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Europe and its political families. Conversation with Benedetto Ligorio

13-03-2024 14:19


Europolitiche, Cultura politica, storia europea, Alessandro Mauriello, europa e famiglie politiche, partiti politici europei, cultura politica europea, novecento europeo, dipartimento di filosofia della Sapienza di Roma, Benedetto Ligorio,

Europe and its political families. Conversation with Benedetto Ligorio

Interview by Alessandro Mauriello with the young researcher in Modern History at the Sapienza University of Rome

On the subject of European political families, we publish an interesting interview by Alessandro Mauriello with Benedetto Ligorio, a young researcher in Modern History at the Department of Philosophy of the Sapienza University of Rome.

1. Dear Dr. Ligorio, who are the figures who have had the greatest impact on the process of European integration?
First of all, a methodological note. Because as the partisan and secular French historian Marc Bloch said, chronology is the backbone of history. It is necessary to distinguish two phases: that of the ideal construction of European identity that moves in the Modern Age and that draws sap from our Renaissance where the classical roots are Europeanized, that is, the Hellenic-Latin culture of Europe and its contribution to the development of the Slavic and Germanic ones. Then certainly the Enlightenment brought those values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity that were vectorized by the French Revolution and later by the Paris Commune.
Romanticism with the awakening of the consciences of the peoples of Europe in the national revivals, think of the processes of Italian and German unification, of the demands for self-determination of the Balkan peoples. With all the influences that these processes determined, one thinks of the manifestation of the struggles for independence of the American peoples, the United States, Haiti, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba. The European ones and obviously the international ones were red because they had a strong social propulsion and only later were they often distorted by nationalisms and identitarianisms. It is sad that uncritical, bureaucrats' globalism of special interest ignores and often lacks the minimum historical expertise to understand internationalism.
One thinks of the circulation and relational networks in Europe and abroad of the proponents of these moments of sudden change in society, which were progressively linked to each other in space, from state to state, and over time, from generation to generation. An international historical and political mentality and investigation is needed, which cannot be uncritically globalist but internationalist, in order to grasp the extent of the role and the ideal and material contribution that the European movements provided to the rest of the world.
I would like to mention a few fundamental names: Denis Diderot, François-Noël Babeuf, Montesquieu, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Maximilien de Robespierre, Victor Hugo, Jean-Paul Marat. For Italy, Gian Battista Vico, Ferdinando Galiani, the Verri brothers, Francesco Mario Pagano, Cesare Beccaria. Later, the great pillars
between thought and revolution were added: Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Giuseppe Mazzini, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Friedrich Adolph Sorge. But we could certainly include all the members of the first "International Working Men's Association", it is there that a Europe of peoples above religious and ethnic distinctions is planned in the right direction, which placed the equal rights of all human beings as the foundation of the idea of a secular society.

We cannot forget the contribution of the British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, the Russian-Italian Anna Kulishoff and the Apulian Olimpiada Kutuzova-Cafiero, the Irish Constance Markievicz of Sinn Féin, and above all the Polish-German Spartacist martyr Rosa Luxemburg who was assassinated as well as the German Karl Liebknecht by the nationalists.
Secondly, we need to consider how the European Union is shaping up today. In this case, it is necessary to start from 9 May, Europe Day. A historic date that falls on the anniversary of the defeat of Nazism and recalls Schuman's declaration and which
sees Italy among the founding countries of Europe. Among the many, there are two fundamental passages of Schuman's declaration that have great relevance against the idea of "fortress Europe", that is, one that excludes otherness, which unfortunately comes from environments refractory
to progress. "Europe will not be made all at once, nor will it be built all at once; it will arise from concrete achievements that create first and foremost a de facto solidarity." It is a fundamental declaration because it lays the foundations for a constant expansion of the Union, as was the case with the enlargement first to Great Britain, and in this sense the commitment of Harold Wilson's Labour Party was fundamental, and to Ireland in 1973 and then to the countries that had freed themselves from authoritarian nationalist regimes, strongly
In 1981 Greece freed itself from the right-wing military dictatorship of the colonels, in 1986 Spain entered Europe, previously freed from the regime of the right-wing nationalist dictator Franco, Portugal previously freed from the nationalists of the right-wing dictator Salazar.
Having overcome the logic of division into blocs, the result of the balances sanctioned in 1945 at Yalta between Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (and let us remember the great mediating role of US President Roosevelt in mitigating Churchill's reactionary tendencies that did not take into account the enormous sacrifice of the peoples of Eastern Europe in rejecting Nazism), the Warsaw Pact countries were the first to remove the borders that divided Europe and to join the Union in 2004 together with Slovenia, which came from a different history, that of the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia, neighboring Malta, Cyprus, which is the vanguard of Europe in the Eastern Mediterranean, today unfortunately shaken by terrible nationalistic conflicts, and the three Baltic republics, formerly Soviet republics: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In 2007 Bulgaria and Romania were combined, and in 2013 the Republic of Croatia. And progressively the European Schengen barriers are falling, because there cannot, and it must be clear, be first class and second class Europeans. An expansive process that reflects Schuman's declaration, and which is still incomplete and which sees the approach of Albania, Moldova, Georgia, the other countries of the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and at least three other Republics of the former Soviet Union: Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine.
Then there is another key passage in Schuman's declaration that is often not quoted: "A representative of the United Nations at the said carThe Committee will be responsible for preparing a public report to the UN twice a year, in which it will report on the functioning of the new body, in particular with regard to the safeguarding of its peaceful aims." This is not merely a technical question, but a precise approach that Europe sees and recognises in the Schuman Declaration as its interlocutor to whom it is directly accountable at a higher level, the United Nations, and on a very specific approach: that of Europe's peaceful aims.
In addition to the French Foreign Minister, Mr Schuman, we should remember a cornerstone of the idea of Europe: the Ventotene Manifesto. Ernesto Rossi, the leader of Justice and Freedom, the socialist partisan Eugenio Colorni and Altiero Spinelli, elected on the lists of the Italian Communist Party. And also the Apulian Gaetano Salvemini, Carlo Rosselli's teacher, and who was deeply esteemed by Antonio Gramsci, a Sardinian, one of the most illustrious minds of Italy in the world.
We should count among the proponents of Europe on the one hand the far-sightedness of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the 1960s and, above all, the Soviet president who saw a common home in Europe without renouncing the values of socialism: Mikhail Gorbachev.

