Marco Revelli: I demoni del potere
Anthropology of the contemporary

The Demons of Power

ISBN: 9788858110553
publisher: Laterza
year: 2014
pages: 97


The invention of the town was the great innovation which began the process of bringing power under control. In the shelter of its walls, in the ‘protected space’ from which the forces of chaos were excluded, it was possible to start controlling the destructive powers with which the wild nature of dominion had hitherto expressed itself, and to imagine a model of order on a human scale. Two founding myths, that of Medusa and Perseus on the one hand, and that of the Sirens and Ulysses, with which this book is concerned, on the other, were interpretations of this transition from the ‘numinous’ (and ‘monstrous’) to the ‘human’, this transformation of the ‘demonic’ nature of power from a wild, uncontrolled entity to an instrument subject to a ‘civilized’ project.

What will happen now, when the solidity of ‘places’ seems to be crumbling under the overwhelming impact of financial ‘floods’, and their borders seem to grow uncertain, permeable, and exposed to the threats of the primordial ‘demons of power’?