Davide Casaleggio, member of the “Five star movement”, gave an interview on the overcoming of representative democracy and on Parliament, which will soon become useless, was welcomed by a predictable and vast rag of clothes, starting with the political opposition forces. Appeals to the President of the Chamber (and party colleague of Casaleggio) Roberto Fico, vain evocations of Venezuela, and so on. Such reactions are the faithful thermometer of a widespread inability to generate a culturally and politically equipped response to the season just begun.
With a few praiseworthy exceptions (such as Mauro Magatti , almost none of those who would have the duty have tried to answer on the merits. In terms of a democratic model that is increasingly in crisis and less and less credible, in terms of a parliamentary system that is becoming increasingly meaningless (the questions that have been asked in front of no one, the Members who are sailing rather than working and claiming it, the dwarves, the Rockets and the dancers, the decisions always taken elsewhere) and often reduced to a swamp in which to drown political responsibility, which is the real great disappearance of recent decades (the paralysed legislative processes, the night amendments in committee to dismantle the measures used by lobbies, the perversions of perfect bicameralism that adulterate and mortify democratic processes).
Casaleggio’s problem is not his diagnosis (representative democracy is bad: true). The problem is his therapy: the opaque and deceitful techno-rigism, the digital plebiscitarism artfully built that in the end saves only and always the Barabba of the moment, the illusion of a direct participation that transforms the vow in televoting, the politics (active and passive) that, from a tiring and constant act of responsibility turns into like at zero cost.
But where is our therapy? It is time, indeed now, without delay, to build genuinely new forms of democratic participation. Meic is aware of this, so much so that it has chosen to dedicate the next Camaldoli Theological Week to the theme of democracy and synodality, in less than a month. This is a challenge that must be met. When Benito Mussolini transformed Montecitorio into a “bivouac of handpieces” that was really a “deaf and grey classroom”. Then as now. So, as now, democracy is sick, and when it is sick, it is irreparably exposed to authoritarian infections. I would not like us, then as now, to risk remaining at the top of a useless, guilty Aventine.