of this Volpe encounter was “Order andnDisorder.” Philosophers, lawyers, economists,npohtologues and artists—theynseemed hke a defiance of the Red Brigadenin a city where practically siegenconditions prevail: six bombs went offnin various districts the night before thenopening.nTwo schools of thought emergednfrom the start: the positivistic one,” definingnorder as following from the naturenof reality, and a metaphysical one,nassuming a transcendent pattern andnproposing its values as norms for individualnand community. The first positionnwas presented by Prof. JuliennFreund (Strassbourg) and the exilednRumanian novelist, Vintila Horia (Madrid),nthe second by philosopher of law,nMichel Villey (Sorbonne), G. Morran(Bologna) and myself.nIt was perhaps not a surprise that thensecond argumentation slowly prevailed,na sign that the Italians, French andnGermans present have not been seducednby the climate of what one may generallyncall “scientism.” In fact, it was a youngnbiologist whose critique of Horia’s exaggeratedncultural optimism, based on thennondeterministic physics of Heisenberg,nBohr and Gonseth, stunned the audiencenmost. Professor Guardi pointed out thatnscientists entertain no vast designsntransferable to philosophical speculation,nbut are interested in localized problems.nHe demolished the view that then”two cultures” may learn from eachnother and are destined to proceed innunison. For indeed, a capricious changenof orbits by Heisenberg’s protons hasnnothing to do with the proof of God’snexistence and man’s freedom.nProf. Claude Polin (Sorbonne), authornof a recent Esprit totalitaire, directedna similarly decisive critique atnFreund’s too-sharp distinction betweennan “imperious” order (the way thingsnare) and the “imperative” order, derivednfrom an unknowable God. If no bridgenexists between the two, then the lowernorder, so Polin argued, becomes pedestriannand arbitrary. It was perhapsnGiovanni Volpe’s wisdom that the con­nference which opened with Freund’snlecture, could end with mine on thensubject of order and creation, concludingnthe switch from the first to thensecond worldview.nIn the general debate, the philosophernAugusto del Noce gave his interpretationnof the crisis in neognostic terms,na lady from the audience had the ideanof defending Esperanto. The rights ofnthe national languages —even over Latinn—were reasserted by art historian CarlonBelli; I remarked that the Budapest uprisingnwould have been unimaginablenin a “supranational” idiom, and Prof.nPierre Boutang cited de Gaulle’s contemptnfor an apatride “volapuk.”nThe Countess Pallavicini attendednmost of the debates, wheeled in by anliveried butler. Various personalitiesnfrom the political, journalistic and artisticnworld came and went, old acquaintancesnsurfaced, books were inscribednby authors, gossip exchanged, and restaurantnaddresses passed on as if innconfidence. In general, the Urbs intrudednat all stages: Rome, the lovelynand never-old courtesan, is not disfiguredneven by the warts of terrorism andntourism on her face. In the midst ofnexploding bombs, fights between studentsnand police, legions of pilgrims fornHoly Week—the city remained lovelynand open, the shop windows elegantn(and even more so in Bologna and Venice),nthe restaurants full, the SpanishnSteps sunk in flowers.nA new feature; the Pope is everywhere,nmore popular than John XXIII.nHis photographs are in all the shops,ncrowds surround him wherever he goes,nin the towns he visits they cry “Pleasencome back again!” Leftist papers havenstopped attacking him for fear of turningnhim into a “rightist” pope whom thenvoters would then follow to the “otherncamp.” In Venice, a few days later, Inheard under my hotel window a drunknon one of the small bridges over thencanal declaim for hours: “Papa polacco,npapa communista.” So there you havenit. Anyway, I am not sure that thenpontiff’s sudden stardom is a good thing.nnnIs any personality cult a good thing.”n* * *nBologna, with its arcaded sidewalks,nhas a communist municipality, red votersnin the suburbs, bourgeois opulencenand active church life in the center.nMarxist parties are gaining increasingnpower in many important cities of Italy,nFrance, and now Spain too. But it mustnbe said that Bologna is kept perfectlynclean, even though the much-advertisedn”free public transportation” (a dreamnfrom Marx to Khrushchev) is a falsenmyth. Padua, too, is a bourgeois city—nwith a lot of communist voters and thenrenowned university where the Aristoteliansnused to enter battle against thenpartisans of Averroes. Now elevennthousand out of twelve thousand studentsnare psychology majors, and politicalnscience professor Antonio Negrinhas just been arrested for mastermindingnthe kidnap and assassination of AldonMoro. Otherwise, the university is quiet,nand the old waiter of II Pedrocchio, an19th-century cafe with marble-top tables,nred plush banquettes and a bourgeoisnpublic sipping tea and eatingnpastry, says resignedly: “No disordersn—today…”nI lectured in Pordenonne, Trieste,nVenice. Left-wing pedagogues smilednpainfully when, in the course of thenquestions/answers, I mentioned that Inam hardly a democrat. In contrast,nTrieste, bordering on Yugoslavia, isnright wing: Tito is so near that the mainntopic of conversation is the hope fornhis survival for another and anothernyear. Here too, the 19th-century bourgeois-characternis evident: the starchcollarednhotel concierge, the coffeepastrynin the afternoon, the monumentallynsolid insurance company buildings,nthe French-speaking politesse of mynhosts, friends and public. Trieste, thenold Austro-Hungarian port city, nownwithout a hinterland other than thencommunist countries, is said to be agonizing,nits population of 300,000ndwindling. If so, this is not visible onnthe busy streets. But again, everythingni37nIVovember/December 1979n