Mario Monti cuts a striking figure in the new Italian parliament. He and his acolytes seem like an abrupt epiphany of asceticism, measure and style on a stage until now populated by sad commedia dell’arte characters.
It is a weird mix of feelings to see the old Democrazia Cristiana miraculously rising from its pre-tangentopoli ashes and slowly reclaiming its territory. It is the rétour eternel of italian politics, the reshuffle, reinvention, resuscitation of the good old Centre. But trust me: it is a huge relief to see that, eventually, the ludicrous bandwagon the old Italian government ended up becoming has finally gone. It a relief that largely outdoes the retrospect anger at what their (the DC’s) regime did cost to the country since the birth of the Republic.
We don’t know if this is the beginning of the Third Republic, (a terminology evoking ruthless comparisons with the French original), and frankly at this stage it does not sound particularly important, either. It is the end of politics. Not as a concept, or as a strategy: we all know too well that there is no such things as “apolitical”, or a 100% technical. But as something operating a possible dialectical mediation between “the Markets” and the rest of the complexity of the human horizon. It is interesting to observe how, in time of crisis, capitalism deploys his paratroopers, the bankers, at the helm of sovereign countries that are about to collapse under the weight of the neoliberal edifice they had been cemented into. It is a more straightforward measure that the one previously implemented, that is, the one that entails operating via a network of influences and by lobbying.
During the Blitz, here in the Uk there was the slogan “Keep calm and carry on” conceived with the intent of, supposedly, boosting the morale of the heavily bombed British and London populations. I think it would sound entirely inappropriate for present-day Italy. What we need is more something like “Get angry and stop”.