempt) is unconceivable (but whoever is without sin cast the first stone). The intent is simply to take a more careful look at Alexey Navalny’s character.

Who is Alexey Navalny? On his Wikipedia profile we learn that he was born in 1976 in Obninsk about 100 kilometers southwest of Moscow and is of Ukrainian descent. He is described, also by Wikipedia, as “a leader of the Russian opposition, politician, lawyer and anti-corruption activist.” Navalny came to international prominence by organising demonstrations against the corruption of President Vladimir Putin and his government.

As we can read on his official profile, he was trained at the American University of Yale as a member of the “Greenberg World Fellows Program”, a program created in 2002 for which, every year, only 16 people, with such characteristics as to make them “Global leaders”, are selected worldwide. They are part of a network of “leaders globally committed to making the world a better place”, currently made up of 291 members from 87 countries, each in contact with each other and all connected to the US center of Yale. 

In 2000, Navalny joined the Russian Unified Democratic Party Yabloko, a small party within the Russian political landscape (In the last presidential elections, Yabloko won 1.05% of the vote). In April 2004, Navalny becomes chief of staff of the Moscow branch but in 2007 he is expelled for his nationalist views.

In 2005 he co-founded the “Democratic Alternative” movement, one of the beneficiaries of the National Endowment for Democracy (Ned), a powerful US “private non-profit foundation” which, with funds also provided by Congress, finances, openly or under the table, thousands of non-profit non-governmental organisations in over 90 countries to “advance democracy”. It is an open secret that Ned is one of the branches of the CIA for covert operations, which has been, and still is, particularly active in Ukraine. In the country of his ancestors, Navalny supported the Maidan Revolution which, according to him: “overthrew a corrupt government that prevented democracy”. It matters little that, with the Maidan Square’s putsch, an even more corrupt government was installed in Kiev, whose democratic character is represented by the neo-Nazis who occupy key positions (and this is not an euphemism, they are literally neo-Nazis who openly promote ideas such as “white supremacy” and “white power”). 

Another interesting aspect, that I invite you to consider, is the fact that Navalny’s wife is the daughter of a powerful former KGB operator and banker responsible for Russian properties in London, Boris Abrosimov. Abrosimov is a colleague of the better known former KGB colonel and Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, owner and editor of some British newspapers, whose son has recently become a Peer of England (a noble title). All of this would seem to indicate that Navalny is deeply connected to the dark places where Russian and Western intelligence services, and their bankers, forge confidential ties. 

In any case, in 2007 Navalny created a second political movement called “The People” which presented a clearly xenophobic, nationalist, identity and anti-immigration program. At the same time he records video blogs in which he compares people from the South Caucasus to dental caries and migrants to cockroaches that should be crushed. In one of these videos, Navalny plays the part of a teleshopping host, explaining the various remedies available to ward off insects and cockroaches. At the end of the video, however, these animals suddenly turn into religious extremists of clear Islamic faith, whom Navalny recommends chasing away with the use of a gun.

Here is the video link: https://youtu.be/oVNJiO10SWw 

In 2013 he ran for the mayor of Moscow, finishing second after the incumbent Sergey Sobyanin. He collects 21.9% of the votes against 60.1% of his opponent.

In 2018 he decides to enter the presidential race. However, he is not allowed to run due to two conditional convictions for fraud (although we must consider that he stood between 1% and 4% in opinion polls before he was declared ineligible for the election).

Navalny’s positions and political views, as we have seen, are far-right, anti-immigration and anti-homosexuals. His economic views, on the other hand, favour privatisation and the free market, and he is supported by many post-Soviet capitalists, from oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky to former head of the Russian central bank, Sergei Aleksashenko.

Importantly, his popularity is high only in large cities, and the situation in the regions is drastically different. While for some people he simply remains an unknown character, and many remain neutral, people in general are more wary of him than they are of the Russian government or of Putin personally. His popularity has grown somewhat in the wake of the alleged poisoning (which I will write about shortly) but he remains a figure of little political significance. In the latest survey on the number of people who trust significant political figures in the Russian political landscape, done in August 2020, Navalny came in third place with 2% (after 40% of Vladimir Putin and 4% of Vladimir Zhirinovsky). Indeed, taking a closer look at the election results and all the available polls it is clear that the most significant opposition to President Vladimir Putin is not Navalny. The real opposition party is the CPRF (The Communist Party of the Russian Federation) which holds a consistent presence in the Duma.

