“The Italians? They are only undisciplined sheep”

“The Italians? They are only undisciplined sheep”
“The Italians? They are only undisciplined sheep”

Modern Voltaire in a tie and vicuna, Indro Montanelli has the gift, so rare among us journalists, of making the difficult easy, the turbid clear, the indigestible digestible. Under his pen, even logarithms become edible.

In his very uncomfortable school we have learned – or, at least, we are deluded – that clarity is a duty, objectivity does not exist, the reader is always right.

Are we still a rule of law?

“I would not say”.

Who has challenged the principle of authority?

“Fascism, making the wrong use of it.”

Who’s in charge in Italy?

«Everyone and nobody. Perhaps, the party leaders. But up to a certain point ».

And who obeys?


With us, only those who work eat?

“Those who work are the only ones who don’t eat. Only the traffics make “.

The pillars of our public morality?

“I don’t see any more.”

Is it private?

“Not even. Even if there are still some gentlemen ».

What virtue do we lack most?

“A bit of all of them.”

But most of all?

“Courage, sincerity – which is an aspect of courage – civism”.

And individualism?

“We don’t talk about it.”


“The Italians believe they are individualists, while they are nothing but undisciplined and unsocial sheep.”

Do we have more intelligence or character?

“Intelligence, or rather speed, quick reflexes.”

Why do Italians all speak together?

“For inability to live together. Everyone does their own monologue, not caring what others say ».

In Italy, is it better for many to be wrong or right on your own?

«Woe to be right alone. It is the most dangerous thing ».

The most Italian of verbs?

“Get by.”

Is there tolerance today in Italy?

“But Italy is a whole house of tolerance.”

Why do we believe so much in miracles?

“Because we no longer have any reason to believe in logic, in reason”.

Is Italian more Catholic in bed or in church?

“Everywhere: in bed, in church, in politics. He is always Catholic ».

Is he more faithful to his wife or marriage?

“To marriage”.


“Sin keeps him company.”

Do you also think that, in our country, there is only paralysis progressively?


Is our political class more incapable of doing, skilled in not doing, very skilled in undoing?

«He is adept at not doing. Not that he wants to undo: undoes due to inability to do ».

The faults of the entrepreneurs?

“Never look up at what happens outside their companies.”


“But ours are not trade unions.”

And what are they?

“Medieval guilds, which see only the interest of the category.”

Why so many donkeys in so many newspapers?

“There is no filter anymore. But now it happens everywhere. The fight against meritocracy means flattening the most inexperienced ».

How do you choose your collaborators?

“Either I know they are good, or I look young and put them to the test.”

Does everyone have to think like you?

“Do not mention it! At the Giornale there is a bit of everything ».

Even missini?


And communists?

“As far as I know, only the Sardinian correspondent.”

Why is it so difficult to write as you speak?

«Because the habit of lying, in Italy, is instinctive, secular. You have to cover up and, when you cover yourself up, you can’t write as you speak ».

Does objectivity exist?

«As an ideal, therefore unattainable. We try, however, to approach it, or, at least, pretend it ».

Is the art of lying, looking like telling the truth good journalism?

“It’s clever journalism.”

Why are party newspapers so indigestible?

“Because they are propaganda tools, which is always, by nature, bad journalism.”

What do newspapers want from political power?

“Protections, coverages, financing, facilitations”.

And political power from the newspapers?

“The same thing”.

Is the press always the fourth estate?

“But how can we talk about fourth power in a country where powers no longer exist, indeed there are only usurped powers, such as that exercised by the judiciary, which also takes legislative initiatives?”.

What is commitment? Only incitement – as Prezzolini said – to the group lie?

“In practice, in Italy, this was”.

Does it still pay to jump left?



“The mistake made on the left is not a mistake.”

And stuff?

“A generous misunderstanding, redeemed by good intentions. Think of what was written at the beginning of terrorism. But nobody apologizes to anyone ».

Why so many ex-fascists in anti-fascist parties?

“Because all of Italy was fascist.”

For you too, as for Longanesi, is the intellectual a gentleman who has books binded that he has not read?


Speaking of Longanesi: how much do you owe him?

“Very very much”.

That is?

“The taste of being at odds with the flock, the nonconformity, the lucidity.”

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