Forty years to amend any dogmatism and now the former director of Rep claims that doubt is a form of fanaticism bordering on climate denial
Orwell came into my life when I was very young, in the late 1960s, and I still hadn't read 1984, his novel about the totalitarian world to come. On the back cover of my first card of the PCI (Lenin on the front) in the final point 10, it was written: "Defend the party from every attack". Out of all-encompassing education or lack of education, I was therefore not predisposed to doubt, although my father noted, with a hint of irony, that article 10 lent itself to a military-type misunderstanding, far from the idea of an Italian or democratic road to socialism. I was a boy, the absence of doubt gave me comfort, encouragement and push. Now if I take a summer quiz from the Einaudi Foundation as an old man, almost forty years after the right-wing left the party and converted to militant anti-communism, in advance of the collapse of the Wall and the renaming, an incredible result comes to me: "classical liberal". I laugh, of course, and I think back to the time when the discipline swept away any form of doubt by statute.
For four decades my new friends, from Aron to Popper, have taught me the infinite virtues of doubt, the heart and soul of all critical thinking. To the new philosophy of conjecture and refutation, of fallibilism, of verification in terms of fact, of experience, of the method rigidly based on the ethical and epistemological flexibility of doubting everything and everything, but not everyone, since in the world there are also friendship and love, I have conformed as a true conformist, as a neophyte of a weak and acquired liberalism. Having incorporated the idea that doubt is the salt of the earth, through a letter from Horace to Massimo Lollio, in which he invited him to be wise at the cost of sinking into the meanness or mediocrity of doubt, with the famous formula Sàpere àude, later transformed by Kant into the Enlightenment symbol of critical autonomy, daring to use one's intelligence, not depending on any dogma and limiting oneself to knowing what one can know with certainty, always after having doubted everything, I accepted the human and divine primacy of doubt in thought.
Something must have happened in the meantime because a person who is worthy of esteem like Ezio Mauro on Repubblica he degraded doubt, indeed the Great Doubt, to a form of fanaticism bordering on climate denialism, such as to make the planet run serious risks of survival. Plus, it follows from all the surprise reasoning, doubt is Melonian, Larussian, Abascalian, Lepenist, Salvinian, perhaps Trumpian, it is constitutively right-wingconservative if not reactionaryand serves to undermine the certainty of science, the role of the ruling classes, it has an inherent populist nature, goes well with one's own business, petty and particular interests; the Great Doubt “strips the power of that metaphysical power which recognized in him the ability to give a name to things, therefore to interpret them, represent them and resolve them in front of the people; an authentic legacy of ancient majesty erased by the rebellion against the elites, which is the true transversal soul of populisms of various kinds” (Ezio Mauro). And so, after an entire life spent amending myself from the majestic and metaphysical certainty of the Platonist and Giovan-Paolino "splendor of truth" or "veritatis splendor", here I am again in the company of Mauro in article 10: "Defending the party from every attack". In this case the bias taken. The substitute for communism, apocalyptic environmentalism.