Giovanni Spadolini: an Italian

(To Walter Raleigh)

We live unconsciously in a bubble, where time flows at different speeds from the usual ones, where ideals are withered, and where attention turns to relativism and recklessness; from time to time we lean on transparent walls, and look at the other realities that unfold in parallel, no longer understanding the detachment that exists: the yearnings for improvement are suffocated by the advantages obtained without paying any price.

Montanelli said that a people who ignore their past will never know anything about their present. To understand it ...

There is no tension, no desire, no reason: everything is taken for granted. To paraphrase Hobsbawm: you don't know where you are going, if not where the future becomes a dark tunnel.

The intrinsic composition of the country's living fabric escapes; according to Paul Ginsborg and Sylos Labini, already in 2000, Italy had undergone a social transformation no less vibrant than the economic one of the 60s; a richer, more dynamic, more individualistic country, oblivious to its history. This is where we will fight: on the conscience of the people, on a history that is neither static nor dusty, on a capacity for understanding the fruit of study and human compassion. Not a rigid list of facts as an end in itself, but a memory aimed at modeling a better future; Marc Bloch wrote that "Historical studies must maintain contact with the present, the source of all life". We want reading to be a dynamic tool for those who want to be aware that it is only from the awareness of the hands encrusted with the mud of Irpinia, or covered with the blood of the servants of the state killed, or soiled by the money of bribes, that one can think of returning. to see the stars again.

80s. It is the historical moment in which Luigi Sturzo's crusader shield, increasingly secularized, must to give way, twice, to a secularism towards which the Catholic and popular soul has always experienced a strong contrast; the figure of Giovanni Spadolini emerges, the first layman after the shareholder Ferruccio Parri in 1945, and the first republican to lead the government that belonged to de Gasperi, a sort of neo-ghibellinism that flourished in full Guelph territory, and expressed with his "Socialist papacy" of 1950, with which he intended to find in the relationship between secularism and religiosity, the foundations of an effective relationship between state and church.

In the 50s, Spadolini became a scholar of Giolittian politics, with his search for the opening of the liberal state towards reformist Catholics and socialists, and for the transformation of Depretis, a phenomenon that should certainly be reviewed and updated, provided thatimmeasurable effort before studying it and then maybe even understanding it.

In full intellectual honesty, who would ever have bet on the Florentine Professor, on a man of study, culture and journalism, devoid of the phisique du role television? No hagiography, but a dispassionate analysis and for this reason perhaps more felt of a crocodile from the front page.

The inheritance handed over to Spadolini by President Pertini is onerous, ungrateful; a legacy of 4 emergencies which will last for his two mandates: economic, moral, civil, international, with the spread of black and red terrorism, organized crime, the excellent murders of Pio La Torre and General Dalla Chiesa, the Comiso missiles, the Masonic lodge P2 and its roots in the fabric of the state, the launch of military missions Italcon, of the liberation of the American General Dozier. It is here that the process of decomposition of the system based on the convergence between ideologically distant parties begins: the signs of mani pulite, flanked by the secessionist demands invoked by the northern tribunes.

Spadolini's profile is different: son of the city symbol of the Renaissance, he became the interpreter of a refined, liberal, secular culture that was never predictably anticlerical or materialistic. Terrorism was initially eradicated thanks to the interventions of his government, and in the economic field the inflation and public debt trend began to be partially reversed by the financial planning of its two executives, a practice lost with subsequent governments.

26 years after his death, the country is once again withdrawn into itself, bound by a crisis that is not only economic and political, but also and above all cultural and moral.

Spadolini had a strong and multifaceted personality; he was an ambitious, vain man, but also generous, dynamic, confident in merit and cultural competition; he was a very skilled political animal, even if sometimes led to historical visions functional to political legitimacy in the secular context.

In his life the Professor burns the stages; he is a talented man, he never slows down; at 25 he is full professor, without ever having been an assistant; he then became a newspaper editor without ever having been an editor; Prime Minister without ever having been undersecretary.

His was an era marked by history and politics; not intending to favor any biographical concealment, one cannot fail to emphasize his collaboration with the magazine Augustea, linked to the fascist regime. However, we must take into account two non-negligible elements: first of all, he was certainly not the only one, indeed: Eugenio Scalfari docet; second then, like others perhaps of lesser depth, by virtue of the climate created by the far-sighted politics of Togliatti, he was able to reinsert himself in the global context of a nation condemned, by history and by blood, to rise from the ashes, approaching the thought of Croce and his own religion of freedom, based on the belief that nothing can be taken for granted, and that everything must always be the focus of constant care and attention.

Al Corriere della Sera, from 68 to 1, is inspired by the independence and culture of Luigi Albertini1, prefers free spirits regardless of their training; interweaves profound foreign policy dialogues that over time range from Israel and the Klinghoffer kidnapping, pass through the assassination of Sadat, reach the Poland of Solidarity, interest Atlantism and the clash of Sigonella, mend national ambiguities on the occasion of the position to be take over during the Falklands War.

As secretary of the republican party, a team able to provide a balance to the political system, he remains faithful both to the foreign policy and to that of broad understandings and national solidarity of La Malfa, with the involvement of Enrico Berlinguer and despite the severe judgment of the scythe and hammer on its second executive, in order to reach a communist stabilization towards a loyalty to the democratic and Atlantic system, turned against the most extreme subversive forces; Spadolini remains consistent with a form of new deal Italian, of reforming democracy as imagined by La Malfa himself. Indro Montanelli wrote that you could hear it in the air smell clean.

Minister of Defense between 83 and 87, then Senator for life in 91, Spadolini, among the first to go against the tide in the assessment of terrorist risks and instability in culture in the Middle East2, remained in excellent relations with the Jewish context for whose history he adopted a parallel with that of the Risorgimento, and had to give way to a good ruling class for every season and completely opposite to the cultured and sober one that he had embodied.

He was followed politically by a revised socialism from the perspective of a form of European social-democratic discontinuity. However, he managed to achieve a very remarkable result, if we take into account the political situation of the early 1992s, made unstable by the permanent conflict between Socialists and Christian Democrats in their race for power; a situation which, however, had not considered either Spadolini's moral caliber or integrity or faith in institutions, in the sovereignty of the rule of law, a theoretically highly topical issue still misunderstood, but which, had it not been capable of dominating, would not have allowed him to helm a large and composite majority, destined to remain on the scene until XNUMX.

His authentic interpretation of the Constitution, embodied in the Decalogue of government, has represented not only the indispensable means for maintaining stability, but also the work aimed at bringing the parties back to their most proper dimension, even if sometimes without a true sense of the state and often based on very fragile pacts, both safeguarding the sense of institutions, both trying to reduce the gap between the formal constitution and the material constitution, between the legal country and the real country.

Spadolini's experience of government is undoubtedly anomalous compared to that of the many other succession, and for this he has left a mark on Italian political history; was the result of a strategic choice, not just a political compromise, which led to a coalition executive in which the strength lay in the institutional powers of a Prime Minister capable of claiming institutional autonomy in the preparation and drafting of the programmatic proposals to be to present to the Parliament no longer expropriated of its functions: a burning reference to the Constitutional Charter.

Spadolini, was undoubtedly a man of the first Republic but, substantially devoid of its defects, was not comparable to the so-called second. Perhaps the best way to remember him is to remember the writing on the white of his tombstone: An Italian, an adjective very obsolete in its historically most positive meaning.

1 Mythical editor of Corriere della Sera from 1900 to 1921

2 In 1982 he did not meet Arafat on an official visit to Italy

Photo: web / presidency of the republic / Sailko