Believe, obey, fight. Political Socialization of Youth in Fascist Italy, 1922-1943 0807816323

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Believe, obey, fight. Political Socialization of Youth in Fascist Italy, 1922-1943
 0807816323

Table of contents :
Contents
Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
One. "The Kingdom of the Word”
Two. “The Most Fascist Reform”
Three. The New Spirit in the Schools
Four. The Regime's "Breeding Ground"
Five. The Battle for Custody of the Child
Six. The "New Imperial Climate”
Seven. Formation of the Fascist Ruling Class
Eight. “The Long Voyage”
Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

Believe Obey Fight

TRA CY H

KO O N

Believe Obey

Political Socialization of Youth in Fascist Italy, 1922-1943 University of N orth Carolina Press Chapel H ill and London

O 198 3 Th e U n iversity o f North Carotin a Press A ll rigbt* received M anufactured in th e Un ited Stalea o f Am erica Library o f Coogresa Catalogin g in P u blication Data Koon , Tkacy H .t 19 4 5 B d ie ve , obey, figh t. Bibliograp h y: p .

1. Faaciam —Italy— H iatory. and govern m en t— 1922-1943. Italy.

3. Faaciam and youth—

4 . Youth—Italy— P olitical a ctivity.

DG371.K66 BUN

2. Ita ly—M it ica

1983

0-8078-1632-3

943.091

I. Title.

84-28002

T o m y m o th e r a n d t o t h e m em o r y o f m y f a t h e r

T h e f ir s t s te p in liq u id a tin g a p e o p le . . . is t o e r a s e it s m em ory . D e s t r o y it s b o o k s , it s c u lt u r e , it s h isto r y . T h en h a v e so m eb o d y w r it e n ew b o o k s , m a n u fa ctu r e a n ew c u lt u r e , in v en t a n ew h is ­ t o r y . B e fo r e lo n g t h e n a tio n w ill b e g in to fo r g e t w h a t it is a n d w h a t it w a s. T o ta lita r ia n is m is n o t o n ly h e ll, b u t a ls o t h e d r ea m o f p a r a d is e



t h e a g e -o ld d r ea m o f a w o r ld w h er e ev er y b o d y w o u ld liv e in h a r ­ m o n y , u n ite d b y a s in g le co m m o n w ill a n d f a it h , w ith o u t s e c r e t s f r o m o n e a n o th er . . . . I f to ta lita r ia n ism d id n o t e x p lo it th e s e a r ­ c h e t y p e s , w h ich a r e d e e p in s id e u s a l i . . . it c o u ld n e v e r a ttr a ct s o m a n y p e o p le , e s p e c ia lly d u r in g th e e a r ly p h a s e s o f it s e x is ­ t e n c e . O n ce t h e d r ea m o f p a r a d is e s ta r ts t o tu r n in t o r ea lity , h o w e v e r , h e r e a n d d u r e p e o p le b e g in to cr o p u p w h o s ta n d in it s w a y , a n d s o r u le r s o f p a r a d is e m u st b u ild a lit t le g u la g o n th e s id e o f E d e n . I n th e c o u r s e o f tim e t h is g u la g g r o w s e v e r b ig g e r a n d m o r e p e r fe c t , w h ile th e a d jo in in g p a r a d is e g e t s e v e r s m a lle r a n d p o o rer. — M ila n K u n d e r a ,

T h e B o o k o f L a u g h te r a n d F o r g e ttin g

CONTENTS

Ack n o w le d gm e n t s In tr o d u ctio n C H A P T E R

XV

O N E

“ T h e K in gd o m o f th e W o r d ” C H A P T E R

14 3

S E VE N

F o r m a tio n o f th e F a s cis t R u lin g G a s s C H A P T E R

116

SIX

T h e “ N e w Im p e r ia l C lim a t e ” C H A P T E R

90

F IVE

T h e B a t t le fo r Cu s t o d y o f t h e C h ild C H A P T E R

60

F O U R

T h e R e gim e ’s ” B r e e d in g G r o u n d ” C H A P T E R

33

T H R E E

T h e N e w S p ir it in d ie S ch o o ls C H A P T E R

3

T W O

“ T h e M o s t F a s cis t R e fo r m ” C H A P T E R

x iii

18 4

E I G H T

“ T h e L o n g Vo ya g e ”

2 17

A b b r e via t io n s

253

N o tes

255

B ib lio g r a p h y

30 5

In d ex

331

T A B L ES

4 - 1.

O N B C a m p s , 19 2 6 - 19 4 2

4 -2 .

Atte n d a n ce a t R u r a l S ch o o ls o f t h e O N B , 19 2 8 -

10 3

19 3 7

10 5

6 - 1.

R a d io S u b s cr ib e r s in I t a ly, 19 2 6 - 19 4 2

15 6

6 -2 .

R a d io S u b s cr ib e r s b y R e gio n a s a P e r ce n ta ge o f A ll S u b s cr ib e r s , 19 2 8 - 19 4 1

6 -3 .

15 7

N u m b er o f R a d io s in E le m en ta r y S ch o o ls , 19 3 4 19 4 3

16 1

6 -4 .

E n r o llm e n t in th e O N B , 19 2 6 - 19 3 6

173

6 -5 .

E n r o llm e n t in th e F a sci G io v a n ili d i Co m b a ttim e n to a n d th e G r u p p i G io va n i F a s cis t e , 19 3 1- 19 3 7

17 4

6 -6 .

E n r o llm e n t in th e G I L , 19 3 7 - 19 4 2

173

6 -7.

E n r o llm e n t o f Sta te S e co n d a r y S ch o o l Stu d en ts in P N F Yo u th G r o u p s , 19 3 0 - 19 4 2

6 -8 .

F e m a les in F a scis t You th G r o u p s a s a P e r ce n ta ge o f A ll I ta lia n F e m a le s , 19 2 8 -19 4 2

6-

17 6

178

9 . P r o p o r tio n o f Yo u th G r o u p M e m b e r s t o I b t a l P o p u la tio n in C e r t a in A g e G r o u p s , 19 3 6

6 - 10 .

179

P e r ce n ta ge o f I b t a l E n r o llm e n t in P N F \ b u th G r o u p s Co n ce n tr a te d in th e O ld e r A g e B r a ck e t s , 19 3 3 -19 4 2

6 - 1 1.

E n r o llm e n t in th e O N B p e r 10 0 ,0 0 0 In h a b ita n ts, 19 2 9 - 19 3 2

7-

18 0

1. E n r o llm e n t in d ie G U F , 19 2 7 - 19 4 3

18 2 19 0

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

a n y p e o p le h e lp ed a n d h u m or ed m e d u r in g th e r e se a r ch a n d

M

w r it in g o f th is b o d e . P r o fe s s o r R e n zo D e F e lic e a t th e U n ive r s it y o f R o m e p r o vid e d va lu a b le s u gg e s t io n s , a n d th e s t a ff m em b er s a t th e A r c h iv o Ce n t r a le d e llo S t a t o in

