Socialism and freedom


Socialism is a beautiful word. Over time abused, disputed and very often misunderstood. Overseas, when we talk about socialist countries, we are referring to Ceaușescu’s Romania and Honecker’s East Germany, certainly not Mitterand’s France or Palme’s Sweden.

But even remaining within national borders, the socialist experience embraced and held together a plurality of ideas and thoughts, sometimes antithetical to each other. In the glorious and centenary history of the Italian Socialist Party, anti-Sovietists and tankers, autonomists and frontists, liberals and Marxists coexisted.

And I could go on and on. It is not a question of contradictions, but of a complexity born of the times and historical events that Italian socialism has gone through.

It can be said that only in the last 15 years, those ranging from 1978 to 1993, the PSI has given itself a definite and univocal connotation: reformist, autonomist, liberal. In my opinion, it was a choice that was not contradictory with its history, but was actually a direct consequence of the evolutions that first thought and then socialist politics had carried out.

And it was a choice of modernity, in the direction of the ambitions and needs of an Italy that was radically changing. It goes without saying that, precisely because it was clear and decisive, it was also a painful choice: it caused some internal tears and, above all, rekindled the conflict on the left with the Communists.

Today, almost thirty years after the end of that experience, it makes no sense – if not perhaps out of legitimate nostalgia – to refer to the history of Italian socialism in its entirety, the one which, in fact, held together different and divergent impulses.

Instead, a political proposal is needed that takes on the responsibility of picking up the baton of the significant part of history that goes from Turati to Tognoli. Precisely because there remains the demand for modernity in the country, which in the meantime has become an urgency: our economy has lost blows and positions, our young people certainly have fewer prospects for the future than then. A question that needs a strong, immediate, structurally non-demagogic answer. In other words, reformist, autonomist, liberal.

Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by

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