In continuation of the theme of the parliamentary elections in Italy, we bring to your attention the translation of the article about the Italian "new right" magazine "Jacobite".
We express our gratitude to Nikita Novsky for his work on the translation.
7 January 6 000 Italian fascists marched to commemorate the three "comrades" who died in 1978 during the "Leading Seventies" - a bloody and troubled period characterized by deadly clashes between communists and fascist blackshirts. Today, black-shirts once again show themselves before the March elections in a country with a long technocratic dead end. The poverty level has doubled over the past decade, and youth unemployment reaches 35 percent. Immigration also exploded public opinion - a recent poll published by the Financial Times showed that only 40 percent of Italians believe in a multi-ethnic society.
The future seems bleak: Politico recently showed that 51 percent of Italians younger than 41 would have voted for withdrawing from the European Union, and 71 percent believe that his country is on a "false path." In this inexorable climate, the fascist and adherent movements express their claims to an alternative that supposedly will satisfy the needs of the country, and, as a consequence, their support is growing. For this reason, it is rather important to study the three main factions of those who are called Italian ultra-right.
The word "fascism" today is usually used as a political obsession, but in Italy its meaning and legacy are more complex. Benito Mussolini created a fascist ideology, but a century later it will be difficult to understand what this legacy means to his followers. At the end of the war, the fascists regrouped in the new party of the Italian Social Movement, and returned to the democratic process of the country. So, unlike the Nazis in Germany, fascism in Italy has never been truly eradicated. Part of this was due to the fact that Mussolini was seen by many - and is seen by many still - as a much more controversial figure than Hitler, largely because Italian racial laws were introduced only at the request of the Nazis who entered into an alliance with the Italian regime. Before that, the Jews played a major role in the ascent of the National Fascist Party. Moreover, the Italian racial composition was more diverse than the German one, and did not always correspond to the stereotype of the blue-eyed blonde Aryan, preferred by German racial theorists. The ambiguity associated with fascist racism and the relationship with the Holocaust provided a certain level of tolerance for fascists in post-war Italy.
Now the fascist groups are again trying to regain their presence on the political landscape of Italy. Last month, the far-right party Forza Nuova blocked the office of the newspaper La Reppublica for "spreading false information." A new law created to curb fascist propaganda, which is now stuck in the Senate, does not prohibit their rallies, and in November Forza Nuova organized a march in 2 000 in commemoration of the march on Rome by Mussolini 1922.
CasaPound, another self-proclaimed fascist group, received 9 percent in the elections in Ostia, an early impossible result for the marginalized movement. New Force и Casapound are the largest self-proclaimed fascist organizations in the country, but their views on the relevant period in history with regard to their movements differ so much that they refuse to unite with each other. This raises puzzling questions about what it means when analysts talk about the growth of fascism in the 11th century in Italy.
Identarism, on the other hand, is better understood as an absolutely separate category. "Generation of Identity" This is a pan-European group of young people seeking to protect Europe from Islamization, globalization, and the blurring of European identity. In the “Understand the Facts” section of their website, the movement clearly denies both Nazi and Fascist associations, stating that “Generation Identity does not provide a platform for any national-socialist or fascist groups.” Despite overlapping concerns about nationalism and identity, the values of fascism and identity do not always coincide. These groups deserve a sober comparison if we want to understand what fascism and identity mean in the political context of a country that has spread the ideology of fascism around the world.
Ethnic identity is perhaps the most controversial topic in the debate of these movements.
New Force, the most traditional fascist group, advocates only for ethnic Italians. When I asked if it would take New Force Africans, or even more controversial for the modern Nazis, the Jews in their ranks, then Luke Léardini - the head New Force in Veneto, he answered: "We would like to avoid accepting them, because of the system, when Africans here intend to get rid of the Europeans, and because many Jews find themselves behind this system." Then he somewhat moved away from the topic, saying that Africans are also victims of the “system” and should not blame all Jews. However, when I asked him about the theory of the Jewish conspiracy, he sharply replied, “What are the roots of Soros?”.
Фокус New Force on Italians may be inconsistent; to the question of whether Europeans of non-Italian origin can be set in motion, the representative replied that "Europeans can integrate into Italian society, but non-Europeans as a whole are not." Their position on Nazism gives ambiguity - "It's past, and we're doing real" - and outright evasion - "Millions of people died in the construction of the pyramids, but I do not see anyone saying that" Let's destroy the pyramids, or we'll worry that Then the Egyptians did. "
For comparison, Casapound, despite the same Fascist self-identification, does not share a similar ideological view of ethnicity. She declares a desire for Italian fascism, which existed before the union with the Nazis and the subsequent introduction of racial laws. As the recently elected head answered in an interview Casapound Simone di Stefano, "We accept immigrants in our movement, including Africans and Asians, and have no problems with Italian Jews." He also added that "Jews in Italy helped the coming of the fascist party to power ... We recognize that the introduction of the 1938 racial laws of the year was a mistake."