R o m e— e s p e c ia lly it s fo r m e r d ir e ct o r , C o s t a n zo C a s u c c i, a n d D o t t o ­

r e s s a C a r n ic c i a n d D o tto r e M a r io M is s o r i— w e r e u n fa ilin g ly h e lp fu l a n d g e n e r o u s w ith t h e ir tim e . M y th a n k s a ls o t o d ie lib r a r ia n s a n d a r ch ivis t s a t th e B ib lio t e ca d i S t o r ia M o d er n a e Co n te m p o r a n e a , th e B ib lio t e ca N a zio n a le C e n t r a le , a n d th e B ib lio t e c a Ale s s a n d r in a a t th e U n ive r s it y o f R o m e fo r t h e ir a d vice a n d th e ir d ilig e n ce in fe r r e t in g o u t c r it ica l so u r ce m a t e r ia ls . M y w o r k a t Sta n fo r d U n ive r s it y w a s m a d e e a s ie r b y th e s t a ff o f th e H o o ve r In stitu tio n , w h o w e r e p a tien t w it h m y in n u m er a b le r e ­ q u e s t s a n d a lw a ys r e a d y t o jo in in th e se a r ch fo r a n e lu s iv e b o o k o r jo u r n a l. W ith o u t t h e fin a n cia l su p p o r t I r e ce ive d a t va r io u s s t a ge s t h is w o r k co u ld n o t h a ve b e e n co m p le t e d . G r a n ts fr o m t h e Co m m itte e fo r R e­ s e a r ch in In ter n a tio n a l A ffa ir s a n d th e W eter F u n d a t Sta n fo r d p r o vid e d su p p o r t in th e e a r ly s t a g e s . Su m m er gr a n ts fr o m th e U n ive r s it y o f V ir ­ g in ia in 19 79 a n d 19 8 0 a n d a ge n e r o u s gr a n t in 19 8 2 fr o m th e F o n d a ­ zio n e L u ig i E in a u d i, a w a r d ed b y it s d ir e ct o r , M a r io E in a u d i, m a d e it p o s s ib le fo r m e t o ta k e tim e o ff fr o m t e a ch in g d u r in g th e su m m er s t o co m p le t e th e m a n u scr ip t. M a n y fr ie n d s a n d co lle a g u e s b o th in th e U n ite d S t a t e s a n d in I t a ly h a ve g ive n m e in s igh t fu l c r it ic a l co m m en ts a n d m u ch su p p o r t. G ia n G ia co m o M igo n e o f th e U n ive r s it y o f lU r in p r o vid e d m e w it h va lu a b le co n t a ct s in th e Ita lia n a ca d e m ic co m m u n ity a n d in fe ct io u s e n th u sia sm fo r th is p r o je ct w h e n I m o st n e e d e d it . S p e cia l th a n k s t o m y fo r m e r a ca d e m ic a d vis e r , W a yn e S . Vu cin ich , w h o h a s a lw a ys g iv e n fr e e ly o f h is tim e a n d e n e r gy. H is e n co u r a ge m e n t a n d h is h u m a n ity h a ve fo r ye a r s b e e n a so u r ce o f jo y a n d str e n gth . I a m e s p e c ia lly gr a t e fu l t o m y c o l­ le a g u e s a t th e U n ive r s it y o f Vir g in ia — p a r t icu la r ly t o H a n s Sch m it t a n d E r m o K r a e h e a n d t o d ie ch a ir m a n o f th e d ep a r tm en t, Ale xa n d e r S e d g ­ w ic k — fo r t h e ir in ter est a n d co u n s e l. C in d y A r o n ’s c o lle g ia l su p p o r t a n d fr ie n d s h ip a ls o h e lp ed t o m a k e m y ye a r s in C h a r lo t t e s ville r e w a r d in g a n d e n jo ya b le o n e s . T h e m em b er s o f th e d ep a r tm en ta l se cr e ta r ia l s t a ff p a ­ t ie n t ly t yp e d se ve r a l d r a fts o f th e se ch a p te r s. M a n y th a n k s e s p e c ia lly t o K a t h le e n M ille r a n d E lla W o o d fo r t h e ir co u n t le s s h o u r s a t th e w o r d

x iv ____

p r o ce sso r . E lla a n d L o t t ie M cC a u le y h e lp e d e n o r m o u sly in th e la st st a ge s o f th is p r o je ct b y e xp la in in g th e m yste r ie s o f th a t m a ch in e t o a

Ack n o w l-

p a r t icu la r ly in ep t stu d en t. F in a lly, m y gr a titu d e t o R o b e r t, w h o w a s

e d gm en ts

a lw a ys th er e w h en I n eed ed h im , a n d w h o se fa it h a n d lo v e sm o o th ed o v e r m a n y r o u gh sp o t s.

I N T RO D U C T I O N

in ce P la t o so u gh t t o in ve s t iga t e th e w a ys in w h ich th e va lu e s o f

S

cit ize n s h ip co u ld b e in s t ille d in th e yo u n g , p o lit ica l th in k e r s h a ve r e a lize d th a t th e e xp e r ie n ce s o f ch ild r e n p la y a vit a l r o le in th e

fu tu r e o f a n y n a tio n . A ll p o lit ica l s yst e m s ten d t o p e r p etu a te t h e ir

str u ctu r e s a n d cu lt u r e s th r o u gh tim e; a ll r e ly t o o n e d e gr e e o r a n o th er o n

t h e m ech a n ism o f p o lit ica l s o cia liza t io n t o a cco m p lis h th a t g o a l. P o lit ica l s o cia liza t io n is th e p r o ce ss th r o u gh w h ich th e yo u n g a cq u ir e a t t it u d e s , va lu e s , a n d b e lie fs a b o u t t h e ir p o lit ica l syste m o r th e w a y t h e y a b s o r b a ce r t a in p o lit ica l o r ie n ta tio n fr o m t h e ir en vir o n m e n t. T h e stu d y o f p o lit ica l s o cia liza t io n is th e stu d y o f cu ltu r a l tr a n sm issio n in a g ive n s o cie t y. T h e g o a l o f p o lit ica l s o cia liza t io n is t o ch a n n e l th e b e h a vio r o f t h e yo u n g in to p o lit ica lly a n d s o c ia lly a cce p t a b le fo r m s , t o m a k e th em in t o fu n ct io n in g m em b er s o f th e s o cie t y in w h ich t h e y liv e . T h e stu d y o f p o lit ica l s o cia liza t io n is o n e m ea n s o f a n a lyzin g th e p h en o m en o n o f p o lit ica l ch a n ge o r s t a b ilit y, fo r it is th r o u gh th e s o cia l­ iza t io n p r o ce s s th a t th e p o lit ica l cu lt u r e ca n b e a lte r e d o r p r e s e r ve d , tr a n sfo r m e d o r m a in ta in e d . A ll s o cie t ie s u n d er ta k e th e p o lit ica l s o c ia l­ iza t io n o f t h e ir yo u n g , b u t in t h is ce n tu r y— u n d er th e im p a ct o f tw o w o r ld w a r s , a n id e o lo g ica l cla s h b e tw e e n E a s t a n d W e st, an d u n p r ece­ d e n ted t e ch n o lo g ica l a d va n cem en ts th a t h a ve e xte n d e d th e co n tr o l o f th e m e d ia o v e r th e m a sses— t h is e ffo r t h a s ta k e n o n n e w a n d so m e tim e s a la r m in g o ve r t o n e s . P o lit ica l s o cia liza t io n in s o cie t ie s w it h to ta lita r ia n s ys t e m s d iffe r s in to n e a n d in te n sity fr o m th e p r o ce s s in p lu r a lis t ic sys t e m s . I b t a lit a r ia n o r o n e -p a r ty s yst e m s a d o p t a w h o le a r r a y o f p r im a r y a n d se co n d a r y a ge n t s in th e s o cia liza t io n p r o ce s s . F o r em o st a m o n g th e p r i­ m a r y a ge n t s is th e fa m ily a n d , a s a n e xt e n sio n o f e a r ly fa m ilia l r e la tio n ­ s h ip s , th e e n co u r a ge m e n t o f im ita tio n a m o n g th e yo u n g o f a d u lt le a d e r r o le s . A s t h e c h ild ’s id e a s b e co m e m o r e a b str a ct an d ta k e o n co g n it ive s u b s t a n ce , th e se co n d a r y a ge n t s o f s o cia liza t io n b e co m e m o r e in flu e n ­ t ia l. F ir s t a m o n g th o se se co n d a r y a ge n t s is th e s ch o o l s ys t e m , a c r u c ia lly im p o r ta n t to o l in th e p o lit ica l e d u ca tio n o f ch ild r e n . T h e fo r m a l in str u c­ tio n im p a r led in to ta lita r ia n sta te s is ch a r a ct e r ize d b y a gr e a t d e gr e e o f “ m a n ife s t p o lit ica l s o cia liza t io n ,” th e in clu s io n o f a n e x p lic it ly p o lit ica l co n te n t in th e s ch o o l cu r r icu la . T h e r e is a gr e a te r d e gr e e o f u n ifo r m ity a n d co e r cio n in su ch syste m s th a n is p r esen t in p lu r a list s o cie t ie s . T h e e xp r e s s ly p o lit ica l co n te n t o f th e fo r m a l s ch o o l cu r r icu la is su p ­ p le m e n te d b y th e te n e ts o f sta te-r u n yo u th gr o u p s a n d b y a w id e a r r a y o f s ta le -sp o n so r e d p r o p a ga n d a a im ed a t th e yo u n g. T h e gr o u p s a ttem p t t o

