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LA STAMPA

A Writer's Ode To The Victims Of A Pitiless Economy

Essay: The small tragedies of the economic crisis have begun to creep into the daily headlines. Reading about a business owner's suicide, an Italian columnist learns it's not always easy to find the right way to speak -- and write -- abo

In Florence, everything must go (Curran Kelleher)
In Florence, everything must go (Curran Kelleher)
Massimo Gramellini

A motorcycle dealer hangs himself because he can no longer pay his employees. A retiree throws himself off a balcony after receiving a 5,000-euro claim against him from the national insurance board. These are tales from the daily Spoon River of a crisis that seems to fall harder on the newly impoverished than the perennially poor, creating fear and panic among those suddenly thrust into uncertainty: a lost job, company, home, status.

I must admit that I too am at fault. In my writings I deal with this fear far too casually. Every story of the ongoing breakdown, though legitimate, becomes a brick in that wall of anguish against which the most desperate minds are bound to crash.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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