“All power to imagination”, used by most people in its 68 version “all power to fantasy” to the point of becoming a symbolic slogan of that season, probably has never been actually given. Perhaps it has come close enough to the antechamber and parties’ administration, but it has never entered the control room. Whereas the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, who became famous among the 68’s students, thought this phrase would have raised the world. Basically, according to Marcuse, reason and language are not able to transcend reality and to impose “a great refusal” to current model. This is why philosophy needs to appeal to imagination, the only tool able to comprehend things in the light of their potential.
Matteo Renzi, the modern imitator of those students who dreamed of rulling through fantasy, has offered these days a revisited and correct version of it. In a few months he has been able to say contrasting things, yet hit the bull’s eye. Please, note the dates that are as important as the words. On February 22nd 2015 Renzi is on TV to alert the country: “If Rai is a piece of country’s cultural identity than it cannot be regulated by the Gasparri Law, it is ontological”. Five months later, during a trip to Japan, he offers another version. August 4th 2015: There were no temporary alternative options to renewal, prorogatio does not make itself clear to a 3-billion company. There were no alternatives to the Gasparri Law, it would have been a forced decision not to renew the board of directors. Now the game is in the hands of the Parliament’s and of the Surveillance. It is easy to infer that those statements are in contradiction. Yet, they were pronounced by the same person, on the same subject matter.
It does not take long to change one’s mind. And this is not a meaningless variation considering that Renzi contradicts himself; this is a proof of how power adapts words according the circumstances and convenience. It proves that powers molds words according to circumstances and convenience. And it does not matter much if analysts are all busy now drawing coordinates in order to say that Renzi loses and Gasparri wins, because the real loser is the country.
With this system Rai remains at the service of the parties, not of those who pay the TV licence. The legitimate aspiration to have a better product, in line with the times, will hardly find a realistic application. Now more than ever politics needs to count on media that are house organs and not Power’s watch dogs. If they had been watch dogs, we would have had a different system now.
No matter how partisan and partial at heart, considering that the company’s employee would have a representative in the board of directors after the reform, Usigrai’s comment describes perfectly the situation. According to Vittorio Di Trapani, the secretary of the Rai journalists labor union, “The party-dominated logic has been applied again. It is not a matter of names but of the chosen method, that of the typical whippletree of the parties”. In current language it is called the Cancelli manual or allotment.
“All that without even having discussed the mandate that was to be entrusted to the new ruling group. Without having answered, thus, the two crucian questions that concern the public service: what to do and with what funds”.
The real topics, as one can imagine, remain in the drawer of good intentions. In the drawer of “I
would like to, but i cannot”. All of this does not happen only to Rai. With regard to the retirements, just to stay on a topic that affects the quality of Italian citizens’ life, we have observed the same pattern. A one- time bonus from time to time has been granted as a refund while missing adjustments are the result of someone else’s mistakes.
And what about professors? Those who do not accept forced transfers lose their job. Certainly this is not “all power to imagination” but rather instrumental use of semantics. Too many fake reforms are sold as great innovations.
Translated by Ecaterina Severin