The most mortifying aspect of the current political moment (I say “moment,” but alas, it has already become a much longer time) is the exploitation of an asset that has been considered precious in recent Italian history: antifascism. Antifascism has been the example for how it’s necessary in difficult times to tell apart the primary enemy from the secondary one (as Lenin advocated, who also understood this). And it was for this reason that Churchill ended up collaborating with Stalin at the beginning of World War II, and that the PCI became allied with the Liberal Party in forming the National Liberation Committee (CLN), which was not only the name of a military front, but also of a government immediately after Liberation. While the rhetorical appeal to antifascism is widespread, we are seeing, at the same time, more and more public positions that nullify its meaning altogether.
For instance, that of Calenda, who basically says: “Not with those guys”; or that of Letta, who, while he aims to fight against the government policies of those who still have portraits of Mussolini hanging in their homes, is organizing his own separate protests instead of collaborating to organize them together with the other forces that never bowed before that portrait; or that of Conte – and this one I find particularly disappointing, because I gave him credit for having moved his Five Stars from the confused protest stage to a positive political maturity – who has chosen to make the trash incinerator in Lazio, which I also dislike, the decisive issue and the excuse for not accepting a “broad front.” In my opinion, with a little good will one could have found a way to leave an opening for discussion on this issue. (In the times of the CLN, Togliatti understood that it was necessary not to fight, even on such an important question as that between a monarchy and a republic!).
The choice to abandon any serious effort to put together a “wide front” for the regional elections is a serious matter, not only because it renders any emphatic declaration of antifascism ridiculous, but also because it has more immediate political consequences: in Lazio, running an alliance that also includes Calenda and Renzi, while in Milan these two gentlemen have chosen to stand with Moratti, can only weaken and isolate Majorino’s courageous enterprise and, at the same time, make the alliance that most looks like a “third way” something far less than a “wide front.” Not only that: it will be difficult for those who are sabotaging the “wide front” in Rome, perhaps fatally, to explain to the voters why it can no longer be done in Lazio of all places, which up to now was run by a junta which included, at the very least, both the PD and the Five Stars, and which was working well. Why is Zingaretti, who built that alliance, staying silent, thus reneging on one of the few good things we had seen in these terrible times?
I do not have great faith in petitions because I fear that those who take part in such initiatives, although with good intentions, become “signatories of petitions,” without knowing whom they’re petitioning, and stop being militants, which is far more important, and takes more effort than just adding your signature from a computer. In this case, however, I believe that the petition launched by a group of well-meaning people whose text was published by il manifesto on Thursday may be useful. For one, it is addressed to a specific sector of public opinion and not to unspecified “authorities”: it is addressed to antifascists. There are still many of them, and they are each embedded within political forces that could make a choice, even if we are seriously behind schedule. This is why I believe we should all sign and spread this petition, and that each person who signs should “commit to get the commitment” of the political figures closest to them to make a move as well. Today it’s only about Lazio, but if we let this test pass and let antifascism die, in such dire circumstances as after the rise of the extreme-right Meloni government, this could have much more serious consequences tomorrow, in the face of far more important choices than that of a regional government junta.
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