xvi ____ In tr o d u ctio n

r e in fo r ce a se n se o f b e lo n g in g w it h b a d ge s o f s o cia l a cce p ta n ce : s lo g a n s , r it u a ls , a n d u n ifo n n s a r e th e e xt e r n a l s ig n s o f co m m u n ity. T h e g o a l is a c o lle c t iv e id e n tity, to ta l im m e r sio n in a n e w gr o u p th a t is b o lst e r e d b y co n tin u a l co n d em n a tio n o f th e e n e m y, d ie u n h o ly “th em ” a s o p p o se d t o d ie “ u s.” R e fu s a l t o b e lo n g p r o d u ces c r is is , th e n e ce s s it y o f a sse r tin g d ive r s it y a n d se p a r a te n ess w h e n a ll th e p r e ssu r es o n th e ch ild a r e p u sh in g in th e d ir e ct io n o f sa m e n e ss an d to ge th e r n e s s. f t r th e I ta lia n F a scis t r e gim e , yo u th w a s a ce n tr a l a n d e s s e n t ia l co n ce r n . F a scis m w a s p o r tr a yed a s a m o vem en t o f th e yo u n g , th e d a r in g , th e a u d a cio u s. I t a ly u n d er fa s cis m w o u ld fu lfill it s g lo r io u s d e s t in y a s a yo u t h fu l a n d v ir ile n a tio n s t r u gglin g a ga in s t th e d e ca d e n t a n d fo s s ilize d r em n a n ts o f th e o ld E u r o p e fo r it s r igh t fu l h e r it a ge . T h e w o r d “ yo u th ” o ccu r s a d n a u sea m in F a s cis t p r o p a ga n d a ; th e c h o ice o f “ G io v in e zza ” a s th e F a scis t a n th em p o in ts u p th e fa c t th a t th e m ystiq u e o f yo u th w a s o n e o f th e k e y m yth s o f th e m o ve m e n t. T h e yo u n g w e r e co u r te d m o r e a s s id u o u s ly th a n a n y o th e r s o cia l gr o u p in F a scis t Ita ly. T h e y w e r e th e r e gim e ’s b e st h o p e fo r th e fu tu r e ; t h e y h a d t o b e m o ld e d fo r th e ir r o le s a s fu tu r e d e fe n d e r s o f th e fa it h a n d h igh p r ie s ts o f th e n e w p o lit ica l c u lt . T h e p o lit ica l s o cia liza t io n o f yo u th w a s , t h e r e fo r e , a fu n d a m en ta l p r e r e q u isite fo r th e co n tin u a tio n o f d ie r e gim e : F a s cis t le a d e r s h o p ed th a t th e in d o ctr in a tio n o f yo u th w o u ld cr e a t e a n e w p o lit ica l cu ltu r e a n d p r o d u ce s t a b ilit y a n d co n tin u ity. T h is stu d y d e a ls w ith th e va r io u s t o o ls u se d b y d ie Ita lia n F a s cis t r e gim e t o s o c ia lize it s yo u n g p e o p le .1 O n ce th e M a r ch o n R o m e ch a n ge d d ie p o lit ica l str u ctu r e in I ta ly, th e le a d er s o f th e r e gim e m a d e a d e lib e r a t e e ffo r t t o ch a n ge th e p o lit ica l cu ltu r e b y m a n ip u la tin g th e a g e n cie s o f p r o p a ga n d a a n d s o cia liza t io n . T h e r e gim e a ls o co n t r o lle d th e in str u ­ m en ts o f co e r cio n , b u t fo r ce a lo n e co u ld n o t p r o d u ce co n se n su s o r sta b ility. In a va r ie t y o f w a ys th e r e gim e m a d e a d ir e ct a ttem p t a t p o lit ica l e d u ca t io n , a s e lf-co n s cio u s e ffo r t t o sh a p e th e p o lit ica l va lu e s o f t h e yo u n g b y str u ctu r in g t h e ir s o cia l e n vir o n m e n t fr o m t h e ir e a r ly ye a r s. U n lik e m a n y o th e r o n e -p a r ty st a t e s , th e F a s cis t r e gim e m a d e n o co n ­ ce r t e d a ttem p t t o a lt e r th e fa m ily str u ctu r e o r t o co n tr o l e a r ly ch ild h o o d e xp e r ie n ce s w it h in th e fa m ily a m b ie n ce , e xce p t in d ir e cd y b y e n r o llin g a s m a n y p a r en ts a s p o s s ib le in F a s cis t m a ss o r ga n iza t io n s , su ch a s th e O p e r a N a zio n a le D o p o la vo r o . T h e a u th o r ita r ia n an d p a tr ia r ch a l str u c­ tu r e o f th e Ita lia n fa m ily, h o w e ve r , d id n o t r e a lly ch a lle n g e a p o lit ica l s yste m b a se d o n th e m yth o f th e le a d e r a s in fa llib le fa th e r figu r e . T h e r e a l fo cu s o f th e s o cia liza t io n p r o ce s s in I t a ly w a s th e a ttem p t t o co n tr o l d ie se co n d a r y a ge n t s o f s o cia liza t io n : th e p a r ty, th e e d u ca tio n a l e s t a b ­ lish m e n t, th e yo u th gr o u p s , a n d a ll th e m o d es o f p o lit ica l co m m u n i­ ca t io n .2

T h is stu d y o f F a s cis t s o cia liza t io n ca n b e d ivid e d in to th r ee m a in

