Skip to comments.Row over fascist-era statue reveals schism in how Italians deal with past
Posted on 04/06/2013 4:31:48 PM PDT by TurboZamboni
In 1932, a 24ft marble statue of a young, muscular male athlete was unveiled in Brescia, northern Italy, and given the name Fascist Era. With its rippling torso and hand placed solemnly on hip, it was considered to symbolise the "rejuvenating ideals of the fascist regime", and, when Benito Mussolini came to visit, he was said to have praised it for its strength. Its sculptor, Arturo Dazzi, was reported to have remarked, "even if they want to tear it down, I don't care at all."
Some 13 years later, that is what happened when, with the second world war over and Italy's former dictator dead, the Brescia authorities took down the statue and consigned it to a warehouse. There it remained for nearly 70 years. But now, in a move condemned by critics as "overtly ideological", the city's centre-right mayor plans to reinstate the statue in its original position.
Adriano Paroli, of Silvio Berlusconi's Freedom People party (PdL), rejects any accusation of revisionism or fascist nostalgia, insisting the Bigio as the statue became known in Brescia is a valid piece of heritage that can be appreciated, aside from its political links, for its artistic and cultural merits.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
It sure looks like much better art than the “piss Christ” we have over here...
Fascism = Communism’s sibling.
Fascism is Communism with snappier uniforms.
This is another of the attempts to tar Italian Fascism with the brush of Nazism. The Nazis were fascists, supposedly, therefore the Fascists were Nazis.
The problem here is that the murders by government (domestically) by the Fascists totaled about 250 in the 21 years between 1922 and 1943, at which point they became basically Nazi puppets. That compares with perhaps 12M to 25M by the Nazis in their 12 years in power.
To be fair, the Italian Fascists also killed somewhere around 250k in their Libyan and Ethiopian adventures, but those are more appropriately classified as colonial wars, in which the British, French and Americans, among others, also accumulated a pretty high number of killings.
IOW, lumping the Fascists in with the Nazis is an example of extremely biased thinking. Generally promoted by leftists, who hate the Fascists because they were anti-leftist, not because they committed great crimes.
Correct. Just as some of the greatest rivalries and hatreds in history have been between siblings.
Fascism and Communism are siblings. They are NOT the same thing.
Mussolini hated Hitler, but over time, had no choice but to support him as his armies faced troubles in the Balkans. But true, his rule was much more benign that Hitler.
And it’s worth nothing he started out as a Socialist.
Italy is loaded with gorgeous fascist art deco architecture. Just as the Borgias and Medicis were monsters, so was Mussolini. But a lot of great buildings got put up in their time. (Unlike Hitler who had no taste whatsoever!)
"That is because you were taken in by that verdammte Allied propaganda! Such filthy lies! They told lies! But nobody ever said a bad word about Winston Churchill, did they? No! "Win with Winnie!" Churchill! With his cigars, with his brandy. And his ROTTEN painting! Rotten! Hitler, THERE was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon! TWO COATS!"
Such blatant lies deserve to be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fascism is a very odd ideological construct.
While it has much in common with Marxism and other forms of socialism, it differs wildly in other ways.
Whether Fascism and Nazism are “really” socialism depends on your definition of socialism. Settle that and then we can talk about whether they fit it.
To my understanding, socialism as a broad category is all forms of ideology with human equality as their goal, taking the legal and social equality of the American Declaration of Independence and adding to it the goal of enforced economic equality. A step too far, IMO. Most forms of socialism have universal human equality as their (claimed) goal, cutting across national borders.
Obviously no socialist system to date has come anywhere close to achieving that goal. Many have increased human inequality, in both social and economic senses, and some of these states have committed the greatest crimes in history in (supposed) pursuit of this goal.
Fascism (the capitalized Italian version) OTOH, was an attempt to mobilize one nation, the Italian, vertically, rather than all workers in the world horizontally. A very different kettle. They mixed it up with various weird ideas of the Nation and State as an organism, which implies different parts of the body having different functions and therefore not being really equal.
