Lifting the veil of ignorance

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By reading the editorial “The NGOs of the oppressive Governments” on the condition of the African continent, beyond the merit, I seized and I make my own, an indication of the route which, although apparently methodological, substantiates with implications of great concreteness that have to do with everyone’s life and in every moment.

In the article is raised, or better teared, that veil of ignorance (in the formulation of John Rawls) that responds to a relativist political function, for which not knowing (or prevent to know) makes social peace less fragile. We can be satisfied with this and generally are satisfied those who care about the interests which benefit from that state of ignorance, mostly economic interests of power. Are not satisfied those who care about the social stability in its effects on persons, if you prefer on individuals, with regard to the relationship between the condition of their life and the behaviours that determine it.

Here, in the courageous representation of the causes that vortically move under the veil of ignorance pushing immigration, the dead in the Mediterranean, the wars that will come, I see a moral boost to bind together commitment and lucidity. As Rosanvallon says (Le Bon gouvernement), “the revolution of lucidity and knowledge is still to come, demands and awaits the interpreters”. I personally believe, that this revolution is entirely internal, to social Christian values and therefore we must be the protagonists.

It is only in this light that I propose a rereading of my brief text written at the beginning of 2012, certainly not with self-celebratory aim, indeed to talk about a personal weakness in the front of the lucidity and of the knowledge. Here it is: “I met a dear friend of mine enthusiastic for his land, abandoned for a very long time, and received by way of succession. He recalled that his father philosophized, in virtue of the family memories, about a miraculous line, rich of solids vines, healthy and lush, generous of scented grapes at every season. Entrusted to the skilful and loyal collaborators, the vine gave robust pleasant wines, light at the beginning, and then, with the passing of time, always more full bodied and reliable. Of that vineyard, now only exhausted traces remained, here and there, confused among many weeds, with their happy history.

Thus, told me again my friend, had decided to rely on good people, equipped with women and skills in order to restore life to his vineyard. With the gaze turned to the history of those vines, from whose DNA they were able to give birth to new life, and the desire to give them the prospect of a renewed future, with the necessary patience and application, with confidence and presence, the vineyard resumed its ancient force and bears fruit.

Thus, later, when some young people who were there to listen asked me to try to tell the difficult season of the political commitment of Catholics I could respond with the words and the tone used by my friend. The young generations inherit the vineyard of political Catholicism after a prolonged frost. Here and there, a few good vines survived but it is surrounded by many weeds and its fruits are no longer collected because they are insufficient to produce the good wine of policies inspired to solidarityhonesty, friendship, declined in the concreteness of economic, social, educational, European and international cooperation, peacekeeping policies. Yet they are the heirs: I said, you only have to recover the DNA; you can find it in the social doctrine of the Church and in the Constitution, where the weeds of bad political doctrines, relativism and excuse-making, are not able to arrive.

In the vineyard of the political Catholicism, worked too many people deprived of competence and they have dried it up, because year by year, season by season, they have enjoyed the grapes of consent, the scents of success, without ever worrying about cultivate it, keep it, transmit it intact and efficient. I said that their task is not so easy like the one of my friend, but with the experiment of the will, filled with faith, charity, friendship and concreteness, it will not be impossible to start. I have advised them to seek immediately the necessary skills and to be generous and not to forget that the vineyard of political Catholicism has no masters. And the first task that awaits them, the more arduous, consists precisely in finding the best way to drive away the abusive occupants. With the lesson of Don Sturzo behind, suitably updated, they can count on an extraordinary supply of means of action. Finally, I asked them not to reject the experience of those who in that vineyard have loyally maintained skills for the whole time of the frost.”

By following this indication of direction, it is time to remove every veil of ignorance and to be brave. Our Country, for which we care, for which indeed we must care, is still in the time of frost and I think that for two decades the political debate missed the support of a proposal of Christian inspiration. As it has been written also by some commentators of pristine lay loyalty, the engulfment, in the channels of institutional decisions, withered even the debate.

Here it is not a question of assessing primates, this is not a desire for power, it is a matter of putting in the circuit the principles and the values that in social and economic spheres, just think about the constitutional ones, have a stabilising function. If we have to fear the populism and its aftermath of pain and injustice and fragility, we owe it to the fact that public decisions were almost in the majority, daughters of a non-counterbalanced liberal fundamentalism. They decided, they did, they apparently won, it is true, but on a sea of rubbles. It is clear that we should not fall into the same error.

Christians, and in this context Catholics, must not fall into a counter-delirium of self-sufficiency of their political proposal and however they must be aware that when they blend, mix, get lost in organized realities, whether they are parties or movements, they have to accept the statutory schemes, they must follow the rules. If statutes, rules and decisions lead to disaster, albeit as a minority, Catholics are jointly responsible. Then the problem is not the Catholics party, the problem is a political formation that is consistent with the constitutional inspiration which is the most balanced political formulas of which the country is equipped. The necessary consequence, is to build a coherent proposal. It must be done in a hurry and remove every veil of ignorance and determine the place and the shapes of which and with which to renew the personal commitment and the lucidity of inspiration.

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