Giovanni De Sio Cesari



what is democracy?

Let's start by addressing a fundamental semantic issue: what do we mean by democracy? We are not referring here to a theoretical model that each of us may have in mind, what is often called the TRUE democracy, but rather the model actually implemented first in Western countries (with England and the USA at the forefront) and then spread in Europe and other parts of the world. In these models, it means that the government is elected by the citizens but in an atmosphere of free thought without which elections are meaningless.

However, sometimes another improper meaning is often added to this: what is left-wing is considered democratic, while what is right-wing is not (and perhaps vice versa), which contradicts the first meaning. For example: gay marriage would be considered democratic, while closing borders to migrants would not be. But in the 1950s, the precursor of computing, the great Turing, who also contributed greatly to the war against the Nazis, was so persecuted by the English judiciary because he was gay that he committed suicide; yet England is considered the cradle of democracy, a champion in the fight against Nazism. Similarly, the strictest immigration controls are found in Australia, but no one doubts that it is a democracy. Likewise, real communism, the dreamed anarchy, are certainly not democratic yet are left-wing ideologies.

Freedom Democracy is not characterized by voting (voting also occurs in fascist and communist regimes) but by the climate of freedom in which such votes are held. Let's be clear that no government can prevent people from thinking what they want, but when we talk about freedom of thought, we mean the freedom to EXPRESS one's thoughts, to organize associations primarily to be able to convince others. It is characterized by the acceptance of freedom of expression; in our countries, one can read everything and the opposite of everything; there are anti-vaxxers and even flat-earthers, so also those who are inspired by fascism, communism, theocracy, or martians, within the limits that do not cross over to violence that suppresses freedom. This is the basis of democracy. Of course, there may be exceptions, such as the glorification of pedophilia and incitement to jihad, the spread of satanic cults, but always in emergency situations.

It is also true that one thing is the demonstration as the occupation of public space, schools, factories, etc., and one thing is the manifestation of thought through speeches, broadcasts, writings. For the former, one must also consider compatibility with general needs, and some are allowed while others are not depending on the prevailing ideological orientations.

Another fundamental point needs clarification: Obviously, if I believe in A, I think that NOT-A is wrong, that is logical. But thinking that saying NOT-A is prohibited is typical of totalitarian regimes, whereas in a democracy, it must be allowed. For example, I believe that the Earth is round, and I am sure that the flat-earther is wrong. However, if I am democratic, I strongly affirm that the flat-earther can express his ideas in free debate. Then the majority decides, not whether the Earth is flat or round, because truth is not determined by the majority but by the possible measures taken based on whether the Earth is spherical or flat.

Generally, it's not the facts in question (although sometimes they are), but the evaluation of them: lowering pensions, prohibiting demonstrations, increasing the powers of the president can be considered positively or negatively, and should be motivated. In logic, it is said that there are judgments of fact (Antonio steals) and those of values (stealing is bad). The value judgment is given based on the criteria adopted: I say that war is bad, but there were those who said that war is the hygiene of the world (Futurists).


Limits of Tolerance

Movements that aim to abolish freedom of thought and therefore democracy with force cannot be admitted. In fact, even with special laws, violent groups from both the right and the left were fought during the so-called years of lead. Moreover, the issue of bad teachers was also raised, namely those who, even without participating, nevertheless theorized anti-democratic violence (Toni Negri and company). However, if the democratic state prohibits attempts to overthrow democracy by force (e.g., the Red Brigades), it cannot prohibit those movements that, while drawing on totalitarian ideologies (e.g., the PCI of Togliatti), nevertheless do not seem to want to overthrow democracy and freedom (the PCI certainly did not plan the revolution). The same reasoning applies to the neo-fascism of the MSI. If Nazi groups intend to subvert democracy with violence, they should not be tolerated; but if they express neo-fascist ideas without intending to impose them by force, then they fall within freedom of thought. The same reasoning is valid for small extra-parliamentary groups of extreme left still present in our society. One is free to praise Stalin as much as one wants, but one is not free to impose a new Stalinist regime by force. However, it is better to monitor these groups: outlawing them rather than destroying them also makes them more dangerous; not so much a problem of democratic principles but of pragmatic order.




Some believe that certain opinions not corresponding to truth or the common good should not be admitted: as it was written in the Syllabus, truth and falsehood should not have the same rights. But the essential point always remains: who determines the truth and the good of an idea? If it is determined by the electorate, we are in a democracy, otherwise in an illiberal, authoritarian regime such as in Iran if it is decided by the Supreme Leader.

If, on the other hand, it is believed that many vote not according to their TRUE thoughts, but because they are conditioned, deceived (by the bourgeoisie, by power, and similar fabrications), then real historically constituted democracy is not possible. Therefore, it is better that the mythical self-awareness of the people directs the state, an idea that fascism and communism of the last century have in common. Obviously, those who do NOT express their TRUE thoughts would be those who have a different thought from those who appoint themselves as judges of truths and justice. Logically, then, why shouldn't these frauds, these monsters who confuse people, be silenced and severely punished, as happens in fascism and communism? If choices are wrong due to lack of information, etc., then it means that ALL choices have these shortcomings, whereas those who support this idea simply want to say that those choices they deem wrong are due to a lack of conscience, while those they approve are not. In short, anyone who votes for Berlusconi is stupid, and anyone who votes against him is intelligent (or the opposite). I have never voted for Berlusconi, but that doesn't mean I think everyone who voted for Berlusconi was stupid: I would say that more or less the average number of stupid people is similar in all camps.

In the historical reality of Italy, the affirmation of democracy was greatly influenced by a party inspired by anti-democratic ideals, the PCI. The PCI always maintained an ambiguous position. On the one hand, it accepted democracy and contributed to the drafting of the constitution, but on the other hand, it supported Bolshevik communism, which that democracy defined as bourgeois and an enemy of the proletariat (a few nostalgics of communism still support it). The problem is that in a democracy, freedom and participation cannot be denied to a part of society even if it is hostile to democracy itself, especially if numerous. In short, paradoxically, without the PC, an enemy of democracy, we would not have had democracy: what sense would elections have if the PC and even the MSI could not have participated in them? Today, the small leftist extra-parliamentary parties, even praising Stalin, are not supporters of democracy - defined as fake democracy - and argue that the people cannot choose, that they are deceived by the bourgeoisie, that they are driven by obscure conspiracies, and similar things (which I would call nonsense).

It is also true that a democracy is not possible if not supported by the majority of the population. One hundred years ago, in Germany, Italy, Spain, and other countries, fascism emerged because it was perceived as an alternative to communism, and both movements were against democracy, which in practice was no longer supported by the population. Not surprisingly, Mussolini had a majority in parliament that no other government has ever had.