The uniform of the intellectual is much the same throughout the Western world. It consists of a rough and tweedy sport coat, possibly checked, but always brown; a pair of slightly-too-baggy corduroys or cotton twill trousers; a solid blue or white checked shirt; and suede shoes that are so well worn, that the nap is slightly balding around the toes. It’s a decidedly rustic look that stands opposed to the sharply tailored navy suits and crisp white shirts of city slickers and businessmen.
Take Eugenio Scalfari, for example, who’s been in the news a lot lately for his exchanges with the Pope. Scalfari, for those unfamiliar, is an Italian journalist and political commentator. In the ‘50s, he was among the founders of the Radical Party, which for decades was considered to be a bastion for Italian liberalism and radicalism. Then in the ‘60s, he won a seat in the Chamber of Duties as a member of the Socialist Party. His biggest role, however, has been as a writer. Having founded La Repubblica in 1976, and serving as its editor for 20 years, he’s been a voice of the left, fighting on issues related to women’s rights, political corruption, and the Catholic Church.