This uncertainty about the significance of the race sometimes leads to unintended comic moments. In response to the embarrassing situation when she accepted Samuel L. Jackson and Magic Johnson for idling immigrants, the famous Italian model and activist Casapound Nina Moritz, a Croatian-born immigrant, announced that she had agreed to invite an African migrant to live in her house for a week as part of a reality show. She will pay 250 thousands of dollars for this, which she says will “help more Italian families,” and her participation in the show will demonstrate that “I am not racist” and ”have never made race-based distinctions in my life.” Immigration controls, she continued, “should be about protecting our cities - skin color does not matter.” In conjunction with this quirky definition, di Stefano stated that "There is a difference between the admission of some immigrants and the substitution of the Italian population."
Position "Generations of Identity"On ethnos differs both from the radicalism of Forza Nuova, and from the declared neutrality of CasaPound. They focus on "ethno-cultural identity," in which both culture and ethnicity play a decisive role. "It's not about the race, but about the community and culture that you inherited through your environment and your ancestors," said the head "Generations of Identity" in Italy, Lorenzo Fiato. He clarified that the movement will not accept Africans, because its goal is to protect the identity of people who are seen as deprived in this regard: Europeans without a migration past. Fiato added that he had no problem accepting European Jews into the movement to the extent that they are non-religious. And since the movement of Italian identists tends to be defined as “European Mediterranean”, they will not necessarily define themselves as absolutely or exclusively “white”, taking into account the darker ethnic composition of their country. “It's not about the color of the skin, but about the origin”, says Fiato. However, when Lombard candidate Atillio Fontana made the opposite statement about defending the “white race”, many right-wing ones came out in his defense, showing that this form of identity is gaining popularity among Italians, who compare themselves with African migrants.
Tradition is located in the heart of these movements. Motto New Force says: "Order in the midst of chaos." It defends tradition mainly in terms of Catholicism, and opposes same-sex civil unions and abortions. Performance New Force about tradition brings us back to the fascist era; posters from Mussolini along with fascist slogans and symbols are hung on the walls of the party office in Veneto. The feeling of nostalgia is insurmountable, as if the story ended on the WWII, and FN's duty is to return it. Their library is filled with books devoted to the problems of modernism, Zionism and liberalism. Some of their activists throw Roman greetings as a manifestation of fascist patriotism, although this is more often associated with the greeting of the Nazis: they may overlap, but need not be understood as the same. Organizer New Force Luca Legardini stated that: "We take positive from fascism, and leave negative aspects behind." But it remained unclear exactly where they see these negative aspects, which was clarified by Adriano da Pozo, the coordinator Forza Nuovo in Central Italy: "For example, the fascist anthem" Little Black Face "was inspired by a black Ethiopian girl whom the fascists wanted to bring to Italy during the invasion of Ethiopia in order to offer her a decent life. But the black face has a completely different meaning for the Italians today. " He, of course, hinted at what they consider an ethnic replacement of Italians by African immigrants. Tradition for the fascists of New Force means referring to the past for ideological inspiration - a combination of Catholic, nationalistic and fascist ideologies, all of which, in their opinion, stand in opposition to the "cancer" of modernism.
Casapound, which looks at tradition more as a changing concept than on the antidote of modernity, includes progressive [in the good sense, it would be worth adding quotes, but not supporting the same-sex marriages and abortions with a radical form nationalism. They declare their commitment to democracy, although they named themselves in honor of Ezra Pound, an emigrated poet and critic who, in a rage from usury and capitalism in the United States, went to fascist Italy and declared full support to Adolf Hitler, defining him as "a saint who "destroyed himself" with his anti-Semitism. A more modern approach Casapound to the past and denial of racial ideologies means less stigmatization of the media. Regarding several events, his representatives were invited to such mainstream Italian TV channels as A7, taking part in a debate with the famous left-wing Italian-Jewish journalist Enrico Mentana. Casapound it is also a rather secular movement, which can be set up as opposed to the strict Forza Nuova Catholicism.
It is important to note that fascism was not openly religious ideology. His main intellectual defenders and founding fathers, including Julius Evola [here they certainly are not right, Evola, although he played a significant role in the ideological design of the regime at that time, had nothing to do with the very foundation of the ideology that he criticized in many ways. ] and Mussolini were anti-Christians [also incorrect - Evola favored Christianity in opposition to modernism, and Mussolini passed from the early secularism to clericalism.] So religion has always been a controversial topic for the fascists: what is more important, religion or nation? Should the tradition be based on order, understand in Christian, or in Roman and Greek pagan keys, which made ancient civilizations great? Fascist ideologies may include various internal discrepancies that can lead their various adepts to accept seemingly completely opposite positions. In general, their main intention is to protect the nation in its entirety and historicity.
