«Mums will fight for the freedom of their children. No masks no disgusting vaccines no distancing no microchip no fear!»

Anthropology has shown decades ago that mankind resorts to magical thinking as a defense against a world that we can no longer explain: the conspiracy theorist who is angry with 5G or the MP who winks at no-vax are not very different from the yokel of a hundred years ago, who chased away the evil eye by hanging a braid of garlic on the beam of the house. Humans, terrified by forces greater than themselves, seek refuge in their ability to manipulate nature, but science is the preserve of the few: hence the shortcut of conspiracy theory remains the only way.

And again, the continuous search for the scapegoat, the declared distrust of a State which, however, is required to take on every challenged whilst individuals claim their “right” to de-responsibility, are all symptoms of the same disease.

In the 1950s Italian anthropologist Ernesto de Martino set forth to seek magic in the deepest south of Italy, beyond those Pillars of Hercules which the intelligentsia regarded as the very boundary of rationality. Today, in the midst of a pandemic in whose management the United States are failing dramatically, the world is discovering itself well beyond Eboli.