giovedì 11 aprile 2019

Matteo Salvini, svelato (facile)



Diario
11 aprile 2019

I fans sono tali perché annullano tutte le loro capacità riflessive, di intelligenza e soprattutto critiche. Quello che fa specie è che spesso la politica, che sicuramente ha una componente di passione e di fascinazione, ma che nel suo nucleo centrale  si basa sulle “ragioni”, appare in molti settori come un’organizzazione di fans.
Se non fosse così non si capirebbe perché non emerga, sia negli elettori che negli iscritti della lega e anche in tutti gli estimatori espliciti e impliciti del nostro Ministro degli Interni, con forza il ridicolo e la pericolosità di Matteo Salvini.
È ridicolo quel suo continuo travestimento, non il segno di una sorta di libertà dell’uomo, né il rigetto di ogni modulo sociale dell’abito, ma piuttosto il tentativo di rappresentare l’uomo d’ordine, che, appunto perché tale, veste le divise di quanti sono chiamati al rispetto dell’ordine esistente. Oggi le divise di carabinieri, ieri di poliziotti, e ancora di finanzieri, di guardie carcerarie, ecc. È ridicolo e tende a fornire una faccia diversa della linea politica della Lega e del governo che la interpreta che è appunto, in un certo senso il disordine. Quando una forza politica e un governo si identificano con il cambiamento, si intende sottolineare che l’ordine esistente sarà manomesso fino alla sua distruzione, perché un nuovo ordine si vuole instaurare, un ordine che, viste le divise,  non potrà che essere, nella testa del nostro Salvini, un ordine autoritario, di violenza, di controllo e di oppressione.
Così,  pure,  vira verso il ridicolo da una parte e allo svelamento dall'altra parte, quando il nostro indossa il vestito blu e l’apposita cravatta, nei casi d’incontri e di riunioni con i rappresentati dell'élite economici forti. Il messaggio anche in questo senso è chiaro, anzi chiarissimo, la violenza e il controlli sul popolo, l’accordo e la connivenza con i detentori del potere economico.
L’elenco delle contraddizione della Lega, del governo e di Salvini tra cambiamento, controllo sul popolo e amicizia con i poteri economici, riempirebbero molte pagine di questo diario, a partire dalla tassa piatta che mentre ci sono dubbi sui favolosi effetti sull'economia, sono sicuri i vantaggi per le persone con alti redditi. Anche l’ipotesi della sua applicazione in due tempi, costituirebbe una sorta assicurazione per i redditi più alti, ci vorrà più tempo ma arriverà nel secondo tempo.
Si dice Salvini non è il fascismo, ma va sottolineato che del fascismo ha tutte le stigmate dal ruolo assegnato alle donne; non è un caso che nella riunione medioevale di Verona il ministro Salvini ha affermato che non si torna indietro dai diritti acquisiti, in un convegno che proprio questi diritti mette in discussione non solo sul piano legislativo (ci sono anche dei progetti di legge in questa direzione), ma su quello più scivoloso dell’ideologia e dei valori che crea un senso comune reazionario.
Non sarà fascismo, ma chiaro è il doppio binario tra “popolo” e “centri di potere economici”: il popolo blandito, portato sugli altari ma solo a fare il chierichetto (per adesso non è tempo di farne carne da macello), mentre con l'élite economiche corposi contributi, vantaggi e privilegi.
L’ordine proposto da Salvini non può piacerci, il cambiamento appare necessario ma lo vorremmo progressista, non ipocrita e autoritario.  

venerdì 5 aprile 2019

ORRORE LA PATRIMONIALE!




Diario
5/4/2019

“Nicola Zingaretti si è anche arrabbiato: «Finire sotto processo per una cosa che non ho detto» e tuttavia il segretario Dem ha dovuto smentire di avere mai pensato a una patrimoniale da utilizzare per lanciare un grande piano di investimenti come invece chiedono Maurizio Landini e la CGIL. Ha dovuto assicurare nella riunione dei parlamentari del PD a Montecitorio: «non so se è una proposta del sindacato, di certo non è una proposta del PD» (da La Repubblica, 4 aprile 2019, pag. 13).
Questa è una prima grande delusione che Zingaretti dà a quanti avevano visto, nella sua ascesa alla segreteria del partito la possibilità di una svolta a sinistra. Si possono capire le cautele, si possono capire le preoccupazione per una possibile campagna contro il suo partito che” vuole togliere la casa ai cittadini”, si capisce … tutto quello che si vuole, ma quello che dispiace e la perentorietà della smentita.
Ho cercato di argomentare, in un mio precedente diario,come l’uguaglianza sia un mattone fondamentale per la costruzione di un edificio di sinistra, in quello argomentavo che uguaglianza non significava colpire la ricchezza, questo si, ma anche costruire un senso comune. Ma non voglio ripetere  quanto già scritto.
Si può essere cauti quanto si voglia, è possibile argomentare distinguo e prerogative, ma è certo che le diseguaglianze crescenti in tutte le società capitalistiche (e forse non solo in quelle) non fanno bene all'economia, non fanno bene alla salute, non fanno bene alla sostenibilità, non fanno ben alla convivenza, non fanno bene…  anzi fanno male. Una politica di sinistra di questo dovrà occuparsi, Zingaretti o chi per lui, il problema delle diseguaglianze dovrà affrontarlo (anche con la patrimoniale) onde evitare uno schiaffo dall'ultra milionario Warren Buffett, che ha chiesto una revisione del sistema fiscale degli USA, perché non trova giusto che  la sua segretaria paghi, in relazione al patrimonio e reddito, più tasse di lui.


venerdì 22 marzo 2019

Una polemica


Un diario particolare in cui si può trovare il testo della risposta di Enzo Scandurra al testo mio di ieri sull'uguaglianza e la mia risposta.



