The Berlin Wall and the backyard of History

The Berlin Wall and the backyard of History

"1989 is not a mere sign in the chronological flow of the 20th century. Instead of following a linear timeline, it indicates a threshold, a critical moment that closes a season to open another. " With these words, Enzo Traverso assesses the fall of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, describing this year as the completion of an overthrow, mainly at a symbolic and ideological level, which had begun in the early 1980s with Thatcherism and Reaganism.

The words "revolution" and "communism" no longer signified a venture of emancipation, but in the collective imagination they referred more to "a totalitarian universe". On the other hand, words like 'market', 'business', 'investment', 'reform', 'individual freedoms' etc. they were transformed by symbols of alienation and individualism into objects of collective desire, but also "the natural foundations of postcolonial liberal societies".

At the same time, the bipolarity and "spheres of influence" of the two superpowers gave way to a planetary history, to a sense of shared destiny, which signaled the transition to a multipolar world, with greater uncertainty and much more uncertainty.

Thirty years later, we are in a new threshold for a time when capitalism is being disputed almost everywhere as a source of catastrophes and threats to man and nature. The abysmal inequalities of income and wealth, freedom in many "liberal" regimes, mass alienation, the abolition of the social state, and climate change paint a gloomy landscape, a "valley of tears" for cruelty.

New movements of contention and claim are emerging in many corners of the globe, scattered and unrelated. But for civil liberties, others for greater economic equality, others for environmental protection. The point is the cooperation and osmosis of these movements, which must have in common the opposition to neoliberal capitalism and its consequences.

Undoubtedly the 20th century was a time of mass violence, genocide, totalitarian wars, but also of rebellions, revolutions, and hopeless hopes. It was a time when the ruling classes guided the developments, but also the spectacular entry of the "masses" into the historical arena. It was a "thickening" and an acceleration of historical time, which brought cataclysmic changes to economic, political and social levels.

Today, new contradictions appear to have accumulated and new underground currents have been set in motion, eagerly seeking to reach the historic surface. Pre-earthquake vibrations have lived through the movements of this decade: "Arab Spring", "indignant", Occupy Wall Street etc. These vibrations continue today in many parts of the globe. The question is whether the upcoming earthquake - without being able to predict when it will occur - will be a gradual social change or a new warfare in which new totalitarians will be "roasted".

Certainly, the situation in today's world does not leave much room for optimism unless the new generations - whose miserable future is foretold by all means in the present system - take action and prove that they have more imagination, courage, will and empathy than their.

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