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The Foundations of a Nation

Chapter 1 -Reclaiming Our History 

The Italian State, the Padanian Nation
The Italian unitary centralists have always, and at all costs, exploited the ambiguous identity between the Nation and the State. In reality, they were concerned and are concerned only with the State, or more precisely, the semblance of the State apparatus used and exploited by the several political regimes which have succeeded one another in ruling this territory in the last 135 years with hardly any sense of the common interest.
The real protagonists of history, the People, have nothing to do with the foregoing concept of Nation which is merely another way of defining the State. If we accept that a State corresponds to a Nation, and to a Nation, automatically, a People, this means that historical identities and territories within the State which are different from the official one cannot be recognized and must even be repressed. A partial exception is made for a few communities which are blessed with the good fortune of sharing their language with the people of some, possibly more powerful, State.
This aspect of the modern State is conceived of as the awful beast reproduced in the "Leviathan" model from the treatise of the British philosopher Hobbes. This is a State which often defines itself as the "fatherland". Italian officialdom professes to teach us Padanians that we should regard ourselves mentally and emotionally closer to the inhabitants of the sothernmost islets off Sicily, than to, say, those of neighbouring Southern Switzerland, sharing the same mood of speech with Lombardy. How can we build a Europe of the Peoples on such an artificial basis?
In contrast to the Italian State which for 135 years has attempted in vain to define itself as a Nation, Padania represents a potential Nation in historical and cultural terms based on shared feelings and social and economic interests, though still subject to an arrogant colonial repression which by now has become intolerable.

Padania has always been part of Europe
For more than nineteen centuries of its approximately twenty-five century history, Padania has been closely tied to the rest of continental Europe.
From the Sixth to the Eighth centuries, it was united under the Lombard Kingdom, and from the High Middle Ages to nearly the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, it was part of the Germanic Empire and the glorious Republic of Venice. In contrast, Padania was under Roman government for only six centuries: in antiquity, from around 200 B.C., when the Celtic populations were conquered and subjugated, until around 285 A.D., when Milan became the capital of the Western Empire; and from 1870 until today.
In the Low Middle Ages, Padania became the focal point of the rise of the Free Communes, spearheading a movement which liberated new social forces in Europe from the restrictions and privileges of the old feudal order. This movement, along with the religious and social stirrings which were the main features of medieval city life in the territories of Padania and Tuscany, remained separate from the regions of South Italy. This was a major factor in the development of profound differences in civil life and social organization between the regions comprising the present-day Italian State. The effects of these differences are clearly illustrated in the study of Harvard University professor Robert Putnam.* These were the years (1167) of the first Lombard League, a free association of Communes not only of the present-day Lombardia, but also of other areas of Padania. The League scored an important victory at Legnano over the Germanic Emperor in 1176. This was a historical battle not so much for the number of armed men who took part in it, or for its military result, but because it marked the rise of the modern citizens' militia, the victory of free citizen soldiers over feudal armies.
Padania was one of the European centers, in addition to Flanders and the Hanseatic League, which gave rise to the Free and Autonomous Communes. And not by chance, in the Late Middle Ages and at the beginning of the Modern Era, these centers reached the heights not only of industry, commerce, and finance, but also of culture, indeed, of Western civilization.


