Here is the joint communiqué of the Presidents of the Executive Council, the Assembly of Corsica, the Femu a Corsica group and the Corsica Libera group.
This communication follows on from Ange Rovere’s analysis of the “Giustifcazione”, expressed in the context of the Corsican Land Days and published in the 6 March 2016 edition of Corse matin :
Ange Rovere’s conference during which he proposed to “demystify” the Giustificazione delle Rivoluzione di Corsica, which was given pride of place at the investiture of the new majority, calls for some observations on our part.
Historical interpretations are diverse and each of them can be freely debated. The reader can, however, appreciate the intellectual honesty of the one that Mr. Rovere has been developing with stubbornness for years and which consists in systematically devaluing the Corsican experience of the XVIIIth century. One remembers in particular the polemic born a few years ago about the plaque placed in Bastia in honour of Pasquale Paoli. At that time, Mr. Rovere defended the idea that U Babbu di a Patria drew its notoriety largely from the post of President of the departmental board which he occupied a moment after his return from exile, repeating at each meeting “Pascal Paoli did not die in Ponte Novu! »
As for the assertion that the Giustificazione is an act of allegiance to France, it stems from a curious idea, to say the least. The Giustificazione, which also has a diplomatic dimension, attacks only the Republic of Genoa and is addressed in a positive way to all the sovereigns of Europe, “delight and love of [their] peoples” (p. 390 of Oletta’s edition, 1758). Salvini evokes the “strong inclination” of the Corsicans for Spain (p. 299). As for France, the author essentially asks it to remain neutral, obviously sensing its support for the Genoese: “please at least not grant them [protection and aid] to our enemies…” (p. 390 of Oletta, 1758). (p. 389).
However, beyond the comments, there are the facts, and Mr. Rovere’s lecture on Giustificazione is full of untruths that are easily verifiable on a purely factual level:
– “Pascal Paoli spent a few months in Naples. Let’s not make him a disciple of Genovesi”. A few months? Between 1743 and 1749 alone, he spent six years there, four of them at the Royal Military Artillery Academy! Isn’t Paoli a disciple of Genovesi? As early as the 1970s, Professor Fernand Ettori had already clarified this *question, reporting concordant testimonies that could not be questioned (Raimondo Cocchi, John Symonds…).
– Genovesi “mere moral teacher”? Yet he is placed by all serious authors among the principal masters of the Illuminismo, alongside Giannone, Beccaria, Muratori, or even his own master, the great Giambattista Vico. It was Genovesi who introduced Locke’s ideas to Italy.
“I hear it’s a book inspired by the Enlightenment? I’m looking for Montesquieu, he’s not there. “Montesquieu is however very present in the Giustificazione, which quotes “the author of L’esprit des lois”. Mr. Rovere, we cannot doubt it, will have heard of this major work by Montesquieu. But we understand better when he explains to us that it is difficult to go beyond the 10th page of the Giustificazione. To find the author he was looking for, he would have had to reach page 173 (Oletta’s edition, 1758). And if he had reached even page 145, he would probably have recognized the words of John Locke, the prestigious precursor of the Enlightenment…
In short, it will have been understood that, while Mr Rovere’s historical interpretation is highly debatable, there is something much more serious: this interpretation is based on a reading of the Giustificazione which is, to say the least, incomplete and on radically false historical facts. This is surprising if one sticks to Ange Rovere’s status as a historian. This is much better understood if one considers that his polemical intervention is much more ideological than political: it is undoubtedly dictated by the refusal to accept the evolution of Corsica at the electoral and political levels, and in particular the result of the ballot of December 2016 which led to the swearing in before their people of the new Corsican political leaders.
Gilles SIMEONI Jean-Guy TALAMONI Ghjuvanni BIANCUCCI Petr’Antò TOMASI