Fascist Art and The American mean sense of History

4 days ago, on the New Yorker, the Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University Ruth Ben-Ghiat wrote about the presence of Fascist monuments in our country, using words of contempt towards the italian attitude.

I found really disappointing to hear such stupid words from a history professor, who should almost know the sense of is own subject. There’s no History where’s damnatio memoriae, no understanding where’s a burned book.

A young country like U.S.A. can not understand the italian heritage, Italy has been an example of civilization for centuries, countries that can can boast such a heritage can be counted on the fingers of one single hand, and I’m pretty sure that no one of those fingers stands for U.S.A.

To be the spokespersons of such a great history taught us what’s the right way of approach to art and history: we are not here to judge our own ancestors, we preserve our heritage to understand and learn in the freedom of our thoughts.

But there’s another unavoidable point: everything has been done, every choice made by our grandfathers, was made trying to choose the best way to grow up our nation. From Mussolini to the last of the young Balillas everyone tried his best to serve his country and his people.

The same is for who fighted on the mountains, young Italians forced to embrace the guns against their own brothers, trying to save the victims of Fascism from a horrible death. Those ones made their best too, and won the war.

But the truth is that, even if it’s difficoult to accept, no one is wrong and no one is right; no one is good and no one is evil. We know our history, we live history everyday while walking in our cities, we touch the same stones, we walk the same streets, we breathe the same air of our ancestors, and that’s the only way to understand what they did.

No one deserves the damnatio memoriae, not even Hitler or Stalin. It’s too easy to study the history on the books, with prefabricated judgements and the most nationalist narrative on the earth, but its wrong. This in not understanding, this is being an ignorant parrot. And being an ignorant parrot makes you vulnerable to the return of who you tried to clear from the face of earth.

This is why there are fascists in Italy, why most of us can’t face up to those who rediscover the fascists values, because most of us it’s an ignorant parrot like who wrote the mentioned article and it’s not able to speak to a phenomenon that is out of his comprehension.

Last point: everyone here beleieves to be obgectively right (even me), probably everyone has his reasons, but also different objectives/points of view, and in this caos no one wants to try to understand each other, we keep screaming our opinion ‘til we die, covering our ears with our own voices.

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