Gianni Vattimo, noted European intellectual and author of the recently published Not Being God: A Collaborative Autobiography, was a victorious candidate in last weekend’s European Parliamentary elections.
Moreover, his party, the leftist Italy of Values Party, was considered a winner nearly doubling its share of the vote, from 4.4 percent last year to 7.8 percent in the EU vote. The leader of the Italy of Values of Party has condemned the Italian government as “anti-democratic, fascist, racist and xenophobic.”
Vattimo has been writing on the elections and European politics on his very lively blog, which is filled with insight into politics and a range of social and intellectual issues.
Vattimo is of course no stranger to politics having been a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004. In Not Being God, Vattimo describes his fairly disillusioning experience as a member of the European Parliament (“Brussels is death politically”). Vattimo writes:
I was a real believer in the idea of Europe. To the point that, right in the middle of an election campaign, I helped to organize interventions on May 30, 2004 in all the European countries, in the papers of all European countries, on the new Europe we hoped to see constructed. Habermas, Eco, Derrida, and I wrote articles. Even Rorty wrote a piece. They all maintained that the only way to forge ahead was to create Europe. If Europe were to become a real political subject, a state, even a federal state, we would be able to say we had emerged from prehistory. Because for the first time a new state would have been born not out of war but out of the will of the citizens. In fact, it wasn’t born. I also hoped that Italy—backward as it is, especially, when it comes to civil rights—would be forced to pull up its socks. Another illusion.