Excerpts from a talk given by Luigi Giussani to university students in Italy in August 1987
Let me begin our conversation by observing a difference between the current generation of youth and the one I met thirty years ago. The difference lies in a weakness in the realm of consciousness, a weakness that is not ethical, but concerns the dynamism of the consciousness. In fact, after all these years, we pointed out the pernicious and decisive influence of power, of the dominant mentality — dominant in the literal sense of the word. It is as if the youth of today were victims of a kind of Chernobyl nuclear explosion: their organism remains structurally the same but, dynamically, it is different. There has been a sort of physiological subjugation operated by a dominant mentality. It is as if the only real evidence in reality is what is in fashion, and fashion is a concept and an instrument of power. Never before has the environment — understood as mental climate and way of life — had at its disposal instruments of such invasive and despotic power over our consciences.