Interview with El Confidencial – translated by and for FRN –
Diego Fusaro is one of the most controversial intellectuals in Italy, since he occupies an ideological position that combines conservative and leftist positions.
He is a Marxist, and his referents are Gramsci , Pasolini and Costanzo Preve , at the same time as anti-globalist and pro-sovereigntist, and that has led him to hold positions with which many Salvinists are not in disagreement. Several of his books have been published in Spain, both for publishers linked to the left, such as’ Antonio Gramsci, the passion of being in the world ‘(Ed. Siglo XXI) or ‘Still Marx ‘(Ed. El Viejo Topo), or on the right, as the recently published ‘The counterattack ‘(Ed. Fides). Fusaro has heterodox thoughts, which are intended to receive criticism from one side and another, and has often been branded as both red and fascist , as has also been done with those who have interviewed him, whom in turn are accused of drawing attention to him. But here we gladly take that risk, because the ideas of the fashionable philosopher in Italian politics also deserve to be known.
QUESTION. He just published ‘La notte del mondo’. Explain to me, please, why we are in a dark night, at what point Marx and Heidegger cross.
ANSWER. My book ‘La notte del mondo. Marx, Heidegger and technocapitalism ‘(UTET, 2019) is an attempt to reason according to the categories of Marx and Heidegger about what Heidegger himself, with the verses of Hölderlin , defines “The night of the world.” The night of the world is a time when darkness is so present that we do not even see the darkness itself and, therefore, we are not aware of that darkness. Heidegger expresses it saying that “it is the night of the flight of the gods”, in which we are not even aware of the poverty and misery in which we find ourselves. This is a situation of maximum emergency. For its part, Marx in the ‘Grundrisse’ said that “the modern world leaves unsatisfied, or if something satisfies it is trivially”. It is another way of saying that we are indeed in the night of the world, where we do not even see the enormous problem in which we find ourselves. In the book I use the categories of two very different authors, such as Marx and Heidegger, to try to reveal what are the contradictions of our present in which everyone calculates and nobody thinks. In which the economic and technical, technical and scientific reason, has been imposed as the only valid reason, and aims to replace all others.
The servant must fight for national-popular sovereignty as the basis of democracy and social rights
Q. You insist that the political axis should not be left and right, but those above and below. And that ideologically we must be conservative in terms of values (roots, loyalty, family, ethicality, homeland) and left (emancipation, democratic socialism, dignity of work). Is that the way to be a Marxist today?
A. Yes, I think the geography of current politics has changed profoundly. Today there is a kind of liberal totalitarianism that allows us to be right-wing liberals, left-liberals, center-liberals, as long as we are liberals, always, and, therefore, left and right become two different ways of being liberal or precisely, in political and economic liberalism, in liberal practice in customs and, of course, in Atlanticism in the geopolitical sphere. I believe that today we must rethink a recategorization of political reality according to the high / low dichotomy or the elite / people category, which is sometimes used as a synonym. This implies that if the elite, the globalist Lord, is precisely cosmopolitan, in favor of the unlimited opening of free movement, the serf, on the other hand, must fight for national-popular sovereignty as the basis of the democracy of social rights. Today it is necessary to re-establish the link between the national state and the socialist revolution. This is the fundamental point.
The EU is the depoliticization of the economy and the imposition of the interest of cosmopolitan capital against national communities.
Q. What will the future of the EU be? It will break? What options would be opened? Do you think it is possible to form an alliance of the northern countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and others and another one of the countries of the south? How will the international order be recomposed if the EU becomes weaker or if it breaks down?
A. We must be very clear in giving a definition of the European Union. The European Union is the union of the European ruling classes against the working classes and the peoples of Europe. It is the post-1989 victory of a capitalism that is completely realized by dissolving the last bastions of resistance: national sovereign states with the primacy of the political and democracy over the total automatism of technocapitalism. This is the European Union. A process of globalization, depoliticization of the economy and imposition of the interest of cosmopolitan capital against the interests of national communities. Therefore, the fight against capitalism in our continent today can not stop being a fight against the European Union.The tragedy is that the left has abandoned this struggle, insofar as it has gone from proletarian internationalism to liberal cosmopolitanism and, therefore, allows the struggle against the European Union, against capitalist globalization, to be carried out by forces that , very often, they do not want human emancipation or the solidarity of workers, they simply try to react by looking towards a past that no longer exists.
