A left-wing policy in Italy, in Europe and in the world

 The need of a united Europa with a foreign policy and security not delegated to Washington and its management of military bases on European countries.

As Romano Prodi, former head of Italian government, has just underlined, we are living in a phase of extreme danger. "More dangerous than the Cuban missile crisis in 1962," he said. The survival of the planet is threatened by its ecological deterioration, scientists and, above all, a generation of young people report. Yet there are many reasons to fear a more rapid catastrophe: the diffusion and increase of nuclear weapons, the use of other weapons of all kinds in dozens of war theatres (not only in and around Ukraine), a global economy with strong autarkic thrusts, dominated by that military-industrial complex denounced by Eisenhower and, at regular intervals, by Pope Francis.

The lovers of Realpolitik, today called Geopolitics, neglect the historical precedent of the First World War which, against the will of the governments of the time, was unleashed by the need of the declining Austro-Hungarian empire to react to a single act of political violence, in the fateful place of Sarajevo.

Well, the Ukrainian war, on European soil once again, still without a prospect of a diplomatic solution, is an expression of the antagonistic, yet conniving will of two empires in decline and which prolong, in a more unregulated and violent form, the reciprocal needs for a credible threat that justifies its economic, political and military priorities.

Even Henry Kissinger and Jeffrey D. Sachs (see "La Repubblica", 10 January) have recovered from the historic impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall, to signal the futility of Washington's effort to relaunch its hegemony in a bipolar context, replacing Putin's weakness with an attempt to support him with the power of China, traditionally in favor of a multipolar evolution of the planet.

The challenges of our house are placed in this picture. The watershed is dramatic, but also crystalline. The current Italian government, like the previous one, with the participation of the PD and M5S, has signed up for the relaunch of US control over a divided and politically impotent Europe, using an otherwise anachronistic alliance as a tool on the aggressive stimulus of Vladimir Putin. The problem of every Italian citizen, whether a member of the Democratic Party or not, whether they say they are on the left or not, is whether bread, peace and freedom are not better ensured, less at risk in a world engaged in a difficult transition towards a multipolarity that is still ungoverned, in which, in addition to the United States and Russia, China, India, Latin America led by Lula's Brazil, and an African Union still grappling with old and new colonialisms find a place.

A world removed from the bipolar threat which, instead, requires a more united Europe, endowed with a foreign policy that dictates the priority and nature of its own security such as not to be delegated to Washington and its management of military bases on our territory. Except for a shareable, but poorly argued pro-European declaration of faith by Elly Schein, nothing new in this regard on the front of the congressional debate of the PD.

But there is more. I love to repeat an episode of real life. In the first months of 2016, I boarded bus number 64, which at the time took me from Castel Sant'Angelo to Termini Station. A priest and a young nun ask me for directions in French. A conversation arises from which it appears that my interlocutor is the head of the Jesuits, the Provincial of France, and he is in Rome to elect the so-called Black Pope, to be placed side by side, I observe, with the white one.

Presidential elections in France are imminent. Intrigued, I ask them what they think of the socialist president in office, Hollande, who hadn't yet decided whether to run again. "He's a good person. He's also a good administrator, graduated from our École National administration", they answer me, and then add: "Of course he's mediocre!".

To my amused astonishment they reacted: "Don't take it as a personal judgement. In a situation like ours, in which over 40% of the wealth is concentrated in a few hands that manoeuvre the finances, while the middle class is impoverished and the poor remain poor, the policy that adapts to it is structurally mediocre. A mediocrity that is gradually reflected in institutions that are less and less free and democratic".

Yet, we don't want to leave ourselves alone with this disconsolate analysis. What to do? First, spread this awareness. Bringing together those who agree on measures to protect rights that are increasingly violated with the resources of those who have tampered with them, with public interventions that will lead to conflicts to be taken into account. Use the spaces of freedom and democratic participation that still exist to expand them. Understand and take on the challenges of our age: ecology, technological revolution, migrations. With an understandable language, that of Lula, of Jeremy Corbyn, of Jewish Voice for Peace and of NGOs who fight for peace and human rights. Examples to follow, in Italy and in the world.

Gian Giacomo Migone

President of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, Republic of Italy, 1994-2001; former Fprofessor of U.S. History, University of Torino