Farage Matt Cardy/Stringer

La rinuncia al progresso

PARIGI – Margaret Thatcher e Ronald Reagan vengono ricordati per aver promosso la rivoluzione del laissez-faire all’inizio degli anni ottanta, basando e vincendo la propria campagna elettorale sulla promessa che un capitalismo di libero mercato avrebbe dato impulso alla crescita e favorito la prosperità. Nel 2016, Nigel Farage, all’epoca leader dell’Independence Party britannico (UKIP) e promotore della Brexit, e il neo-eletto presidente americano Donald Trump si sono affermati puntando su un messaggio molto diverso, quello della nostalgia. La loro promessa di “riprendere il controllo” e “rendere l’America di nuovo grande” non rappresenta altro che la volontà di riportare indietro le lancette dell’orologio.       

Come ha osservato Mark Lilla, docente della Columbia University, il Regno Unito e gli Stati Uniti non sono gli unici paesi ad avere un revival reazionario. In molte economie avanzate ed emergenti, infatti, il passato sembra improvvisamente più attraente del futuro. In Francia, Marine Le Pen, candidata della destra nazionalista alle prossime presidenziali, fa esplicito riferimento all’epoca in cui il governo francese controllava le frontiere, proteggeva l’industria e gestiva la valuta. Queste soluzioni, dice la leader del Front National, hanno funzionato bene negli anni sessanta, quindi ripristinarle adesso significherebbe restituire prosperità al paese. 

Naturalmente, questi appelli hanno fatto breccia nell’elettorato occidentale. Il principale fattore all’origine di questo cambio di atteggiamento è che molti cittadini hanno perso fiducia nel progresso e non credono più che il futuro porterà loro dei miglioramenti concreti né che i loro figli avranno una vita migliore. In pratica, volgono lo sguardo al passato perché hanno paura di guardare al futuro.  

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