Q. How should the countries of Europe act against the US and China?
A. I believe that Europe can be saved only if it recovers, on the one hand, its own cultural identities and its structural plurality and, on the other hand, if it is freed from the dictatorship called the European Union, which is the dictatorship of capital, of the markets against the workers and the people, and if it is freed from the deadly yoke of Washington’s Atlanticism . We have to aim at an Eurasian axis that goes from Putin’s Russia to China in anti-Atlanticist function. We must free ourselves from this and change our point of view.
We must flee from the cosmopolitanism that destroys nations and from nationalism, which is a selfishness thought at the level of the nation.
P. You insists that there is a fight against globalism, but neither should we support nationalism. What is the option?
R. I think that today we must go beyond globalism and nationalism. After all, globalism is nothing more than American nationalism that has become the world and, therefore, a form of nationalism brought to its maximum development. I think it is necessary to assert, against these two opposites, a model of internationalism between sovereign states of solidarity, based on democracy, socialism and the rights of the weaker classes and, consequently, a kind of internationalist, democratic and socialist sovereignty , far removed from the cosmopolitanism that destroys nations, and from nationalism that is a selfishness thought at the level of the individual nation itself.
Q. The State is the primacy of the political over the economic. Is that why the global world wants to end with the States?
A. The sovereign nation states, in modernity, have not only been the places of imperialism, nationalism and wars, as the order of the dominant discourse repeats, which wants to destroy the States to impose the primacy of globalist capital, where States become only the stewards of capital. This is the liberal vision of the State. In reality, sovereign nation-states have also been the places of democracies and of the gains of the laboring classes. And it is for this reason that today capital wants to destroy them, certainly not to avoid wars or imperialism that, in fact, prosper more than ever in the post-national framework. Today the State can represent the only vector of an oppositional revolution against the capitalist world, as the events of the Bolivarian countries, such as Bolivia, Venezuela or Ecuador, demonstrate that, despite their structural limits, are creating forms of sovereignty, socialist, patriotic, anti-globalist and identity populism.
Many fools who call themselves ‘left’ fight against fascism, which no longer exists, only to accept the totalitarianism of the market
Q. For ideas like these, you have been called fascist. Their political positions frighten more to the left than to the right. Why? In that demonization, what role do the media and the Academy play?
A. Of course, nowadays the category of ‘fascism’ is used in a completely dehistoricized and decontextualized way, to simply demonize the interlocutor. Today who reaffirms the need to politically control the economy and, therefore, reintroduce sovereignty against the cosmopolitan opening, is vilified and immediately branded as ‘fascist’, ‘red’ and ‘Stalinist’. The category of fascism is, therefore, completely dehistoricized, it only serves to hide the true face of what Pasolini had already identified as the true fascism of today: that of the market society, the totalitarianism of the markets and the speculative stock exchanges. This is the true face of power today, and many fools who call themselves ‘left’ fight against fascism, that no longer exists, only to fully accept the totalitarianism of the market.
The latter are the ones who fight in France against Le Pen only to accept Macron willingly. They fight against a fascism that no longer exists only to accept the new invisible club of the market economy. And, of course, the intellectual class, the media circus and the intellectual clergy play a fundamental role in this process ; The task of the intellectual, academic and journalistic class is to ensure that the dominated accept the domination of the ruling class instead of rebelling. So, as in Plato’s cave, love your own chains and fight against any liberator.
P. He insisted that with one hand they give us civil rights and with another they take away social rights. In what are the so-called diversity policies?
A. The so-called ‘civil rights’ today are, in reality, nothing more or less, the rights of the ‘bourgeois’, which Marx had described in ‘The Jewish Question’. In other words, it is the rights of the consumer, as we would say today, the rights of the individual who wants all the individual rights that he can buy specifically. I’m thinking of renting bellies, for example, in the custody of children according to the cost of the consumer. Well, today we are witnessing a process whereby capital takes away our social rights, which are rights linked to work, to community life in the polis; it cancels these rights and, on the other hand, increases consumer rights, always linked to consumption that is carried out individually, without ever questioning the order of production and,
In addition, they create a kind of generalized microconflictuality that acts as a weapon of mass distraction and, we might also say, a weapon of permanent mass division. On the one hand, it distracts from the capitalist contradiction that is not even mentioned, and on the other hand, so to speak, it divides the masses into homosexuals and heterosexuals, Muslims and Christians, vegans and carnivores, fascists and antifascists, and so on. And while this happens naturally, capital allows people to take to the streets for gay pride, for animals and for everything, but do not dare to take to the streets to fight against the slavery of wage-labor, against precariousness or against the capitalist economy! If so, there is repression, as happened in France with the Yellow Vests.
