The New Frontiers of Political Conflict


Versione Italiana

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I believe it is right, if possible, to take a step forward in the reflection regarding the relationship between the citizen and participation.

It’s not a simple thing to do, but I will try to make my contribution, also because the consequence of this analysis will play out in the vote.

In my opinion, each of us finds a reference for our social and participatory positioning in one “status”, in two “origins” and in three “contingencies”.

The “origins” are evident: family and school. I think I can identify the “contingencies” in the services we use, in the work we choose or are inclined to accept and in the collective imagination that surrounds and envelops us.

The “status” refers to the type and extent of communication we use or are inclined to use.

The question that then spontaneously arises is as follows: has anything changed since the past, since the twentieth century that I experienced directly?

I have to say yes.

As regards the “origins”, the family seems to me to have been watered down, with serious difficulties in defining roles, by the inability to transmit and translate the past, by a manifest weakness in discussing and addressing issues and the merit of things that happen. I would say an often essentially permissive family, in which the example is not valid in discussion but in behavior, but with an important clarification: there is no longer a great collective desire for emancipation. The future necessarily appears to be captured, not deserved and demanded socially.

School is still fundamental today.

As a place of study it has not missed a beat. In fact, perhaps it has grown. However, as a place for training and overall growth, it appears to be in difficulty. This is because the social positioning of the school is in crisis: its appearance as a social elevator, its credibility in the evolution of the country.

This is true to the extent that foreign countries often appear fascinating and better compared to here at home. However, it is the collective imagination of school rather than school itself that is in crisis.

And the ax of those who foresee the “private” as the dominant axis of education falls on schools, as it does on other fundamental services. Then the “origins”, our family and schools, seem to be not completely destroyed but instead hesitant, uncertain, incapable of making their way in the new century.

The “contingencies” of public services, work and the imagination, are in a dialectic with our lives.

The services no longer have the extraordinary quality of the twentieth century.

The American way is subtly suggested as an example, that is, it is said that the private sector is valuable because it offers good quality, while the public sector struggles and should be avoided because it is mediocre, does not keep its promises, does not arrive at the right time, is not safe and so on.

Schools, healthcare, transportation, housing… these are classic and clear examples for all of us.

And so, even if we are saddened and angry, we are slowly led to believe that the transition from public to private is natural, obvious, inevitable. And healthcare is the means to convince those who can, while work is the other pole that has crumbled.

A thousand categories, different treatment, atypical contracts, VAT numbers, consultants and illegal work are the conditions that have undermined the unity of workers and their political capacity.

The existence of the union, even if only of the employed, made up of often protected categories and battles that are sometimes not easy to understand is a miracle that must be cared for and preserved. Being together, united and supportive at work is difficult, arduous, sometimes impossible, and the solidarity of the past is often difficult to build as successfully.

It is easier to become a witness.

And what of the collective imagination that surrounds us? It’s the only common trait we have. The one point that everyone sees. But it is built with a thousand different angles, opinions, desires and opportunities.

This is because the material reason for being together that was typical of the twentieth century no longer exists. Because the classic and obligatory search for the lowest common denominator in working and making demands together no longer appears possible.

So, we have witnessed a strange and often incomprehensible phase, what I call “freedom for all!”. To think and say why no pledge is paid, even if they say it’s crazy and there is no common goal.

Communication intervenes in all of this as a “status”, as water, as a glue, and it exalts the post-twentieth century ruptures.

It exalts individuality over the collective, personal interest over the general, the search for success over the fight for rights.

The drama of television is a thousand times stronger than any of Berlusconi’s governments in memory and today it has become a general characteristic of the media, starting with state television.

So, what does all this have to do with the difficulty of participation?

In my opinion what has been said explains it, motivates it, gives the reasons. It tells us about the new frontiers of political confrontation. It tells us that without solid foundations we get nowhere.

I care little whether you want to call it ideology or values.

The foundations of thought and ethics, of rights and duties, are cultural and material. They are part of the philosophy and economy of existence, built into the rights and limits of the individual, with the capacity of examples and ethics – understood as a popular and non-populist – as the key to understanding.

As always, the future is in our hands alone.

Translation by Paul Rosenberg

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The New Frontiers of Political Conflict ultima modifica: 2024-04-09T14:44:02+02:00 da MAURIZIO CECCONI
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