Gentlemen

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I offer you a page from the interesting book Viva l’Italia, written by my fellow townsperson, Aldo Cazzullo:

Alcide Cervi, father of the seven brothers shot by the fascists and celebrated by the communists, even though in reality they were Catholics and in difficult relation with the red partisans, was received at the Quirinale in January 1954, when Luigi Einaudi was the president of the Republic. In 2004, the granddaughter of the ex-president Luigi Einaudi published a small book that reported the meeting between Einaudi and Alcide Cervi. The two great elders did not resort to a single expression of rhetoric; they did not dwell on talk of values and principles. They said in just a few words that which they needed to say to one another about the dictatorship, the Resistance, and the nation. Then they started to talk about seeds, fertilizer, and crop rotation: “In Reggio, do you also do it this way? We in the Langhe use…” Two farmers, two small landowners exchanging information. When I read this small, priceless book, I recalled the stories of my grandfather, from Dogliani. Every Sunday, when church let out, Professor Einaudi explained, in dialect, the latest cultivation techniques, named the most evolved fungicides, advised on which grape varieties to cultivate. One Sunday he was recommending soil analysis, the next he was teaching the rudiments of business accounting, the week after he was saying to the farmers: “Don’t be fooled by the representatives of the chemical industry, remember that the best fertilizer is the one you already have at the farm: manure”.

Imagine a situation like that taking in today’s world – it would be science fiction.