«The situation in Sardinia from 1944 (establishment of the regional constituency) to 1949 (election of the first regional council) is a historical example of how political élites behave in the management of power and a historical example of the disconnect between the political class that holds power and the remaining part of the community that engages in a pure political behavior of acceptance, delegation, and legitimation with respect to the power élite. […] The ruling classes of the time, particularly the political class participating in the regional constituency, were in the best possible conditions to exert a pedagogical and leading role apropos of the historical idea of autonomy. It could have allowed the Sardinian people (negatively conditioned by centuries of subjugation) to acquire a real autonomist awareness, namely to establish the principle of autonomy, in its historical dimension, as the founding principle of all political action in Sardinia. Two factors prevented the political class from realizing this leading role: ideology and dependence.»
«The state-region relation was conceived in asymmetrical terms, as pure and simple dependence. The relation prefigured, on the one hand, accepting a subsuming and all-encompassing state; on the other hand, granting an administrative and political space completely irrelevant to the state and the relation with the state. It was an unequal exchange, which placed the region in a situation of marked inferiority. Given the institutional conditions that characterized this situation, the latter was bound to a dialectic relation carried out only through more or less resolute forms of financial claims thrust.» IT
(Un’autonomia in regime di dipendenza [Autonomy under a dependence regime], pp. 20, 29)
Un’autonomia in regime di dipendenza
[Autonomy under a dependence regime]
[Autonomy under a dependence regime]
- La negazione dell’idea storica di autonomia dopo il fascismo.
[The denial of the historical idea of autonomy after fascism]
- Le grandi ideologie nazionali in Sardegna dopo il fascismo.
[The overarching national ideologies in Sardinia after fascism]
- I limiti culturali e politici del sardismo.
[Cultural and political limits of Sardism (Sardinian nationalism)]
- Dipendenza e cooptazione nel ruolo del Psd’Az.
[Dependence and co-optation in the role of the PSd’Az (Sardinian Action Party)]
- Dipendenza politica e autonomia in regime di dipendenza.
[Political dependence and autonomy under a dependence regime]
- Rivendicazione e potere deviante nella gestione politica in Sardegna.
[Claims and deviant power in Sardinian politics]
- La cultura sarda.
[The Sardinian culture]
- La classe dominante sarda.
[The ruling Sardinian élite]
- L’arretratezza sociale sarda.
[The Sardinian social backwardness]
- L’inesistenza di una classe borghese in Sardegna e il distacco tra élite rivoluzionaria e società sarda.
[The absence of a bourgeois class in Sardinia and the gap between revolutionary élites and Sardinian society]
- Il «moto de su connottu» e l’incapacità dei sardi a porsi come classe sociale.
[The “moto de su connottu” (an uprising to return to what was known, to restore the old system) and the inability of the Sardinians to introduce themselves as a social class]
- Dalla dipendenza feudale alla dipendenza di mercato.
[From feudal to market dependence]
- L’impresa pastorale nell’equilibrio di povertà.
[The shepherding activity in an equilibrium of poverty]
- Cultura pastorale, élite feudale ed élite rivoluzionaria.
[The shepherd culture, the feudal élite and the revolutionary élite]
- La fine dell’autonomia senza dipendenza.
[The end of the idea of dependency-free autonomy]
1/17«In short, being all ideologies exogenous to Sardinian culture as well as to any other local or regional culture in the entire nation, they were characterized in terms of universality, which was historicized throughout the national territory and, hence, presupposed the unitary structure of the State. The latter was ultimately the sole element of the Risorgimento tradition.
In this respect, a nation like Italy, which has been unable or unwilling to mature any culture other than the Risorgimento culture of unification in the course of its history, could not leave room for other types of autochthonous cultures, much less for those autochthonous cultures explicitly or latently opposing (by denying it) the unitary culture of the Risorgimento.» IT
- 2/17«Sardinian nationalism (Sardism) was conceived not as an ideology based on the refusal of domination from an external state nor on “Sardinianness” values different and opposed to the unification values; if these values had existed, they would undoubtedly have emerged well before the end of the World War 1915-1918. Sardism was born as a movement of battlers founded, even in its more mature formulations, on a reparation claim addressed to the Italian nation for the sacrifices of Sardinians during the Great War. Namely, it was born on a revendicatory notion that, as such, did not deny but rather presupposed the national state.» IT
3/17«Sardinian nationalism (Sardism) was always encumbered by cultural and political weaknesses, even when this movement made its own participatory and reformist requests, both on the economic and the state level. Indeed, neither reformism nor participation could have been considered typical of Sardism, as almost all political movements embraced these requests throughout the entire state territory. Autonomism was not abandoned, but it was too narrow an idea to constitute an alternative to the national parties' wide-ranging social and political ideologies; it was too narrow as conceived in terms of reparation, compensation, or revindication, which ultimately presupposed the state unitary structure.
