Courage, the best has passed,
goesone of the great Ennio Flaiano's most famous aphorisms. Perhaps we should resign ourselves too and admit that our dolce vita is now dead, irrecoverable. Perhaps Pier Paolo Pasolini was right when he said in the second half of the 1950s:
“We are at the origins of what will probably be the worst era in human history, the era of industrial alienation.”
If we think back to the last year our life, it is difficult to remain indifferent to Pasolini's prophecy and anxiety rises inside us. By isolating us, making us sick, killing our loved ones, the pandemic has tested our psyche and our economy. Is this really our historic moment? Are we, seventy years later, creatures condemned to live the worst era in human history? Is the era of industrial alienation really our era?
My answer is that it depends on us. I am deeply convinced that in life there is always the possibility to choose. What is often lacking is the courage to make choices. The courage to change Because some choices are tough, they involve sacrifices that we are not willing to bear. This is our era: the era of choice. It is time to decide what we want to do with our lives and the shred of the world we have left.
After the 2008 crisis, we all know that the word crisis also means opportunity. Today, as then, we once again have the opportunity to rethink our lifestyles, our way of working, our economy, our way of thinking and doing politics. Some of the proposals that have emerged for addressing the current recession are nothing new. Already ten years ago, when some were talking about the slow economy, solutions proposed for a rebirth included a green revolution and stricter regulation of financial markets. Then, as often happens in history, other interests prevailed. Modalities may have changed, but the old market logics, those that have long devoured the planet and are in the interests of the few, and too often the financial world, have resisted. The opportunity has been wasted.
The desolation of the present situation is now offering us another chance. To grasp it, however, we need an act to which we have become unaccustomed through the culture of image, waste and indifference: looking inside ourselves. We need to get back in touch with our distracted consciousness and understand if it still contains values. Because those values will be the starting points for reconstruction.
So, this is my Christmas wish: make it a responsible Christmas. In the days of Covid-19, common sense or regulations may keep us away from our loved ones, but they can never take us away from ourselves. The respect that we must show for all those families who this year mourn the loss of the persons they have loved cannot but make us reflect.
What is the world we want to believe in? What is the world we want to rebuild? What sacrifices are we willing to make? We have to think about this. Before doing anything it is good practice to think. Thinking, an outdated activity. This is the wish that all of us should give each other for the next year: rediscover the freedom to think. Freedom, because without freedom civilisation is destined to die out.
We will rebuild the world, I don't doubt it, we always have. But our challenge is not simply to rebuild the world: it is to rebuild a civilised world.