25 April: Guzzetta, ‘like the constituents, distinguish between historical judgment and political debate’

“La Pira warned Togliatti: ‘There are those who believe they see fascism features precisely in the Communist Party'”

The tones of the political clash rise a few days before the anniversary of the Liberation, on April 25th. How to rebuild a common republican sentiment? “Following the example of the constituents. The debate on the rules relating to the reconstitution of the fascist party should be read by all because, on the one hand, there was agreement in condemning the historical event of fascism, but at the same time there was a desire to build a liberal order in which the possibility for everyone to participate and express oneself, avoiding formulas that would then allow the historical judgment to be used to transform it into a political judgment on current events”. Thus intervenes with Adnkronos the constitutionalist Giovanni Guzzetta.

“Among those who -he recalls- shared this approach of distinguishing the historic condemnation of fascism and the guarantee of the pluralism of nascent ideas, there were the greatest leaders, including Palmiro Togliatti. And not by chance. We recall that the clash between pro-Western parties and parties inspired by the Soviet model was very heated both at the parliamentary level (until the exclusion of the PCI from the government in June 1947) and in the country. Not by chance George LaPiraa prominent figure of political Catholicism, underlined the need to avoid that historical judgment was also projected onto future solutions, recalling, precisely in Togliatti in November 1946, that ‘there are those who even believe they recognize the features of fascism precisely in the communist party’ (La Pira speech 19 November 1946, First Sub-Commission of the Commission for the Constitution – ed)”.

According to Guzzetta, full professor of public law at the University of Tor Vergata, “our Carta is much more than anti-fascist because he looked above all to the future and to the need to combine protection against any totalitarian threat and the need to avoid exploitation, based precisely on an expansion of the concept of ‘fascism’, which would prevent the unfolding of free democratic play. Ours is an anti-totalitarian constitution, inspired by the idea of ​​reconciliation under the banner of values ​​open to everyone’s participation. For this reason formulas of protected democracy were avoided, those that allowed Germany to outlaw both the neo-Nazi and the communist parties”.

“Basically there is the trust that the pluralism of ideas in itself cannot be a threat. So much so that the rules on the ban on the reconstitution of the fascist party and on the possible limitation of the political rights of the leaders of the fascist regime, was placed in the body of the Constitution but in the transitional and final provisions (the XII to be precise) – he remarked – And so much so that in a perspective of reconciliation the prohibitions on the exercise of political rights for the leaders of the fascist regime were not imposed by the Constitution, but left to the discretion of the legislator, for a maximum of five years. The antibodies of the Constitution, on the other hand, concern the defense against any anti-system threat to the orderly development of democratic life from wherever it may have come from, according to what is sanctioned by articles 18 and 49 of the Constitution”.

The first, continues the constitutional lawyer, prohibits “secret associations and those which pursue, even indirectly, political aims through organizations of a military nature”, the second guarantees all citizens the right to “freely join parties to compete democratically determine national policy”. Is the word anti-fascism in the Constitution or not? “There is not this literal expression – Guzzetta replies – but the condemnation of the historical experience of fascism is there through the ban on the reconstitution of the fascist partyunderstood as a concrete organizational attempt to restore that particular experience”.

“However, the specific condemnation does not change the fact that, in its projection towards the future, the Constitution condemns any form of violence and intimidation in the political struggle, with reference to totalitarian and hegemonic impulses in whatever form they manifest. Condemnation of violence and praise of the tolerance of opponent are two sides of the same coin. In the Charter there is the condemnation of historical experience, but also the concern, on the eve of the cold war, of any kind of abuse in the political struggle. Thinking about the future, the Constituent Assembly placed all political forces – Guzzetta remarked at the conclusion of his analysis – under the judgment of the Charter as regards respect for the democratic method and pluralism of opinions, betting that sharing these values ​​would have favored national reconciliation and allowed the wider participation of citizens of any orientation”. (by Roberta Lanzara)