As a result, Sardism was unable or unwilling to provide itself with an ideology; it was unable or unwilling to place itself at the center of stable aggregations of interests based on cultural and social elements alternative to the great European and national ideologies.» IT
- 4/17«The problem of dependence appears primarily as a problem of political dependence. The latter is a complex phenomenon, as it shows ideological-cultural aspects and more directly operational aspects related to the specific functionality of the system. However, even another type of dependence exists, which is manifestly interconnected with political dependence but also presents aspects and issues that can be subject to specific in-depth analysis: economic dependence. Political dependence and economic dependence are the two most relevant and generalized forms of social subordination; they are linked by an instrumentality relation, which usually sets political dependence as an instrument of economic dependence.» IT
5/17«Political dependence has an ideological-cultural aspect and an operational aspect. The ideological-cultural aspect is managed according to the acquisition of consent; therefore, it is instrumental to the operational aspect concerning the specific expression of political will, namely the constraints and compatibilities of political choices. In making these operational choices, large national parties have always referred to political behavior models where the weight of regional interests, particularly Sardinian interest, was commensurate with the poor political and party strength expressed by the Sardinian social context.» IT
6/17«In Sardinia, politics was not carried out as dialectical participation and debate about the prominent national choices, which should have always positively impacted the region. It was carried out as a marginalization, an agreement on local problems without a national scope, anchored only to the geographical and cultural borders of the island.
In this way, Sardinia has not pursued its amalgamation in a national dimension; it has instead become more and more isolated. This isolation has been characterized not by regaining that cultural, economic, and political autonomy always denied but rather by a situation of instrumentality and subordination to the prominent national choices. As a result, Sardinia has been a nonessential and completely irrelevant element in national politics. That is precisely the situation of dependence characterizing not a self-propelled and innovatory isolation but fruitless and ancillary isolation from a national community supinely and uncritically accepted on a cultural and political level.» IT
7/17«Based on these premises, it is not surprising that Sardinian politics always took place through successive and repetitious phases of vain revindication and political begging addressed to the state, leading to a fragmentation carried to the excess of political action at the local level, as displayed by the regional councils that have alternated up to now. Thereby, the exclusive focus on the dynamics of deviant power characterizing the political struggle in Sardinia was strengthened, alongside clientelism at all scales in the distribution of the scarce resources available. It follows the generalized welfarism toward agriculture and industry; and aid and relief policies for the agropastoral class, with no attempt to change the production factor combination for breeding and farming activities. As a result, monetary incentives have been used as the sum of the economic policy intervention by the public sector body and as a fundamental instrument of economic dependence.» IT
8/17«In Sardinia, the difficulties in regional planning and programming must be ascribed to these dysfunctional factors. A shattered political will, focused only on deviant power, could not but accentuate consumption as a dominant usage of monetary transfers that the region managed to obtain from the state. From an institutional standpoint, this favored the territorial subdivision of Sardinia into too many and too small areas and made it difficult to grasp the global dimension of the most relevant problems of the island.» IT
9/17«The anomalous doom of Sardinia was to develop over the centuries, ultimately, a self-governing culture and society devoid of national self-awareness. The myriad of local cultures perfectly balanced in their being all too narrow because stereotypical and repetitive, obviously excluded the emergence of the idea of a nation, which would have entailed the leadership of one culture, with consequent assimilation of all other cultures into the local hegemonic one.» IT
10/17«In Sardinia, there was no bourgeois class understood as a social group characterized by an interest in development and, hence, by an attitude towards entrepreneurship and innovation. The merchant entrepreneur could not find a space in a non-market-oriented subsistence economy in which the production factor combination was not related to an interest in the social division of labor but took place within the family nucleus, depending on self-consumption.
Above all, the nonexistence of a bourgeois class, namely of a social group characterized by a primary interest in the marked-oriented combination of production factors, had a heavy and negative impact on the social and political development of the island. In France, meanwhile, the innovatory bourgeoisie was acquiring awareness of its social strength and, with the Revolution 1989, transformed into tiers état, leading to a radical change in social structures.» IT
11/17«It appears clearly, if we retrace the history of Sardinia from the late 1700s to the abolition of feudalism, that the rare occasions of rebellion have never involved a bourgeois social class. From the uprisings led by Angioi in 1796 to the conspiracy led by the family of the lawyer Salvatore Cadeddu in 1812, passing through the heroic sacrifice of notary Francesco Cilocco and theologian Francesco Sanna Corda who landed on the Aggius coast in 1802 to free Sardinia from the feudal rule, we face attempts that show the total absence of a base of consent (engaging, if not all, at least a part of the population) for the revolutionary instances.
