education. In such systems, the bureaucracy is primarily regulatory and predatory, and is not an instrument for social change nor for distributing State benefits. Although bureaucrats in such societies sometimes had immense power locally, they were still comparatively few in number and limited in their corruption by the size of the State resources they were allowed to handle, and by the fact that even if the illiterates could not control their official functions, their own educated kinsmenthe landowners and merchants with whom they had tight personaltiescould and did. Moreover, so long as no one expects rapid development, and the society functions, inefficiency is not of great importance. Indeed, a certain degree of failure to apply rules through adaptation to local pressures tends to preserve social stability.
That dramatically alters this situation is the attemptalmost universal in this new world of developing territories and international aidto use the bureaucracy as an instrument for rapid social change through the expenditure of vast new State resources, moving into the local society from above. In Italy, at the same time, the bureaucracy is called upon to operate complex new schemes of State benefits; in particular, complex schemes for collecting contributions and distributing benefits under official but semi-independent social and health insurance societies.
From the point of people living in the society it is not the overall aim of economic development and social justice that seems important, but the fact that a new supply of jobs, money and benefits has suddenly become available. A privately financed non- political organisation working for adult education, planned a centre in a small Lucanian town. Even before they were ready to start building, the community was riven by quarrels about who was to get work as labourer on the building site. Similarly, when millionsmiliardi in Italian termsare to be spent, before all the laws and plans have been worked out and are ready for practical application, people on the spot have been scheming and organising, not in terms of desirable changes in their society, but in terms of their own immediate advantage jobs, contracts, percentages.
In Italy, the influx of new resources through the Casa per il Mezzogiorno, both directly
and indirectly, broke open a relatively stable social order. People move about as jobs
became available and communications improve. Individuals seize new opportunities
with very different degrees of luck and acumen, and the established hierarchy of social
rank is upset. As a result of these changes, the informal controls formerly exercised
over the traditional bureaucrats in a more or less static society diminish, leaving the new
holders of power and privilege much freer. Secondly, the shifting situation and the
larger number of office holders provides all kinds of new situations for the exercise of
personal pressures. Whereas formerly people knew more or less what could and what
could not be obtained and how to go about getting it, now the possibilities are vastly
increased and no one can be sure of the results of attempts to exercise personal
pressure. Many people will suffer disappointments, others will be busy experimenting
with new forms of imbroglio.
A Liberal candidate, speaking publicly before the elections of April 28th, 1963, admitted that the Liberals operated a client-patron system in the pre-Fascist south. But, he said, it was organised, predictable and humane, not random and chaotic like the Democratic Christian patron-client system of to-day. If he is right in his facts, he is wrong in his implications. The randomness is not the fault of the Democratic Christian Party, but of the new open social situation.
Uncertainty and social mobility increase resentment. We know that closed communities usually react with malice towards successful members, a prophet hath no honour, and may on occasion succeed by gossip or witchcraft accusations, or some other such pressure, in pushing them down again (Colson, 1953; Gluckman, 1955.) In South Italy, this resentment takes the less effective form of accusations of imbroglio, normally ex post facto and without evidence. Thus the fact that the society is in movement generates suspicion and accusations which in turn probably tend to increase the actual extent of corruption.
The particular way in which personal relationships compromise the impartiality and efficiency of a bureaucracy vary according to the social structure of each country. As I have said, in the paesi of south Italy until late 1940's, the local borghesia was in an extremely strong position, partly because of its monopoly of education and contacts with the sources of power and authority, partly because the Fascist repression supported them, and partly because population in relation to resources was so intense that the bottom ranks of society were divided by competition for bread and unable to combine against their rulers. The only path was to become a client, as servile as possible, in the hopes of being rewarded with work or with land to rent. Fear kept people submissive, and in this situation a paternalistic client-patron relationship flourished in which the rulers and owners had to do very little for their supporters in order to retain their loyalty,in striking contrast with many much more primitive societies, where offended followers might rebel, or simply walk out and join another chief. Thus certain ways of thinking, certain attitudes already existed in the society on to which developments and the welfare state imposed the vast increase of bureaucratic activity, and helped to guide it towards a personal morality.
Political developments in post-war Italy have also been a special factor in the
development of personal relations within the bureaucracy. One party government in any
society encourages the government's supporters to intervene in the bureaucracy partly
for simple political purposes, and partly because the successful government politicians
also wish at the same time to butter their own personal bread. Ataturk's Turkey
provides an excellent example of such a system, with close ties at every point between
the party hierarchy and the official organs of State. A recent thesis on Turkey provides
a different kind of example from the Democrat Party regime of Adnan Menderes
(Szyliowicz, 1961), showing in detail the intrigues of the Democratic Party to win votes at the local level by manipulating bureaucratic behaviour through political pressures.
