This article was published on Baricada România on 12th December 2020.
As commenters have noted in recent days, the attractiveness of the AUR party (which is an abbreviaure of The Aliiance for Union of Romanians as well as means Gold) is based on a discursive mix that has the potential to mobilize various social categories. Because of this diversity, many people can find a message on the AUR agenda that might match their overwhelming feelings (including, as Cornel Ban pointed out in his article for FEPS – Foundation for European Progressive Studies: anti-vaccinists, football hooligans, Holocaust deniers, anti-Hungarian ultranationalists, the military, pious Christians and believers in New Age medicine).
Behind the diffused rhetoric shaped by the discursive mixture mentioned above, there is also an ideological amalgam that has the potential to attract people from different backgrounds, even from different social classes. At first glance, this mixture combines – on the one hand – cultural conservatism fueled by opposition to political correctness and revengeful hatred of all kinds of identity policies, and on the other hand populism based on the sense of dignity that people want to regain it from the various humiliations suffered by all major political parties (both old and new). Precisely for this reason, like any manifestation of nationalism, the AUR ideology has the potential to build a diffuse sense of belonging that transcends various social boundaries (age, profession, class). And, in addition, it has the potential to justify the strengthening of the police state and militarization, phenomena that we have seen manifesting itself more and more strongly in 2020…
The former adviser to the European Commission of Jacques Delors, activist for the definition of water as a common good, instead of a commodity, university professor and left intellectual speaks with Baricada, telling the story of the transformation of welfare inspired societies into the main sources of a ”global disorder” and violence – a story of subjugation to a new world generation of greed technocratic elites and their push to commodification of life
Riccardo Petrella is an Italian economist who has been a scientific and technology policy analyst to the European Commission between 1979 and 1995, becoming witness and a voice of dissent over the EC’s definition of Europe as a union of competition. He is the main force behind the report “Limits to Competition” by the Group of Lisbon that has criticised the neoliberal reforms undertaken by the Commission of Jacque Delors, that serve the capital and markets, but undermine the achievements of Post-War Europe. Petrella has worked between 1967 and 1975 as a scientific secretary, and then the director, of The European Coordination Center for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences in Vienna – an organisation that has brought about scientific exchanges between the West and the East in the times of the divided Europe. The Italian university professor teached between 1982 and 2005 in the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) courses such as „Scientific and technologic politics” and „Economic globalisation” and was a lecturer in other universities and countries too. Between 2005 and 2006 he was the president of the Water Company of Puglia (Italy). In 1997 he founded the International Committee on the World Water Contract, which has the former Portuguese president Mario Soares as a president. In 1998 Petrella published „The Water Manifesto” (first in French and in 2001 in English), where he uncovers his vision for water as a „common good”.