"Generation of Identity" declares a more detailed view of the past, rather than positioning oneself as fascists or anti-fascists. Lorenzo Fiato calls modern fascists "nostalgic"; they look to the early 1920s to solve the problems of modern times. “In reality, both fascism and nationalism are modernist concepts. They come from Jacobinism, and they are definitely not traditionalist, ”he says. The look of the “Generation of Identity” at the tradition is complex, and almost unreal for easy definition. For example, their position on the place of women in society includes, like heroic descriptions of female warriors of Sparta, as well as more traditional views of a woman as a housewife. “The role of a woman cannot be described in one word,” as one of their female activists said. They see themselves as non-religious, but they also oppose secularism and atheism, instead advocating a form of “spirituality” that can vary from paganism to Christianity.
Organization and propaganda
New Force represents the fascism 1990-s of the years, whose participants, many of whom, according to 40 and 50 years, wear black clothes. But they also have a youth unit called "Lotta Studentesca" ("Student Struggle"), which is aimed at appealing to the anger and resistance instincts of disaffected young people. She recruits them from higher schools and universities and adapts to a special type of aesthetics - fewer Fascist Celtic crosses and more Greek wrestlers. One former participant, now 20, said that "When I was at school, they were attractive, because they were eccentric and radical." But New Force also plans to appeal to families. Solidarietà Nazionale (National Solidarity) is a program intended to help Italians in need - they want to organize lunches and food distribution for Italians, regardless of their ideology.
New Force represents the fascism 1990-s of the years, whose participants, many of whom, according to 40 and 50 years, wear black clothes. But they also have a youth unit called "Lotta Studentesca"(" Student Struggle "), which is aimed at appealing to the anger and resistance instincts of disaffected young people. She recruits from high schools and universities and adapts to a special type of aesthetics - less fascist Celtic crosses and more Greek wrestlers. One former participant, now 20, said that "When I was at school, they were attractive, because they were eccentric and radical." But New Force also plans to appeal to families. "Solidarietà Nazionale" ("National Solidarity") is a program intended to help Italians in need - they want to organize meals and food for Italians, regardless of their ideology. Andrea Vicentin, Manager New Force in Veneto, said that: "I gave food to a guy who had Che Guevara on his arm, and after a while he asked if he could join us, surprised at how quickly his views changed." At night New Force organizes patrols in cities such as Mestre, once prosperous, but now steeped in crime, drugs and prostitution, which they believe are associated with immigrants. Walking at night in the city, I could see only the activists New Force and other gangs, which were difficult to identify, staggering around the city. One guy, who was waiting for the entrance to the apartment, told us that it was not safe to wander the streets alone before.
Casapound was born in squatting among representatives of working families in Rome and then spread to all the downgraded places of the country. Their appeal can be called "Left Fascism", which aims to provide Italians shelter, food and community. In such areas as Triburtino III on the outskirts of Rome can be found posters such as "Once we were Communists. Now Casapound helps us protect our homes. " The districts populated by the working class, which used to be the real backbone of the Communist Party of Italy, now occasionally turn to CasaPound. The movement can now attract 10 000 people to their rallies, and has much more members than New Force. They also have a youth unit, called "Blocco Studentesco"(" Student Block "), and created to appeal to young, alienated adolescents who are looking for something for which they can fight. Their appeal in the broad sense lies in providing the working class with a version of fascism adapted to modern times.
"Generation of Identity"', as opposed to New Force и Casapound, this is predominantly a young movement that has no intention of joining politics. "We will selflessly stay out of the way to give young people the opportunity to pave the way for our movement when we get older; our goal is to awaken the younger generation, "said 24-year-old Francesco Piane, head of the unit in Rome. He was referring to the restoration of the value of honor, loyalty and dignity to the generation, which, he said, was disappointed in the legacy of "68-nicks, better known as" baby boomers. " "Generation of Identity" makes the video specifically and tragic, and heroic to attract modern youth. "The video made by the French alphabetists encouraged me to move, I felt very strongly what they had in mind," Fiato said. This video, entitled "Declaration of the War by the Youth of France", shows young people the exposure of the values of their parents: "Our generation is victims of the generation of May 68, who wanted to free themselves from tradition, knowledge and authority in education. But, however, they succeeded only in freeing themselves from their duties. " This message touches the lively millennials, who find themselves with narrow working prospects in a rapidly alienating society. Membership "Generations of Identity" in Italy there are hundreds of people, while throughout Western Europe its population has grown to about 2000.
As the popular Italian expression says, "Everything was better when everything was worse" - the paradoxical acceptance of the mistakes of the past combined with nostalgia for him. Fascism is the ideology of the 1920 years, which belongs to the history books. But during massive immigration and growing economic problems, some of its key provisions come back to life and find a new audience among Italians, disappointed by globalization and technocratic governments mired in corruption scandals. Neo-fascist and adherent doctrines of all varieties and colors promise the restoration of pride, self-confidence and dignity to those whom they define as "our people." But the definitions of these people, and what traditions they want to restore, are so different that each of them is ready to conduct its own battle.
Italian independent journalist dealing with issues of identity, culture and religion in Europe and North Africa.
Translation: Nikita Novsky