xvii

co m p o n e n ts: a n in ve s t iga t io n o f th e th em es o f yo u th -o r ie n ted p r o p a ­ g a n d a , a d e t a ile d e xa m in a tio n o f th e a p p a r a tu s o f s o cia liza t io n , a n d a n e va lu a t io n o f th e s u cce s s o f th e yo u th p r o gr a m . T h e fir st th em e in vo lve s a n e xa m in a tio n o f d ie lin g u is t ic s t yle o f th e M u s s o lin ia n p o lit ica l m e ss a ge a n d th e m yth s m a n ip u la ted b y th e D u ce ’s p r o p a ga n d a m a ch in e . T h e s e m yth s w e r e tr a n sfu se d in to th e s ch o o l cu r ­ r ic u la , th e yo u th gr o u p m a n u a ls, a n d th e m a ss m e d ia . F a scis m w a s d e fin e d a s th e a ge n t o f n a tio n a l s a lva t io n ; p r o p a ga n d ists m o u n ted a p o lit ic a l s t r u ggle a ga in s t a w h o le h o st o f in ter n a l an d e xte r n a l e n e m ie s. T h e o r ga n iza t io n o f co n se n su s a n d th e r e p r essio n o f d is se n t w e r e tw o s id e s o f th e sa m e c o in , b o th d e s ign e d a s in str u m en ts o f s o cia l co n t r o l. In ce ssa n t a git p r o p m a d e u se o f a w h o le s e r ie s o f k e y m yth s th a t w e r e r e p e a t e d e n d le s s ly: fa s cis m a s co n tin u in g r e vo lu t io n , s o cia l ju s t ic e , th e g lo r ie s o f a n cie n t R o m e , th e cle a n s in g fu n ct io n o f w a r a n d v io le n c e , th e r e lig io u s s p ir it o f th e n e w p o lit ica l cr e e d , th e o m n is cie n ce o f th e le a d e r . T h e r e gim e c a lle d fo r s a cr ifice s ; it p r o m ised glo r io u s a ch ie ve m e n t s . T h e s c h o o ls , th e yo u th gr o u p s , a n d th e m e d ia m a d e a co m b in e d e ffo r t t o k e e p yo u th fu l en th u sia sm a t a fe v e r p itch th r o u gh r itu a ls th a t a p p e a le d t o t h e s im p le s t , a n d o ft e n th e m o st vio le n t , h u m an e m o tio n s . Ag it p r o p a ttem p ted t o g a lva n ize th e e n e r gie s o f th e yo u n g a n d t o d ir e ct th em in to s o c ia lly p r o d u ct ive ch a n n e ls: th e “ b a ttle o f gr a in ,” th e d e m o gr a p h ic ca m p a ig n , a n d la te r , w a r . M o r e lo n g-te r m co n d it io n in g a ttem p ted t o in tegr a te th e yo u n g t o t a lly in t o t h e “ n e w F a scis t clim a t e .” In th e m o st in tim a te s e n s e , th is in t e lle c­ t u a l a n d m o r a l in d o ctr in a tio n so u gh t t o a lie n a te th e yo u n g: t o d e p r ive th em o f t h e ir o w n id e n tity a n d t o r o o t in th em a n e w id e n tity w it h th e le a d e r o r th e gr o u p . T h e “ n e w F a s cis t m a n ,” sa id M u s s o lin i, h a d a r e lig io u s v ie w o f life : h e w a s m o tiva te d b y u n q u e stio n in g fa it h a n d live d b y ce r t a in r e ve a le d tr u th s. In o r d e r t o m a ss-p r o d u ce th is n e w b r e e d , h o w e ve r , th e r e gim e h a d fir st t o e lim in a t e a ll cr it ica l fa cu lt ie s a n d d o u b ts a n d r e p la ce in d ivid u a l p e r so n a l ju d gm e n t w it h u n r e a l ste r e o typ e s a n d p a t a n sw e r s. T h e se co n d th em e— d ie a p p a r a tu s o f s o cia liza t io n — r e q u ir e s a n e x ­ a m in a tio n o f th e in stitu tio n s e sta b lish e d b y th e F a scis t r e gim e t o p r o m o te co n se n su s a m o n g th e yo u n g. T h is p a r t o f th e stu d y b e gin s w it h a n o v e r v ie w o f th e p r e -F a s cis t e d u ca tio n a l s ys t e m , th e 19 2 3 r e fo r m o f e d u ca t io n u n d er M u s s o lin i’s fir st m in iste r o f p u b lic in str u ctio n , G io ­ va n n i G e n t ile , a n d th e “ r e to u ch in gs” o f th a t r e fo r m b y su b seq u en t m in is­ t e r s . T h is in ve st iga t io n o f th e e d u ca tio n a l syste m a ls o lo o k s a t th e p r o ce s s o f fa s c is t iz z a z io n e in th e s ch o o ls a ft e r G e n t ile : th e r e gim e n ta tio n o f t e a ch e r s , th e m ilit a r iza t io n o f e d u ca t io n , a n d th e p o lit iciza t io n o f t h e s ch o o l cu r r icu la a n d t e xt b o o k s . Yo u th gr o u p s w e r e a ls o a c r u c ia lly

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x v iii ____ In tr o d u ctio n

im p o r ta n t e le m e n t in th e s o cia liza t io n a p p a r a tu s. T h is stu d y tr a ce s th e d e ve lo p m e n t o f th e se gr o u p s fr o m th e e a r lie s t d a ys t o th e e sta b lish m e n t o f th e G io ve n t ù Ita lia n a d e l lit t o r io ( G I L ) in 19 3 7 , co n ce n t r a tin g o n th e sta tu s o f fe m a le s in th o se gr o u p s a n d o n th e p r e m ilit a r y, sp o r t s , a n d w e lfa r e a ct iv it ie s o f t h e e a r ly yo u th o r ga n iza t io n s , th e O p e r a N a zio n a le B a lilla (O N B ) a n d th e F a sci G io v a n ili. T h e C a t h o lic ch u r ch ch a lle n g e d th e r e gim e ’s a ttem p t t o e x e r t to ta lita r ia n co n t r o l o v e r t h e yo u n g , a n d th is cla s h b e tw e e n ch u r ch a n d sta te— e s p e c ia lly o v e r th e is s u e o f th e C a t h o ­ lic A ct io n gr o u p s— p r o vid e s a n o th er le it m o t if. T h e te m p o o f F a scis t s o cia liza t io n in te n sifie d a ft e r th e p r o cla m a tio n o f e m p ir e . U n d er sta n d ­ in g th e r e gim e ’s yo u th -o r ie n ted in it ia t ive s in th e “ n e w im p e r ia l clim a t e ” in vo lve s a n e va lu a t io n o f th e w o r k a n d im p a ct o f G iu s e p p e B o t t a i a t th e M in is t r y o f N a tio n a l E d u ca tio n , th e 19 3 7 r e o r ga n iza tio n o f th e yo u th gr o u p s , th e u se o f p o lit ica l m a n u a ls a n d th e r a d io fo r in d o ctr in a tio n , a n d t h e ch a r a cte r o f B o t t a i’s 19 3 9 Ca r t a d e lla S c u o la , o r S ch o o l Ch a r ter . T h is stu d y a ls o lo o k s a t th e u n e a sy r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n th e s ch o o l a n d th e G I L a n d p r o vid e s s t a t is t ica l d a ta o n th e r e gim e ’s yo u th gr o u p s a cco r d in g t o ge n d e r , a g e , t im e , a n d r e gio n . T h e r e gim e d e vo t e d a gr e a t d e a l o f tim e a n d a tten tio n to th e u n ive r s it y stu d en ts w h o w e r e t o b e its fu tu r e r u lin g c la s s . R h e to r ic a b o u t “ g o in g to th e p e o p le ” a s id e , th e se stu d en ts e n jo ye d a p r ivile g e d p o sitio n in th e F a s cis t s yst e m . T h e d e ve lo p m e n t o f th e F a scis t u n ive r s it y gr o u p s , th e G r u p p i U n ive r sita r i F a s cis t i ( G U F ) , a n d th e p a r t y’s le a d er sh ip s ch o o ls fo r yo u n g m em b er s o f th e in t e llige n t s ia w a s , t h e r e fo r e , a vit a l p a r t o f th e r e gim e ’s s o cia liza t io n p r o ce s s . T h e p a r t y’s o ffic ia l p o lic y o f la r g o a i g io v a n i p r o d u ced th e m u ch -d eb a ted a n n u a l co m p e titio n s k n o w n a s th e

