If we were to read 2016 through only its political and institutional aspects, we might conclude that the year that is ending was not among the worst. Italians defended the Constitution en masse and the man in command, at the wheel of an arrogant government, has left a Chigi Palace now occupied by Gentiloni, a strange Renzi clone.
If we look across the border, the sum of terrorist violence, the tragedy of war — the image of Aleppo is emblematic of this year — as well as the populist advance in Europe and especially in the United States, the year is definitely more complex and worrying.
As almost always happens, there is a double thread that binds some of these events: democracy and the people. In the United States as well as in Italy. Yet today, democracy and people are brittle, manipulated, easily translatable words with presidentialism and populism. The presidentialist democracy and the boss are perfectly consistent, at center stage, while the parliament is the likeness of a social and economic system that belongs to the bourgeois society of a past anchored to one currency and one territory.
The future for the populists is a return to the past. It is Trump, or the resurrected ghost of the coal and oil working class. It is the Brexit that strengthens the border and the currency, which have always been protected. And Putin, the star of the redesign of a balance of power in the countries under his sphere of influence.