Ti rispondo subito caro Francesco, in primis io non credo al cantiere della sinistra riformista anche se assumesse l'uguaglianza come bandiera. Credo, come ha ben scritto Favilli, nel suo saggio (che puoi trovare sul sito Officina) che il riformismo è scaduto nel suo rovescio, in Italia e fuori. In secondo luogo la tua frase assumendo la disponibilità delle nuove generazioni ad occuparsi del salvataggio del mondo, mi sembra un pò vetero. Anche qui rinvio a un articolo di Viale (verso chi?) che afferma che: 
Per esprimere le sue potenzialità questo nuovo movimento (i giovani ndr) non ha alcun bisogno di una “sinistra” che non c’è; e non per caso. E’ la sinistra che non c’è più ad aver bisogno di quel movimento per cercare di tornare in vita; con il rischio di distruggerlo, come dopo il G8 di Genova e in altre occasioni. 
Detto questo per il resto non mi sembra che tu dica cose nuovissime, almeno fra noi, (lo dicevano anche quelli della rivoluzione francese) certo che l'uguaglianza è fondamentale. Ma apriamo pure un dibattito sui come la intendiamo e come è possibile realizzarla. Enzo


Caro Enzo, intanto ti ringrazio per l'attenzione, poi in un certo senso la tua risposta anche se non mi consola mi fa riflettere (non so se sia bene). 
Certo che l'uguaglianza è parola antica, come mi ricordi  risale alla rivoluzione francese, ma come mai non sia riuscita ad affermarsi?
La risposta la trovo in filigrana in quello che mi scrivi, senza polemica ma cercando un punto di chiarezza. 
Affidiamo ai ragazzi la riconversione ecologica del  pianeta.  Bene. Bisogna "pensare globalmente e agire localmente"   (ancora!). A noi "anziani"
(che tutto abbiamo fatto e disfatto!) non resta che chiudere il rubinetto quando ci laviamo i denti, fare la differenziata, andare a piedi, entrare in un 
qualche comitato che si batte per qualche vistosa questione di disagio locale. 
Ma soprattutto dobbiamo  impegnarci nel demolire ogni parvenza o ipotesi di sinistra, in questo siamo bravissimi ci siamo allenati per anni. 
Le sinistre, qualunque, chiunque e ovunque,  sono uno sgradevole "rifiuto" del passato (addirittura dalla rivoluzione francese), non 
c'è bisogno neanche di differenziarla, va tutta nello stesso contenitore.  
Che avanzi il fascismo nella versione di Salvini, è un puro accidente, che interessa poco.
Se non fosse presente questo pericolo, potrei tornare alle mie letture, ma il nostro Salvini mi distrae molto. Lo so che in qualche modo, ad un certo punto
 verrà spazzato via, ma a che prezzo? con quali danni?
Enzo ti invidio, invidio le tue sicurezze,  i tuoi giudizi così definitivi mi parlano delle tue certezze e di un disegno chiaro per cambiare il mondo che tu persegui
con determinatezza (della tua determinatezza, nel tempo, e in vari contesti ti rendo gli onori). 
Mi spiace ma non mi convinci.
Se poi volessimo lavorare per l'uguaglianza, bene.
Un abbraccio, Francesco

giovedì 21 marzo 2019

Uguaglianza necessaria


L’uguaglianza necessaria
Francesco Indovina
 (da Il Manifesto 21/3/2019
Il primo mattone per riedificare una prospettiva di sinistra non può che essere l’uguaglianza, ma non uno striminzito concetto economico, ma una tempesta rigeneratrice che sconvolga e rianimi tutta la società. L’uguaglianza non deve essere una punizione o una sorta di vessazione per chi ha molto, tipo una tassa patrimoniale, per dare a chi ha meno, ci vorrà anche quella, ma non è questo il tema.  Se l’uguaglianza non diventa un costrutto della società, una dimensione che attraversi tutti i cagli della società, un costume, un modo di pensare, una cultura, produrrà reazioni e rigetti, non solo in chi pensa di  essere colpito nel suo patrimonio, ma anche in chi avrà paura di essere colpito in futuro, o anche in chi si senta sminuito dall’essere uguale, o da chi pensi che la meritocrazia, debba essere lo strumento che organizza la società, perché le differenze sociali dipendono da quanto uno si è speso e sacrificato. Questo  è l’inganno che ci viene offerto dal pensiero egemone, da un pensiero che non ci vuole liberi ma piuttosto sottomessi anzi, meglio ancora, auto-sottomessi. È questa egemonia culturale che deve essere combattuta, rendendo egemone la cultura dell’uguaglianza.
Uguaglianza non è la massificazione, la riduzione delle diversità ad unità, ma al contrario il terreno fecondo dove l’individualità possa esplorare a pieno le sue possibilità e possa esaltarsi nelle e delle differenze. Uguaglianza e individualità debbono vivere in simbiosi e in questo quadro annichilire l’individualismo.
Uguaglianza e libertà hanno un cammino comune, si devono tenere per mano; si può essere liberi solo se negli occhi degli altri potrai leggere te stesso senza arrossire.
Uguaglianza fonda il rispetto reciproco, l’assenza di invidia sociale e l’indifferenza per accumulare, sono le condizioni perché ciascuno rispetti gli altri.
Uguaglianza può esaltare i meriti solo a condizione che questi non si debbano trasformare in moneta. Non è solo il “soldo” che garantisce il riconoscimento del merito, strumenti e mezzi         sociali possono essere ancora più gratificanti. Si comincia a parlare di salario minimo, mi sembra una buona cosa, ma quanto parleremo dei guadagni massimi? Ma l’uno e l’altro devono trovare collocazione dentro una prospettiva di uguaglianza.
Uguaglianza tra la generazione presenta e le generazioni future. Le grandi manifestazioni dei giorni scorsi a livello mondiale questo ci raccontano.
L’uguaglianza non è miseria generalizzata, ma piuttosto ricchezza di vita per tutti; non è appiattimento ma ragionevole articolazione sociale.
L’affermazione dell’uguaglianza richiede ricchezza di pensiero, un grande ventaglio di azioni e di pratiche; per questo ci vogliono menti fine e acume di visione prospettica. Si tratta di un lavoro collettivo, di un impegno generalizzato, di una fantasia sfrenata. Non si afferma tutta all’improvviso, ma si costruisce; si costruisce anche a partire degli episodi che la società ci mostra, assumendo la disponibilità delle nuove generazioni ad occuparsi del salvataggio del mondo.
La diseguaglianza è un mostro che sta distruggendo la nostra e le altre società, sta corrompendo spiriti onesti e dà spazio a velleità autoritarie mentre  rende normale la violenza individuale.
Abbattere questo mostro si può e si deve, gli uomini e le donne hanno l’intelligenza per farlo, hanno la forza del pensiero per combatterlo, sono disposti e predisposti a questa battaglia, ma spesso brancolano nel buio di una prospettiva che sembra senza via di uscita. Tra le porte da aprire  attraverso le quali far passare pensiero e azione una delle più importanti è quella dell’uguaglianza.
Non credo che il cantiere della sinistra riformista possa edificare molto se non assuma l’uguaglianza come lente per leggere la trasformazione necessaria  della società. Allo stesso modo le membra sparse, forse non riunibili, della sinistra radicale potrebbero avere capacità di incidere solo se contribuissero, spendendosi con serietà, nella costruzione di una egemonia cultura dell’uguaglianza.