L it t o r ia li a n d th e G U F p r e ss . In ten d ed a s a sh o w ca se fo r b r igh t yo u n g F a s cis t s , th e L it t o r ia li in tr o d u ced so m e yo u n g p e o p le t o a n e w w o r ld o f d is se n t a n d , e ve n t u a lly, t o a n t ifa s cis m . T h e e d ito r s o f a n d co n tr ib u to r s t o th e G U F n e w sp a p e r s w e r e a llo w e d a d e gr e e o f fr e e e xp r e s s io n — w ith in ce r ta in d e fin e d lim it s— n o t gr a n ted t o o th e r p u b lica t io n s . M a n y o f th e se p a p e r s fo llo w e d th e p a r ty Un e; so m e d id n o t an d w e r e , in fa c t , u se d b y a n ti-F a scist gr o u p s fo r t h e ir o w n p r o p a ga n d a . T h e s e t w o st o r ie s a r e a fa s cin a t in g p a r t o f th e w h o le h isto r y o f th e r e gim e a n d it s yo u n g p e o p le . T h e stu d y o f th em es a n d in stitu tio n s a n sw er s so m e im p o r ta n t q u e s­ tio n s: w h a t ch ild r e n a n d yo u n g p e o p le in F a scis t I t a ly le a r n ed a n d h o w t h e y te a m ed it . B u t th er e is a t h ir d , a n d m o te e lu s iv e , th em e: H o w s u cce s s fu l w a s th e r e gim e ’s s o cia liza t io n p r o gr a m ? W h en a n d w h y d id d is se n t o r a ct ive o p p o s itio n d e ve lo p a m o n g m a n y Ita lia n yo u n g p e o p le ? T h e yo u th r esp o n d ed in a va r ie t y o f w a ys to F a s cis t p r o p a ga n d a : a ct iv e p a r ticip a tio n in a n d su p p o r t fo r th e s ys t e m , so m e fo r m o f p o lit ica l ca r e e r is m , t o ta l n o n in vo lve m e n t o r a p o lit ica l b e h a vio r , a ct ive o r p a s s ive

d e via n ce fr o m F a s cis t o r th o d o xy, o r a ct ive o r p a s s ive o p p o s itio n t o th e

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r e g im e . N o m a tte r w h a t th e in d ivid u a l r esp o n se— a n d th e se r e sp o n ses sh o u ld r e a lly b e d e s cr ib e d a s a co n tin u u m r a th er th a n in th e n e a t c a t e g o ­ r ie s in d ica te d — th e r e w e r e t w o p r in cip a l p e r so n a l va r ia b le s a ffe ct in g b e h a vio r , th e in d ivid u a l's p r o p e n s ity fo r in vo lve m e n t a n d h is o r h e r d e g r e e o f a cce p t a n ce o r b e lie f in t h e sys t e m . T h e p o lit ica l e vo lu t io n o f th e yo u n g in F a scis t I t a ly ca n b e r o u g h ly p e r io d ize d . T h e s e d ivis io n s a r e g e n e r a liza t io n s th a t ca n b e u se d t o ch a r ­ a ct e r ize th e o ve r a ll r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n th e r e gim e a n d th e yo u t h , b u t in d ivid u a l a n d r e gio n a l fa ct o r s (a s w ill b e e vid e n t frem i th e s t a t is t ica l t a b le s a n d a u to b io gr a p h ica l a cco u n ts b e lo w ) in flu e n ce d th e p a s s a ge fr o m o n e s t a ge t o a n o th er . In g e n e r a l, h o w e ve r , th e se fo u r s t a ge s o f e vo lu t io n ca n b e s u gge ste d : 1. T h e p e r io d o f s tr u g g le t o in s t a ll th e m o v em en t a s r e g im e : T h e d e g r e e o f p o lit ica l in vo lve m e n t a m o n g th e yo u th is h igh e r th a n n o r m a l, a n d th e p o p u la tio n is s t r o n gly o r ie n te d fo r o r a ga in s t th e n a sce n t m o ve ­ m e n t. T h is s t a ge is ch a r a ct e r is t ic o f Ita lia n fa s cis m in th e s q u a d r ista p e r io d u n til th e r e so lu t io n o f t h e M a tte o tti c r is is in 19 2 5 . 2 . C o n s o lid a tio n o f th e m o v em en t in t o r e g im e a n d e m e r g e n ce o f th e f ir s t g e n e r a tio n s s o c ia liz e d u n d er th e n ew o r d e r . T h e p r o p e n s ity fo r

p o lit ica l in vo lve m e n t is lo w e r , a n d th e r e g im e , in stea d o f p r o d u cin g a d yn a m ic e lit e , r e cr u it s b u r ea u cr a ts a n d yo u n g p e o p le m o tiva te d n o t b y p o lit ica l fa it h b u t b y p e r so n a l a m b itio n . T h is p e r io d o f co n s o lid a t io n la s t s fr o m 19 2 5 u n til d ie e a r ly 19 3 0 s , w h e n th e r e gim e b e gin s it s m ili­ t a r y a d ve n tu r e s. 3 . R ea w a k en in g o f th e m o v em en t a n d e ffo r t s t o r e cr e a te it s o r ig in a l é la n in o r d e r t o m o b iliz e th e e n e r g ie s o f th e y o u n g : P o lit ic a lly in vo lve d

yo u n g p e o p le ten d to w a r d so m e fo r m o f d e via n ce . T h is is th e s o -ca lle d p r o b le m a d e i g io v a n i th a t b e co m e s w id e sp r e a d b y th e e a r ly 19 3 0 s.

4 . G e n e r a l r e a liz a tio n a m o n g th e y o u th th a t th e r eg im e h a s n o t liv e d u p t o it s p r o m is e s a n d ca n n o t b e ch a n g e d fr o m w ith in : T h e m in o r ity o f

yo u n g p e o p le w ith a h igh p r o p e n s ity fo r p o lit ica l in vo lve m e n t gr a vit a t e to w a r d to ta l r e je ct io n o f o r a c t iv e o p p o s itio n t o th e s ys t e m . T h is d e ­ s ce n d in g p o r tio n o f th e p a r a b o la b e gin s in m a n y w it h d ie Sp a n ish c iv il w a r , th e e n d o f th e Sta r a ce e r a , a n d th e p a ss a ge o f th e r a cia l la w s , a n d it p ic k s u p ste a m w it h th e G er m a n a llia n ce a n d th e o u tb r e a k o f W o r k! W a r I I .3 T h e F a s cis t r e gim e d id m a n a ge fo r a tim e t o p r o d u ce b r o a d , a lb e it s u p e r ficia l, co n se n su s a m o n g m a n y Ita lia n yo u n g p e o p le . B u t a ca ve a t sh o u ld b e n o ted h e r e . R e se a r ch m a te r ia ls o n d ie s u b je ct o f yo u th a n d fa s cis m p r e se n t a c le a r c la s s b ia s . M o s t o f th e P N F (P a r tito N a zio n a le F a s cis t a ) d o cu m en ts in th e a r ch ive s , th e lit e r a r y d e scr ip t io n s o f th e p e r io d , a n d th e a b u n d a n t a u to b io gr a p h ica l a n d t n e m o ir istic a cco u n t s

