About 50 miles south and east of Rome, high in the Apennine mountains, lies the Charterhouse of Trisulti whose isolated magnificence prompted the German historian Ferdinand Gregorovius (who stumbled upon it in the 1850’s) to write in his classic work Years of Wandering in Italy, “If a place exists where the human spirit can reach the gravest and highest meditation, this must be it, in one of the most sublime states of solitude I have ever seen.”
Here, in this huge deserted monastery founded in 1204, which has 15,000 square meters of roof, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist and the former chief executive of Breitbart News, Stephen K. Bannon, has founded what he told me will become “a gladiator school for culture warriors.” The mission of this school, or academy to give it its formal title, is to save the West, no less, by restoring Judeo-Christian values to the heart of the political conversation.
But, I wonder, will those values be enough? Or do they require a belief in God to give them the necessary weight?
Forced to wear sackcloth and ashes in America, after being dumped by Trump and Breitbart, Bannon decided to dispense his volatile magic in Europe instead.
Certain people achieve greatness only in exile; Dante and Machiavelli wrote their masterpieces after being banished from Florence. What of Bannon?