Ezio Mauro
Liberi dal male. Il virus e l’infezione della democrazia (Free from Evil. The Virus and the Infection of Democracy)
Feltrinelli, June 2020, 144 pages

A journey beyond fear, to understand how this epidemic is changing our freedom, our rights, our democracy.

“While power attacks the virus, the virus has already affected the power. It is not the one that changes, as we feared in our worst nightmares: in fact it is changing us and the relationship between citizens and State.”

Modernity has accustomed us to look at death as a senseless, incongruous event. Instead an unknown pathogen forced us calculate every day who lives and who dies. But every diagram, every count that seems to reveal the secret of this misfortune, has actually a double meaning, it tells something about the virus and about us, and the balance is the amount of our daily fear. To escape evil, we hid ourselves, taking shelter, abandoning social relations to imprison ourselves within the walls of our homes. Meanwhile a second, invisible infection was spreading silently, and nobody knows yet how many victims it will do: it is an infection that transfers the fear from the health situation to the social organization. The virus seems to make inadequate what we used to consider a conquest, it goes straight to the heart of the system and attacks the democratic mechanism, it proposes a new and different power, based on anomaly as a necessity. So the infection is transforming not only social relationships, but also our freedom, our work and our rights: in a word, it’s transforming politics. For this reason, even if we were all the same in the beginning of the pandemic, we risk coming out it very different. 

Ezio Mauro tells the path of the virus since it was born in China until today, studying its tactics, strategy and character. In the meantime, he reflects on us, on how we are changing.

“We are victims of a universal attack that for the first time threatens the whole human race, and at the same time we are protagonists of an unprecedented social experiment: we will come out different, I have tried to understand how and how much.” 

Ezio Mauro

Ezio Mauro

Ezio Mauro started his career in journalism in 1972 at the newspaper Gazzetta del Popolo in Turin. Then, he became a political reporter in Rome for La Stampa, for which he was also a foreign correspondent, writing stories and conducting investigative reports in the United States. In 1988, he started contributing to the newspaper la Repubblica, writing from Moscow. On June 26, 1990 he re-joined La Stampa, becoming its editor-in-chief two years later. On May 6, 1996 he became the editor-in-chief of la Repubblica. In 2011, he published La felicità della democrazia. Un dialogo, with Gustavo Zagrebelsky, and in 2015 Babel, his dialogue on democracy with Zygmunt Bauman. He has written L’anno del ferro e del fuoco. Cronache di una rivoluzione (2017), L’uomo bianco (2018), Anime prigioniere. Cronache dal muro di Berlino (2019), Liberi dal male (2020), La dannazione (2020)His most recent book is Lo scrittore senza nome (2021). In 2016 he left his place as editor-in-chief of la Repubblica, but he still contributes to it.





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