Chapter 2 - Reclaiming Our Geography

Geographical fraud
Official scholastic and non-scholastic texts of the Italian State claim that "Italy is a perfectly defined natural geographical region", thus rendering perfect homage to the cult of "the sacred national borders" typical of nineteenth-century- style nation-statism. It is evident that this "naturalness" is evoked to attribute a legitimacy and a sacredness to political and historical constructions in an attempt to juxtapose the distinct physical, natural sphere onto historical, human events. It is a thinly veiled attempt to instill the idea that the "Nation-State" is eternally defined by nature itself. The would-be Italian nation-State is panned off as coinciding with the physical peninsular region rigidly separated from the rest of Europe by the Alpine mountain chain.
The habit of employing the term "Peninsula" as a synonym for the territory of the Italian State is as wide-spread as it is erroneous. A simple look at the map reveals that of the 300,000 square kilometers of Italian State territory, only 130,000 are peninsular. The islands comprise more than 50,000 square kilometers, while the remaining 120,000 are clearly part of the European continental land mass. In spite of those who would like to deny the evidence, Padania's geographical position in the center of Europe has made it a strategic area for communications, and also for warfare. In fact, from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth centuries, Padania shared with Flanders the unenviable destiny of being the theater of conflict between the major European powers.
When we hear people talk about the "northern part of the Italian peninsula" in reference to the Alpine-Padanian regions, we must object to the incontrovertible abuse of this expression. This expression more accurately refers to Tuscany, the Marche, and Umbria.

The Alps: barrier or pivot-point
Communications across the Alps have always been an integral part of active and continuous commercial and cultural exchanges both locally and as a pivot-point in a vaster network linking the Mediterranean world with northern Europe. Throughout the Middle Ages, pilgrims heading towards Rome or to other centers of Christendom, repeatedly crossed the Alps as did merchants and travelers. For centuries, transalpine communications have been more active than those between Padania and the peninsula.
Even in the first years after the formation of the Italian State (1860-xxxx), road links with central Europe were more numerous and in better condition than those with Rome. Furthermore, major rail connections were constructed through the Alps before those running through the Apennine mountains. To this day, Rome has not found the time, from 1991 to 1996, to ratify the Convention of the Alps, an international agreement for the development of transalpine transportation and the protection of the mountain environment.
To debunk the "ethnic barrier" myth, it is enough to observe that, as a rule, populations sharing the same languages occupy both sides of the Alpine watershed. Going west to east, we find: the Occitans, the Harpitans (French-Provençe), the Walser, the Romansch-Ladins, the Baiuvars; and the Slovenes. In antiquity, the Rhetians and the Ligurians had settlements on both sides of the Alps.


Chapter 3 - The Padanians Rise to Consciousness

Beyond the ethnic majority-minority issue

The embarrassment with which the issue of "independentism" is faced, accompanied by the awareness of the artificial nature of the centralist Italian political structure and its internal weaknesses and contradictions, hides the insecurity of a system which cannot place Padania in the more reassuring category of "ethnic and linguistic minority" used to describe "traditional" claims for autonomy in more "peripheral" areas.
With the extension of recognition of groups which do not consider themselves of "foreign" cultures and languages and the implementation of concrete measures for their linguistic protection, official Italian ideology goes into crisis. The Italian State has always tried to link any form of protection which it has begrudgingly conceded with a sort of classification of these minorities as "extraneous bodies".

Linguistic fraud
The Padanians' rise to consciousness will inevitably dissolve the by now evidently artificial distinction between separate languages, "coordinated" languages, and "Italian" dialects.
The Padanian linguistic area is clearly differentiated from that of the Italic peninsula. According to distinguished scholars, the Romance languages (neo-Latin dialects) are divided into two large groups: Western, including Gallo-Romance and Iberic idioms; and Eastern, including Italia and Romanian.
The border between the these two groups can be represented by a line, or more accurately, by a band which runs between the Ligurian Sea to the Adriatic, and from Massa to Senigallia. The knowledge of this reality undoubtedly has a significant impact on those who were exposed to the propaganda of the Italian State. Knowledge of this reality is rigorously forbidden in Italian schools so as to make people believe that our modes of speech are dialects of Italian. This same propaganda is also projected in schools and universities abroad.
How is it possible for a mode of speech to be a regional variant of a language if it does not even belong to that language group?

