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Il compito liberale in Italia

The Task of Liberalism in Italy

Anno XXIV, n. 107, ottobre-dicembre 1989
Centro Einaudi


Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese

The present moment in history provides both an opportunity and a challenge for liberalism and for Liberals, now that, internationally, the arguments of liberty are prevailing also in the East and in the South. In Italy the first task of liberalism is to make the State liberal, and to do this the Italian Liberal Party has to turn to those middle-classes, devoted to the State, without being servile towards the political power, which, historically, have always represented its strongest point. Modernising and making the State liberal means, first of all, defending the individual citizen and restoring his sovereignty. One of the crucial steps in this commitment is the defence of the freedom of information and, irrespective of the "reflux" towards the private sphere in the 80s, the rediscovery of the political dimension. The liberal plan must have three objectives: the modernisation of the State, the opening-up of the economy and the setting up of a social system that fosters, for the highest number of citizens possible, the opportunity of being masters of their own lives. In particular, maximum priority must be given in Italy to the ecological problem, to the need to reform local autonomies, and to reducing the State's role in the economy, and hence curbing political power-sharing and the undue intrusiveness of the political parties.
Liberal action must be seen in terms of a careful analysis of the current political framework, characterised as it is by the end of the conventio ad excludendum against the Communist Party, and by the prospect, concrete for the first time, of an alternative government. This entails reappraisal of the working relationship between Liberal Party and Republican Party, and a show-down with the Socialist Party, especially over the matter of institutional reforms. In conclusion, in accepting a minority role by choice and not by ill-fortune, the Liberals must stand out for their diversity from a conception of the State and a method of running public affairs of which a number of signs reveal that Italian citizens are tired.