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Donatella Di Cesare, philosopher: "There is a conspirator in each of us"


She is one of the most lucid intellectuals in Italy. In her new book, 'The Conspiracy in Power', she claims that the conspiracies are linked to a problem of political impotence.

The world changed suddenly after the fall of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The course of history accelerated in an irregular direction.

What was happening could no longer be analyzed with the logic of progress and a large part of the citizens, marked by resentment, subscribed to



That's what

The Conspiracy in Power is about.

(Sixth Floor, 2023), the last book translated into Spanish by Donatella Di Cesare (Rome, 66 years old), one of the most weighty and lucid intellectuals in Italy.

Born into a Jewish family, she was educated in Germany and was one of the last students of Hans-Georg Gadamer.

Her first works are close to Derrida's theory of deconstruction.

Later, she analyzed Heidegger's Nazism.

The work of the Italian philosopher, almost always in the tributaries of politics, has marked much of the country's debate in recent years.


 Are we all a bit of a plotter?


 Yes of course.

But I move away from the concept of conspiracy theories.

The question is usually formulated in terms of true or false, as if it were just

fake news


And they fight thinking about how to avoid them, verify them... It is poorly formulated.

The plots are not just false statements or psychic pathologies.

They don't rave.


What do you mean?


 That the anti-complot current is also ineffective and affects the world of information.

Acting like this, stigmatizing, there is a risk of creating a separation between the world of the media and the people, who are trying to find the truth.

And that is dangerous.

Today the whole world wonders who pulls the strings of our rulers, who has the power.

And the question of the plot is linked to a political problem, to the fact that we feel excluded from that decision-making even though we live in a democracy.

We feel powerless, we would like to have a voice.

We call it disaffection and it translates into abstention.

But it's a huge sense of helplessness.


Before what?


 We perceive the presence of an inaccessible power, without name or face.

If there is a problem, the answer is always: “Europe decided it”.

Or: "You have to do it that way, these are the market rules."

And it is automatic to imagine politics as a device of power.

More information

Why do conspiracy theories seduce?


Seen how everything works, this


seems something natural .


 Yes. But it cannot be underestimated.

It is a weapon of depoliticization of the masses.

The standard plotter sits at the computer and tries to create information for himself, but in the end gives in to his helplessness.

He tries to unmask that power, but in reality he gives in to a passivity.


 What is the cause?


 One is that the parties no longer have the capacity to involve before.

That causes a distancing and isolation from people.


is not a legitimate doubt, but one that becomes dogma with no interest in verifying it


There is no coordination of anger, of the will to change.


Where is modern


 born ?


 A turning point was the fall of the Twin Towers.

On the one hand, for not being able to decipher history, to understand what is to come.

The idea of ​​progress that guided modernity disappears, the idea of ​​always getting better.

That is where the cracking of the 21st century begins, the disorientation and bewilderment.

What comes in the next 20 years is one black swan after another: the economic crisis, the war, the pandemic... The idea spreads that progress is disappearing.

And in the face of this tragic scenario, the temptation is the shortcut and to question who governs our destiny and pulls the strings of the world order.


 Yeah, but as Kurt Cobain, from Nirvana, said, "being paranoid doesn't mean you're not being persecuted."


It is true: the markets decide, we are dispossessed, we are more impotent... There is a plotter in each one of us.



gives us that passivity that ends up rewarding the reactionary political forces that appeal to resentment.


 The last half century in Italy seems like a paradise for conspiracies: the attacks in Piazza Fontana, the murder of Pasolini, that of Aldo Moro, the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi... All of them unsolved.


Italy is the land of plots.

For its intermingled history, made of intrigues, the country of Machiavelli.

Almost everything relevant that has happened in recent years is based on a secret.

And all these cases influence the citizen's distancing from politics.

Q. What effect has the


 had on Italian politics



 A lot, especially in phenomena like the 5 Star Movement (M5S).

The link between


and populism is very important.

The main idea is that the people have been deceived and a prophet comes along who turns on the light and says that democracy is a scam.

