Escañuela Romana, I.
A populist model has emerged in politics, Bonaparte reborn. Leaders who appeal directly to popular support, to the power of action and the vote beyond political projects, ideologies and institutional and party structures. The postmodern condottiero speaks directly to the masses of individuals who feel a special loyalty and a historical responsibility to actively support him. Farewell, then, to the ideological debate on the configuration of institutional power and its guarantees of rights, welcome to a new principle of leadership.
The rhetoric of the Athenian square has been transmuted into the new channel of social networks and media. The posters of the Big Brother who looks you straight in the eye now emerge as small advertisements, constantly repositioned by the same citizens who are deprived of criticism in order, as objects, atomised individuals, to call them out in the name of a sacred allegiance to identity and
If the idea of the Enlightenment was to endow the individual with the ability to think for himself, it was also social to organise in defence of such ideas. If Marx’s eleventh thesis took up the Kantian call to dare to know in order to set in motion a process of
transformation: the philosopher must change the world. If he intended to make the public square the meeting place for equals to debate, to reveal their own freedom and that of others, then the philosopher must change the world. If modernity does not promise freedom, but constitutes it in the public square where we go to dialogue and debate. If being a citizen demands a continuous critical effort…
Post-modernity has brought us back to the world of emotional identification: Let’s build a history! Now everything is possible, from freedom reduced to consumption, to the historicist recovery of national greatness. The worst thing: the rejection of the other as an enemy.
A return, then, to the Heideggerian «All that is great is in the midst of the storm»? It would seem so, in a world in which that storm would be, once again, in the image. Anything goes, yes, because now we would be concerned with the packaging, not the content. And that packaging would present us with the delights of a new world if we consume the product. We would give our loyalty and our vote to this new caring and stern leader …..
However, taking off the wrapping depends on us: on the effort to speak to each other again and to build that inescapable freedom. The reasoned word dissolves the apparently great, makes it precarious (ah, Plato). So: to return to the company of others in order to make politics. To discover that space we share.