But the emotional pull of Fascism was very largely based on its being opposed to the (internationalist) socialists. Fascism was for most of its career national and cultural, as such, not racist.
Nazism, OTOH, was also internationalist, but with Germans and eventually all Aryans of the world uniting against the lower races. It was specifically racialist and racist, not just nationalist or culturalist. It thus rejected the idea of human equality, much more directly than Fascism, and so was utterly anti-socialist, at least if you accept my definition of socialism as reasonable.
All this is the theory behind these various totalitarian movements. Their actual function and oppressive nature varied a lot less.
The Soviet Union abandoned Internationalism in all but name when Stalin won his power struggle with Trotsky.
Stalin advocated “socialism in one country”, and the Soviet Union became very nationalistic. The Soviets goals were more imperialistic than trying to export a world revolution.
Fascism, socialism, national socialism and communism are all one and the same - totalitarian tyranny. On the scale of government power versus personal freedom, which is the true scale by which we are to categorize any political philosophy, they all occupy the left side of the scale.
Anarchy, the Complete and total absence of governing authority, occupies the right side. The scale then trends into degrees of libertarianism as you move to the center where you find the republic, or equal rule for all by the law.
The left would love you to believe fascism is not leftist, but in truth you cannot reconcile it that way using the proper means to judge it.
“IOW, lumping the Fascists in with the Nazis is an example of extremely biased thinking. Generally promoted by leftists, who hate the Fascists because they were anti-leftist, not because they committed great crimes.”
The Italian Fascists and the German Nazis were just different varieties of leftists. The best way to view them is as warring religious sects. The Fascists and Nazis were *nationalist* socialist, the Soviets *internationalist* socialists.
Here is a source to show how the NAZIs in particular, were mainstream leftists of their day:
Your definition of right-wing as anarchic is ahistorical.
As you (should) know, the terms right and left originated during the early days of the French Revolution, when the opponents of the ancien regime sat on the left, and its supporters on the right. Those supporters were the very opposite of anarchists.
Republicans (in the American Revolution sense), anarchists, and what we would later call socialists and fascists were all on the Left when the French Revolution started. Since the Left had originally been in favor of change, and the Right against it, those relative positions tended to stick as the spectrum changed.
The original Right quickly was destroyed or driven into exile, with roughly American-style republicans and then various less-extreme groups of leftists replacing them as the Right as time went by.
But the notion that any and all forms of oppressive government are socialist just won’t fly. The Roman and Chinese Empire under their worst emperors weren’t socialist.
Socialism, as such, is at root an economic doctrine. It believes that public ownership of the means of production will bring the Millenium.
Fascism is, I agree, partly socialist in origin, but it also incorporates large elements of the original crown and church ideology, blood and soil ideology, etc. Oddly, given what American conservatives are so often called, of all political ideologies it has perhaps the least in common with American conservatism and its individual rights.
I detest the term Right as applied to American conservatism. It has nothing at all to do philosophically or historically with European crown/church, blood and soil conservatism. While American liberalism and leftism have a direct line of descent from the French Revolution Left, American conservatism descends from British Whiggism, an entirely different ideology.
Stalin went to “socialism in one country” because he believed, accurately, that the world was not ripe for universal revolution, not because he decided that universal revolution was no longer the goal.
So he concentrated on making the Soviet Union a solid base for the future world revolution, not abandoning the goal but moving it into the future.
Fascism is Communism with snappier uniforms.
I could dispute the "snappier" part, but won't, and will concede they're different; other than that, mass murder is mass murder is mass murder.
No one supporting limited government could condone Italian fascism. However, I looked at the pictures of the statue on Google. It is certainly a celebration of masculine strength. I think that this, more than anything else, is why leftists are so uncomfortable with the statue and with fascism. You can’t look at that statue and see a victim.
This style of architecture can be found in America as well.
