by Loris Puccio Conti

Accusations leveled against the professor, now victim and yesterday godfather of feminists

"I will protect my good reputation in every forum against this absurd witch hunt." This is how Così Federico Vercellone, a full professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Turin, expressed himself in recent days in an interview with "La Repubblica" regarding the allegations of alleged harassment made against him. To be exact, the incriminated attitudes would consist of allusive jokes, private messages and looks directed at two doctoral students. Currently, neither an investigation nor a complaint nor any official act hangs over the professor. For the university's disciplinary committee, however, these accusatory blasts and feminist mobilization - demonstrations, blocking of classes, collecting anonymous reports of other alleged harassment - were enough to arrange for a month's suspension from teaching and the deprivation of the corresponding salary.

For those who experience firsthand the political and cultural reality in Turin, the affair does not cause any stir. Towards the galaxy of social centers, in fact, the university has always taken attitudes of extreme leniency if not directly of open political and ideological support. The all red and rainbow wheel of verbal violence and mobilization, however, has turned and "poor" Vercellone has found himself the victim of the same "witch hunters" that for years he fomented and flanked, at least in part, along with academia. Thus, the statements he made to "La Repubblica," yet another missed opportunity for an academic to keep quiet on the unified networks, do not cause a stir either.

Extreme leniency toward feminists and extreme-left social center, some past episodes

Violence by far-left social centers in the shadow of the universities and the Mole is diverse and recurrent. Punctual like a Swiss watch are first of all the assaults on the militants of Fuan-Azione Universitaria, a right-wing list, during their leafleting. In 2014 there was shoving, clubbing and egg throwing, in 2015 the wounding of three right-wing militants, in 2017 and subsequent years unsuccessful attempts at physical aggression only for the prompt intervention of the police, in 2020 the encirclement of a police car to the devastation of the Borsellino classroom (a space legitimately assigned to Fuan) and subsequent prosecutions of thirty-one antagonists, and in 2023 to the attempt to prevent a conference on the Armenian genocide organized by Fuan in the presence of regional councillor Maurizio Marrone and Ca' Foscari professor Marco Ruffili.

Other recurring actions include occupations of the university's classrooms for recreational purposes and egg-throwing in the Rectorate: in 2015 in the face of a negative response to use of university space, in 2019 as part of challenges to the opening of businesses on university premises, and in 2020 in the wake of controversy related to a Fuan initiative.

A few isolated shining meteors complete the picture. Dating back to 2016 was Paolo Virzi's letter all drenched in praise and tears to an activist on the run following several incidents of violence in university and "NoTav" contexts. In 2019, however, it was the turn of the claim of free tampons and condoms. Then, in 2020, there was an unfortunate protagonist of a professor who, in the context of the violence at the social centers, ignored the directions of law enforcement and suspended exams by assigning an "A+" to everyone.

A university in the vanguard of political correctness

Towards the violent, the university wipes snot with one hand and feeds forkfuls of ideological gruel with the other. Immediately after the storm that hit Vercellone, the Philosophy Section of the DFE expressed "its solidarity with the and students" and immediately promised "radical change, starting with the way we behave." Such a dialectic merely repeats and apes the positions of the social centers, their ravings about a state of affairs, beyond individual " bad eggs," entirely steeped in patriarchy and gender violence.

Attenzione al matriarcato

In a broader perspective, it is possible to glimpse the high ideological penetration of political correctness within the University of Turin. The latter can "boast" first of all the first chair dedicated in our country to the "history of homosexuality." Deeper down, there has been no shortage of other, more "discreet" teachings, which have remained on the sidelines of mass media clamor but are equally ideologically oriented: an analysis of radical feminism and its paradigms (women's history, gender history and queer story), an in-depth study of ancient philosophy under the banner of praising political rationality and Marcus Aurelius' maxim "The best way to resist is not to conform," and the "deconstruction" and critique of warrior manhood in German literature after World War I.

Overall, the university finds itself aligned with the same worldview of the far left social centers, in the same way as the master with his watchdogs. These latter represent a minority in the face of the entire student body, a tiny nucleus of loud, hysterical people blinded by dogmatism - tangible proof of this is the practically never above 10 percent turnout at university elections.

A conclusion

Overall, Vercellone is, at the same time, the victim and partly the architect of the storm that has swept over him in recent days. For once the red and rainbow fury overwhelms one of his ideological godfathers and not a direct opponent.

"When everything is felt as violence, nothing is violence," Vercellone later said in the last interview already mentioned to "La Repubblica." It is, however, a too late and cowardly coming to its senses. Until last year, in fact, Vercellone gave another interview to the same newspaper in which he blathered about a populism that "borders on kitsch" and a philosophy that "can be useful to counter fake news, understand whether a news story is possible, introduce a critical element in social communication." "Often," Vercellone concluded, then, with the usual soup of clichés, "this one works badly, or is instrumental, dense with emotional elements and poor in rational ones. In the end, reasoning can only do good for everyone." If one reasons and observes the reality net of conformist and narcissistic positions, however, it appears with all clarity that the absence of criticism and the regurgitation of emotionality constitute typical traits of the left and the academies.


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Journalism contributor and expert in contemporary history. Focuses, in particular, on the political ideologies of twentieth-century Italy.