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xx ____ In tr o d u ctio n

r e co r d th e im p r e ssio n s a n d e xp e r ie n ce s o f a fa ir ly r e str icte d str a tu m o f th e yo u th — u s u a lly th e w h a n m id d le o r u p p er m id d le c la s s , w h o w e r e a c t iv e ly in ter e sted in p o lit ics — a n d t e ll u s r e la t iv e ly lit t le a b o u t m u ch o f th e w o r k in g c la s s o r r u r a l yo u th . T h is b ia s r e fle ct s th e r e g im e 's o w n in t e r e s t s, h o w e ve r , fo r d e sp it e it s r h e t o r ic, it n e ve r d e vo t e d a s m u ch tim e a n d a tten tio n t o th e lo w e r c la s s a n d r u r a l yo u n g p e o p le a s it d id t o th o se w h o w e r e co n sid e r e d th e ir s o c ia l su p e r io r s. P a in ted w ith b r o a d s t r o k e s , d ie p o lit ica l e vo lu t io n o f th e yo u n g d u r in g th e F a scis t p e r io d a p p ea r s a s a p a r a b o la w it h a sce n d in g a n d d e sce n d in g cu r ve s d eter m in ed b y th e p e r so n a l r e a ctio n s a n d q u a lit ie s o f th e yo u n g (in ter n a l fa ct o r s ) a n d b y flu ctu a tio n s in th e d ir e ctio n o f th e r e gim e o v e r tim e (e xte r n a l fa ct o r s ). T h e fin a l s e ct io n s o f t h is stu d y in ve s t iga t e th e va r io u s fa ct o r s th a t co n tr ib u te d t o p lo t t in g th e p o in ts o n th is cu r ve . F a scis m w a s s im p ly a g ive n fo r m a n y yo u n g p e o p le r ea r ed in th e n e w p o lit ica l clim a t e ; th is v ie w o f fa s cis m -a s -n o n n a lit y w a s r e in fo r ce d b y w h a t o n e h isto r ia n o f th e p e r io d ca lle d th e “ co n s p ir a cy o f s ile n c e " b y th e o ld r u lin g cla s s e s a n d th e ch u r ch .4 Acce p t a n ce w a s co n d itio n e d a s w e ll b y th e e ve r -p r esen t s p e ct e r o f e co n o m ic r u in a n d b y th e d e s ir e a m o n g m a n y h ig h ly m o tiva ted yo u n g p e o p le t o m a k e a m a r k in th e p r o fe s s io n s . F a s cis t p r o p a ga n d a a ls o a ttr a cte d m a n y o f th e yo u n g b y a p p e a lin g t o t h e ir id e a lis m a n d b y e n co u r a gin g th em t o b e lie v e th a t t h e y h a d a r e a l r o le t o (d a y in th e fu tu r e . F a scis m w a s p o r tr a yed a s a liv in g th in g, ca p a b le o f ch a n gin g a n d o f b e in g ch a n ge d b y d ie yo u n g. I t w a s b ille d a s a p er m a n en t r e vo lu t io n , n o t th e p a st b u t d ie fu t u r e , w h ich w o u ld b e b a se d o n a n e w s o cia l ju s t ic e . M a n y w e r e a ttr a cted b y th is m ir a ge a n d b y th e p r o sp e ct o f b e in g in vo lve d in th e co n str u ctio n o f th a t n e w s o cie t y. D is illu sio n m e n t ca m e a t d iffe r e n t tim e s a n d fo r d iffe r e n t r e a s o n s. T h e slo w -d a w n in g r e a liza t io n th a t fa s cis m d id n o t h a v e t o e x is t is th e co m ­ m on th em e o f m u ch o f th e a u to b io gr a p h ica l te stim o n y o f th e p e r io d . T h e t id e o f R u gge r o Za n gr a n d i’s “co n tr ib u tio n t o th e h isto r y o f a ge n er a tio n ” d e s cr ib e s th e e xp e r ie n ce s o f m a n y yo u n g p e o p le w h o m a d e th e “ lo n g vo ya g e th r o u gh fa scism ” t o th e o th e r s id e .3 In so m e se n s e F a scis t m yth m a k in g so w ed th e se e d s o f it s o w n fa ilu r e . T h e in ce ssa n t a n d h a m m er in g p r o p a ga n d a , th e r e p e t it ive n e ss a n d ste ­ r ilit y o f o ffic ia l cu lt u r e , p r o d u ced b o r ed o m a n d cyn icis m in m a n y. W or d s w e r e n o t en o u gh t o p a p e r o ve r th e in cr e a s in gly ya w n in g cr a ck s in th e F a s cis t str u ctu r e , o r t o tem p er s o cia l co n tr a sts o r d is g u is e m o u n tin g fa ilu r e s . T h e d ive r g e n ce b e tw e e n o b s e r va b le fa c t a n d fa m ilia r r h e to r ic cr e a te d a t a ce r ta in p o in t in m a n y a c o g n it ive d isso n a n ce : th e m or e o ft e n th e m yth s w e r e r e p e a te d , th e le s s cr e d ib le t h e y b e ca m e . T h e s e n s e o f in co n gr u ity a m o n g th e yo u n g g r e w a s th e s u b je ct ive o r ie n ta tio n to w a r d th e s yste m in s t ille d b y th e s o cia liza t io n p r o ce s s r e ce ive d le s s a n d le s s va lid a t io n fr o m t h e ir a ctu a l e xp e r ie n ce o f th e w o r ld . T h e F a scis t r e gim e w a s n e ve r a b le t o r id it s e lf o f th is b a s ic co n tr a d ic-

t io n b etw ee n r h e to r ic a n d r e a lity. T h e p r o b le m a d e i g io v a n i th a t ca m e t o

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th e fo r e w h e n d ie yo u n g fin a lly b e ca m e d is illu s io n e d w it h th e n e ve r r e a lize d p r o m ise s p la gu e d th e r e gim e u n til th e d a y it w a s p u sh ed o u t o f e x is t e n ce . T h is d e e p -s e a te d d is a ffe ct io n a m o n g m a n y yo u n g p e o p le co n tr ib u te d n o t a lit t le t o d ie r a th er a n t iclim a ct ic e ve n t s o f 2 5 J u ly 19 4 3 .

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Believe Obey Fight

C H A P T ER O N E

* The Kingdom of the W ord” In m ass so cieties, m yth takes the place o f history. — W illiam Bosenbrook

I

t a lia n fa s cis m w a s h e ir t o a va r ie ga t e d p o lit ica l a n d cu lt u r a l le g a cy, a n in t e lle ct u a l p r o d u ct o f d ie c r is is o f d ie 18 9 0 s. In it s r e vo lt a ga in s t p o s it ivis m , fa s cis m e ch o e d F r ie d r ich N ie t zs ch e a n d H en r i B e r g s o n . It e m p h a s ize d s p ir it o v e r m a tter , fa it h a ga in s t r e a s o n , a ct io n o ve r

th o u gh t. L ik e th e F u tu r ists, th e F a s cis t s p r a ise d th e p u r ifyin g e ffe c t s o f w a r a n d d yn a m ism a n d co n d em n ed p a cifis m a n d n e u tr a lism . F o r th e F a s cis t s , a s fo r F. T. M a r in e tti a n d th e F u tu r is ts, th e fu tu r e o f I t a ly la y w it h th e “yo u n g , th e s t r o n g, a n d th e liv in g .“ 1 L ik e G a b r ie le D 'An n u n ­ z io , B e n it o M u s s o lin i h a d a vis io n o f p o lit ics th a t g lo r ifie d a d ven tu r e a n d s t r a g g le , th e s e xu a l im a ge r y o f d o m in a tio n a n d v ir ilit y, th e r e lig io u s r h e t o r ic o f s a cr ifice a n d d u ty, a n d , a b o ve a ll, th e r o le o f d ie m a n o f a ct io n w h o co u ld co n t r o l th e m a ss a n d m o ld it t o h is o w n d e s ign . F a scis m r e p la ce d e co n o m ic m a n w it h h e r o ic m a n , d e cr ie d th e d e ca d e n ce a n d co r r u p tio n o f lib e r a l a n d p a r lia m en ta r y s ys t e m s , a n d e x a lt e d th e cu lt o f th e e lit e , o f fo r c e , a n d o f yo u th . A g a in s t th e fr a gm en ta tio n a n d a n o m ie o f m od er n m a ss s o cie t y, it p la ce d th e h a r m o n y, b e lo n g in g , a n d id e n t it y o f th e n a tio n a l co m m u n ity. R e je ct in g th e r o ttin g a n d d e fe a t is t

I t a lie t t a o f th e p a s t , it p r o m ise d a g lo r io u s I t a ly in th e fu tu r e .