Capitalism has declared war on the ethical roots in the Hegelian sense, to the communitarian forms of solidarity.
Q. You point out that the stable bonds, represented in marriage, have become revolutionaries today. Why? How have things changed so that something radically frequent in history becomes revolutionary today? What is erotic consumerism?
A. The current capitalism is flexible and precarious. It disintegrates every human community and wants to see everywhere the individual without identity and without links, to the consumer who establishes disposable relationships based on consumption. For that reason, capitalism today has declared war on what I, in my book ‘Storia e coscienza del precariato. Servi e signori della globalizzazione ‘(Bompiani, 2018) I call the ethical roots in the Hegelian sense; that is to say, those communitarian forms of solidarity that go from the family to the public organisms like the unions, the school, the university, until being realized in the State. Its objective is to break them down to reduce the world to a single market, as Alain de Benoist said : society becomes a single global market. This is the reason why the re-enactment of society today, that is, the revaluation of the ethical roots in the Hegelian sense, is a revolutionary gesture.
It seems to me that Podemos is lately entering more and more into the united front of the single party of capital.
Q. You affirm that we must recover Gramsci and remove him from the liberal-libertarian left that dominate today and who are the ones who have used it most lately and who in fact embody what Gramsci fought against. Would it also define, by going to the Spanish case, Pablo Iglesias or Íñigo Errejón , and Podemos in general, as a cultural phenomenon of glorification of globalized capitalism?
R. Yes, in essence, Gramsci is the opposite of what the left is doing in Italy and in much of Europe, the left are no longer red but fuchsia, they are no longer the sickle and the hammer, but the bow of iris. They fight for capital and not for work, they fight for liberal cosmopolitanism and not for the internationalism of the working classes. The specific case of Podemos in Spain seems to me quite interesting, because it began as a sovereign and socialist force, beyond the right and the left, but it seems to me that lately it is increasingly entering the united front of the single party of capital, and It’s really a shame because the Podemos party originally seemed to be a breakout match.
The left is demophobic: it hates the people because the people get out of hand.
Q. What role should the intellectual play in this scenario?
A. In my opinion, today’s intellectual must re-establish what Gramsci called the “sentimental connection with the people-nation”, that is, he must reconnect the people to politics, to the intelligentsia itself, so that the people move out of this passivity and transform into active subjectivity, as is already happening, insofar as the people are rebelling against the cosmopolitan elite. He does it voting for the Brexit, he does it voting for Trump, he does it voting in Italy against the constitutional referendum, he does it voting in Greece for the referendum against the austerity of the European Union. But the people, says Gramsci, must be ‘interpreted’, it needs a living philology, the people is a text that must be interpreted and not directed univocally. You have to listen to their needs, their demands, what the left today is not doing; the left is demophobic, that is, it hates the people, it hates the people because the people get out of hand, they no longer feel represented by a left friendly to the capital and the masters, instead of the workers and the people.
Q. You proposes to recover the use of Italian in front of English, and in addition to a well-spoken or written Italian. You understand this as an essential cultural battle. Why?
A. Yes, I propose, against the neo-language of the markets that speak the English of the ‘spreadsheets’, of the ‘spending review’, of the ‘austerity’ and of ‘governance’, a vetero-language based on the recovery of the Italian with all its wealth, the Italian of Dante and Machiavelli . It is a cultural battle of resistance to globalization and to that ‘cultural genocide’, as Pasolini called it, that globalization is carrying out destroying cultures in the name of the only permitted model: the consumer of goods, stateless, post-identity, who speaks the Anonymous English for stateless financial markets.
PS The interview was conducted through email and the translation of Fusaro’s answers corresponds to its Spanish translator, Michela Ferrante Lavín.