Edition: 2014
Pages: 144
Series: IR/L
ISBN: 9788858111963
Subject area: iLibra

Against the dictatorship of now. Why we must talk about the ends

Gustavo Zagrebelsky



There is only one way out of the state of permanent emergency to which we have succumbed: to recoup the sense of politics that is lacking in contemporary democracies. For the moderns, engaging in politics has always meant choosing an ideal from the many available and pursuing it with the appropriate means. It was our freedom with respect to these objectives that enabled us to change social conditions, through reform and revolution. But ours is a grey age of nihilism, not the colourful one of politics. Just one end, in fact, appears legitimate: Money. In this way the State is also denatured; in the age of financial capitalism it is no longer shaped by the autonomous decisions of the sovereign population but rather is obliged to adopt the reforms or even governments deemed necessary by the international markets. The alternative? A downgrade by the rating agencies and the spectre of bankruptcy. With the evaporation of political substance, democracy is reduced to an empty and impotent shell, a farce obscuring the real goings-on where oligarchies endure, sycophancy thrives, and the status quo is preserved to the benefit of the few and the detriment of the many. This is why, today more than ever, it is necessary to rebel against the dictatorship of the now and to get back to talking about the ends.

The author

Gustavo Zagrebelsky

Gustavo Zagrebelskyis professor emeritus of the University of Turin. His most recent publications include: Principles and Votes (2006); Learning Democracy (2007); The Law and Its Justice (2009). With Laterza he has published: Rights and the Constitution in the European Union; In Praise of Doubt. Interview on ethics and law; Against the Ethics of Truth; Trading Places. State and Church and the governance of man; The Happiness of Democracy. A dialogue (with Ezio Mauro); Against the Dictatorship of Now. Why we must talk about the ends.

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