Tag: Benito Mussolini

How Fascists Used Summer Camps To Recruit Young People

From Hitler in Germany to Mussolini in Italy, fascists used leisure activities to recruit and indoctrinate the next generation of fascists. ‘Summer camps … helped to integrate enthusiastic young people more firmly into the movement, shaping their lives by giving them an unforgettable summer and convincing them that by becoming fascists they were helping both… Continue reading “How Fascists Used Summer Camps To Recruit Young People”

How Fascists Have Used Panics To Consolidate Power

Authoritarian leaders have historically fear-mongered and exploited public panics in order to exert more control over their countries. Sometimes it is okay to panic. Or at least, some situations demand radical solutions. But when you are up to your eyeballs in judgment against your neighbor for hoarding toilet paper or the government for jeopardizing your… Continue reading “How Fascists Have Used Panics To Consolidate Power”

Benito Mussolini, Dr. hc: Switzerland, the Fascist Temptation and the Populist Right

The Pareto optimum is one of the best-known concepts in economics. It is named after Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian social scientist considered one of the founders of microeconomics. What is perhaps less know is that Pareto taught at the University of Lausanne (canton of Vaud), one of Switzerland’s oldest universities. In 1904, Pareto had an… Continue reading “Benito Mussolini, Dr. hc: Switzerland, the Fascist Temptation and the Populist Right”

Have We Seen the Eternal Return of Fascism?

Unlike yesterday’s fascists, today’s radical right-wing leaders propagate neither territorial expansion nor anything close to the racial laws of the 1930s. Björn Höcke is public enemy number one in present-day Germany. At least that’s what German media suggest. Höcke is a leading exponent of the “völkisch” wing of Alternative for Germany (AfD), the country’s radical right-wing populist… Continue reading “Have We Seen the Eternal Return of Fascism?”

Is freedom of expression at stake in Italy?

In May 2019, the Italian government approved an anti-immigration “decreto sicurezza” (or  security decree). Among other nationalist policies, the new law foresees a fine against anyone who is found transporting a migrant into the country. In response, the students of Sicilian high school teacher Rosa Maria dell’Aria produced a short video that compared the decree,… Continue reading “Is freedom of expression at stake in Italy?”

The return of fascism? Why this is the wrong question to ask

When a group of ultra-nationalist wannabes gathered in Milan in 1919 to hear firebrand leader Benito Mussolini speak, they became part of an infamous moment in history. There, Mussolini presented the founding manifesto of an unlikely radical political start up. Its name was Fascio di Combattimento, the humble precursor of fascism that was adopted as… Continue reading “The return of fascism? Why this is the wrong question to ask”

Book Review: Catherine Paul’s (2016) ‘Fascist Directive: Ezra Pound and Italian Cultural Nationalism’ – June 2018

Two Latin scholars made unusual headlines in summer 2016. Hans Lamers and Bettina Reitz-Joosse had just published The Codex Fori Mussolini: A Latin Text of Italian Fascism: a translation and extended annotation of the 1,220-word Latin inscription praising ‘the Boss’. Reconstructed from several Roman libraries, the original text remains at the bottom of a 300-tonne modernist… Continue reading “Book Review: Catherine Paul’s (2016) ‘Fascist Directive: Ezra Pound and Italian Cultural Nationalism’ – June 2018”

Trump and Mussolini

A number of observers were so distressed by Donald Trump’s election to the American presidency they attached the label ‘fascist’ to the New York real estate developer and began to compare him to Benito Mussolini. What should we make of these comparisons? To begin, the circumstances under which they came to power were vastly different.… Continue reading “Trump and Mussolini”

The Legacy of Italian Fascism: Not Coming to Terms with the Past

Italy’s myths about fascism are not just widespread, but dangerously wrong. Forlì is an ordinary kind of town, well off the tourist track, in the Emilia-Romagna region of northeast Italy. Its streets are quiet, and it boasts few of the architectural gems that characterize Italian cities. It is overshadowed by Ravenna to the south and… Continue reading “The Legacy of Italian Fascism: Not Coming to Terms with the Past”