giovedì 31 gennaio 2019


Il tempo stringe

 31/1/2019
Ottimismo. Se si guardasse con occhi ingenui a quello che sta avvenendo nella nostra società, si potrebbe essere ottimisti. Il nostro sguardo verrebbe colpito da manifestazioni di “popolo” contro l’espressione più grossolana e piena di inganni del governo; intere categorie sociali si organizzano e manifestano la loro opposizioni contro provvedimenti del governo; i licenziamenti non avvengono più nel silenzio… comprensivo; le donne, sia nella versione femminista che in quella generica di donna, si rifiutano, manifestando questo rifiuto ai ruoli subalterni assegnati; gli studenti danno segni manifesti di non sopportare più il degrado delle loro scuole e l’impoverimento dell’insegnamento; docenti e ricercatori denunziano, in vario modo e con vari strumenti, lo stato immiserito della ricerca nel nostro paese; le prese di posizioni contro tutte le manifestazioni e versioni contro la scienza e i suoi risultati sono quotidiani e molti scienziati escono dal loro buco (non più torre dorato); la politica immigratoria, diciamo così, del governo è contestata  a partire dalla cattedra del  Papa, fino ai sindaci, che dovrebbero applicarla, alle associazioni non governative; singoli cittadini o in gruppo danno vita ad interessanti iniziative di solidarietà sia verso gli immigrati che verso i poveri; il discorso alla “pancia della gente”, funziona meno quando la pancia resta vuota; per non parlare di tutte le iniziative genericamente riferite all’ambiente; ecc.
Insomma ai nostri occhi ingenui sembra di vedere un paese, fatto di uomini e donne, giovani e vecchi, che hanno voglia di prendere in mano il loro futuro, dandogli una direzione diversa da quella attuale. Questo può rendere ottimisti.
Pessimismo. Se si ascoltassero suoni e parole che riempiono la scena di ogni città e di ogni famiglia si dovrebbe essere pessimisti. La violenza del linguaggio di tipo fascista è in forte crescita, l’esempio viene dal governo; la violenza fisica è anche essa in aumento essa si esercita su gli “altri”, per colore della pelle, per scelte sessuali, per professione, le urla dei malmenati o uccisi riempiono le nostre orecchi;  gli insulti razzisti, negli stadi, superano, di gran lunga, l’incitamento ai giocatori della propria squadra, questo non solo viene tollerato ma anche declassato a “tipica manifestazione” o a “ragazzata”; della violenza si è persa la dimensione sostanziale, bruciare un barbone è un gioco, picchiare o anche ammazzare un tifoso dell’altra squadra sembra l’ovvia conclusione di una manifestazione sportiva gioiosa; la “mia” donna è mia in senso proprio, ne posso fare quello che voglio, in particolare su di lei posso esercitare la mia violenza fino ad ucciderla (per amore!); il linguaggio ci riporta ad un pensiero assoluto e senza compromessi, ma soprattutto senza mediazioni: tirare dritto,  menefrego, prima gli italiani poi gli altri, i sacri confini, ecc.; il fondamento di ogni discorso del governo e la menzogna; non esiste più il dibattito politico ma solo la sopraffazione vocale (tenendo a freno con difficoltà  i muscoli); la discussione in Parlamento sui provvedimenti legislativi una farsa; l’esaltazione del Duce e il “saluto romano”, sempre più ricorrente; esponenti politici, di primo piano, come ministri, fraternizzano con pregiudicati e criminali; sempre più l’abito è sostituito da una divisa (magari presa in prestito); ecc.
Sintomi, simboli, atteggiamenti prelevati, senza nessuna riflessione, dal passato e offerti come la soluzione dell’oggi.
Ma il rapporto tra ottimismo e pessimismo non è una partita a ping pong, ma piuttosto un atteggiamento che colloca ciascuno di noi: può farci chiudere in uno sdegnoso solipsismo. Io credo, per quello che vale, che si può (non si deve) essere ottimisti. L’esperienza di questo governo è in esaurimento, i due protagonisti non reggono il confronto. Mi si può rinfacciare che si tratta di una alleanza di potere, è vero, ma un’alleanza di potere funziona quando tutti si sottopongono alla volontà di “uno”, se questa adesione manca l’alleanza diventa conflittuale e alla lunga non regge, si tratta di verità storica.
In questo essere ottimisti ci sono punti problematici. Preoccupa una certa tendenza al rifiuto dei “corpi intermedi”; un farneticare di democrazia diretta, senza dire cosa si intenda (non certo la piattaforma Rousseau) a tutti i livelli. Bisogna chiarire che i corpi intermedi sono fondamentali per coagulare pensieri e idee vicine, per unificare progetti, per rendere generalizzabili situazioni avanzate. Il loro  rifiuto, che è molto manifesto e diffuso,  è un vero problema politico che rischia di vanificare gli elementi positivi del mondo sociale che si muove in direzione democratica e progressista. Che questo rifiuto oggi possa essere  nobilitato e, in un certo senso, razionalizzato nel rifiuto delle élite da parte del popolo, mi sembra un cappello che copre poco e non spiega molto.
Il secondo punto è fare finta di niente. È certo che c’è un debito di democrazia nel nostro e in tutti i paesi, ma a questo debito si dà una risposta riconsiderando i presupposti della democrazia e adeguando le strutture di espressione popolare. Non vi è dubbio che accanto alle forme rinnovate della democrazia delegata devono svilupparsi forme di democrazia diretta, evitando tra i due non solo una scelta di campo ma anche un conflitto permanente. Inoltre la “gestione” delle istituzioni e dei servizi deve, secondo forme da studiare, coinvolgere anche direttamente la popolazione. Sicuramente ci vuole un rinnovamento dei partiti ma non attraverso forme di pseudo populismo, come l’elezione del segretario da parte di “chi vuole”, così come si appresta a fare il PD che non è un suo rafforzamento ma un suo indebolimento che ne snatura la volontà espressiva. Ma per essere forza intermedia un partito deve vivere tra la gente, nelle forme vecchie e nuove che suggerisce la situazione, luogo di costruzione di un progetto di società. Di questo si parla poco.
E che dire della generale idiosincrasia ad affrontare le “radici” strutturali del disaggio della nostra società. Di questo nessun vuol parlare, possiamo essere contro questo o quel progetto, quel o contro quel provvedimento ma dobbiamo mettere a nudo la matrice profondo di tutto questo. Non basta dire: il capitale. Quale, come, oggi questo mostro si presenta. Che si tratti di un mostro non si può negare: non l’1%, ma 26 individui contro il resto del mondo. Non possiamo cullarci con la complessità, mi pare che sia tempo di affrontare il nodo.  C’è materia, c’è materiale, c’è sapere, c’è scienza per un progetto anticapitalista.
        

