A little more than a year ago, recalling Aldo Moro, the President of the Republic traced this profile: “Crucial, in Moro, was the relationship between the State, politics and society. The understanding of social facts, of their interrelations, of the connections with the growing anxieties in other countries, was accompanied by a deep respect for the new phenomena, towards which he put himself in an attitude of listening, to make sure that they knot their path in the sphere of republican democracy and enrich the models of common life organized in institutions. He saw these, that is, constantly modulated on the positive effects of the transformations taking place in the Country”.
The reference was above all to the youth protest of the Sixty-eight, where Mattarella noted that “among the intellectuals and politicians of his calibre, Moro appeared the least dogmatic and the most open to the innovations that emerged in society, constantly interested in knowing, in particular, the hopes, aspirations, needs that matured in the minds of young people”.
Fifty years later, the country is once again experiencing a moment of great tension, but in a profoundly different context: no longer because of the presence of an original and creative youth movement, which shaken to its foundations a social system that had apparently been stable up to that point, but, on the contrary, because of the current rooting of a widespread and uncontainable hostility of broad social groups towards political power, perceived as a closed world and interested above all in its perpetuation.
There are very clear comments these days on the meaning of the vote, often interpreted as a populist reaction, credit granted to those who promised to break with a system of government judged incapable of looking to the needs of the people, irreversible defeat of any form of mediation, victory of radicalism against any idea of gradual reform. But I feel that this reading has a simplifying character; the impression is that reality is not so easily described, and that we need to listen again, with the attentive spirit of Aldo Moro, and without precipitous judgments, “the hopes, aspirations, needs” that mature today, especially among young people, even if expressed in a less lively way than in the era of protest.
I do not deny to observe with concern the success of some political parties and movements, which express, unambiguously and with aggressive tones, an idea of a country perched on to defend its cultural and religious roots, struggling to recover the prosperity threatened by an archaic Europe, freed from an oppressive and predatory public administration. It is no longer the thought of minorities, but of ideas that are maturing and producing fruit on an increasingly wide ground, and that also make a breach among many believers, as I have also had occasion to see personally: and often those who propose to defend “Christian values”, arouses approval, in spite of every word and gesture openly anti-Evangelical and inhuman. It is not a marginal problem, and we cannot observe it with detachment, because these political orientations are developing in ecclesial areas in which reflection, cultural elaboration and discussion have become rare merchandise.
At the same time, in the vote on 4 March, in addition to a choice of protest against the establishment that has led the country in recent decades, I understand the hope that a new political reality, not compromised with an opaque management of power and little prone to haggling, can give impetus to a society distrusted and closed in on itself. I am aware that in many political programs there are ambiguities, promises that do not deal with reality, and an indeterminacy that leaves room for wavering political paths, and I also realize that the inexperience of a large part of the new political class in the management of the complex problems of the country and especially international ones can create dangerous situations. But I believe it would be a mistake on the part of those who care about the common good not to grasp and value what is emerging as positive, and thus promote a real and substantial confrontation. Asking ourselves, for example, about some concrete themes and qualifying projects, which Italy (and which Europe) we want and on which values we want to build our communities. After an election campaign aimed at highlighting the absolute irreconcilability of competing political projects, it is time for reasonableness. And yesterday’s quarrels should finally speak to each other, without too many political calculations, but looking at the real needs of people, not only to buffer the critical points of today, but to give concrete reasons for trust to the citizens of tomorrow.
And there is another aspect that needs to be examined carefully, and that is the apparenly unstoppable decline of the reformist parties; since we are witnessing, and not only in Italy, the crisis, especially on the left side, of a political proposal that fails to harmonize the founding values of personal dignity and solidarity with an economic and social scenario – no longer just national – that has changed greatly in recent years and is constantly changing. In the same way as the model of participation that for decades has innervated democracy in Western countries is worn out: the tools of popular debate have been weakened, and the meeting places where people can listen, give space to their problems, and consequently provide them with some useful key to interpreting a very complex reality, and reasons for hope to overcome fears and concerns, have been rarefied. And this rift between the political class and the country is not just about parties and their survival, but about all of us, because it questions the future of our democracy. We are given to live in a time when it is more necessary than ever to be passionate about rebuilding, not updating old formulas, but developing a patient work of reading reality and regeneration, cultural and social, even before politics.
Translated from article in italiian with www.DeepL.com/Translator