In the case of the Brothers of Italy [Giorgia Meloni's party] it is also evident.

They are the new version of a reactionary right.

They are post-fascists: they carry the backpack of fascism, but adapting.

Meloni's message is: “You have been deceived by Europe and by the party of the conspiracy, which is the party of foreigners.

So it is time to protect Italy so that it is not altered”.


 Protect her from what?


From hidden external forces: Europe, de facto powers, migrants, feminists... It is the winning message.


 What is Meloni today and where is she going?


 She comes from that Roman right with a disturbing past made of violence, anti-Semitism, thugs and so many crimes.

I lived those years.

Meloni is a trauma for Italy.

For us it is a


that a person with that past is head of the Government.

And the responsibility lies with the left.

But his strength is that, precisely, she comes from the town.

A girl from the neighborhood, from Garbatella.

And that is already a distance with the left.

She is a new political animal, highly skilled and difficult to analyze.

I do not agree with those who study it with the old categories.


 Is nationalism a form of




 Yes, without a doubt.

The nationalism that claims a sovereignty in danger through



Always underlining certain wounds.

And as I see it, it also applies to Vox.



And for the Catalan independence movement?

With the idea of ​​a Spain that steals and dilutes identity...



Mutatis mutandis


But there are different aspects.

One thing is the reactionary right that is trying to regain a boom in Germany and Italy.

But the Catalan independence movement has elements related to tension within the Spanish State and raises the problem of internal cohabitation.

It is not so much a political question.


What impact did covid-19 have on the




 The pandemic empowered it.

It was an attempt to explain a dramatic event with a shortcut.

Many believed that the danger was exaggerated to limit individual freedom.

In Italy, some channels, such as TG1, decided to exclude the plotters.

It was a mistake.

You cannot stigmatize a group of people.

And more if there is freedom of expression.


 Even if they spread lies?

Even if someone says that it does not exist, for example, climate change from a newspaper?


It is a big problem for journalism, indeed.

You have to analyze it on a case-by-case basis, but when you have someone who says these things, it is useless to exclude them.

It is better to welcome those who assume or spread

fake news

to answer them and demonstrate them with arguments.


 Isn't there the risk that it will become a useless circus?


But the other risk is that a separation is created between the sphere of information, protected from the point of view of truth and science, and any other part, that of the plotters.

That crack is a problem for information.

In Italy it has already happened.

There is a gap between the newspapers and those who build their own information.


You yourself experienced an episode of marginalization in the media because your opinions about the war in Ukraine were not those of supporting the shipment of arms.


I experienced a dramatic moment because I began to write articles like the one about the suicide of Europe in which I indicated the possible repercussions of this war for Europe and the importance of its intervention.

And I had to leave the newspaper

La Stampa

for which I wrote.

It was a complicated case, I became a target of attacks and I became a symbol of pacifism.

I think that what has happened in Italy with information in the past months has been devastating and indicative of the limits of public and democratic debate.

The newspapers have relied on a single version and a single way of viewing the war and the voices of those who, like me, criticized or raised doubts, marginalized or attacked each other.


Your position is not to send weapons then?


My position is a left-wing pacifist.

I do not believe that a war between two nationalisms like the one that is taking place brings advantages or benefits.

Furthermore, it is a war that will harm the poorest of all European countries.

I don't think that being on the side of the Ukrainian people is giving weapons to use their bodies for a war that in the end is between NATO on the one hand and Russia and China on the other.

I am a Europeanist and I have always believed in the role of Europe, and one of the decisive points is that Europe has not had a role of mediation that it should have had.

And the second deeper issue is that in the 21st century such a war in Europe is completely unacceptable.

Politics has not played its role.

Thinking that border conflicts and cohabitation are resolved with weapons is absolutely unacceptable.

That is my position.

It's not that I don't recognize the mistake of Putin's criminal invasion, but you also need to see it in context to find a solution.

I still believe in peace, but it is built with mediators, not by sending weapons.

Especially in a nuclear and apocalyptic context.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-27

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