venerdì 25 gennaio 2019


Urban disorder and vitality
Francesco Indovina*

In City, Territory and Architecture, 2016

Abstract
The concepts of order and disorder applied to urban and territorial issues involve complex definitions. Why do cities,in spite of the effort made to give them order, even though from time to time this order has been codified in different ways,end up being untidy? In the context in which the two concepts will be used in this paper it is not possible to imagine them as alternatives, but they are taken as dialectically constituting territorial reality. “Order” and “disorder” oppose each other but do not clash with each other. In the hectic organisation of urban and territorial reality one stimulates the other and each, in opposing, determines change. The inclination towards order (or tendency towards order) tends, on the one hand, to “repair” the disorder but, on the other, brings out the conditions for disorder to show itself again and materialise with its problems but with the vitality implicit in change. Change brings disorder but public commitment through institutions cannot but aspire to recover a level of order, hopefully, more advanced. Order and disorder are closely linked with each other, one producing the other in a circular process. The urban, precisely because of its constituent construction (social, productive and economic variability; clash between powers and options of models of society) cannot be stable, but the continuous recovery of “order” responds not only to functional needs, but also to ethical options: we should not consider all urban “order” as positive, compared with negative disorder; there are
experiences of oppressive and coercive urban order. It is always disorder that determines better levels and quality of order. Though it may be the dynamic factor of every urban condition, we must remember that it always requires new order from which to start out again. Disorder, however it is identified, constitutes a permanent fact, inherent in the urban condition; it is neither the result of wrong planning (sometimes also this), nor of a perverse will, but rather of the dynamic mechanisms of the city itself.

Keywords: Alternation between order and disorder, Urban space organisation, Vitality
© The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license,
and indicate if changes were made.

*Correspondence: indovina@community.iuav.it
Department of Architecture, Design & Urban Planning, University
of Sassari, Palazzo del Pou Salit, Piazza Duomo 6 Alghero, 07041 Sassari,
Italy
Indovina City Territ Archit (2016) 3:18 Page 2 of 7