The denied Padanian identity re-emerges with strength
The litany used to oppose the rise to consciousness of the peoples of Padania is by now predictable: "Padania does not exist, Padanian identity is ridiculous."
Why then fear something which does not exist? Why is it necessary to keep repeating it?
Evidently the paid personnel of this regime, including the journalists, do not even render a satisfactory service to their paymasters because the more they insist on this line, the more people come to know of the very reality which the regime hastens to deny.
The reality is that Padanian identity is certainly not "folklore" meant in the limiting and derisive sense which, not by chance, has been applied to the term. Let's examine why.
1. The Padanian culture is certainly not a local folkloristic version of a more general "Italian" culture. It is an original culture. This original Padanian culture is expressed not only in the realm of what is pejoratively defined as the underclass, the material culture, or the small traditions, but it is also expressed in the realm of "high" culture (painting, architecture, literature). The inspiration of original Padanian culture has always had strong transalpine ties and over the centuries it has expressed distinctive creative forms which are one of the foundations of the great traditions emanating from the artistic and politically autonomous centers of Western civilization.
2. Padanian society and culture express the desire and the potential to be at the forefront of modernization and the European integration process. This can be achieved more efficiently and effectively without the ruinous intermediation of the Italian State which merely represents a parasitic political superstructure.

The penetrating and persuasive strength of the Padanian identity cannot be explained a priori as the reaction to the oppressive tax burden, the mafia, uncontrolled immigration, the arrogant bureaucracy, the inefficiency of the Italian State, the distortions of free competition, the rule-by-party system, the systematic destruction of small and medium-sized businesses, etc. All of these grave situations, even if considered together, do not allow for a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. The reality is that we Padanians identify Rome and the unitary Italian State as the carrier of all these threats to the progress and stability of OUR life in civil society. And we have steadily developed the awareness that the problem can only be solved by us alone. The Italian State, the Italian rule-by-party/vote-pandering system is a beast afflicted with incurable ills which thrives on forcibly and deceptively holding together Peoples of different civic traditions. Attempts at reform from within this system have proved to be pious illusions.


Chapter 4 Padania Today Inside the Italian State

The impotence of the Italian State against organized crime destroys confidence and leads to civil decadence.
As a result of the transmission mechanism of the centralist Italian State, Padania has been infected with the spread of big organized criminal groups which are alien to its civic traditions. Though the mentality of the Padanian people does not allow us to accept shake-down payments as an economic variable, giving in to organized crime becomes inevitable when the evidence shows that the State is unwilling and unable to do anything to eradicate the mafia-inspired culture and leaves the citizens alone in the defense against mafia-style violence. When the mafia reaches the point of assassinating judges who have done their duty, only to have other judges release the criminals from prison, when released mafia bosses order the murder of police officers who investigate mafia crimes, when, despite bureaucratic anti-mafia procedures which bog down and offend honest business people, public work contracts still wind up in mafia hands, it becomes clear that there is no political will to defeat the mafia for the simple reason that the Mafia is inside the State. Graver still is that the State cannot and will not defend its own representatives who nonetheless attempt to combat the mafia despite all the obstacles (purposefully) placed in their path incredibly explained by a "lack of coordination" and by a perverted concept of legal guarantees.
The Italian State bears the historic responsibility for the spread of organized crime in Padania. Freeing Padania means breaking the transmission mechanism which has infected it with the cancer of the Mafia. Failure to free Padania means not only the decay of our original culture and economy, but it also means the spread of the Mafia transmission mechanism throughout the European Union. Securing the freedom of Padania is our solemn moral duty.

