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Matteotti between Parliament and Local Authorities – Mondoworker

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Matteotti between Parliament and Local Authorities – Mondoworker

The maximalists of Costantino Lazzari, “braggarts and inconclusive”. This sentence marks the political and ideological boundary with the Unitary Socialist Party of which Matteotti has been secretary since 1922 . especially ahigh culture, also international, of reference that surpasses the Marxist humanism of Adler and Bauer itself, albeit within the overall framework of the theoretical and programmatic reflection underway, in those years, in the socialist parties of the Second International. It’s just enough socialist humanism with the reference to the “Christ of the origins” by Camillo Prampolini. A cultural background of political science that is confronted with the changes of the party-form at a European level, for example Mosei Ostrogorski, with whom Matteotti shares Turati’s reflection towards a mobile partycapable of broadening the democratic consensus “for a recovery of liberal, democratic, politically egalitarian and humanitarian evolution in the best sense of the word”.

The pages find historiographic breadth and extraordinary topicality Giacomo Matteotti and the reformist socialism by Maurizio Degl’Innocenti (F. Angeli , Milan , 2022 ), succeeding, with research originality, after the series of volumes by Stefano Caretti, to incardinate the secretary of the Unitary Socialist Party in the reforming plan of governance of urban centers and rural areas of Polesine. Thus, building a robust scaffolding for the politicization of Local Authorities. Thanks to Matteotti a real one administrative doctrinescientific knowledge of skills, guide the socialist revolution del Polesine without messianic expectations. The local administrators are i organic representatives of the body of citizens electors with full ownership in the administrative address. Much more than the peasant who, hat in hand, awaits the orders of the landowners. Giacomo Matteotti seeks political union between city and countryside, finding a unitary synthesis in Parliament. This dual role is very clear to the two main exponents of the organization military of fascist squads: Italo Balbo and Michele (Michelino) Bianchi. Read the volume 1922 by Italo Balbo, breaking latest news and diary of the military attack on Padania. The fire of Ravenna, by the Fasci di Combattimento, is exemplary.

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Maurizio Degl’Innocenti underlines the problem of the autonomy of Local Authorities which profoundly changes the configuration of the then PSI. From the many bell towers, from the concept of “widespread homeland” we arrive at the “widespread region”: Matteotti’s territorial community is not “anti-State”. It means the absence of mythical references to the Paris Commune: “It can well be said – continues Degl’Innocenti – that Matteotti interpreted, at his best, the essential link between the local and the national”. In the most difficult moments of our history, the Local Authority of Matteotti (but also of Zanardi, the socialist mayor of Bologna, or of Caldara, the socialist mayor of Milan) contributes to the overall stability of society and institutions.

The electoral conquest of the “organs of public power” goes beyond the technical knowledge of the use of the plow and the hammer. With Matteotti we move on to budgets, to expenditure items, to the financial coverage of the bills, to the transparency of public accounts: here is the “toolbox” (quoting Giovanni Montemartini) of the socialist municipalities. In the Municipalities the socialist battle proceeds, hand in hand, with the parliamentary action made up of questions, inquiries, statistics, as a counter to the program of the Government in office. The concept of “parliamentary socialism” refers to Claudio Treves’ commemoration of Jean Jaures.

Matteotti lives in the territories and in Parliament where he is a member of the Finance and Treasury Commission; later, secretary of the Parliamentary Commission for the reform of the bureaucracy (September 1921). His skills in public finance make him a point of reference for the Socialist Parliamentary Group and add up to the responsibilities of political secretary of the Socialist Unity Party starting in 1922. He hoped to spend more time with his family, but, writing to his wife, Velia, he confesses that the proposal is annulled by parliamentary work: “(…) I will speak today or tomorrow on cars, then on the naming of qualifications, then on public education, then in the Budget Committee against the fish, then the War Profits Confiscation Law. I reduce myself to studying a little late at night “The Montecitorio Library is its documentation ‘workshop’ and Turati’s alarm comes from there when, suddenly, that June 10, 1924, there is no more news of the deputy of Polesine.

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Se Turati, in 1920, with the speech Remaking Italy indicates a “serious and concrete program” (but also political alliances) Matteotti will characterize it, every day, running around Italy and abroad (see the visit to the British Labor Party). The delegitimization of Parliament already takes place, Matteotti declares, with Giolitti, in March 1920, in reference to the control of monetary circulation: “Giolitti covers the deficit of the ordinary budgets with extraordinary means, concealing the extent of the public debt”. And, once again, he denounces Giolitti because the balance sheet for the provisional financial year becomes “an arithmetic copying of the previous balance sheets”. And Matteotti again: “In the Budget Committee we are amazed that the socialist parliamentarians want to discuss and investigate Giolitti’s provisions”. Almost “a scandal compared to the past when the Government’s intentions were approved, out of habit, with closed eyes”. And, yes, the socialists “have come to break these habits a bit”. Usually, “Socialist MPs are said to be generic, but when they get into the practices and technique, then they are accused of being obstructionists.” With irony and bitterness Matteotti describes Giolitti’s latest return to the leadership of the Executive: “New man! Brand new factory that counts eighty years of foundation. Brand new, today, for repainting” .

Financial aspects and introduction of the “pure proportional system in the 1919 political elections. The adoption of the “D’ Hondt system” (revived on June 2, 1946) as a tool for political education in the country with the extension of the vote to women (approved precisely in 1919, but only in the “first reading” and it will be discussed again on June 2, 1946). The “pure proportionality”, according to Matteotti, accelerates the differentiation of parties also with respect to administrative elections. The opportunity for each list to present itself with its own party logo, excluding the possibility of additional votes: “With the list closed each party counts on its own forces and acquires the right to govern when it has a homogeneous majority without messes. Therefore, a political and technical question, but also an ethical one because it is connected to the education of the voter”.

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On 5 July 1922 Matteotti, in Montecitorio, expressed clear dissent on the conversion into law of a block of one hundred and forty decrees out of due date. The opposition of the Unitarian Socialist Party was reaffirmed not only on financial and foreign policy issues, but, above all, on the failure to safeguard public order (we are in 1921) . Turati denounces the formation of “una volunteer police outside the official one”, real “armed gangs” who find refuge in the editorial offices of the newspapers of the Nationalist Movement transformed into clandestine arms depots. The armed violence of the Fasci di Combattimento appears, starting from Polesine, a sort of “experimental area” of squadrism. Turati sees his own acquired autonomy of fascist armed violence with respect to his own instigators and supporters. In December 1922 Matteotti reconfirmed his awareness of reality: “On the terrain of violence, aided by the Authority, a Socialist Party of civilization and of the masses could no longer resist”.

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