F a scis m d id h a ve r o o ts d e e p in th e in t e lle ct u a l d e ve lo p m e n ts o f th e la t e n in eteen th a n d e a r ly tw en tieth ce n tu r ie s. B u t it w a s le s s a co h e r e n t id e o lo g y th a n a c r y o f p a in — o r a w a r cr y. It d id n o t h a ve a n o r a cle lik e M a r x , L e n in , o r M a o , n o r d id it p o ss e ss a b o d y o f s a cr e d , w r itte n tr o th s a ga in s t w h ich id e a s a n d b e h a vio r co u ld d e fin it ive ly b e m ea su r ed a s o r th o d o x o r h e r e t ica l. T h e titu la r th e o r ists o f th e r e g im e , G io va n n i G e n t ile a n d A lfr e d o R o cco , b o th tr ied t o p r o vid e su ch a n id e o lo g ica l b a s e e x p o st fa ct o . B u t th e th e o r ie s o f th e e t h ica l sta te o r co r p o r a t ivis m , th o u gh m u ch in e vid e n ce in th e r e gim e ’s o ffic ia l p r o p a ga n d a , w e r e n e ve r r e a lly d ie g u id e s o f p o lit ica l a ct io n in F a s cis t Ita ly. M u s s o lin i’s r e a l u n iq u en ess la y n o t in t h e d ep th o f h is p o lit ica l a n a ly­ s is n o r in th e o r ig in a lit y o f h is th o u gh t b u t in h is co n ce p t io n o f th e p o lit ic a l p r o ce s s a s th e a r t o f p o lit ica l co m m u n ica tio n . N o m a tter w h ich s id e o n e t a k e s in th e h o a r y d e b a te a b o u t fa s cis m a s id e o lo g y o r h o w o n e t r a ce s it s in t e lle ct u a l d e b t s , fa s cis m d id h a ve a d o ct r in e , a n e s s e n t ia lly

4

a ctio n -r e la te d se t o f id e a s th a t w e r e u sed t o e lic it a ce r t a in r e sp o n se fr o m

____

t h e m a ss e s , t o p u ll ce r ta in e m o tio n a l a n d in t e lle ct u a l s t r in gs . M u s so ti-

B e lie v e ,

n i’s gr e a te st ta le n t— p er h a p s h is o n ly ge n u in e ta le n t— w a s h is a b ilit y to

O b e y,

m a n u fa ctu r e a n d co m m u n ica te m yth s a n d slo ga n s th a t ca p tu r e d th e

F igh t

p o p u la r im a gin a tio n . F a scis m m a d e w id e sp r e a d u se o f th e m e d ia a n d th e e d u ca tio n a l s yste m t o p u sh a w h o le s e r ie s o f m yth s th a t w e r e , b y vir t u e o f r e p e titio n a n d fa m ilia r it y, m o r e r e a l t o m a n y Ita lia n s th a n t h e p h ilo ­ s o p h ica l n u r sin gs o f G e n t ile o r R o cco o r e ve n th e u n ive r s a lly q u o t e d , q u a si-in s p ir e d a r t icle s o n fa s cis m b y M u s s o lin i h im s e lf. In th e se m yth s is th e e s s e n ce o f fa s cis m a s it w a s p r esen ted t o th e Ita lia n p e o p le : th e y t e ll u s w h a t th e r e gim e ’s le a d e r s w a n ted th e Ita lia n s t o b e lie v e a n d w h a t t h e y w a n ted th em t o b e co m e . F a scis m p r o m ised th a t it w o u ld tr a n sfo r m I t a ly; m a n y t o o k th a t p r o m ise s e r io u s ly. In o r d e r t o u n d er sta n d h o w Ita lia n s (a n d in th is co n t e xt yo u n g Ita lia n s) s a w fa s cis m , w e m u st p a y m o r e a tten tio n t o it s r h e to r ica l e le m e n t s , fo r r h e to r ic w a s a n a b s o lu t e ly cr u cia l p a r t o f w h a t fa s cis m w a s a n d w h y it w a s s u cce s s fu l— a t le a s t fo r a t im e . R h e t o r ic, sa id F r a n co Ve n tu r i, “ is th e r e d u ctio n to th e a b su r d o f a ll th e id e o lo g ica l cu r r en ts th a t h a d g iv e n r is e t o fa s cis m . . . . T h e . . . r e gim e w a s th e k in gd o m o f th e w o r d . O r b e t t e r . . . o f th e lo u d sp ea k e r .” 2

T h e P o lit ic a l M y t h , E lit e s , a n d t h e L e a d e r B e n it o M u s s o lin i’s v ie w s o n h u m a n n a tu r e a n d m a n in s o c ie t y sh o w a n in t e lle ct u a l k in sh ip w it h th e id e a s o f t w o F r en ch t h in k e r s, G u s t a ve L e B o n a n d G e o r g e s S o r e l, an d w ith co n te m p o r a r y stu d ie s o f p o lit ica l e lit e s b y V ilfr e d o P a r eto , G a e t a n o M o s ca , a n d R o b e r t M ich e ls . A ll w e r e in ter ested in th e h is t o r ic fu n ctio n o f th e d eter m in ed m in o r ity a n d in th e r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n b e lie f syste m s a n d th e p o lit ica l p r o ce s s .3 M u s s o lin i r e a d ily a ck n o w le d ge d h is in t e lle ct u a l d e b t t o G u s t a ve L e B o n ( 18 4 1- 19 3 1) , a u th o r o f a n in flu e n tia l stu d y o n th e p s ych o lo g y o f th e cr o w d , P s y c h o lo g ie d e s f o u le s , fir st p u b lish e d in 18 9 5 .4 Acco r d in g t o L e B o n , th e a r t o f p o lit ics h a d t o b e b a sed o n th e ir r a tio n a lism a n d co n s e r ­ va t ive n a tu r e o f m a ss m a n . A n y s u cce s s fu l p o lit ica l le a d e r h a d t o k n o w h o w t o h a r n ess a n d co n tr o l th e in stin ctu a l s id e o f h u m an n a tu r e. L e B o n e m p h a s ize d th e fu n d a m en ta l r o le p la ye d b y b e lie f in h isto r y. T h a t fa it h m igh t b e a n illu s io n , b u t it s fo r ce in h is t o r y w a s fo r L e B o n u n d e n ia b le: “A ll gr e a t h is t o r ica l fa ct s a r e th e . . . d ir e ct o r in d ir e ct co n se q u e n ce s o f str o n g im p r e ssio n s p r o d u ced o n th e cr o w d .” 3 L e B o n su gge st e d w a ys t o tu rn th e ir r a tio n a lism o f th e m a ss in to a p o s it ive s o cia l fo r ce an d to co u n te r th e ch a o s it p r o d u ce d . T h e cr o w d co u ld b e ta m ed b y th e u se o f “ m a gic” : th e cr e a tio n o f a m yth th a t w o u ld h a ve su ch p o w e r fu l a p p ea l th a t it co u ld p r o d u ce th e n a tio n a l co n se n su s th e le a d e r s — “le s g r a n d s m en eu r s d e s f o u le s ,” a s L e B o n c a lle d th em — w e r e s e e k in g . T h e ir r o le w a s to cr e a t e fa ith b y s tr ik in g th e im a gin a tio n

o f t h e cr o w d r e p e a t e d ly w it h im a ge s , w o r d s , a n d slo ga n s t o p r o d u ce

5

fe e lin g s a n d b e lie fs th a t b o lst e r e d th e p o s it io n o f th e le a d e r a n d h is m o ve m e n t , l b th e se “cr e a t o r s o f illu s io n s " th e cr o w d , “ a s e r vile flo c k

The

in ca p a b le o f d o in g w ith o u t a m a ster ,” e r e ct e d t e m p le s a n d a lta r s. G a th ­

K in gd o m

e r e d in a cr o w d t h e y lo s t a ll fo r c e o f w ill a n d tu r n ed in s t in ct ive ly t o th e

o f th e

m a n p o s s e s s in g th o s e q u a lit ie s o f d e cis io n a n d ch a r ism a t h e y th e m s e lve s

