For me, this week’s readings worked well to show us how the neo-fascist actors in three countries operated in the midst of their wilderness years. The connection with the idea of an interregnum period was clear.
I was surprised to see the term “deep state” used for a phenomenon that actually seemed appropriate (unlike its reuse in the US in recent years). Embedded fascist sentiment among “leading members of the armed forces, the security services, and the bureaucracy” was poisonous in Italy during the “First Republic” – and likely beyond. They were involved in terror attacks – and due to their positions in the state were often able to falsely implicate leftist actors.
During this time, the MSI – in spite of its transparent neo-fascist nature – was able to participate in legislative elections and was actively concerned about increasing its support.
Britain’s National Front dreamed of transnational links with dictatorial regimes in Libya and Iran as well as the Nation of Islam in the US. The link seemed necessary to the establishment of a Third Way (between capitalism and communism) which had to be on a global scale. The fact they were not taken seriously by any of these makes them seem rather comical.
The Mammone reading highlighted for me the lack of a coherent doctrine among neo-fascists in Italy. This was not actually a surprise given our discussion in recent weeks of the “whatever works” nature of fascist politics. To the rescue came Benoist, with his ND (Nouvelle Droite) structure and Gramscian ideas about building an altered culture to the right’s benefit. This was immediately embraced by Italians who cloned their own ND (Nuova Destra). This was the way out of the interregnum.