Bread And Wine: Cynicism

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Preston-Roedder makes a point that a genuine belief in faith in humanity also makes ongoing assessment of whether faith in humanity is paying off. For example, the belief in faith in humanity necessarily prevents unfair prosecution and punishment of innocence people. A belief in faith in humanity discourages intentional wrongdoing to others by biasing the cognitive assessment of them in a favorable light. In Bread and Wine, Silone claims that a Fascist state requires complete unanimity to function properly and that that type of government must use military force and a massive propaganda campaign to win its required support. In this sense, the Fascist government cannot act on the assumption of faith in humanity. Silone makes the claim that even …show more content…
She articulates that cynicism involves three necessary conditions: (1) disengagements towards people and their institutions, (2) distrust, contempt, and skepticism of people and their institutions, and (3) people are motivated solely by self-interest and are of little worth. In the novel, the cafoni direct this cynical stance towards the Fascist state (since the state largely serves the interest of the Fascist bourgeoisie), the Catholic Church (since the church did little to help the material and social condition of the cafoni), and other cafoni (since cafoni are compelling by monetary self-interest to act against the interests of each other (like a prisoner’s dilemma) by serving the state. The cafoni were loyal to the church only in the sense that they needed the church for baptisms, marriages, funerals, and other essential social and spiritual services. In the novel, many clergy, including non-Catholic bishops and priests, “sold out” to the church and did little to oppose the Fascist regime. The Fascist state used even spiritual authority to serve their own ends. For example, the state bishop blessed the Italian colonialist war in Africa and conducted state church …show more content…
These discussions are interrelated because the absence of cynicism seems necessary to possess a belief in faith in humanity and because faith in humanity is undermined by cynical beliefs about people and political institutions. The political and spiritual aims of the protagonist in Bread and Wine were motivated by the absence of cynicism and the belief in faith and humanity. The failure of the protagonist to successfully organize a revolution, or at least a political movement can be seen as partly blamed by the cynicism of the proletariat. The novel exposes Italy’s Fascist regime as acting on what could be called a stance of faith against humanity and how the cafoni struggled to act in their collective best interest due to the temptation of monetary gain and security from serving the regime. Like all political movements and governments, similar to Pietra Spina, they ascend into the mountains and ultimately get eaten by their own

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