Commentary. A vast public space remains open for a political proposal that would be radical in its values, pragmatic in its objectives, and strongly situated in the lineage of progressive and environmental Europeanism.

The Italian left is no longer enough – we need a broader field

Together with the members, leaders and sympathizers of Sinistra Italiana, we consider the current path exhausted, as it seems inadequate to respond to the challenge of building a radical, unitary, ecological and left-wing structure.

The debate that began in il manifesto after the administrative elections also confirms the appropriateness of this decision. In this historical phase marked by the pandemic, by the need for a restart of the country based on the revival of quality public goods and services, by the climate challenge as an opportunity for a radical battle for environmental and social justice, we must invest in a broad field, plural, democratic and progressive, competitive in the challenge of the upcoming political elections, in order to prevent the victory of the sovereignist and conservative front.

All the political organizations of the left and of the environmentalists—whom we must acknowledge for their courageous resistance during difficult years as well as the merit of having kept open a public space—appear inadequate today: they are more a cause of difficulties than a solution to the problem. These are political organizations that are often not very useful to support a new era of movements and socio-ecological mutualism, which is gaining ground in local territories and workplaces in new and unprecedented forms.

It is clear that the PD, a decisive, albeit self-contradictory element of any democratic coalition scenario, cannot do it alone. Even with the prospect of an agreement with M5S, a vast public space remains open for a political proposal that would be radical in its values, pragmatic in its objectives, and strongly situated in the lineage of progressive and environmental Europeanism. It would be a proposal that would take up the radical nature of the ecological conversion of the economy and the clean energy transition as levers for a renewed battle for social justice. In this perspective, it is interesting to note the lack of a strong political initiative at a time when the trade unions have rightly decided to reopen a conflictual dispute over the stability law.

From Europe, and in particular from Germany, we are seeing confirmation that the old formulas are no longer sufficient: a coalition with a social-democratic bent is preparing to govern together with the Greens and Liberals with a program that is much more advanced than even “our” center-left: a minimum wage of €12, legalization of soft drugs and confirmation of the total abandonment of nuclear power, just to mention the main points.

This public space already features many initiatives and is animated by a new generation of activists who also have a role in local institutions: Elly Schlein, Emily Clancy, Michela Cicculli, Sandro Luparelli, Amedo Ciaccheri, the mayor of Bertinoro, Gessica Allegni, the Tuscan councillor Spinelli—without forgetting Milan, Naples, Turin. This young political generation, not only in terms of age, is called upon today to step forward and to take in hand the realization of this proposal, which cannot be a new small party, but must mobilize and aggregate the environmentalist, progressive, leftist people, starting from a platform of objectives.

The Pragmatica initiative held in Rome on Saturday, November 27, which spoke of the constitution of a common national platform of the new generation of activists and administrators, would also be able to set free the energies present in the local territories, in the world of volunteering and social mutualism.

Individual organized projects only guarantee increasingly weak and self-referential positions. The climate crisis and the necessary ecological transition require a new horizon of action in which the struggle for environmental justice and the struggle for social justice go hand in hand.

There can be no fair and equitable change without a pro-European, ecological and solidarity-based perspective, focused on universal welfare measures and with an eye to the great global contradictions of our time.

In recent months, these reflections have inspired the new “Italia Verde e Giusta” (“Green and Fair Italy”) participatory space for discussion and public initiative, promoted by the contribution of parliamentarians Loredana De Petris, Francesco Laforgia and Luca Pastorino, which has involved the mayor of Milan, Mr. Sala, the leader of M5S, Mr. Conte, and many local administrators and mayors who have been protagonists of broad coalitions and decisive for the victory of the center-left in many cities. It has hosted new political actions that are worthy of mention, such as Mayor Sala signing the charter of values of the European Greens and Conte’s positioning of the M5S within the democratic and progressive field.

I am convinced that returning to the open field, considering the paths involving the fragmented forces of the left and the ecologists to be exhausted, can give us a chance once again. It is no longer a time to be satisfied with individual bearing witness, no matter how plentiful. It is time to try to cross through the local territories and institutions with the desire to fight for “another possible world.”

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