Yet the Wall Street Journal describes Navalny as “the man Vladimir Putin fears most”


It is interesting to note that the newspaper “La Stampa” (one of the major newspapers in Italy), in 2012, spoke of Navalny as a “xenophobic blogger”, defining the political area within which he militated and still militates as “ultra-right galaxy” and “ultra-nationalist”. Yet eight years later the same newspaper describes Navalny as “the Russian Nelson Mandela” (no less!!). What has changed in these eight years? Well, Navalny was poisoned by Putin in an evil attempt to take out his “most dangerous rival”. At least that’s the official story as told by CNN, the BBC, and all those brave beacons of truth commonly known as mainstream media. Obviously the beacons of truth forget to specify that Putin’s “most dangerous rival” is a man who has never held any office, his political party does not have a single member of parliament in the Duma, and holds about 2% of support from the Russian people. But let’s forget these little details and get to the facts.

On August 20, 2020, Navalny falls seriously ill while mid-flight from Tomsk, Siberia, to Moscow. The plane is abruptly rerouted to make an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Omsk, where Navalny is immediately hospitalised for suspected poisoning and placed in a pharmacological coma.

Two days later, Navalny is flown to Germany in an evacuation organised by a human rights NGO based in Berlin. His transport, on an “ambulance/plane” with German specialists on board, is authorised by the Russian authorities.

While Russian doctors in Omsk (who probably saved Navalny’s life) claim they have found no evidence of chemical weapons in his system, the German government, after a quick review, announces that their military lab has found “unambiguous evidence” that Navalny was poisoned by a cold war-era nerve agent, Novichok. The German government seeks explanations from the Kremlin without providing any of this evidence either to Moscow or the public.

Despite being the alleged victim of an extremely lethal military nerve agent, considered worse than sarin or VX gas, three weeks later Navalny comes out of the coma defiantly vowing to return to Russia.

By pure coincidence, all of this happens just as Nord Stream 2, the second line of the huge gas pipeline under construction from Russia to Germany opposed by the United States and several NATO allies, is almost completed. Suddenly, the diplomatic confrontation between Germany and Russia stops the controversial project. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German government, under pressure from Washington, consider withdrawing from the project that would increase Russian influence on European energy infrastructure and compete with more expensive US exports. But don’t think about it too much, these are just conspiracy theories

Be that as it may, three days before Joe Biden’s inauguration as the new American president (another coincidence?), Navalny returns to Russia where he is promptly arrested for violating the terms of his bail. He knew very well that this would happen and that it would unleash the hysteria of the Western media (which has promptly happened). Hysterics due to his 30-day prison sentence. Yes, you read that right: thirty DAYS, not years. He will be released before the spring and even if he is convicted with the numerous charges of embezzlement and fraud, he risks more or less three years in prison (just for comparison, Nelson Mandela, the real one, was imprisoned for 27 years).

Within Russia, reactions to the allegations against Navalny vary with the political views of commentators: those who support Navalny and his activities generally claim he is not guilty, while his political opponents generally claim otherwise. It is certainly not up to me to judge and I candidly admit my ignorance about it. 


The doubt remains: is Alexey Navalny a heroic defender of the Russian people persecuted by Putin or a puppet in the hands of the anti-Russian Western propaganda? I will leave it to you, dear readers, to decide using your mind and your sensibility. Like always I invite you to do your own research and, if you’ll like, share with me your findings.

As for me, I have a series of questions that run through my head and to finish off I would like to share them with you:

