My book ” Politics does not help ” comes out for Rizzoli today ; subtitle “because it will not be the palace to save us”.
I anticipate below a passage of the introduction, so you have an idea.
From the great recession that overwhelmed Italy and Europe in 2009, we have all been able to measure the extent of the challenges our societies face in our daily lives. Go up the slope where our economy has sunk. To welcome thousands of refugees arriving from neighboring countries. Never since the fall of the Berlin Wall has there ever been a need for politics, leadership, national and global. Of ideas, visions, choices, someone who takes the responsibility to decide. Instead we are facing more and more often the void. Of contents, of decisions, of power. The slogans of national politics accumulate in the headlines, they discuss in some talk shows and then vanish, without consequences.
In Italy we always talk about the same things: the bureaucracythat strangles growth, the absence of meritocracy, the costs of caste, is all the fault of the euro, the syringes that cost ten times more in the South than in the North. That’s all. And we ask someone – politicians – to do something. And they do not. Maybe they do not try, maybe they have other less noble priorities, but even when they try they can not. I therefore arrived, to quote Altan, to have thoughts that I do not agree with: politics is useless. Or rather, it no longer serves any purpose.
The British political scientist Matthew Flinders claims that we hate politics because we have forgotten that it has a “specific and limited” nature, that is, that it can not do everything. We see every day that the decisions of our governments are no longer able to affect the basic choices of our lives, yet it is always to them that we continue to turn to seek help. We voters are increasingly asking our politicians for incentives to promise amazing results, radical reforms, prosperity for all.
There are only two ways to re-establish a sustainable relationship between citizens and governments: either increase supply or reduce demand. Politicians must learn to promise less, possibly only what they can accomplish, and citizens must resize their expectations. But the world seems to be going in another direction, because the demands of the public are insatiable, the problems of society more and more complex, the resources available are insufficient and improving the efficiency of the public sector will never be enough to fix everything.
If politics is useless, we must all resign ourselves to the decline? It is appropriate to start thinking about the hypothesis that the answer to this question is simply: “Yes”. But on the horizon we see a force able to compensate for the evaporation of government authorities: technology, the bearer of an epochal change that is upsetting the balance and shifting power from governments to businesses. And to people.
It is the first time that the great changes in society so completely escape the choices of politics. The decision-making process is too slow to pursue and direct the changes in innovation, the space in which the added value is created that is too impalpable, the protagonists of the change too powerful and global to be faced by small nation states. But the fact that politics has become useless is not said to be bad news.