The difference between monarchy and republic , beyond the historical connotations, is not very relevant today.
Constitutional or parliamentary monarchies function in much the same way: the king reigns but does not govern, like the president of the republic . The difference lies in the nomination procedure: a king is chosen by dynastic law, a president of the republic – in the parliamentary republics – by the Parliament.
The discourse changes for the presidential republics (ex. USA) where the president of the republic is both head of state and head of government, therefore he governs. In this case, the president of a presidential republic resembles in some ways an absolute monarch, with three very important differences: he is elected by the people, his mandate is limited in time and his power is well balanced by Parliament (the so-called institutional counterweights ).
But it is on other things that I would like to emphasize . In recent decades it is no longer a king or a republic (parliamentary or presidential) to embody power. Today the power has moved elsewhere , towards the markets, therefore towards finance.
The feudal system that governed Europe from 476 AD to 1789 was essentially based on this structure : the king or emperor was such by divine and dynastic law, he was the state and the power belonged only to him. Point. There was no law but begging . The king could do everything, he could raise a farmer to a nobleman and change – for better or for worse – anyone's life. A system that, despite having governed the world for 1,300 years, had a fundamental problem : the middle class, the productive class born from the second half of the eighteenth century onwards, was not able to make the profits as it wished, crushed by the noble rights of the first state and a lack of political recognition (the newly formed bourgeoisie, the so-called third state).
Louis XVI, when he learned that his brother the Count of Artois, the future king of France Charles X, had started making shoes, was very angry. Just as it was unacceptable for a minister to wear shoes with buckles.
The fall of the feudal system (which occurred with the French revolution ) and its repercussions all over the world shifted power from the king (therefore from the nobility), towards the bourgeoisie , who began to exercise legislative and executive power through (his) Parliament. The monarchy retained a mere power of representation, that is, it could continue to reign without ruling. A symbolic institution, with power elsewhere . Hence the birth of parliamentary or constitutional monarchies, but also of the republican form of state (by now the historical differences had been greatly debased). Basically , the power passed from the secular royal families to the emerging industrial families, with a fiscal leverage in favor of the latter.
The power of the bourgeoisie , that is, of the middle class (industrial, agricultural and tertiary), has been what has ruled Europe (and the world in general) from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. A capitalism which, thanks to the bloody social struggles that took place over the course of two centuries (the fourth state was the protagonist), had been scaled down within the constitutional frameworks: capital, yes, but to be brought together with fundamental rights and with ever-increasing social equity . Workers, employees, traders, teachers and professionals also became middle class in the second half of the twentieth century. The inequalities had dozed off.
From the end of the nineties onwards a new epochal change. In Europe, capital regains its nineteenth-century strength through the system of fixed exchange rates (devaluation of labor and contraction of workers' contractual and legal guarantees), in a world where strong competitiveness and price stability are the masters and act , crushing politics and democracy , from supreme principles over fundamental rights, remained dead letter.
Therefore, a king or a president of the republic no longer makes a difference ; power has moved again towards capital, which has become international and faceless from bourgeois and national. No longer man or the right to the center, but capital and his unbridled interests. Not that capital is evil , far from it, but without very strong political governance it ends up dominating and repressing social rights.
The salient fact is that that glorious socialist party of the late nineteenth century, together with the great Communist party of the twentieth century, abandoned the fight in defense of social rights and handed over the job to the unbridled aims of capital, unfortunately without a dam of political governance . Orphans of the fall of communism, ex-socialists and ex-communists have thrown themselves body and soul towards the new eurodirect system. It does nothing if it is the opposite from which they came, it was – and is – a great opportunity for political survival.
It is no coincidence that the left, orphan of the sword in defense of social rights (work and wages), has plunged headlong into cosmetic rights, cycle paths and scooters.
If there is no turning back, it will be the end of Man.
But back where? Towards the absolute feudal monarchy? Obviously not. And not even towards the extremely bourgeois world of the nineteenth century. The best way would be to return to the balance between capital and fundamental rights that occurred between 1948 and 1992, to the so-called pre-Maastricht world where capital and work traveled together under the control of politics, a control that aimed to prevent the first from crushing The second one.
There are those who say that history never comes back. False. Apart from the infallible thesis of Giambattista Vico's " historical courses and recourses ", Giacomo Leopardi even teaches us that Nature, also understood as a form of vital balance between men, sooner or later recovers its spaces, sweeping away any distortion created by men themselves.
Trump's victory in the US in 2016 had given force to a return to certain balances between capital and labor , between capital and middle class rights. It is no coincidence that the American middle class has had one of its best periods ever from 2017 to 2019. And it is not a coincidence that the protests of these days in the United States are endorsed by the Dems (Americans and local), proponents of development without restraints of stateless capital, that which proliferates without any hindrance to fundamental rights. The excuse is racism or fascism in the absence of racism and fascism. The script is always the same.
The third way of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, inaugurated from 1997-98 onwards, is just wild globalization without the possibility of going back. Trump represents the exact opposite.
As far as we are concerned , we are celebrating Republic Day today. Quite right. Long live the Republic born from the referendum of the 46 '!
But are we really sure it still makes sense?
[ Giuseppe Palma ]
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Literary tips :
by Paolo Becchi and Giuseppe Palma, “ QUARANTINE DEMOCRACY. How a virus has swept the country “, Historica edizioni.
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The article MONARCHIA O REPUBBLICA? THIS IS NOT THE PROBLEM OF OUR DAYS (by Giuseppe Palma) comes from ScenariEconomici.it .
This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL https://scenarieconomici.it/monarchia-o-repubblica-non-e-questo-il-problema-dei-giorni-nostri-di-giuseppe-palma/ on Tue, 02 Jun 2020 11:26:00 +0000.