Norberto Bobbio: Elements of politics

io Ed. Einaud p. 340Politics ... A term full of meanings, also in consideration of the current times! But what does "politics" mean?

One of the greatest scholars of the field in Italy was Norberto Bobbio, professor of Philosophy of Law and Politics at the University of Turin and author of many articles and works on the subject.

According to Bobbio, by politics we mean: "the activity aimed at establishing the rules and making the decisions intended to make coexistence possible between a group of people: a possibly peaceful coexistence inside and safe on the outside" At the center of the concept of politics is that of "power" and its management. It therefore seems that politics and power are two closely related concepts. Using another definition of politics, this link is much clearer: "the political term is used to designate the sphere of actions that have some direct or indirect reference to the conquest and exercise of ultimate power (supreme or sovereign) in a community of individuals in the area ". For Bobbio a society is well ordered if the distance between those who govern and those who are governed is low and the form of government that has this characteristic is called "democracy". Democracy is therefore the best form of government. The democracy of our times, which is different from that of the ancients.

In the democratic society of Bobbio the citizen has a fundamental characteristic: he is active!

"Democracy needs, more than any other form of government, active citizens. It does not know what to do with passive, apathetic, indifferent citizens, who only deal with their own affairs and delegate to others the task of dealing with common affairs. democracy lives and thrives only if its citizens care about the fate of their own city, such as those of their own homes, that cities are only a part "Active citizens for a healthy democracy.

One of the tasks of active citizens is to control the action of their own representatives and to replace them, in compliance with the rules, if they are not worthy of the trust placed in them. The good ruler is one who deals with the common good, the bad ruler is he who looks after his own good. This criterion is still the "most widespread one used by the man on the street to judge the action of the political man", said Bobbio. Elements of politics is a book to be read until the last page to deepen the meaning of a term that has always influenced the life of peoples.

Alessandro Rugolo