The New Italian Spring


Despite the vast youth unemployment, I suggest the future will remember “the New Italian Spring” as a Victory of Love and Compassion in 2014. The new Pope Francis’ humility gives hope for a moral revival in the Vatican State. In the same period, the direct democratic party M5S enters the Italian Parliament.

Aristotle uses the word “phronesis” to mean morale in theory and practice. According to Aristotle phronesis is prudence. Both Beppo Grillo in M5S and Francis in the Catholic Church seems to be prudent. Like his namesake Francis of Assisi, the new Pope lives a simple life, and Beppo Grillo doesn’t want more power than anybody else in the M5S party. They are both free from practical contradictions in the same way as a map is a true picture of reality: by correspondence.

Phronesis requires the ability to rationally consider actions that can deliver desired effects, but there is still a big problem: the effects happen after the causes, and then it´s too late to act differently. Thus we need to act carefully. I believe that voluntary, reciprocal love between two adult persons hardly can be morally wrong, but if they are not careful the result can be very negative.

Phronesis combines humility with a scientific attitude. The project of Science is to make “the Tree of Knowledge” a better map of “the Tree of Life”. It presupposes cooperation between people and fair competition between ideas. We must not always defend our old ideas. To change opinion in the light of new information is a virtue, even for a Pope.

2 Responses to “The New Italian Spring”

  1. fabrizio fitzgerald Says:

    This is the first time I see the adjective “prudent” be associated with Grillo.

  2. pernor Says:

    Ha ha, I understand what you mean! Wikipedia says that “Prudence is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason.” But if there are strong moral reasons to react with anger a prudent person has to do that. Jesus went angry in the temple too.

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