The demographic collapse of Padania: a pre-announced catastrophe
Perhaps nothing more vividly illustrates Padania's urgent need to take its destiny into its own hands than the drastic demographic changes which are about to befall it.
There is a simple and fundamental truth which is rendered imperceptible by the structure of the centralist Italian State together with purposeless materialism: the negative rate of population growth in Padanian communities of both the mountains and the plains has reached such a high level that the population will be halved within a generation. Padania is steadily and rapidly becoming a population of retirement-aged people without an adequate number of young people to care for them materially and emotionally. In short, our people risk moving down the path to extinction.
This situation is absolutely pathological for which there is no comparison elsewhere in Western Europe. Countries like Great Britain, Norway, France, and Sweden report an average of 13-14 births per year per one thousand inhabitants while in Padania the rate has fallen to around 7 per thousand.
The fact is that today Padania remains an advanced society trapped inside a State entity which does not allow it to manage its own problems arising from industrial and post-industrial development, the first among which is the risk of failing to adequately reproduce itself. But the very reality of this problem is hidden by the Italian State. Padania's incredibly low birth rate hardly ever appears in official statistics. It is almost always shown as an average which includes South Italy's naturally much higher rate of birth. We all know that today's family relief checks are a joke, while Padania's resources are systematically siphoned off.
In any case, it seems that the ruling classes want it this way. Among other things, based on current demographic trends and institutional arrangements, within twenty years South Italy will send dozens more representatives to the Italian Parliament at the expense of Padania in a zero-sum game. At that point, the political representation of Padania in Rome will become a mere nuisance for the Italian State. Therefore, it is imperative that Padania break out of this system before it is too late.

Non-European immigration
Padania is not protected from the impact of massive non-European immigration which not only is often a painful experience for the immigrants themselves and causes serious problems of public order, it also endangers the identity of our Peoples.
It is estimated that within a few years, the Maghreb countries alone will have to create 3 million new jobs per year. Even the most enthusiastic pro-immigration policy-makers realize that Europe will never be able to create enough new jobs to relieve the pressures of the growing populations of North Africa. The point is that a People have the human right not to be invaded by other Peoples, this risking to become foreigners in their own land.
The pressures of unemployment and the demoralization of living under the authoritarian regimes which govern many Third World countries explain why many young people attempt the adventure of emigrating. Very often, people do not emigrate to learn a trade, to save up a nest-egg and return home; they emigrate for a more general desire to live better, to stay in what appears from afar - perhaps through some television show - as a kind of paradise where there is wealth for everyone without having to work for it and where it seems that anything goes.
Beyond the rhetoric and the daily brainwashing perpetrated by the Italian mass media, citizens of all ideological leanings are becoming aware of the open exploitation of immigration on the part of politicians, organized criminal groups, and the Unions who stand ready to manipulate the immigrants to their own advantage in complete disregard for the common good.
The orphans of Marxism are among the most fervent supporters of an immigration policy without limits, of immediate granting of all kinds of welfare rights to the new arrivals. From their point of view, there are evidently many advantages to this transaction. Through the building of a "fifth column", the formation of a new proletariat, these political groups permanently gain consensus based on the very ethnic factors which they pretend to deny.
Justified by the "need for labor", unplanned immigration incompatible with the criteria of comparative advantage only aggravates the already chronic problem of structural unemployment, giving rise to frustrations and hatred, however misplaced they may be. Examples are provided by the frequent explosions of violence which occur in nearby cities such as Paris, Brussels, and Marseilles.
By what design are the ruling classes of the Italian State favoring an immigration policy which may lead to the most terrible forms of conflict?

Discrimination and exploitation
From the Declaration of Independence of Padania proclaimed at Venice on 15 September 1996:
"The Italian State has systematically annihilated every form of autonomy and self-government of our Towns, our Provinces, and our Regions;
The Italian State has deceptively forced the Peoples of Padania to be subjected to systematic exploitation of their economic and financial resources, built up through years of tireless daily work, to squander them on devastating welfarism, the vote-pandering system, and mafia-style corruption in the South;
The Italian State has deliberately attempted to suppress the languages and the cultural identities of the Peoples of Padania through the colonization of the public education system."

We trust that all persons of good will who have had first-hand experience with the Italian State can confirm the truth of the foregoing declaration.
The de facto exclusion of Padanians from public administration and decades of racketeering have alienated Padanian citizens from an Italian State which can no longer fulfill its mission as guarantor of the common interest. The Italian State is perceived as something which does not pertain to us.