2. E quelle del socialismo europeo?
Dovremmo partire da lontano: il socialismo europeo attuale è il frutto di un ricongiungimento tra i partiti socialisti rinnovati, i partiti laburisti (comprensivi delle varie varianti del socialismo e del tradeunionismo) e i partiti comunisti ritornati ad essere partiti socialdemocratici dopo gli anni 90 ovvero quasi tutti i partiti dell’Est Europa che seguirono l’esempio del PCI divenuto PDS per essere forza di governo, dopo che la democrazia cristiana era stata travolta dagli scandali e da tangentopoli. Difatti il socialismo europeo come lo conosciamo oggi si ricostruisce nel 1992 in un clima di superamento dei blocchi geopolitici e in contrapposizione all’idea di un’Europa divisa e di tendenze suprematiste.
Per verità storica che spesso si dimentica ci sono tre firme italiane nel documento di nascita del socialismo europeo tra le quali quella dell’ultimo segretario del PCI e primo segretario del PDS e Achille Occhetto. Dunque tra gli antesignani del socialismo europeo
attuale dobbiamo ricordare l’esempio dell’Eurocomunismo del segretario del PCI Enrico Berlinguer, del francese Georges Marchais per il PCF e dello spagnolo Santiago Carrillo per il PCE. Furono loro a porre i presupposti di un cammino socialista per l’Europa accanto ai laburisti e ai socialdemocratici tedeschi. E fu proprio il legame privilegiato tra il PCI e la SPD a determinare il successo dell’idea pluralistica e della via italiana al socialismo già tracciata da Gramsci e Togliatti. Se osserviamo con attenzione la mappa delle relazioni internazionali del PCI di Berlinguer si dipana una rete europea e internazionale che già superava e unificava quelli che erano i due blocchi geopolitici. E che prevedeva un sistema di dialogo non solo con Stati Uniti e Unione sovietica ma anche con la Jugoslavia non allineata a guida del socialismo terzomondista e con la Francia, che in politica estera conservava posizioni di forte autonomia e che in politica interna era lungi da piani di privatizzazioni delle strutture pubbliche. Erano probabilmente Berlinguer, Carrillo e Marchais a spaventare quelle vecchi élite attestate su posizioni conservatrici che temevano il fattore K. In tal senso Berlinguer è sicuramente da annoverare tra i migliori leader del pantheon del socialismo europeo.
Ma non dobbiamo dimenticare quell’idea di socialismo nei paesi dell’Est Europa che fu schiacciata dalla repressione. Il socialismo operaista di Imre Nagy e György Lukács, quest’ultimo, straordinario filosofo, studioso laico dei testi fondamentali del socialismo, della cultura europea, della letteratura tedesca, i cui testi e il cui archivio sono minacciati dall’involuzione culturale in atto in Ungheria. Così come occorre ricordare l’operato del sindacalista della CGIL Giuseppe di Vittorio, pugliese, che da comunista di minoranza contestò la soppressione della via ungherese al socialismo di Nagy e Lukács. Lo stesso vale per la primavera di Praga, la via gentile al socialismo cecoslovacco di Alexander Dubček, un percorso soppresso dai rigurgiti dello stalinismo, (ala destra e conservatrice del partito comunista sovietico) che non prevedevano vie di assimilazione al modello democratico nei paesi alleati. Il socialismo del nuovo corso di Dubček fu come sappiamo soppresso nel sangue e non poté esprimere a pieno le proprie potenzialità, ma Praga restò la capitale del movimento studentesco europeo, che nell’Unione Internazionale degli Studenti vedeva confluire i giovani provenienti da entrambi i blocchi geopolitici in piena guerra fredda (cosa curiosa, da alcuni documenti in Vaticano sappiamo l’inquisizione si espresse per non interferire con le attività dell’organizzazione), lì nell’incontro tra le istanze progressiste nelle università si coltivava il cambiamento che non poteva essere contrastato.
Vicenda simile in Polonia, Paese di raffinata cultura laica, che già in letteratura dava i suoi segni di un socialismo marcatamente orientato al futuro tecnologico secolarizzante in Stanislav Lem. Nel caso del socialismo polacco l’opera del riformista Edward Gierek,
partigiano in Belgio e leader del partito operaio polacco che aveva sostituito il repressivo Gomulka resosi responsabile della repressione del movimento studentesco, fu incatenata dal grigio apparato refrattario ai cambiamenti. Certamente a questi grandi esponenti del
socialismo dell’Est e dell’Eurocomunismo dell’Ovest vanno aggiunti i leader dei socialisti che convergevano dei vari fronti popolari in Italia occorre ricordare l’italiano Nenni che costruì il temuto fronte popolare insieme Palmiro Togliatti che spaventava la democrazia cristiana. E l’indimenticato partigiano e presidente della Repubblica italiana socialista Sandro Pertini che da antifascista scontò il carcere con il perseguitato politico e deputato comunista Antonio Gramsci a Turi di Bari (vittime entrambi del fascismo che aveva assassinato prima il deputato pugliese Giuseppe di Vagno e poi il deputato Giacomo Matteotti), e che fu poi sempre vicino a Enrico Berlinguer. Indimenticabile la sua foto al feretro del leader indiscusso del vasto popolo dei progressisti italiani.

