Lectio Degasperiana 2018
For the fifteenth edition of Lectio degasperiana, the De Gasperi Foundation continues its journey into revisiting the great European history by asking two influential guests to reflect on the idea that De Gasperi had of the people and on the role of the parties in the construction of a solid and effective democracy.
The meeting is being held in the year of national political elections that have seen, after a long and complex negotiation, an unprecedented political majority in the history of Italy, clearly oriented to a program that many commentators define, perhaps too hastily, populist.
By choosing such a current topic, the Foundation intends to contribute to a political and historical reflection that cannot be reduced to slogans. The idea that De Gasperi had of the people is very different from what is believed today to be the basis of the populist protest against the institutions and the market. Like many of the statesmen shaped in the first half of the twentieth century, De Gasperi used the word “people” in a plurality of meanings that made it extremely rich, but, as a Catholic and liberal, also always distant from any revolutionary or demagogic rhetoric. To De Gasperi, the people was a reality deeply rooted in the values of a long-standing civil and spiritual tradition and as such it was certainly to be respected, but guided towards a collective assumption of responsibility that would enhance its concrete ability to fulfill itself in the sense of duty and in solidarity. All forcing or political simplifications betray the people, which is not a reality except when it finds the possibility of expressing itself not as a material whole, but as a “political” synthesis of a history and a geography. The boundaries of a people are not the borders, but the institutions that it has given itself and that is why the political crisis in Italy, one of the founding countries of political Europe, is of great importance for the entire European continent.
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