Italian national day in corona times
Italy celebrates the Festa della Repubblica today, June 2nd. The national holiday commemorates the referendum held on June 2 and 3, 1946 in which a majority of Italians voted for the introduction of the Republic and against maintaining the monarchy. How is the event being celebrated in the midst of the corona pandemic?
Passed the acid test
Italy has every reason to be proud, columnist Ezio Mauro comments in La Repubblica:
“One can well understand why hardly any ceremonies are taking place today to celebrate the Republic. ... Behind their face masks, the people are plagued by uncertainty about when the months-long nightmare will end. And now that we've regained our freedom, they're filled with fear of the consequences. But looking back we must say: if the country has one thing to be proud of in its unfortunate role as the Western trailblazer of the pandemic, it's the unexpected social cohesion in times of turmoil and inequality, and the spontaneous sense of community which has miraculously survived the sermons of a selective and exclusive national egoism.”
The Republic needs citizens who want to be free
The Republic stands and falls with its citizens, philosopher Massimo Cacciari stresses in La Stampa:
“To be responsible means to be in a reciprocal relationship with one another, and to see this as an essential factor of one's own identity. Without such citizens there can be no republic. ... So if we have governments that rule irrationally, father-state governments or oligarchic-authoritarian pseudo-republics, such aberrations can only happen with our complicity. ... The democratic republic is certainly the regime that comes closest to freedom. But it needs citizens who want to be free, and who seek to overcome the other trait that is inherent to us, which leads us into bondage through indolence, laziness and cowardice. It is a struggle within ourselves that we must wage every day anew.”