by Ernesto Galli della Loggia
with Ernesto Galli della Loggia
and Adriana Asti
Christianity, War, Democracy. Three gigantic blocks of events and ideas that have accompanied us in history, especially in the last two centuries, laying the foundations of our societies. Three conversations to try, above all, to focus on problems, raise questions and open prospects, with the help of readings from famous texts - in a long journey that will lead from the past to our day and age. Because naturally everything started long ago: we can say that the European identity itself would be unthinkable, in fact, without the three elements of these encounters. I said long ago, but the thread that leads from the French Revolution to the present day also unravels, in particular, around these elements.
Christianity has shaped the concept of good and evil which is still very largely our own, it has represented the basis for the totally rational image of nature and the world that brought the overwhelming scientific developments that we are familiar with, but at the same time it was also the precondition for the idea of equality among all human beings and between man and woman that makes our culture today so special and different from so many others.
On the other hand, without the war, without the opposite poles friend-enemy, how could we conceive politics, the authentic throbbing heart of our history for 2500 years? The dimension of the war meant the organization of the State, the decisive assignments of power, and at the same time the essential verification of its legitimacy, its ability to obtain consensus. In the same way, after ´89, bearing arms represented the first condition for the holding of necessary political rights to a full citizenship, and this was the reason for the exclusion of women from the first and the latter. Not to mention the vital role that the war had in ensuring Europe the absolute supremacy over the rest of the planet for at least three centuries.
Finally democracy. Although the entire panorama of our lives is becoming always less conceivable without it, never like today does it seem that there are many doubts. What meaning can we and must we ascribe to it in our historical situation? What are the problems with its functioning that time has revealed? Which of its promises are still realistic?
Ernesto Galli della Loggia