The pandemic poses a mortal threat to Western civilization

The virus was a great return to reality. Will we get the message or will we be its victim, and not just physically.

Giulio Meotti

OpEds הלווית קורבן נגיף הקורונה בדרום איטליה
הלווית קורבן נגיף הקורונה בדרום איטליה
צילום: עצמי

After a month of lockdown in Italy we have reached the threshold of 20,000 dead. We are swept away by a wave and no one can predict how long it will last.

But we already know something, or at least we should know it. 

The Western world believed in globalization, free trade and cultural uniformity. It now wakes up with a virus that challenges all these beliefs, the ones that have governed us for almost a century. The pandemic does not question only the Western health systems, but its cultural offers as well.


The bell has tolled for a certain globalization without depth, without substance, without reality and without truth, and with it the dominant progressive ideology, the idea that one could ignore what was happening in China, for example, in exchange for its cheap goods.
The bell has tolled for a certain globalization without depth, without substance, without reality and without truth, and with it the dominant progressive ideology, the idea that one could ignore what was happening in China, for example, in exchange for its cheap goods.

It is a fatal mistake that we will not be able to afford again. Virus and totalitarianism go together in China. 

We were about to turn the globe into a shopping centre and game park, and that too is dead and buried. Every identity had to be liquidated then, and now we rediscover them in the moment of division (what do we Italians have in common with the Latvians anyway?). 

We realized that the Western middle class was bloodless and increasingly poorer and increasingly obsolete.

We realized how easy it was to get rid of the “old and sick” without too much scandal and when we do the real count of the victims we will see that they will be twice as many as they are today. 

Public services, devastated even by those who had made them into useless political dogma, have been sacrificed on the altar of the “budget.” The priests of public opinion have failed, moving from the ideology of  “without borders” to that of “stay at home.” because the pandemic is revealed as a panacea for every form of socialism. 

We pretended not to know that China had become the factory of the world, producing everything we stopped producing because we had to take consumer drugs, TV and services.

This pandemic is also an anthropological shock. It is a paradox that religious leaders had more to say about the virus than the scientists who were deeply confused about the epidemic. 

The mainstream conception of man now was that of a mellifluous, superfluous and redundant individual, cut off from his fellows, owner of himself, even of his own death. Now this unprecedented crisis leads us to rethink every relationship with time and space, with the beginning and the end. The images of this pandemic which will last forever are the bodies transferred by the army - in Italy, the Palace of Ice in Madrid used to host all the victims, and a mass grave dug in New York. 

We rediscover the importance of community solidarity, of the tragic, of the historical unexpected, of life and death, in short, of everything we wanted to forget. 

The virus was a great return to reality. We thought we had to and could destroy religion, family, community, all the great Western anthropological truths that have resurfaced in this tragedy and to which many have clung. 

If we do not become aware of it, if we do not hang on to it, our civilization will run a mortal risk. 



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