United States Court House, Los Angeles (1940)
It may be true that all forms of oppressive government are not necessarily socialist. However, all offshoots of socialism whether facism, social democracy or communism, are forms of oppressive government. Income redistribution and other forms of enforcing economic equality necessitates government coercion. Once government has that kind of power, it’s goodbye to our other freedoms.
Could China be doing something similar today? After all, despite the growth of free enterprise in China since Mao died, the ruling party still calls itself the Communist Party; it maintains organizations such as the Communist Youth; China's flag features Marxist-Leninist-Maoist iconography, etc.
My great grandmother (RIP) was a part of the anti-fascist underground under Mussolini and left Palermo for America when the brownshirts killed her brother. The statue should be taken on a national tour where folks can spit on it, then blown to smithereens.
Whither China? That’s a damn good question.
My personal opinion, which is not particularly well informed, is that there is very little that is communist about the present Chinese system other than the name. Any country with many private-property millionaires and billionaires cannot be called communist in any real sense. YMMV
I think the present Chinese system has a great deal more in common with the traditional rule of the mandarins, with them replaced by the Party, than it does with a dictatorship of the proletariat.
In traditional Chinese society the rule of the mandarins tended to be brought low by unbelievable levels of corruption. The basic role of the emperor in this system was to act as a check on this corruption of the mandarins.
The problem in China today is largely that since there has been no emperor since the death of Mao the corruption has gone on unchecked.
IMO this will eventually cause the breakup of the country, as has happened dozens of times before.
But my opinion on China is based merely on reading, no actual experience.
It is especially appropriate to make such comparisons if one has already shown that it is not merely a partisan accusation. Some of us noted even when Bush started us on this path that it had similarities to fascist economics. And I take a back seat to nobody in having fought against real neo-Nazism on the right, as a founding board member of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism (which carried the fight against David Duke).
Again, this is a question of freedom. It's a question of free enterprise, free markets, and free minds. When an administration takes over banks and car companies, and makes moves to force through a takeover of the entire health care industry without the ordinary procedural safeguards, and (even under Bush) forces banks to buy other banks against their will, then this isn't the America we know and love. This is instead a country ruled by a top-down, command-and-control, invasive, barely accountable, self-selected elite.
And that is dangerous. And, minus the antipathy to labor unions, that is the very definition of Italian economic fascism.
Fascism has a larger military budget and a nationalistic flavor rather than an international goal of World Socialism. It also has a poor shelf life—people get over it and vote it out—in time. Once the “leader” dies it drys up. Think of Fascism as a sort of drastic medicine. If your nation is going down the toilet—try the Fascism pill—it will make a recovery, establish law and order, lots of parades and music and uniforms, etc... BUT, like all bitter medications—it has bad side effects. The worst case was the racist Nazi German Government of Adolph Hitler. Wars, racism, xenophobia, and conquest to name a few. When thinking of Fascism—think Franco’s Spain, or Evita and Juan Peron’s Argentina. I believe Putin’s Russia is slipping into Fascism even now. It may come here-BUT-not with Obama. A Fascist state needs good, leadership that captivates the nation—Obama can’t do it. I see no leaders today who could pull it off in the USA.
Whether they were works of art regardless of any symbolism, I have know idea.
One of my favorite movies. If ya got it,baby,flaunt it, flaunt it!
They've also got plenty of beautiful artworks from the Roman Empire, which was not exactly the height of human rights.
I agree with that. I mean that the left side of the scale is totalitarian.
Fascism is a form of totalitarianism.
One person I knew who argued that the Nazis were fascists and there's no way they could be considered on the same side of the scale as the socialists under totalitarian government could not reconcile his objection because the regime still had the power to subdue personal freedom and cart people off and shove them into ovens.
Different implementations of the totalitarian state, but all the same and same results in the end.
Thanks for the response. I want to discuss this more with freepers because I know I'll get the correct perspective from a position I respect.
Here is a fascinating video that fleshes out the concept:
#11-lol! If only he had explored his full potential, but then we’d have one less lesson on the disaster of socialism to look to.
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