The grotesque tumble of the European commissioner for equality, Helena Dalli, stumbled upon the “guidelines for inclusive communication”, deserves a thorough reflection, beyond the understandable sarcasm for a document that more than anything else testifies to lack of common sense, cultural approximation and low political sensitivity.
That Europe is increasingly culturally and demographically complex is a fact: out of 447 million resident people, 23 million are third-country nationals and 37 million were born outside the borders of the Union. Numbers that with the current demographics will grow a lot, thanks also – and it should be remembered – to the “sterility” of Italy, which with the current birth rate is destined to have 45 million inhabitants in 2065, a failed country.
The complexity and cultural richness of this transformation of European society is already exposing it to the winds of woke culture, a phenomenon that for some years has been dangerously spreading in American universities, where woke is synonymous with vigilant alert in the fight against the “injustices of the majority and overbearing culture of white males ”, which penalizes African Americans, women, sexual identities other than those categorized biologically and so on. Over the past two years, woke culture has landed in the UK and France and heads straight into the heart of old Europe.
In an already fragile framework due to Brexit and the reactionary sovereignties of Poland and Hungary – which for the moment have not received the response they deserve – Brussels and the individual member states will have to appeal to the best cultural and political resources to counter a phenomenon that presents with the stigma of a new extremely dangerous cultural squad.
First of all, because everyone can be subjected to the vigilant scrutiny of woke activists who can accuse a person of racial, social or sexual discrimination starting not only from books or scientific publications, but also from emails, jokes and discussions that took place even during private meetings, dusting off so the very sinister method of informing.
The woke culture is also the substratum of the call-out culture (very close to the better known cancel culture), that is the threatening and often violent censorship of subjects deemed guilty of ideas and behaviors misaligned by values ​​considered progressive and, more generally, politically correct; in fact, there are many cases in which woke activists have ostracized professors and academics by preventing them from speaking at public events, manipulating their statements and proscribing them on social networks and traditional media, up to, in some cases, provoking their resignation.
Another feature that recalls what happened at the dawn of the totalitarian ideologies of the last century and the refusal of dialogue and confrontation. In the most extreme theories, the ideologues of woke culture even affirm the uselessness of reading texts or using works by authors that do not conform to the Woke canons – and the reference to the gloomy images of the fires where the Nazis burned the books and paintings of authors is inevitable. considered decadent and not conforming to the slogans of the new Germany, where the black and white of the figures imprinted in the film evokes the macabre dance of a company of ghosts – as if the confrontation with creativity in its many manifestations is no longer the door. ancient and magical to enter the world of those who are different from us, in times, tastes, passions,
Another requirement of this cultural totalitarianism is the falsely democratic claim that students decide what to study. It is the negation of the fundamental figure of the teacher, the one who, through studies and experience, is entitled to teach. However, this denial is not a typical or exclusive feature of woke culture, as the evolution of the internet and social media has been precisely marked by the creation and sharing of original content, with a consequent questioning of the authority of cultural institutions and scientific studies which are essentially denied the role of evaluating knowledge and skills, because in the end one is worth one … (see the grotesque polemics of flat-earthers or the violent and tragic no vax campaigns).
Finally, there is an element that represents the true Trojan horse of woke culture, namely the claim of wanting to defend oppressed, ghettoized and denied cultures from the dominant culture of white males, an objective on which progressive liberals can only agree. It is a pity that the assumptions and methods of woke culture lead to a completely different direction. And that in the face of this threat a satiated, apathetic and frightened society like that of the West is unable to react. On this point it is interesting to read “Woke Generation: Social Media, Activism and Politically Correct 2.0” by the English writers Valeria Gennero and Cinzia Scarpino.
The publication reveals a certain disorientation of American liberal intellectuals – often the favorite target of woke activists – wedged between a generational opposition and the liberal and progressive matrix of the woke movement. But in the difficulty of dealing with the woke culture also and above all weighs the bitter observation that the United States is a country with strong pockets of racism and poverty, where the precariousness of work means being in the invisible part of society and marginalization is a condemnation with little chance of redemption. Not exactly the land of opportunities – a definition contested by woke culture because those opportunities would not have benefited, if not in a small part, African Americans,
In Europe the situation is somewhat different. At the moment. Since the end of the Second World War, we Europeans have tried to cancel the idea of ​​conflict at all levels, cultivating the illusion of perpetual peace in the shelter of Washington’s weapons; only today, finally, in the face of profound changes in geopolitical equilibrium, the European Union has resumed the project of defense and common foreign policy on which De Gasperi had insisted so much, a statesman who, like all those of his generation, thought with horror of war but he was aware that in order to preserve peace sometimes it must be imposed.
But a geopolitical projection is not such without the awareness of one’s own cultural identity, even more so than the political and social one. Cultural identity, although not an intangible dogma, remains the first brick to build the common destiny of a society that wants to project itself into the future. This is a crucial issue, because human societies are changing very, very fast, at a rate that has never been seen in history. The French, who more than others in Europe, have a strong sense of their role in the history of the West, have already rightly begun to take countermeasures.
And when it comes to the future of la Republique, they go big. Faced with the growing consensus with which the French radical left is welcoming the woke and cancel culture, the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, founded Le Laboratoire de la Republique, a “circle of reflection and action” to raise awareness the new generations on the foundations of the French Republic, calling them to defend it from the “new identity and extremist ideologies”. Beyond the political role that Blanquer wants to carve out in the field of President Macron in view of the presidential elections next April, Le Laboratoire de la Republique is very interesting because it brings the debate back to the high and fundamental themes of political action,
The launch of the Observatoire du decolonialisme et des ideologies identitaires last January, an initiative linked to the appeal signed by 76 personalities from the French academic world to defend high schools and universities, on the same wavelength but aimed at the university sector, pluralism and the taste for discussion on rational grounds, “from the ideological intimidations that feed obscurantism”. It is interesting to read how the appeal overturns the same accusations that it makes against Western culture against woke culture: “Today we are faced with a wave of identity … A militant movement that wants to impose a radical critique of democratic societies, in the name of an alleged decolonialism… which believes it is fighting inequalities by assigning to each one an identity of race and religion, sex and gender… ”.
At the same time, President Macron called for school curricula to enhance classical culture, European culture and of course French culture. A serious answer to answer a problem that should not be underestimated. And that after the signing of the Quirinal Treaty can represent a further field of collaboration between two founding countries of the European Union. But before joining our cousins ​​from beyond the Alps to sing “Allons enfants de la Patrie…” let’s remember that some of the instances of woke culture have a foundation, net of the very wrong and dangerous solutions. First of all – in my opinion – the question of the social and political role of young people, guilty forgotten by a system that obviously needs new life.

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