A regulation is an order, a decree of authority that cannot be violated. The word comes from the Latin “praec?pere” (“prae-” “pre-” and “c?pere”, “to take”), which means “to take before”, “to prescribe, to order”. In the past, but not buried Italy, the fundamental institutions that unified the regulation were two: the celebration and the postcard, responding to the Church’s call to the altar and the state’s call to arms.
The command card is the one through which the armed forces mobilized individual citizens, male and therefore subject to military service. He reported the date and place of reporting to be actually enlisted and equipped; for the young people we were, it represented a concept.
Thinking about Conrad’s shadow line is not entirely wrong, but it risks attaching romanticism to an event that did not deserve any form of exaltation. From the previously perhaps little enjoyed freedom and from the carelessness that preceded its arrival, the prescribed card plunged the mother’s baby into a parallel and almost hallucinatory universe, in which one could be personally offended by the very fact of existence and in which, not formally but essentially, his rights as an individual are suspended.
In recent days, the Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto, has proposed the formation of an army of reservists, so the duty postcard will be able to return to use for calling up those who have already served the country in the armed forces.
The obligatory holiday is one of the ten days of the year (in addition to Sundays) on which believers are obliged to go to mass; it is part of the general regulations of the Catholic Church, such as the obligation to confess at least once a year and receive communion at least at Easter.
It could not be otherwise, but it still sounds strange that both rules, both military and spiritual, include abstinence from work: how can one be a soldier or a devotee and still work? These two things are considered incompatible.
In today’s Italy, however, the command is precisely what forces even those who would like to abstain to work in protest. The power of regulation is strong. It is nice to think about those who, having this power, would gladly use it.
This is the Nov. 19 Lapsus, Stefano Bartezzaghi’s words-of-the-moment column