This is a call to powerful thinking and living human force.
Power simply means to be able to and it’s a word that, at times like these, is in desperate need of rehabilitation to its original meaning. As we’ve increasingly reached a point where we relish playing the victim or being so-called keyboard fighters, it’s easy to look at outer factors to find the source of our own failures. Instead, we should have the power and will to look at real life beyond ideological projections, to look at the shadows they cast on the fabric of our society and ask ourselves why this is happening.
We need to truly think, because one day, overnight, we might not be allowed to do that openly. We need to choose to engage, instead of being indifferent, passive spectators, mere recipients of political entertainment. We need to think, because our intelligence could be silenced.
The fight against fatalism and appeasement is carried on by human power. Use it. Not just in case of emergency. Italian poet, filmmaker, and cultural critic Pier Paolo Pasolini said that there's nothing more anarchic than power. It does whatever it wants to fulfil its socio-economic needs that have little to do with us. It's not personal, just business as usual. Don't let power do whatever it wants with you. That’s why we’ve grown to hate the power of today.
What can we solidly go back to when everything else stops making sense? These are the types of questions we’re called to powerfully answer today. Don’t let profound disgust give way to intellectual or emotional detachment. Don’t let that be a reason for exile, whatever form that might take. In Antonio Gramsci’s words: “the challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned.” Have your own definition of power and don’t let it just be a dirty word. Let the chaos inspire you to find your own source of power and spirit. It’s a time in which our ghosts (economic, cultural, social and intellectual) have caught up with us, thanks to our indifference and passive compliance. And, as it turns out, it feels like we’ve run out of ideas.
We now resort to pointing the finger towards invisible systems and culprits. We’re comfortable in our self-inflicted victimisation which cripples us from building or even attempting to build what we want, killing and paralysing ideas. That’s the power that’s been lost and that we need to reclaim, instead of abdicating it. Individualism and separatism are a symptom of that same draining illness that leaves little space for social consciousness, awareness and empathy so much so that we don’t even know what power is anymore. It’s heart-breaking.
The choice of quoting writers who lived before, during and after the Italian fascist era isn’t coincidental. We've been skipping our history classes with too much ease for far too long and these are the consequences we're left to deal with. However, it’s in this chaos that we can find the creative drive and power to generate something new. It is now time to take advantage of this powerful chaos and realise, once more, that we are, indeed, capable to: be constructive, creative, and involved.
Words: Claudia Manca
Copy edited by Elena Stanciu