Federico Campagna at The White Review:
The position once held by the European Left – that solidarity is to be valued above thehomo homini lupus, and that the concept of freedom doesn’t merely have a negative character – has been abandoned. The attitude which Mark Fisher defines as ‘capitalist realism’ appears to have engulfed most of the mainstream Left. Although the recent successes of Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain seem timidly to hint at a possible revival of a radical Left, all the major democratic/labour parties in the West appear to converge towards a neoliberal and bleakly anti-humanist consensus. Only in Latin America does the Left still enjoy a comfortable hegemonic status, while also being able to present the future as a land of opportunities rather than a hostile wasteland. Although it is unlikely that Franciscus has read Berardi’s remarks on ‘the end of the future’ and on the consequences of its demise, he has grasped the immense political potential of reopening – and monopolising – the very concept of the time to come.
Consistently with these considerations, Franciscus has placed his pontificate under the bright red star of what was once considered a revolutionary Leftist worldview. In doing so he has been able at the same time to reinforce his presence in the Latin American countries – partly through a revival of the rhetoric and politics of Liberation Theology – and to present himself as the only credible candidate to occupy the gaping hole vacated on the left of the Western political spectrum. He has founded his attack on spectacularly populist tactics, made even more universally appealing by his repeated (yet slyly ambiguous) claim that many call him a Communist, but that he is no Communist – only a true Christian, faithful to the call of Love.