A hundred years after Lenin wrote about it, there are still those on the left who are unable to recover from the childhood disease that has plagued it since birth: self-referential extremism. Which, despite a long and painful series of defeats and blows, still leads to self-defeating, Pavlovian choices. Infantile ones, in fact.
Seeing the results achieved in the local elections by a number of lists, acronyms, groupings (it might sound too ironic to call them “forces”) of the radical left provokes more bewilderment than astonishment. Because they have already demonstrated absolute inconsistency at other times, and therefore the painful, depressing results they obtained in various cities are not surprising. But this time, every political logic has been thrown aside, common sense has been forgotten, to the point of bordering on the ridiculous.
I am not referring to the political areas linked in particular to Sinistra Italiana, or to lists such as Coraggiosa, created by Elly Schlein, or to projects such as that of Riccardo Laterza in Trieste, which have obtained decent results, recounted in an article we published recently—but to that old and small world frozen in the preservation of its own identity: the examples of the failure of these lists, from Milan to Rome, speak for themselves.
Unfortunately, a past of political commitment and militancy in the territory is not enough to convince the voters to support organizations that, when put to the electoral test, fail to exceed zero-point-something of the vote.
And if we think that even positive administrative experiences (such as that of Giovanni Caudo in Rome, who obtained just 2% with a list supporting Gualtieri) are not getting wide support, those who want to witness a radical left presence should ask themselves why their project has been suffering truly humiliating defeats, and for many years now.
The lists that are behaving like the proverbial four guys at a bar who want to change the world and instead of sitting down to have a beer, they show up at the municipal elections with implausible proposals for mayor, should perhaps apologize to those few voters who perhaps believed in them and voted for them. And those who voted for them should also reflect on making choices that are certainly consolatory, but just as pernicious and powerless to change the present state of affairs.
This is not to say that we don’t respect those who are putting their own past of struggle on the line in the name of an ideal. But precisely because we believe that certain values, ideas, hopes should do more than just survive, but be at the center of a possible change, we need stronger legs and unity of purpose, we need to give shape to the many experiences lived and still alive. Putting aside personalism, credential-waving, unrealistic ambitions and ideological barricades built on paper. Finally, overcoming the idea that it could be enough to have a superficial unity of all the differences and social struggles in order to magically create a large force of the radical left to the tune of 10%.
We at il manifesto have been a minority since our birth, 50 years ago. But that is not the same thing as being in the minority, because we try to represent a significant community of women, men, old people, young people, who can and want to fight together without becoming divided into a thousand useless squabbles. And as long as we have the support of those who read and support us, we will continue to fight so that the left, including the most radical left, has the space and recognition it deserves. And that is certainly higher than zero-point-something.
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