Urban development, the work of planning and organizing
the city and territory, is characterised by a strong vocation
to impose order. When an urban planning instrument
defines what, where, when and how it is possible to
“realise” some change in the organisation of space it ends
up modifying what exists and imposing a new kind of
“order”. We tend to think of “physical” order but actually,
it is a case of order that has a variety of aspects, including
the indications of “meaning” space organisation
produces.
Urban development, giving order to settlement, is
extremely ancient and arose with the first settlements,
even though the discipline was codified in modern times:
from an activity without a code that responded to social,
economic and life requirements and ones based on functionality
and representation, to a discipline often based
on self-determination.
In the cultural history of the discipline certain traits
can be picked out in which an interest for functional
order seemed to prevail, though in fact the attention for
the city and territory that this activity has adopted is the
overall one involving functionality but also social structure,
co-habiting, power, culture, and sacred and profane
rites. Each kind of urban order, in its divisions and construction,
may have been the source of conflicts, oppression,
liberation, marginalisation and exaltation (Indovina
2016).
The question that forces us to reflect is very simple:
why do cities, in spite of the effort made to give them order,
even though from time to time this order has been codified
in different ways, end up being untidy?
Open Access
The concepts of order and disorder applied to urban
and territorial issues involve complex definitions, and to
understand them it is worth referring to some facts.
Cultivated land shows us a tidy territory, and it is
immediately understood that this comes directly down
from the organisation of agricultural production, from
the techniques used and the social relations characterising
farming work. The orography of the territory, too,
with the crops compatible with the different heights
above sea-level, serves the purpose of spatial design; its
appearance, colours and scents change with the change
of seasons or the change in production and technology
adopted. Basically, there is a “strength”, agricultural production,
with very limited alternatives, giving particular
spatial solutions. “Dry walls”, which surround fields or
enclosures and which we marvel at, are also a rational
and reasonable solution for the use of stones unearthed
by the plough; land reclamation gives substance to spatial
construction. Just as canals and ditches serve the purpose
of taking water where needed, while rows of trees consolidate
their banks, and lanes and farm-roads aim at the
movement of men, animals and machinery, depending on
the need.
Spatial order in the country, often admired, is the result
of a need; it satisfies that expressed by production which
presents very limited alternatives. Change is not excluded
(crop variation, agrarian science achievements, use of
new technologies, etc.); the point may even be reached of
building a new agrarian landscape with order that is different.
Cultural movements linked with tradition sometimes
oppose these changes, harming the intrinsic nature
of the agrarian landscape, which is destined to change.
Needs and reduced alternatives may be considered key
categories in determining the agrarian landscape, but we
are not dealing with two categories that could be imagined
to be playing the same role in determining the urban
landscape.
In the city it is not possible to pick out such a binding,
decisive need, or, rather, there is a great number of
highly diversified needs and they express inhomogeneous
content and justification; not only, but they are needs
that are not compelling like in the country, as each one is
compatible with various alternatives, therefore with different
models of urban organisation. The urban condition
is characterised not by the absence of production but,
rather, by the organisation of this production, by a greater
presence of functions, greater unnaturalness of the context,
the existence of functions integrated with each other
and, at the same time, of functions that are antagonistic
or incompatible, but above all by the high concentration
of people with characteristics, projects, needs and desires
that are different from each other. Differences that are
also manifested as an expression of power (economic,
social, cultural, political, institutional, etc.) able to leave a
footprint on urban organisation.
If each function were free to leave its own “footprint”
on the urban territory, it is clear that the result could not
but be a sort of marsh where footprints overlapped and
depended on the weight of the bodies (the interested parties)
creating them. Presumably, however, footprints have
to follow rules (we might say the “plans” or any other
instrument managing the territory), but it is only an
assumption that rules can accurately steer the bodies and
therefore the respective footprints. The doubt is not suggesting
the fact that rules can be slack (this, too), or that
bodies move deliberately opposing the rules (this, too),
but the fact that the “needs” of the single bodies change
over time in a process of interrelation between them, and
that the possibilities offered account for the needs of the
single body and the encounter of various bodies.
It should be pointed out once more that while for the
country order is imposed by production, for the city, as
well as production, the multiplicity of social subjects are
important, as is the prominence of the service functions,
events, needs, etc. that are projected onto the organisation
of space. Urban space organisation requires a spontaneous
directive; agricultural order, we might say, is
given, while urban order has to be constructed. Urban
order contemplates: the need to guarantee hygiene and
the best exposition as regards the climatic situations of
the place; the possibility of carrying out and developing
productive and economic activities; “power” representation;
the citizens’ life needs; the intention to differentiate
places by the presence of different social strata; the development
and localisation of services; the need to avoid
mixing functions little or not at all compatible with each
other, and so on.
Contemplation that is not always consistent, not always
progressive, and not always attentive to the general
interest.
The history of the city teaches how changeable it can
be, in its shape and organisation, and how the change is
the fruit, mainly, of change in social structure, production
organisation and power organisation itself. Urban
space organisation appears as a “passive” outcome of
these changes, not as being determined by a factor that
imposes change. The dynamics (the change) of the city
and its organisation have to take into account its “hard”
part: the built city, its history and its works: each new
order does not wipe out the past but fits into an existing
context (hopefully, respecting it), perhaps giving it a
purpose (from various points of view, including social) in
the new reality. Change is at the same time destructive
and protective; the present also has elements of the past
and, fortunately, elements of the future (which we are not
perhaps able to recognise).
Indovina City Territ Archit (2016) 3:18 Page 3 of 7
Urban organisation actually undergoes the effects of
continuous alternation between order and disorder. In
the context in which the two concepts will be used in this
paper it is not possible to imagine them as alternatives,
but they are taken as dialectically constituting territorial
reality. “Order” and “disorder” oppose each other but
do not clash with each other. In the hectic organisation
of urban and territorial reality one stimulates the other
