The difficult legacy of history

(To Luigi Ventotene)

History is a scientific field, whatever some may say, an art that allows us to know and above all to interpret facts that the past can never completely archive. As a scientific instrument, naturally not subject to the whirlwind of passions and emotional transport, history requires time, reflection, not lending itself to the human sublimation of the desire for immediate and not very rational sanctifications.

Today is the time for mourning, but not the official one established through institutional deliberation; it is the mourning that touches the personal sphere of a man, a mourning that prompts thoughts that should touch everyone in the name of a common humanity that is often forgotten. We note that our Republic, which we are conventionally led to imagine as perpetually young, is beginning to feel the passage of time, a time marked by events and actors which, to be fully understood, like everyone else, will have to wait for the physiological sand to fall in the hourglass of eternity.

Not even a president emeritus is immune to it; Giorgio Napolitano was a Weberian professional politician, the expression of an ideology of which over time he was made the interpreter and bearer depending on the positive moment.

What is certain is that with him, after Emanuele Macaluso, the last true communist disappears, yet so different from the current stereotype: the Sicilian Macaluso starts from the bottom, he cannot study; Napolitano is aristocratic and cultured, from a wealthy family. Imperturbable, subtle reasoner, belonging to the political culture of Chiaromonte and Iotti, but distanced from the Ingraian left which defines him improver due to its apparently almost positions mensheviks.

1956 is the year of the Budapest revolution and, despite the meliorism, Napolitano aligns himself with Togliatti's positions, distancing himself from the first criticisms already evident at that time; politically, however, he opposes radical extremism. His work of compensation, compensation, balance is undoubted, a work that led him to be, during his lifetime, the first communist to make contact with the Americans, so much so that he deserved the appreciation of Kissinger, one of the few true political animals remained, still capable of ineffable and subtle ironies, an expressive capacity granted only to the greatest, but in terms of understanding destined to very few.

But politics is art, it is weaving and hidden nocturnal unraveling; for Napolitano it is the rapprochement with the Socialist Party that was Nenni's, and then that healthier skin Milanese socialist with whom he clashed harshly years later, an approach to being a fine mediator which allowed him to become, in the shadow of a troubled historical compromise, reference for European social democracies.

It is worth remembering that in any case, despite being within the confines of party discipline, Napolitano is the first communist to be tempted by the idea of ​​resigning due to disagreement with Berlinguer, who was preferred to him as Luigi Longo's successor as secretary: personal, non-political, yet relevant issues , and who give him the la to take a position onUnit, with an article defined by many as a political mistake, about the moral question outlined clearly by the secretary himself.

The ideologically now post-Togliattian Soviet collapse allows him to express the further and dramatic conceptualization of a dying old communism.

1943, 1956, 1968, 1991, the war and Togliatti, Budapest, Prague, the approach to American NATO announced by Berlinguer's interview with Pansa, the end of the Soviets: many years, a lot of politics, positions gradually riviste also in light of the assumption of new roles, such as that of Minister of the Interior.

As president the NYT renamed him "King", as a result of unusual interventionism for an apparently rarefied national political context, interventionism such as that displayed in 2011 with Mario Monti which pushed, as a collateral effect, the 5 Star Movement, responsible for his impeachment in 2014 for his alleged role in the State-mafia negotiation, an affair quickly dismissed as groundless.

The first re-elected president, he does not fail to pronounce a very harsh statement j'accuse towards a Parliament which, unable to escape its own paralyzing political logic, is unable to express any shared consensus.

Di Best the PCI had already expressed Togliatti; history proposes the name again for the current headed first by Amendola and then by Napolitano, as seen in '56 near the positions of the secretary. Emanuele Macaluso dies in 2021, one hundred years after the Livorno Congress; Napolitano approximately one hundred years after the birth of Berlinguer. One can venture the hypothesis that both desired an evolution from communist maximalism into a socialism more in step with the times; a socialism, we venture, ideological and far from the sterile prevailing populisms, a socialism that would have changed the fate of Italian politics.

Historical evolutions, Machiavelli-style princes, internal transformation: everything contributed to painting a complex picture. But it is history, in a scientific, objective and impartial sense, that must take its course, in a country that finds itself where it is as a result of positions and decisions that, in the coming years, will have to find rationale and complete systematization; not an easy task, perhaps impossible for anyone.

Photo: Quirinale