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Politics and Culture: From the Twentieth Century to the New Millenniumb



    1. University of California
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      Translated by Aaron Thomas. Paper presented at the International Congress 20th Century and Beyond. The Future of Norberto Bobbio, held in Turin (Italy), October 15th–17th 2009.


In a period in Italy in which the fascist “Ethical State” gave way to a lesser god, the ethical party, culture was transformed into a sort of political pedagogy. Bobbio insisted on the fact that the “first task of intellectuals ought to be to prevent the monopoly of force from becoming the monopoly of truth.” Today the ethical parties have disappeared, along with political pedagogy. Bobbio was aware of the reasons that make participatory democracy difficult: In complex societies citizens are poorly informed judges regarding their own interests; hidden powers condition the visible choices; pluralism borders on corporatism and even on a modern version of feudalism; and, lastly, where mass individualism prevails, perception of the general interest appears increasingly distant and difficult. Consequently, we need a different relationship between culture and politics.

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