and each, in opposing, determines change. What we
mean to say is that the inclination towards order (or tendency
towards order) tends, on the one hand, to “repair”
the disorder but, on the other, brings out the conditions
for disorder to show itself again and materialise with its
problems but with the vitality implicit in change.
Order and disorder are closely linked with each other,
one producing the other in a circular process. They are
like Siamese twins: one takes pains to find the most
comfortable position for itself, but this does not mean
it is comfortable for the other, too; the latter reacts and
achieves a more comfortable position for itself but
uncomfortable for the other. This metaphor might make
clear how the dynamic relation between order and disorder
is continuous, not linear and may never find a point
of stability.
The dialectic of the Siamese twins applied to the relation
order/disorder is easy to share, but in fact presents a
large number of aporias and many consequences. A comfortable
position for one of the children, as we said, risks
being uncomfortable for the other, and when the former
achieves a better position, it affects that of the other
child. No position exists that meets the demands of both.
On the one hand, imposed order presupposes within
itself a principle of stability; we could say that the
enforcement of order does not have aims that are just
immediate but also future ones, but, as has been seen,
this claim appears to be contradicted by the character
of the territorial processes that are by nature dynamic,
featuring changes and movements not always predictable.
The economic, social, demographic, cultural, technological
and power mechanisms involving the city and
territory are of such an innovative impact that they cannot
but cause change, i.e. a challenge to the pre-existing
order. But there is more, the irruption of change, namely
disorder, should be taken as positive or at least inevitable.
If we were to assume that the enforcement of order
were aimed at improving the organisation of the city and
territory and ultimately at improving the living conditions
of those inhabiting and “using” that territory, we
would need to consider any challenge to order as a prospective
worsening of those living conditions. But it does
not seem to be like this, not only because disorder arises
round those who have settled in the city or territory and
use it, with the prospect of improving their condition, but
above all because the inevitable innovation, may, in general,
be considered ameliorative.
Highly complex economic, social, political and cultural
designs are projected onto the city and its transformations.
It is impossible that the city be domesticated and
dominated by a single interest, even when this appears
as strong, and when it avails itself of the strength of economic
and political power. The overall design always
seems incoherent or, rather, is the outcome of compromises
between different interests and strong points. But
from these strengths, their compromise, their agreement
or disagreement, from the conflicts, the city takes
shape and gives itself organisation, a type of order. Order
that seconds evolution but, at the same time, creates
contradictions.
Fundamentally, urban order is not independent from
the requirements of various kinds (economic, social, cultural
and of life) that the city produces; but none of these
needs tends to fully prevail, precisely due to the opposing
dialectics of the various requirements; urban order is not
the outcome of mediation between the various requirements
but, rather, gives rise to a solution that includes
spaces for the interests of each to be realised, whilst
simultaneously leaving antagonistic spaces.
Whatever meaning we wish to give to these statements,
we cannot ignore the fact that men and women occupy
“space” and organise it according to material and intellectual
needs. The reality that springs from it is neither
fortuitous or spontaneous; its content is different in proportion
to the growth of knowledge and the type of coexistence
chosen (or imposed), to the regime regulating
production relations, but also the phase of culture. What
is seen around us, from the cities to the country, represents
what has come down to our times from thousands
of years of work on constructing, adapting, destroying,
reconstructing, modifying and enlarging, to which the
species has applied itself so as to overcome all obstacles
that, on the one hand, “stepmother nature” has placed
against the achievement of the welfare of the species and,
on the other, power (economic, but not only) that has
continued to hinder the achievement of freedom.
Each change, however, rapid or slow, does not wipe out
the past organisation of space, but there are phenomena
of continuous transformation and adaptability. The
organisation of space is a continuous task of conservation-
destruction-innovation-construction: what is preserved
is not always appreciated; often what is destroyed
produces criticism, regret and the quest for revival; innovation,
though real, is presented not rarely as an illusion;
what is built seldom gains general approval. It is certain,
however, that a static state does not exist; were this manifest
it would be the sign of a remoteness from the continuous
flow of evolution and innovation.
Indovina City Territ Archit (2016) 3:18 Page 4 of 7
The field of spatial order is not one of “rational” choices
(depending on epochs) but rather of “political” choices.
The city and territory are a field of tensions and conflicts;
however much the species is civilised it remains divided
by interests, often contrasting, that aspire to “appropriating”
space, and spatial organisation that bears witness to
their power (or absence of power). This is social “typology”
that is projected onto the space: its conflictivedemocratic
or rather pacified-authoritarian features (or,
more to the point, where the conflicts are repressed) find
their configuration in space organisation (Fregolent and
Savino 2013).
In modernity the instruments for giving order to space,
apart from being refined, are a way of reducing discretion,
namely the will to overcome, or more simply the
achievement of the interests of one party to the detriment
of those of the collectivity or of other single individuals.
It is obvious that discretion is founded on power,
and also in advanced democracies power (especially
economic power) is not eliminated, but the “rules” that
dictate space organisation, which should be valid for everyone,
certainly put ties on or at least hinder the success
of single powers. At least, this is their intention (doubts
and criticisms may be put forward on the respective
realisation, but everything depends on political will or
weakness).
We mean to maintain that in order to achieve urban
order (however defined) the existence of a set of rules is
taken for granted, which indicate the ways in which the
city is organised so as to enable its efficient and effective
functioning, with the satisfaction of everyone or preferring
some (this is a variable of politics). While it is obvious
that these rules vary over time and in space, it should
be emphasised that their application is a manifestation of
politics or, if preferred, a way of governing. It seems misleading,
in effect, to believe that the existence of “good
rules” can guarantee space organisation coherent with
the (abstract) aims of the said rules. The rules relating
to space organisation have ambiguous features, they are
both perceptive and programmatic, and this ambiguity
can in no way be eliminated given the way they are
applied. The guarantee of the results proves closely linked
with the expression of a specific political will (an intention)
and the management of transformation processes
(another aspect of political will). But the ordered condition