  • How is it possible that the entire Western political and media apparatus, which thunders against Trump because he is a racist and a nationalist, gives complete and total support to a Russian racist and nationalist?
  • Who truly benefits from this story?
  • Would Russian President Vladimir Putin really try to assassinate an opposition figure who holds a tiny 2% support among the population?
  • If so, why use Novichok, a nerve gas already widely and publicly associated with Russia? What’s wrong with the old bullet in the back of the head and consequential burial somewhere in the Siberian steppe?
  • How the hell it’s possible that Novichok, a deadly military poison, never kills anyone? Has the old KGB, now FSB, really become a den of amateurs unable to kill anyone?
  • If the Russian state, or Putin, poisoned Navalny, why did the plane on which he fell ill made an emergency landing and Navalny was taken directly to a hospital for medical treatment?
  • Why were no traces of unusual substances found by the two Russian laboratories that analysed Alexei Navalny’s blood when he was hospitalised in Omsk?
  • If Navalny was exposed to a highly infectious substance like Novichok, why has no one else around him suffered from it or showed any signs of poisoning?
  • If the Russian state, or Putin, has poisoned Navalny, why was he allowed to leave the country and receive treatment abroad? Especially knowing that sooner or later the Novichok inside his body would be detected.
  • Why has the German government never provided any evidence, either to Moscow or the public, of the poisoning?
  • But above all, and this is the most important question of all, has Navalny been tested for Covid-19? 

A short time after publishing the article above an old friend of mine Oleg Konovalov, a Russian citizen who lives in Moscow, wrote to me to “point out a few things” as he says. Please note that I don’t necessarily agree with everything he writes but am extremely grateful to him for his wonderful insight and decided, with his permission, to add his message to the article. Here it is:

Hi Luca! How are things? I hope all is well! I’ve just read the article you posted on Alexey Navalny. I’d like to point out a few things. For anyone in Russia thinking that the communist party is a true opposition is just naive. There are 4 parties in the parliament with the communist party being one of them. And none of them are actually opposition parties. They are called “systemic opposition” and they are the same muppets of the kremlin as United Russia is. The Duma is not a proper parliament. It has become one of the tools of the kremlin and not an independent state institution. Another thing, you probably wrote the article before yesterday’s court hearings, as now Navalny got a real prison sentence for 2 years and 8 months. And now to the important questions – how is he making all of his investigations into the facts of corruption and how did he manage to not get a real prison sentence before? He is the only person in Russia to have received a conditional term on 2 criminal charges. A second criminal charge never gets a conditional term. I have my version of why this happened. There are several groups of interest in the top power in Russia. Even Putin and Medvedev are different groups and despite being a tandem, when Medvedev was president, at some point he was in a big conflict with Putin and wanted to go for the second term of presidency. These different groups have been using Navalny as a mechanism in their political struggle. They were leaking compromising materials to Navalny and helping him look in the right direction to find the details that he was disclosing in his investigations. They needed some sort of guarantees to keep him from being too active, so he was under the first conditional sentence. The second conditional sentence is on charges that might be real, but the whole process was organised improperly, without following the normal procedures, and there are big doubts about how real the whole situation is. But the guys in power were also scared of him because they don’t know exactly what information he has about them and what may leak into the media in case of his actual imprisonment. And that gave him some sort of comfort. I am actually expecting more revelations to come from his team now that he has been sentenced to a real term. And to answer the question that you put in your article – is he a hero or a puppet? I think the answer is that he is neither one. There are too many forces that thought that they can use him as a puppet, and he played along. He got the support that he needed from abroad. He has far more support in Russia than one may think. The official polls are very misleading. People are afraid of admitting that they support him. And there are many that don’t fully support him, but in the situation that we have with no other people in opposition, when given the choice between him and the current power he would be the lesser of two evils. So he has support both outside and inside the country. And everything that he has been doing, he was doing based on his own personal political and economic interests. He is a very selfish and egoistic character who is making use of the situation. Being a puppet is not something that he is happy with, and being a hero is not on his agenda. And one more thing – the link between him and Alexander Lebedev as a former KGB official doesn’t actually go to show anything. The former KGB officials have ended up in all spheres of life. Lebedev actually has political ambitions and he is in opposition to the current elite, but for him Navalny would be more of a competitor than an ally. And this is the problem of the opposition in Russia. They can’t unite. They all want to be the leaders. That’s what killed Yabloko as a political force, which is where Navalny started his political career. As for being a real political threat to Putin, Navalny is nowhere near that level, at least not yet. But he can be used as an instrument by Putin’s rivals, and that’s what the real threat is. Who exactly would use him – there can be different people. But if Navalny lets them use him, he will definitely try to get something substantial out of it for himself. I know I was a bit hectic and all over the place, but hopefully this will give you some insight from an unbiased source in Russia that will help you get a better understanding of the situation.