On the one hand, these attempts show a minority of brave people who did not hesitate to sacrifice their lives or endure atrocious tortures to realize a revolutionary ideal in the Enlightenment mold; Angioi was for sure the most mature representative among them, perhaps the only Sardinian who understood the meaning of the French Revolution of 1789. On the other, these attempts show the clergy and nobility closed to any modern cultural instance and unable to understand the sense of history, and the populace with no knowledge, awareness, courage, or intelligence.» IT
12/17«The leadership of brave revolutionaries, although emerging from the social context, was carried out with no social class. All in all, the history of Sardinia can be summed up in the following basic characterizations: a classless cultural leadership who tried desperately and repeatedly to act as if a class existed; a myriad of social groups with no class consciousness, kept together only by the need to create the most favorable conditions for managing their status roles and, hence, with no public political objectives, with no awareness that social structures could have been changed by acting collectively, persuaded that the royal government was an unavoidable fact, almost like an immutable element of the natural environment.
The proneness to revindications as the only expression of group action derives from the inability to conceive collective (class) action and the aptitude to consider society and institutions as effects of the consent management culturally rooted in an exaggerated particularism to which the concept of collective interest was alien.» IT
13/17«If we had to define Sardinian culture in anthropological terms, we should presumably say that the historical constant of this culture is the Sardinians’ acquiescence (persisting passive behavior) towards the environment. [...]
Considering the environment as a datum, not a variable, has led to conceiving the production factor combination in terms of poverty equilibrium. From this standpoint, the shepherding activity, in its historical configuration, is the most rational combination possible for the given environment. This type of activity disregards the ownership structure and is carried out institutionally through the common use of the grazing factor.
The Sardinian society, whose characterizing economic form is the shepherding activity that does not incorporate the ownership structure, is a substantially atomistic society, with no social organization exceeding the boundaries of the extended family, the clan, and the village as the ultimate boundary. In a social context where the people do not respond innovatively to the environment, it is not easy to conceive a state organization as an active response to the environmental condition.» IT
14/17«The historical idea of autonomy without dependence was affirmed in Sardinia by a small revolutionary élite that never had a base of popular legitimacy. The socio-cultural causes of this lack of legitimacy lie in the fact that the shepherding culture does not express any social organization; it is based solely on the exchange between individuals or families within the clan and between clans within the village.
The failure of the social law of exchange entails a revenge action, and the demonstration of the possibility or capacity for revenge (so-called “balentia” in Sardinian language) serves to make the relation of social exchange socially stable through punishment.
On the economic level, this exchange-based society expresses the shepherding activity, which realizes a static combination of production factors where the natural environment is considered a non-modifiable datum and the technological dynamics is rejected, in principle. This means that Sardinian shepherd society is closed to any form of cultural dynamics and, by definition, cannot express any institutionalized common interest. There are no common interests on which a convergence of attitudes and behaviors among subjects could rest; i.e., there is no conjunct interrelation, which is the fundamental social relation underlying the organization of group behavior.» IT
15/17«Autonomy without dependence never crossed the borders of utopia because it was not supported by a social class that laid it at the foundation of its own conjunct interrelation. Indeed, a society based on exchange, not expressing any institutionalized common interest, was unable to generate any social class, meaning, by social class, a more or less vast group of individuals internalizing a common interest and establishing organizational structures instrumental in satisfying that interest. The revolutionary élite who carried forward the idea of autonomy without dependence in Sardinia was a classless élite.» IT
16/17«It was a classless élite, too, the one exercising power in a subordinate position to the various hegemonic powers that took over Sardinia throughout history. This subordinate local élite could not have any popular base of acceptance for the same reason that the revolutionary elite did not: Sardinian culture was contrary to or indifferent to any socially organized culture. That explains the relative ease with which the hegemonic powers were able, from time to time, to assert their supremacy over Sardinia without ever realizing any possibility of encounter or dialogue between their cultures and the Sardinian culture. The subordinate élite relied on this social space of indifference and lack of communication between exogenous and endogenous culture and, hence, on the inability of Sardinian society to express a state organizational model in contrast to the organizational models imposed from the outside.» IT
17/17«This autonomy in a dependence regime was found in the island state (insularity) as the only cultural element capable of tailoring an autonomist model, fully embedded in the social and economic structures of the national state. As one can see, it is an autonomy culturally very poor and very different from the historical idea developed in the eighteenth century. So conceived, it cannot but recognize the nation-state and create economic situations of dependence, widely underlined by the anomalies which characterized Sardinian industrial development in the last thirty years and prevented endogenous accumulation, regional economic growth, and social structure development.» IT