“No director is old enough to bring a company of walkers to success”

Covid-19 is innocent. The decline of this country has many other culprits and of longer time. Who re-read the speech in the Napolitano Chamber on April 22, 2013? Merciless analysis of the reasons for our crisis. Dramatic appeal to finally begin a process of system reform, from the institutional to the administrative structure, from schools, to health care, to justice. A very harsh call to political forces so that their competition takes place on the basis of rational projects, in the context of full awareness of the irreversibility of the process of European integration.

After another decade or so of scrapping, of botched and unsuccessful attempts at reform, in a swing of transformations (today we say pragmatism) between sovereignties and Europeanisms united by being both essentially pure rhetorical exercises, we find ourselves point and again.

Having noted the complete failure of every attempt to find the numbers (let’s forget the quality) to form a parliamentary majority, the Chairman uses the “civil protection” represented by the “civil servants” of the Bank of Italy. It had happened with Dini, with Ciampi and ultimately also with Monti.


Thus Mario Draghi calmed his critics before going up to the Quirinale: contacts in recent months with Di Maio, Salvini and Meloni

It is incredible; the shipwrecked politicians, far from reflecting on their own powerlessness and starting to reconstruct their own reason for being, now greet the event as if it were their success, ready to make available to the new President their “forces”, so brilliantly expressed. Politics, they say, raises its head and, for the supreme good of the country, overcomes contrasts and conflicts, forgets the deadly insults with which its protagonists loved to call themselves, and prepares to face the challenges that await us (those that, from thirty years, we have always carefully avoided).

If that were the case, Renzi should be thanked. One of the two: either the best was to continue with a Conte-ter government, and of course without Renzi, or this Draghi presidency is. Tertium datur? If yes, only this: that Draghi is the least worst and it is up to eat him, but the Count would have been much, much preferable. Do our heroes dare to say it? Asking them for consistently honest speeches is perhaps too much. But it is also too much to pretend today enthusiasm around the Mattarellian solution.

Renzi is not to be thanked for the simple reason that he is fully responsible together with all his colleagues for the semi-collapse of the political class that the latest events have laid bare. It has ruined the party to which destiny assigns at this stage to be the only point of equilibrium of the system. It prevented people from going to vote after the crazy Salvinian summer to keep a majority without any foundation in check, and now it determines its end, I don’t think on the basis of who knows what Mephistophelic intentions, but for reasons as varied as confused, including the declared allergy to Contian leadership. Condition, I fear, very common: the pragmatic cunning so widespread reveals more and more a very banal absence of ideas and projects.

So here we are back to the Savior. It is an image that now threatens to inhabit our common sense. The more the political crisis becomes more radical, the more that image becomes irresistible. At the decisive moment there is no criticism and self-criticism on the part of political forces, there is no relaunch of their action in civil society – only the appeal to the Director echoes. We start by invoking the political leader, and when he fails, even if he emerges for the space of a morning, then he welcomes the Director that the President gives us.


The opportunity and the risk

For decades we have been proceeding along this drift, shared by large sectors of European public opinion: to decide you need the Head; the political forces are hunting for who could play the part, at least on TV; if they find him, he is shipwrecked; and then salvation is invoked “from outside”. Why doesn’t the Chief hold up? Because between this idea and that of democracy there is an abyss. It is finally necessary to be mature people and to choose: the two “principles” cannot coexist. The Chief appeals to the people and cannot bear intermediate bodies. Democracy is made up of participation through them. Pursuing the dream of the Chief and knowing how to govern and reform a democratic system are incompatible professions. Fortunately, at least so far, the antibodies of our democracies, however reformable they may be, have resisted. But the resistance does not, in fact, produce reforms. If all goes well, it produces Ciampi and Draghi.

What can Draghi do during his consulate – one year, between now and the election of the new President – in addition to addressing the health emergency? Reject the assault that certainly would have been to the Recovery funds, at least to the “non-repayable” part; to present to the European authorities, under the umbrella of its credibility, a Plan that is something more concrete than a “Greta-style” list of having to be on digitization, green economy, sustainability, etc .; simplify procedures and accelerate infrastructural interventions.

Will it also be able to launch a reliable spending review? Maybe. Will he be able to set up an ethically necessary maneuver so that the costs of the pandemic are reasonably distributed among all Italians? I strongly doubt it – that would already require a majority-majority. Finally, let’s forget about training, education, justice, industrial and labor policies. Not to mention public administration or the relationship between central powers, Regions, Autonomies. For years everyone has known that these are the unresolved issues that immobilize the system.

No director is old enough to bring a fellow walker to success. And the funds of Ten Thousand Recovery can sink if they are not used in the context of the necessary reforms. Those, on the other hand, that Europe asks for. And for another time we still won’t know how to answer. From late to late, from back to back we proceed from the end of the 1980s. Before the gap with the other European countries becomes definitively unbridgeable, will our political “forces” be able to use the Draghi presidency to reorganize themselves, compose coherent understandings, move towards the next elections with a truly constituent spirit? I don’t know, but I’m afraid there will be no new Dragons or further repair exams.

Source: L'Espresso – News, inchieste e approfondimenti Espresso by espresso.repubblica.it.

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