Nothing New in a Neo-Fascist?

M. Nagy

With the birth of Fascism in the 1920’s following Benito Mussolini’s assumption of the name for his political movement of the time; it seems only fitting that the new wave of fascism would find itself taking root in Italy once again. This resurgence is almost poetic except for the movement being always predicated on a glaring level of violence.1 In the wake of extreme economic and social divides of the 1960’s and 70’s in Italy,2 there came a rebirth of the old violence under the same systems which had led to Mussolini’s rise to power over half a century prior. These Neo-Fascists built their ideology on the foundations of being oppositional to the, as they saw it, ‘red tide’ which had been a growing support of leftist movements among the youth.3

While the movement of Neo-Fascism in Italy was founded under the same peculiarities of the Fascism of yonder, it stressed some unique angles from its predecessor. As articulated by Amyot, the movement, especially under Berlusconi, took great focus on being more delicate than its forbear. This is exemplified in the Amyot’s statement of, “Berlusconi’s re-evaluation of Fascism also is consistent with his own conception of democracy … near-monopoly over private television coupled with attempts to control the content of the state channels, and the sophisticated use of media and public relations techniques to gain consent.”4 The contrast between the old and the new is vivid here, while they still both use the same methods to achieve their goals of political rule. The differentiation is the persona in which is being outwardly applied; the fluidity of the Neo-Fascist movement is precisely why it was able to endure. Beyond that is the nature of the movement drawing from the Nouvelle Droite. It echoes the Nouvelle Droites emphasis of ante-mural philosophy as a bulwark against the growing left. Further is the nature in which they engage in a transnational context that was not present in the former incarnation of Fascism. 5

1 Grant Amyot, “The Shadow of Fascism over the Italian Republic,” Human Affairs 21, no. 1 (2011): 35–43.

2 Ruth Glynn, “Writing the terrorist self: the unspeakable alterity of Italy’s female perpetrators” Feminist Review (Jul 2009): 1-18

3Andrea Mammon, “The Transnational Reaction to 1968: Neo-Fascist Fronts and Political Cultures in France and Italy.” Contemporary European History, vol. 17, no. 2 (May 2008): 213–236.

4 Grant Amyot, “The Shadow of Fascism over the Italian Republic,” Human Affairs 21, no. 1 (2011): 42.

5Andrea Mammon, “The Transnational Reaction to 1968: Neo-Fascist Fronts and Political Cultures in France and Italy.” Contemporary European History, vol. 17, no. 2 (May 2008): 234.

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