3. What did Olof Palme and Delors represent?
A wonderful page in the history of socialism is precisely the one outlined for the Scandinavian socialism of Olaf Palme, Swede, social democrat, staunchly pacifist, fiercely opposed the United States war in Vietnam, the coup of the nationalists of the dictator Pinochet against the socialist Allende, the policies of ethnic segregation and apartheid in South Africa, he dialogued with Fidel Castro, He had the ability to understand the demands of
Third Worldism and to unite them with those of a European-style social democracy. He advocated a policy of defence of state-owned enterprises, respect for civil rights and freedom of thought for the individual, centralisation of the public system, a system of co-management
of enterprises, constructive dialogue with the trade unions, but in truth he was not able to fully realise his great project of reform. He was murdered by an unknown hand but probably of a black plot, in an unsolved case, three gunshots to the back. Cowards always strike from behind. A foundation is dedicated to Palme, part of the huge network of progressive foundations in Europe.
Jacques Delors was a French socialist, faithful to the cardinal and founding values of socialism, some more educated scholars know him by his pseudonym: Roger Jacques. He promoted nationalizations, collaborated with the Jean-Moulin Club. His ideas often take a back seat to the role he played in the construction of the single European currency, which is an indispensable pillar of Europe. In addition to his role as the financial builder of Europe, he also played his role as an ideologue, his commitment to a social Europe and to education, free, equal and free, flows into an idea of Europe which, from a theoretical point of view, is fully socialist. We must also not forget François Mitterrand, a socialist who cannot be erased from the history of Europe, who played a great role in modernization and who had the courage to go and meet the progressive revolutionary Thomas Sankara and his commitment to social, democratization and educational policies in one of the poorest countries on the planet.
From the point of view of socialist doctrine it must be able to understand, in the spirit of the First International, that the world cannot be divided into "West and the Rest" because it is a conception contrary to and opposed to the internationalist spirit which is the foundation of its theory. The philosopher Hannah Arendt noted precisely this while rejecting altogether any idea of equating Nazi-fascism with real socialism, recalling how the latter is philosophically founded on the equality of individuals and is therefore free from the distortions that any regimes can determine.
Finally, I would also like to mention Willy Brandt, the leader of the SPD, who is always talked about too little. It was the social democrat Willy Brandt who, alongside the Italian communists and those of Yugoslavia and France, played the great role of meeting East and West. His kneeling in Warsaw in memory of the victims of Nazi-fascism had great symbolic significance, and it is also the fruit of great human sensitivity.

Cross-media in Italian on the policies of European institutions and governments of European Union countries

Cross-media in Italian on the policies of European institutions and governments of European Union countries



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