FIGB President: The new middle ages

The President of the Italian Federation  (FIGB) posted the followings:

The new middle ages, civilization and barbarians. Maybe there is nothing to marvel at. Especially people from south Italy who know Gianbattista Vico’s work well recognise that his theory of historical ebbs and flows strikes gold. Perhaps humanity’s journey goes from sensibility to rationality through imagination, and then falls down again into a savage state, only to start all over again. It often happens to feel that this is happening. Values, choices and behaviours in this European Qualifier demonstrate a crucial step in this evolution (for better or worse).

Let’s see if we can understand whether we are in an ‘ascending’ historical moment, or going towards savagery, through the analysis of what has been happening.

I am not a philosopher nor a sociologist so I have never attempted anything of the sort. I am not sure what traits identify civilization, but I am inclined to believe that the justice system and protecting people’s rights are a good marker of civilization (provided the quality of the rights protected).

One of the most important milestone of western civilizations has been the UN-approved Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). In it we read that (Article 7 )”All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination” and (Article 10) “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”.

If upholding these articles is a marker of civilization, how do we judge those who do not follow them?

In our case:

– giving in to public opinion, ignoring the outcome of a tribunal does not respect those articles?

– how can people who do not uphold these values think themselves more competent than a tribunal? why do they think they know better than the judge?

– in virtue of what do they think they can impose their judgment? because of their numbers, or social / economical status?

Well, let’s draw our conclusions.

In light of the events, public statements (and I am not talking about popular bridge players around the world) and actions taken by the institutions, I think we are falling towards savagery.

According to Guanbattista Vico we should just wait for the wheels of history to go round.

In the meantime I hope this is not taking us out of the sports world, which could happen if the international institutions (e.g.WBF) cannot guarantee that fundamental rights are respected.

Francesco Ferlazzo Natoli

FIGB  (Italian Bridge Federation) President

August 27, 2021

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English translation by Neapolitan Club

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