is only temporary; disorder tends to emerge from the
tidy mesh.
When the variation (the urban dynamics) is complex,
of considerable size and speed, this cannot but cause disorder
(with respect to the previous order). In short, the
characteristics of urban transformations that determine
disorder are: quantity, i.e. the size of the changes compared
with the size of the city; speed, i.e. transformation
time is a very important feature; density, also understood
as the concentration of change phenomena.
In recent times, with the establishment of liberalism
also at the level of organisation of the territory, so that
organised spaces may seem like a conflict between individuals
(the other side of the coin is collaboration), it
has not been possible to deny the existence of processes
of exchange, integration, collaboration and competition,
and conflicts between individual interests. At the same
time, it must be acknowledged that stakeholders (very
powerful groups) exist and that the struggle for space
appropriation is not only interpretable as the result of
“competition” between individuals but, rather, as a political
clash between more or less codified interested parties,
while social conflicts appear as the initiative of the social
forces (economically the weakest) to defend the general
interests (Belli 2016).
By this we do not mean to ignore the strength and
importance of the individual and along this path the possibility
of partial processes of self-organisation (well-tempered
individualism can be good for space organisation,
too), but just to emphasise once more that space organisation
responds to requirements of a collective, social,
functional and cultural nature, and that as such, space
cannot but be organised according to collective (planned)
political processes. And that if self-organisation processes
go beyond aspects of little importance they determine,
even if not intended for this purpose, breakdowns
in the collective organisation of space.
As we have already said, disorder, as considered here,
can take on different aspects but is nevertheless characterised
by the “rupture” of an order that corresponds to
a society’s systems. It cannot be picked out as an exclusively
negative element, for it actually represents positive
distortions, too, of the systems set up, and can introduce
elements of dynamism and innovation and translate
social transformations into spatial terms also; in a certain
sense it corresponds to the vitality of a specific urban
condition. From this point of view it should not only be
considered the establishment (against the collectivity) of
specific, easily identified individual interests (often speculative
on the economic plane, “degrading” on the social
plane, and frustrating from a cultural standpoint) but,
rather, a “composition” of many things, the expressions of
the (precarious) equilibrium that society has achieved in
a particular phase.
We thus need to think that the phenomena that
encourage disorder belong both to the exogenous and
the endogenous categories: new technology may require
changes in the organisation of the city (namely: new
order), but “requests” may be seen to emerge directly
from the citizens and the organised social forces that
require changes in urban order to improve their specific
Indovina City Territ Archit (2016) 3:18 Page 5 of 7
urban life condition. The political nature of this demand
places it on the terrain of the comparison and strength
relations.
The city (and the territory) are no more than an exercise
field for various options maintained by different
forces, often with alternative objectives; it is indeed due
to the presence of opposed forces that the city, in general,
and up to now, has never completely responded to
the interests of one party. Just as the Siamese twins seek
but do not find a position that is comfortable for both,
the city moves continuously between order and disorder,
between ruptures and recomposition.
Perception of order and its advantages and of disorder
and its disadvantages is not only not immediately
clear, but can only be the outcome of a reflective process,
which cannot but bypass individuals to take on the
complete, complex urban society and its values. If it were
true, as we have mentioned more than once previously,
that (functional, aesthetic, social) order did not, in the
past evolution of the human species, constitute a spontaneous
event but the outcome of a project, then we would
need to devote some thought to this. If urban dynamics,
however defined, are on one side a challenge (partial
and/or total) for this project, then, on the other side, they
actually expect a new project at the same time.
One might ask what drives a collectivity to a sort of
Sisyphean torment, namely to the continuous repetition
of an action that is useless: to set up, work for, commit
oneself to the achievement of urban order that is not lasting.
One might maintain that this need is the only one
compatible with the possibility of survival of the species,
which has on the one hand to oppose the forces of
nature that would like to blow it away, but must, on the
other, fight the stimulus towards the disintegration of
coexistence with a counter-stimulus consisting of rules,
of norms and values that are not stable but continuously
renewed, though ever present.
To design and achieve urban order is fundamentally
an option in favour of coexistence. A project that constitutes
an attempt, not always perfect, to respond both to
demand expressed or implicit, not just of functions but
also meaning. As can be observed, even though ideas
and specific situations may drive us towards individualist
exaltation that tends to be unbridled, the species has
an imprinting that urges it towards coexistence; contemporary
life, increasingly complex, effectively imposes
greater and better regulation (in spite of different appearances),
entrusting each individual or social group once
more with full freedom in belonging to spheres previously
regulated and taking on the need to regulate new,
different spheres not considered before.
We have thus reached a crucial knot: urban order
design. Design that will resist pressure from the “powers”
(wherever located) who would like to “subject” order to
their own interests or points of view, to assert, on the
contrary, principles of freedom, coexistence, solidarity
and equality, though still leaving space for change (Nel.
lo 2012).
It is possible to return to the dialectic of the Siamese
twins: the movement of one of the two children stimulates
the other to change its place; the intervention of a
“third” party (in the case of the city, politics) may arrange
the two children in such a way that each achieves a comfortable
situation, even if it is known that it will be of
brief duration as very soon they will move.
Planning is an instrument that in a “coercive” way
defines urban order; generally, in its application it has
to overcome obstacles of meaning that end up limiting
its action, or to contrast the work of power groups that
attempt to make it ineffective, or, again, keep account of
the behaviour of citizens who evade its rules.
The statement that planning is the suitable instrument
to give answers to the problems of the city and territory
nowadays does not meet with much support. The prevalent
cultural, ideological and professional tendencies
assert the need for a drastic review of it, or even its effective
elimination. On one side, it does not seem possible
to oppose the request for a review and modernisation of
planning systems to take changes in society into account
while, on the other, we forget that attention to the
changes in society and, therefore, the respective adaptation
of the instrument of intervention, is a constituent
element of planning itself (even though in practice this
attention has not always been shown).
