The thorns of power. The Italian crisis of 1992-93 according to Elias Canetti

Author/s Giovanni Orsina
Publishing Year 2017 Issue 2016/39 Language Italian
Pages 24 P. 113-136 File size 224 KB
DOI 10.3280/XXI2016-039007
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The intensity of the anti-political emotions generated in the Italian crisis of 1992-93 bore no proportion to the "objective" causes and conditions of that crisis. That is to say, the political class was held even guiltier for the Italian sorry plight than it actually was. This essay confronts that disproportion with a number of hypotheses inspired by the work of Elias Canetti. The second paragraph presents some of the key concepts of Canetti’s Crowds and Power - the distinction between open and closed masses, the thorns of command, the relationship between power and metamorphosis -, extending them so as to adapt them to the peculiarities of Italian democracy. The third paragraph applies those concepts to the relationship between rulers and ruled in the years 1948-1992. The fourth is focused on 1992-93 - and introduces a further concept, that of the sacrificial crisis, drawn from the work of René Girard. The fifth and final paragraph puts forward some hypotheses on how the anti-political emotions emerged in 1992-93 have conditioned the two following decades.

Keywords: Tangentopoli; Elias Canetti; Italian Politics.

Giovanni Orsina, Le spine del potere. Tangentopoli secondo Elias Canetti in "VENTUNESIMO SECOLO" 39/2016, pp 113-136, DOI: 10.3280/XXI2016-039007