Statism, South, Duties, Moderates, Crime, Élite, Meritocracy

Giuseppe Ursino

Giuseppe Ursino

As long as the mythology of the State persists in Italy with a distrust mixed with disgust for everything that is private, we will be left behind. This statism is a clear problem for those international organisations that periodically beat Italy for its backwardness. The fact that our decline comes from neoliberalism is a fake news (Italy has never been a liberal country) promoted by that social block (based on parties, corporations and unions) that has so far stopped every attempt of reform of the country, crushing the Italians in an anaesthetising conformism. One day sooner or later we will succeed in overcoming the taboo of maintaining the management of all public services in the hands of the State separating the concept of public (understood as a function of a collective interest) from the concept of state (understood as belonging to the public institution). Moreover, maybe it will be accepted the idea that the operational rules of public services should no longer be written for those who work there, but for the users, for the citizens.

While polemicizing about Italian institutions, from Sicily I cannot omit to stigmatize that background noise towards the South. After the social and economic annihilation in the first decades after Unification, the idea of the South as an appendix, a colony, remained implicit, in short a continuous humiliation. It is irritating to read in the schoolbooks the history written by the winners, while the South has been always considered to be a step backwards from the North, implying an alleged anthropological backwardness. Italian ruling classes  remained convinced of the ineluctability of the South’s delay and so the southern question is continuing to remain suspended between the egoism of the winners and the sloppiness of the losers.

In my opinion, one of the most serious errors of the representative democracy has been to expand the space of rights before cultivating duties. And freedom without duties leads to social degradation. I have always considered this asymmetry a problem and my commitment to politics has always gone in this direction. For me doing politics has never meant looking for a job, but trying to create consensus in support of a political perspective, of a thought, of a project useful to all and shared by the productive and social élites. It seems to me the only way to really change things. For this reason, for me the best politicians are the moderates (and I never changed my mind since I began to get into philosophy and politics at the age of 17). From my point of view the word moderation does not define the merit of a political offer, but the method of approaching reality, the method of the benefit of the doubt. That’s why I feel uncomfortable in listening to certain politicians today. No spiritual strength, I only see renunciation of the principle of reality, superficiality and arrogance.

Living in a difficult city like Catania, I have a clear idea that crime can be defeated only by socially converting the economy that revolves around it, but I don’t see any political and economic project going in this direction.

I wrote several times about the élite because there is a strong need in Italy for an emerging class to lead the country out of the shallows. I have to say, however, that the only legitimising reason for an élite is meritocracy (and not the family you belong to or the lobby which hires you). In Italy there are no élites recognised as such and so we all end up suffering the dictatorship of ignorance, of adventurers able to manipulate ignorant masses!

If you want to get in touch with Giuseppe Ursino this is his LinkedIn profile

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