We are referring to good planning, which we would
define as that which pays great attention to the collective
interest and an improvement in the quality of life of
inhabitants, and is organised using suitable instruments,
having tackled the democratic encounter in its approach,
taken into account processes underway and qualified and
quantified the (negative and positive) effects of its action.
But good planning also finds obstacles ahead. The first
is a certain “doubling” that characterises the attitude of
the “citizen” and his “common sense” as regards the city.
This “common sense” is loaded with positive expectations
and requests: the territory is to be safeguarded, land
consumption reduced, the landscape protected, hydrogeological
reclamation to be carried out, the city must
function, suburban decay must be eliminated, limits and
rules for growth need to be introduced, and the environment
must be healthy, etc.
Any plan seeking to realise these expectations and
meet the requests expressed, would assert the “values”
contained in them and should be welcomed with
great approval and enthusiasm. But things are not like
this. For every public decision on urban organisation
Indovina City Territ Archit (2016) 3:18 Page 6 of 7
and reorganisation, for all regulatory action, each tie or
limit imposed, opposition and differentiation with varying
degrees of importance arise. These refusals do not
have their origin in the defence of private and individual
interests, which would be understandable, but are justified
by collective action to protect the general interest.
Considerable distrust has matured over time in any public
decision or choice that may also generate “apathy” or
indifference; the notable errors, programmatic inconsistency,
not to mention the spread of corruption of public
workers, explain this attitude, but it also originates in
the prevalence of a political culture that denies public
action true consistency and utility. It should also not be
forgotten that at the moment in which the great options
in principles turn into specific decisions, private interests
tend to emerge. Subjects do not contest the great options,
they would happily see them achieved, but possibly without
harming their own interests. Political decision-making,
and therefore planning, finds itself in the situation of
being appealed to, but at the same time rejected. It may
be stated that planning finds it enjoys generic consensus,
but also equally strong opposition.
What has previously been observed as regards urban
dynamics, the speed of change, and the increased complexity
of the city and territory, challenges planning in
itself, according to some (interest groups and scholars),
or at least the current form of planning; what is criticised
is the compulsory nature of the choice of plan.
The idea that society’s dynamism is much more rapid
and does not easily endure the ties of the plan does not
justify denying the need for the plan; greater and better
planning is actually required. The request put forward
by various parties to respond to the dynamism of society
is to develop a flexible plan; this request only apparently
seems to side with the need for planning; it is actually the
complete denial of any form of planning.
A flexible planis effectively an antithesis, for it presupposes
objectives that have not been defined or that may
be continuously redefined according to needs; but planning,
obviously, is such because it defines objectives and
a strategy to achieve them. If we were to consider the
plan process as formed of defined objectives and “policies”
(specific public actions) suitable to enable these
objectives to be achieved, in a highly dynamic situation
with unforeseen changes, continuous reconsideration or
updating of these policies—namely the means to achieve
the objectives—would be necessary and useful. These are
policies that could be considered flexible and modified,
according to needs, to achieve defined and unchanged
objectives. What is suggested, and would seem adequate
to respond to many specific situations is, therefore, not
a flexible plan but, rather, flexible instruments to achieve
predefined objectives (an adjustment able to take into
account environmental dynamics).
It is my personal experience that each action that is
accomplished, even if well targeted, may determine
unforeseen outcomes, some of which can assume a negative
value, “perverse effects”, not only negative in themselves
but also contrary to all expectations and forecasts.
Unforeseen effects, also when perverse, suggest a careful
analysis of the mechanisms activated and the responses
of the interested parties involved, and not the impossibility
of public action. Unforeseen effects, moreover, can in
some cases determine innovations.
It has been maintained that the conflict represents
a positive element in that it expresses at the same time
uneasiness and a request, provided actions exist and are
put in place to solve such conflicts.
However, in the present historic phase the conflict
appears also to show a selfish effect: Not In My Back
Yard (or NIMBY). A work (an oil pipeline, a landfill, wind
power station, street, refugee camp, etc.) deemed in some
way necessary is not wanted on one’s own territory, but
preferred on “another” territory. What seems to prevail in
these attitudes, very often justified, but not always, by the
effects these structures could cause in the local situation,
is a sort of local egoism, the child of a prevailing identity
attitude that is extremely mean and utterly short-sighted.
Obstacles to improving and renewing means and processes
of territorial planning are not thought to exist,
provided improvements and renovation are able to
increase the efficiency and public effectiveness on the
management of urban and territorial transformations. It
is not a case of stating an ideological position, but of the
awareness that the organisation of the city and territory
cannot but have a public/collective guide, able to improve
the inhabitants’ living conditions.
Disorder, however it is identified, constitutes a permanent
fact, inherent in the urban condition; it is neither the
result of wrong planning (sometimes also this), nor of a
perverse will, but rather of the dynamic mechanisms of
the city itself. Change brings disorder but public commitment
through institutions cannot but aspire to recover a
level of order, hopefully, more advanced. The urban, precisely
because of its constituent construction (social, productive
and economic variability; clash between powers
and options of models of society) cannot be stable, but the
continuous recovery of “order” responds not only to functional
needs, but also to ethical options: only the “strongest”
(from all points of view) know how to take advantage
of disorder; the weakest usually pay a high price. But at
the same time we should not consider all urban “order” as
positive, compared with negative disorder; there are experiences
of oppressive and coercive urban order.
Indovina City Territ Archit (2016) 3:18 Page 7 of 7
It is disorder that breaks up all oppressive order, and
it is always disorder that determines better levels and
quality of order. Though it may be the dynamic factor of
every urban condition, we must remember that it always
requires new order from which to start out again.
Competing interests
The author declares that he has no competing interests.
Received: 27 September 2016 Accepted: 12 October 2016
References
Belli G (2016) A colloquio con l’urbanistica Italiana. Interviste a B. Secchi, F.
Indovina, L. Mazza e PL. Crosta. Clean, Napoli
Fregolent L, Savino M (eds) (2013) Economia, società, territorio. Riflettendo con
Francesco Indovina. FrancoAngeli, Milano
Indovina F (2016) Ordine e disordine (in press)
Nel.lo O (2012) Francesco Indovina Del analisi del territorio al gobierno de la
ciudad. Icaria Editorial, Barcellona