I had known Luigi Covatta for many years, who died in Rome on 18 April: he was a gentleman, a socialist, a Christian (the position of the adjectives can be whatever you want).
I met him when he was collaborating with MondOperaio, which had offices above the bookshop in via Tomacelli, where any political and institutional scholar could find all the books he wanted. Small rooms, always very crowded, with a monthly editor (several followed after Nenni) always ready for dialogue, where politics was also animatedly discussed, always avoiding the bar chatter frequent in official circles.
Covatta was in love with that newspaper: I met him when in the total collapse of the Socialist Party he decided, after Clean Hands, to continue to collaborate in the magazine of which, since 2009, he became director, passionate as always about socialism, civil and social rights, solidarity and democracy.
He was a meek man, a Catholic who had started doing politics in the Christian Workers' Movement which had been founded by Livio Labor. His political thought was very simple: he believed - as Benedetto Croce had done in 1942 with his famous essay "Why we cannot not call ourselves Christians" - that "with the appeal to history we cannot fail to recognize ourselves and not call ourselves Christians". Catholics, liberals, socialists, no one could forget, as Croce wrote, that "Christianity was the greatest revolution that humanity has had". It was the ideological and political fulcrum of the Christian Workers' Movement, which then meant the social solidarity of which Proudhon had spoken which was the basis of the Socialist Gospel of Luciano Pellicani: it was the rejection of any authoritarian regime, whether red or black, it was look to a future made up of social rights and duties and of a political power at the service of that future for a democracy that also meant (if not above all) substantial and non-formal equality of all citizens.
Others who had the same convictions preferred to side with the Communist Party, sometimes with the mask of independent leftists, but soon regretted it. Covatta, after the dissolution of the movement, chose to join the Socialist Party, he was a convinced Craxian from an ideological and political point of view, even if he did not share certain behaviors of socialists that perhaps were not such.
He contributed to the elaboration of the political project of the Party, he was never the subject of infamous accusations, apart from that of smoking too many Camels.
In the 1994 elections he was among the socialist candidates on the lists of the Pact for Italy: I still remember the meetings with Gennaro Acquaviva, first in the Senate and then in a room of the Rectory of San Carlo al Corso, to choose the socialists who would seek hospitality in those lists. It was a huge mistake, as the facts later showed, but certainly not attributable to Covatta who remained a socialist until the end.
Hi Gigi and thanks for everything.