One sanction against this kind of behaviour is the existence of a well organised opposition capable of replacing the government, and prepared to art as a watchdog. Since the war no such opposition has existed in Italy. The Democratic Christian Party, by far the largest on the Italian scene, is not a single party with a clear ideology and policy, but an anti-communist Catholic federation of opposed interests. Threatened only by the Communist Party, the D.C. set itself to fight the political battle with all the traditional weapons of the patron-client system. Hence to the pressures from below towards a system of personal relalionsllills, they added an example of political clientship and interference from above. The political success of these tactics has not been impressive, but undoubtedly they have reinforced tendencies to corruption already present in the social structure. Moreover, because the party was a federation, and had been steadily forced to accept more and more political allies to preserve its majority, it has lacked the authority to subdue private interest groups to the interests of the State. lithe Fascist system of governing through semi-independent enti charged with carrying out major State functions has been continued, and expanded. These enti, once created, have shown themselves capable of joining in the intrigues round the government in the interests of their own operations, and naturally, of the importance of their own directors, and the safety of the jobs of their own staff.
Examples abound. Most striking of all is the body formed before fascism as a federation of local landowner's cooperatives for buying seed and supplies and selling products. The Federconsorzi, converted already to government purposes, was charged by the Fascists with executing government policies for food and agricultural products during the war, and has retained the function of buying grain for the government, at a subsidised price, compulsorily until 1960, now in a free market. The organisation also retained its function as a supplier to farmers. It ran stores, workshops, flour mills, olive oil presses, made special agreements with Fiat for tractors and with the fertiliser industry, and set up or took shares in subsidiary companies for processing and marketing fruit, vegetables, wine and oil. It has become the fourth largest financial concern in Italy, after Fiat, Finsider (state steel), and E.N.I. (state oil) [Rossi-Doria, 1963]. This body shared directors with the pro-government Coltivatori Diretti, a sort of Catholic trade union, representing small cultivators all over Italy, which claims the allegiance of some seventy D.C. deputies elected by its votes.
This is only one example. Italy, alone as far as I know, still in 1963 had two bodies
which sprang from U.N.R.R.A., the postwar U.N. relief organisation, both
performing jobs with State money which one might think belonged to normal
ministries. The policy continues. Among the new sixty odd State-imposed insurance
societies, one is worth a comment. In 1960, in order to introduce medical aid group for independent small cultivators the government instituted a separate Casa Mutua Coltivatori Diretti, for every province. Though legally separate, these bodies organisationally are run by the officers of the pro-government Coltivatori Diretti, to which all small cultivators must therefore belong, at least medically. Naturally, insurance schemes produce large sums for investment, and these are also under the management of government supporters.
These complications are not known, or at least not understood, by everyone. But government deputies and senators make no attempt to conceal their belief in the principle of personal intervention. Indeed, they boast about their power to influence decisions of government, which one would have thought at least in theory should be impersonal and technical. Before the election, public notices on walls and in newspapers told all and sundry that certain grants for sewers, roads and markets for their towns had been obtained from the Casa per il Mezzogiorno per l (( interessamento )) of the Honourable So and So. No one seemed to think this in the least strange or immoral; in the Italian view, it is not dishonest to use one's office to win favours for one's political clients. If the rules of technical impartiality are publicly flouted at this level, it is not surprising that people accept personal morality at lower levels.
The extension of a system of personal morality throughout the whole apparatus of a government, and its consequent conversion to intrigue, political horse dealing, and a patron client system based on the most powerful, or in many cases the only, political party is, among countries struggling with problems of development, in no way exceptional. What is exceptional in Italy is rather the co-existence of these conditions with a highly developed industrial economy and a stable system of genuinely free elections. But though the reasons for its existence may be special to Italy, the situation is not.
So far I have compromised between two modes of presenting my argument. On the one hand I have talked in terms of general principles, as though setting up a model which should hold good for all relevant situations. Of course, as always, these principles are oversimplified, and stated in concepts insufficiently precise; all the same they have a certain analytical and explanatory power. On the other hand, I have constantly turned to Italy for my examples, because the thoughts here recorded were inspired by living for some months in the Italian south.
Italy is in many ways a special case. Underdevelopment is a relative concept, and if the
term can be applied at all to South Italy, it is certainly in a very different sense to that in
which the newly independent States of Asia and Africa are underdeveloped. Equally, of
course, the (( underdeveloped )) countries differ among themselves in vast degrees and