Chapter 5 Padania Towards a Europe of the Peoples and of the Regions

What kind of European integration will develop?
A no less pressing need is developing in Europe for a system of regulations for governing fundamental economic and environmental choices allowing people to feel closer to the political institutions which more accurately reflect their spheres of identity. At the same time, such a system must be robust enough to meet the challenges of preparing local and European-wide economies for the increasingly interdependent and competitive global marketplace.
Therefore, European integration is not, and should not be, only a response to the recognized inadequacies of the traditional forms of sovereignty of small and medium-sized States concentrated in one of the most developed parts of the world. It also represents the natural environment in which to give a greater voice to the values and rights of European populations. Integration means seeking out all that is shared in common and appreciating all that is specific. From the Mediterranean to the North Sea, Nations without a State, quasi-Nations, and regional groupings recognize this historical opportunity.
The response to these needs is a Europe of the Peoples, of the regional communities, and of the local communities. It is the only Europe in which the citizens can experience a democracy based on the consensus of the governed and an authority which is exercised with respect for individuals and groups. It is the only Europe which can deliver us from the sad destiny of becoming hapless subjects as a result of a mere transfer of power from the bureaucratic State capitals to the super-bureaucratic institutions of Brussels.

With the weakness of the would-be Nation-States, historical regions and ethnic nationalities emerge
Historical regions, religious groups, and linguistic groups which have been part of single would-be nation-States, in some cases, for centuries (for example, in France and in Spain), and which centralist authoritarianism succeeded in repressing only superficially, are re-emerging. Padania's demands for autonomy confirm once again that our Peoples are the forerunners of fundamental movements in the most advanced parts of Europe. In spite of what the State-owned Italian mass media would like to make people believe, "localism" is not a sign of backwardness. On the contrary, the evolution and forward development of our movement is unstoppable. It is a European-wide phenomenon which the retarded and provincial Italian State, culturally and economically mired in the backwaters of Europe, cannot and wishes not to see for evident reasons of self-interest.
Many Western ethnic and regional communities demand recognition of autonomy within a framework of regional or federalist institutions, or else greater autonomy than is currently attainable, or even independence from their respective present-day States. The different demands ranging from full sovereignty to basic cultural autonomy correspond to the level of self-awareness and identity achieved up till now by the respective groups. Consequentially, it is difficult to classify this movement into a single category. However, in its entirety, it reflects a need to re-affirm feelings of belonging common to all advanced industrial societies of Western civilization.
Padania, therefore, envisions a Europe of the Regions and of the Peoples; a Europe much different from the present one which, in many respects, is the result of compromises between States and international lobbies. This is why the Padanian movement can be the beginning of a general European transformation.

Padania in a straight-jacket
Though Padania's per-capita Gross Domestic Product is one of the highest in the Europe Union, despite its economic strength, as a result of the ruinous intermediation of the Italian State:
- Padania risks being excluded from European Monetary Union and, as a consequence, from the inner circle of European integration. In this way, it will be kept away from an area to which it belongs historically, economically, and culturally;
- our local governments are systematically deprived of the resources necessary to solve local territorial problems, both in the big cities and in the mountain-valley towns, concerning such issues as environmental protection and the development of transportation infrastructure, while our health care system and our schools fall short of European standards;
- the well-being of our future generations has been jeopardized by a national debt, accumulated by the Italian State, totaling more than 120% of Italy's GDP, to finance profligate spending on political patronage.
Why does this situation exist? Why do we have to be subjected to this discrimination? Why do we have to be made to feel alienated? Because Padania is not yet today a political entity. Because Padania is rigidly confined inside the centralist Italian State.

What does Padania Want ?


Free from the oppression of Roman-style centralism.
Free from the cancer of the Mafia.
Free to manage its own problems.
Free to remain part of Europe.
Free to compete in international markets.
Free to assist in the growth of peoples with less developed economies.
Free to preserve and promote its own cultural identities.
Free to be itself!