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L’Unione si fonda sui valori del rispetto, della dignità umana, di libertà e democrazia, dello stato di diritto e del rispetto dei diritti dell’uomo. Essa mira a essere una società pacifica che pratica la tolleranza, la giustizia, la solidarietà. Questo era il passo della prima bozza della Costituzione europea, redatta dall’ex presidente francese Valery Giscard D’Estaing, contestato dal Vaticano e dai principali giornali cattolici che hanno denunciato l’assenza di riferimenti ai valori cristiani (successivamente richiamati nella versione definitiva).

Che cosa sono esercito e passaporto se non i segni evidenti di uno stato-nazione, con il suo monopolio della forza e il suo controllo sui confini e sugli individui? Esattamente quanto molti localisti (sinceri) vorrebbero rifuggire, ma che, spinti da élite, meno spontanee con velleità di potere e capacità di strumentalizzazione, vorrebbero creare. Ecco come nascono molti «conflitti culturali» che sembrano caratterizzare la nostra epoca e che sotto la patina della cultura celano spesso ben altre spinte, ben altri interessi.

Eric Hobsbawm e Thomas Ranger ci hanno brillantemente mostrato come le tradizioni non sempre affondano le loro radici in tempi remoti, ma per radicarsi e diventare – appunto – «tradizioni» devono dare risposta a qualche bisogno sentito dalla comunità che le farà proprie. Non a caso Hobsbawm sostiene che certi fenomeni sportivi, come il Giro ciclistico d’Italia o il Tour de France, nati spontaneamente o su spinte commerciali ma non politiche, abbiano esplicitato, all’inizio del XX secolo, in modo esemplare i legami che tenevano insieme gli abitanti dello Stato 32 .

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