As a marxian philosopher, were you influenced by Costanzo Preve, Louis Althusser or more recently Slavoj Zizek ?
I am a scholar of Costanzo Preve who was my professor in Turin where I was born. And I think that he is the most important marxist in the last century with Antonio Gramsci and Pier Paolo Pasolini. I have learnt more and more from him and consider him my most important feature and so to say professor and philosopher of marxian and Hegelian philosophers.
Would you qualify yourself a historian of philosophy or a philosopher of history ?
I would qualify myself as a historian of philosophy but also as a philosopher of history, both because with Hegel works when you make history of philosophy you also make philosophy, because you think about the important questions of the tradition and you’re a philosopher you also deal with the philosophers of the tradition: Plato, Hegel, Kant, Descartes. So I am both, I hope to be both things.
Donatella Di Cesare described the influence of Heidegger, since the 70’s, mostly on the Italian leftist philosophers as Giorgio Agamben or Giani Vattimo. Is the discovery of Martin Heidegger’s Black Books a game changer ?
I think that Heidegger was used by the left party in Italy but also in France and in Germany especially to get away from Marx, to put away the marx tradition, gramscian tradition, the Hegelian tradition to approach a new tradition without praxis. The difference in metaphysics between Marx and Heidegger is this one Marx capitalism is a product of praxis in the history so you can change it with the praxis. In the 11 theses of Feuerbach, he says that you have to change the world with a praxis because the praxis have created the world.
With Heidegger’s philosophy everything changes because the capitalism, the technical world is not a product of praxis, a product of the men , the capitalism a technical world is a part of the history of Being, geschickt, says Heidegger, so you don’t have created the world of technical so you can’t change it, Heidegger’s philosophy ends with a fatalism, just god can save, not a praxis so Heidegger was used by the left and the politicians to be fatalist.
I think that the Black Books by Heidegger don’t change anything because the antisemitic view was really eradicated in Europe especially in the catholic world, Heidegger was catholic so it’s not a creation by Martin Heidegger, a lot of people in the catholic world were antisemitic. There is nothing to be surprised about. We have to condemn the antisemitic world of course but the antisemitic world was not Heidegger.
You said Gramsci was the inventor of the “national popular” movement, that inspired the actual populist movements. Could you tell us what Attualismo, the idea expressed by the fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile, is ?
Yes, I think that the one of the most important ideas by Antonio Gramsci, the one of the National popular movement, it is a way to go to the people to the population to the down not to the upper classes, this is very important because in Italy we have right now a government that is wanted by the people not a government of left or right but of the down the people against the elite, the servant against the master, with the Hegelian work. This is very important. That is why I think we need to read more and more the works of Antonio Gramsci today.
I wrote a book about Antonio Gramsci called Antonio Gramsci, the pleasure to be in the world and I say that Gramsci’s metaphysics is exactly the one of Giovanni gentile, the actualism of Giovanni Gentile, he says that everything changes, das burden, the being, the changing of things because everything exists in the act of thinking, so just the praxis says Gramsci, everything that exists in the praxis, he is a scholar of Gentile, like Marx is a scholar of Hegel. This is the issue of my book about Gramsci.
Cosmopolitism, is a concept created by Diogene the cynical, followed by the stoïcians to become a universalist vision with Emmanuel Kant. How do you make it, not to present It, in an antisemitic way ?
I think that we have to make a difference between cosmopolitism and globalism. Cosmopolitism is the view with which you have a view in the world. You exist in your country but you are open to the other one. You are internationalist so to say. Mondialistic or globalistic view is the opposite, it’s the view that is with no country, no borders, just one world without nations. This is the opposite of cosmopolitician view, that exist in a plurality of countries. Mondialistic view is the one with no country. It’s like a nationalism that has become extended with the world.
Emmanuel Macron studied philosophy, especially Ricoeur, Hegel, Machiavel, Balibar and had a fascination for psychoanalysis. Was it the same for you ?
I don’t think that Emmanuel Macron has learnt much of these great philosophers. I think that Macron is a creation in vitro by the elite power of financial capitalism. He is the man put there to save the interests of financial capitalism against the working classes of Europe. It’s why I’m against Macron, because I’m against the financial capitalism. I stay with Gramsci, Marx and the working classes of Europe so we have to fight against Macron and the financial capitalistic elite.
Are you familiar with the French philosophers as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault or Gilles Deleuze of the French Theory ? Would you define yourself as a Pop Philosopher of the Italian Theory ?
I would speak about that philosophy like the art, the philosophers of the French Ideology. to say it with Marx who spoke of the German Ideology, I speak about French Ideology, they were differences of course but in common, they have the antipathy, the hate against dialectical thinking they are against Marx and Hegel, dialectical thinking, this is why they are the ideologist of the new capitalistic world that hate Hegel and Marx. That is the function. I am not a pop philosopher, I don’t think that Italian theory really… I am of course Italian theory, because Italian theory is an invention, a good invention by Roberto Esposito but I think that the Italian theory is not the one by Esposito that says that the concept of life is an important one. I think in Italian theory, the real important thing Is history from Machiaveli to Gramsci, from Vico to Croce, from Joberti to Gentile, the concept of history, of changing, of conflict, of product is very important in the Italian thinking, this is the key, from Joachino da Fiore, the kingdom of spirit, historical one.
Do you agree with the vision of Maurizio Ferraris and Jean Luc Nancy that smartphones are the accomplished enslaving form of Technic (in the heideggarian sense) ?
I agree with Maurizio Ferraris and Jean-Luc Nancy. I always say wich kind of totalitarianism, red or black could put us mobile phones in the hands. Just capitalism could do that. So we are like in the place of cave, we are slaves, who dont know to be slaves, and they are ready to fight against the people who are ready to set them free. This is the point. Mobile phone, like Ferraris say is an important part of this technical lavery.
Are you surprised that Donatella di Cesare, with whom you made a few conferences, lost her police protection against Neo nazis threats ?
I don’t know this question. I don’t have elements to say nothing. Donatella di Cesare as studied Heidegger for many times. She wrote important books about the philosophy of Heidegger. I don’t know about her private life so I don’t have nothing to say. I just red her books, I liked them but I have nothing to say about her personal life.
Did you notice a regain of interest for Philosophy in Italy and especially in the University San Rafaelo of Milan ?
Yes, I see that many people are interested in philosophy, not just in the universities maybe more in the population. Hegel would say Weltbegriff, the concept of the world, the people want to learn about the meaning of life of course, but also about the relation between their life and their politicians. the connection between the material condition of the society and so we need always more philosophy. And this is true we need that.