Cancel culture, Cardini: “From classical studies, mass escape is not the fault of politically correct”

“Has Howard University in Washington decided to dismantle the department of classical studies? Things are different, in my opinion they are much more serious and complicated. There has been a lot of literature and political propaganda on certain issues, but it certainly can’t be done. reduce the situation to this and blame only the politically correct. Otherwise you make the same mistake and join the same wave of those who, in the name of anti-racism, demolish the statues of classical thinkers “. Historian Franco Cardini says this to Adnkronos after the decision of the college that is the symbol of African Americans to cancel the classics because they are considered ‘supremacists’. “The problem is another – explains the professor – classical studies are in a phase of decline, with a significant downward peak. There is a lack of enrollment in courses, especially in America with private universities that have very high fees. The classes are empty, these studies matter less and less and so they are disappearing. It must be said, of course, that the political climate is not such as to allow support, even forced, for classical studies. On the contrary, widespread public opinion, propagated by the media, is criticism. But this is not true for Japanese, Chinese, Indians, where classical studies continue and indeed are growing rapidly. In the West it is different because it is impossible to analyze things with serenity, there will always be good and bad political faith “.” I do not like what is happening – admits Cardini – not only am I sorry, it alarms me. But it is now 70 years that both politics and culture, starting from school, have given tremendous blows to the classical tradition. we are or just seeing the results. I don’t think there is a conspiracy aimed at erasing classical studies and cutting their roots. But if this were true then we must all examine our conscience on how we Europeans, we Westerners, have managed this heritage. Did we really feel it was important? – he wonders – I graduated, in a climate, that of the ’70s, in which those who defended the classical tradition, those who raised their voices, were accused of anti-modernity and called them a fascist. These things done and said today weigh “.” There is no doubt – says the scholar – that there are groups that unconditionally support movements that throw down statues in the name of freedom and the end of racism, but are also exploited. The crisis of the classics is there and I am not aware that there are colleagues on the left who rejoice because Homer and Virgil are no longer studied. But the flight from these studies is mass, those who enroll at the university today ask for other things. Something should be done, the response strengthened: if we do not invest in schools or impose programs, this is the result. If we don’t correct the trend, the disappearance of the whole classical world is inevitable. But it is necessary to center the problem and not to shout about the ongoing conspiracy against the authors of the past “. Cardini is convinced.” The direction is wrong, it is a problem of widespread culture, of interest, which previously existed and now does not exist. more “.” An example? The last film on the Trojan War – he explains – In Italy, for fear that people would not go to see it, we did not call it ‘Iliad’, but we chose to call it ‘Troy’, falling back on an English name. We got ridiculous, it was a humiliation. It is to be ashamed of how the cultural level of a people has fallen so low. If we have reached this point, we certainly cannot blame the politically correct one … “, he concludes.