W ord ”

la c k e d . F o r L e B o n th e m a in sp r in g o f a ll a u th o r ity w a s th e p e r so n a l p r e s t ig e o f th e le a d e r , w h ich a llo w e d h im t o e x e r t a “ m a gn e tic fa s cin a ­ t io n " o n a ll th o se a r ou n d h im .6 In h is t a lk s w it h th e G e r m a n jo u r n a lis t E m il L u d w ig , M u s s o lin i e la b o r a t e d o n h is n o tio n s o f s o cia l p s ych o lo g y a n d p o lit ica l m yth m a k in g in te r m s th a t w e r e ve r y r e m in is ce n t o f L e B o n . “T h e m a ss,” h e s a id , “ is a flo c k o f sh e ep u n til it is o r g a n ize d . . . . T h e m a ss lo ve s a str o n g m a n . T h e m a ss is a w o m a n !” 7 L ik e L e B o n , G e o r g e s S o r e l ( 18 4 7 - 19 2 2 ) w a s in ter ested in q u e stio n s o f s o cia l p s ych o lo g y: H o w d o m en in gr o u p s b e h a ve ? W h a t is th e r e la t io n s h ip b e tw e e n th e in d ivid u a l a n d th e c o lle c t iv e co n s cio u s n e s s ? S o r e l’s t ie s t o I t a ly w en t b a ck t o 18 9 5 , w h e n h e fir st b e ga n p u b lis h in g in I t a lia n jo u r n a ls .8 R e fle ct io n s o n V io le n ce a p p ea r ed in I t a ly in 19 0 6 , a n d S o r e l’s w o r k w a s m u ch d is cu s s e d a n d d e b a t e d , e s p e c ia lly a m o n g Ita lia n S o c ia lis t s , w h o o ft e n t o o k e xce p t io n t o h is h e te r o d o x v ie w s o n M a r xism . M u s s o lin i d id n o t k n o w S o r e l p e r so n a lly, b u t h e w a s fa m ilia r w ith h is w o r k a n d r e fer r e d t o it in s e ve r a l a r t icle s . T h o u gh S o r e l’s in flu e n ce in I t a ly h a d d e clin e d b y th e im m e d ia te p o st w a r p e r io d , M u s s o lin i d id a ck n o w le d g e h is d e b t t o S o r e l in h is 19 3 2 a r t icle o n fa s cis m in th e E n cic lo p e d ia I t a lia n a , a t le a s t in p a r t t o g iv e h is o w n m o ve m e n t in t e lle c­

t u a l r e sp e ct a b ilit y. S o r e l c r it ic ize d th e d eter m in ism o f th e M a r xis t v ie w a n d ca lle d fo r a m o r a l a n d p s ych o lo g ica l r ein ter p r eta tio n o f M a r xis m , w h ich h e s a w n o t a s a s cie n ce b u t a s “ s o cia l p o etr y.”9 F o r S o r e l, s o cia l ch a n ge w a s n o t th e a u to m a tic co n se q u e n ce o f e co n o m ic o r m a te r ia l fa ct o r s b u t in vo lve d q u e s t io n s o f p s ych o lo g y: w h a t m o ve s m en t o s o cia l a ct io n ? E m p h a s izin g th e r o le o f h e r o ic vio le n ce in th e c la s s s t r u g g le , S o r e l cla im e d th a t th e p r o le ta r ia n r e vo lu t io n w o u ld b e le d b y a n e lit e m in o r ity a n d b a sed o n a n a b s o lu t e m o r a l r e je ct io n o f a n y co m p r o m ise o r co n ce s s io n w it h th e b o u r ge o is o r d er . G a lva n ize d b y th e p o lit ica l m yth — fo r S o r e l th e ge n e r a l s t r ik e — th e m a sses w o u ld b e sh a k en o u t o f t h e ir in er tia a n d m o ve d to a ct io n . T h e p o lit ica l m yt h , th e n , a im ed a t a r o u sin g sen tim en ts a n d n ot a n a ly s is .10 T h e m a n ip u la tio n o f th e r e vo lu t io n a r y m yth le d b e lie ve r s to s e e t h e m s e lve s a s a n a r m y figh t in g fo r t h e ir a p o ca lyp t ic vis io n o f th e fu t u r e . S o c ia l a ct io n w a s th u s th e v is ib le e xp r e s s io n o f th e p s ych o lo g ica l r e a lit y o f th e m yt h , a n im a ge ca p a b le o f fo s t e r in g fe e lin g a n d s o cia l co h e s io n . A p o lit ica l p h ilo s o p h y b a se d o n su ch a m yth w a s n o t a lo g ic a l o r r a tio n a l p r o gr a m b u t a n in cite m e n t, a sp u r to a ctio n an d lo ya lt y. S o r e l w a s co n tem p tu o u s o f th e co r r u p tin g in flu e n ce o f p a r lia m en ta r y

6

d e m o cr a cy a n d fa s cin a t e d w it h th e r o le o f s yn d ica t e s a n d r ep r esen ta tio n

____

b y e co n o m ic ca t e go r y. H e a ls o ca m e t o s e e th e p o w er o f th e n a tio n a l

B e lie v e ,

m yth . B y 19 10 Ita lia n n a tio n a lis ts su ch a s E n r ico C o r r e d in i w e r e sp ea k -

O b e y,

in g o f n a tio n a l syn d ica lis m : a r e co n cilia t io n o f e co n o m ic s yn d ica lis m

F ig h t

a n d p o lit ica l n a tio n a lism . Co r r e d in i tr a n sla ted th e S o c ia lis t r h e to r ic o f c la s s s t r u ggle fr o m a h o r izo n t a l p r o le ta r ia n s o lid a r it y a cr o s s n a tio n a l b o u n d a r ie s t o a v a lic a i s o lid a r it y a m o n g cla s s e s o f th e sa m e n a tio n . P u b lic en th u sia sm fo r th e L ib ya n w a r o f 19 11- 12 t e st ifie d t o th e p o lit ica l va lu e o f th e n a tio n a l m yth . M a n y S o c ia lis t s , in clu d in g M u s s o lin i, r e ­ m a in ed o p p o s e d t o th e I ta lia n in vo lve m e n t in th e Lib ya n w a r , b u t th e cu r r en ts o f r e vo lu t io n a r y s yn d ica lis m a n d n a tio n a lism fo r ge d a n e w , a n d p o te n t, p o lit ica l co m b in a tio n in Ita ly. M u s s o lin i’s r e a liza t io n o f th e p o lit ica l p o te n tia l o f th e m a s s -m o b ilizin g n a tio n a l m yth h e lp s t o e xp la in h is Mco n ve r s io n ” o f 19 14 .11 A t r io o f s o cia l scie n t is t s — P a r e to , M o s ca , a n d M ich e ls — a ls o in flu ­ e n ce d M u s s o lin i’s n o tio n o f th e p o lit ica l p r o ce s s . A ll th r ee o f t h e s e th in k e r s h e lp ed t o fo s t e r a ge n e r a l a n tid e m o cr a tic o u t lo o k b y e m p h a s iz­ in g th e m in o r ity o v e r th e m a jo r ity, th e fe w o v e r th e m a n y. A ll c r it ic ize d w h a t th e y s a w a s th e r e d u ctio n ist fa lla c y o f h is t o r ica l m a te r ia lism a n d e m p h a s ize d th e r o le o f b e lie f syste m s in th e s o cia l s cie n ce s w h ile d o w n p la yin g th e ca u s a l r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n e co n o m ic fa ct o r s a n d a ll o th e r s o cia l p h en o m en a . F o r P a r e to , in d ivid u a l o r gr o u p d e cis io n s w e r e go ve r n e d b y “ d e r iva tio n s” o r “ r e sid u e s’’; M o s ca in siste d o n th e im p o r ­ ta n ce o f “ p o lit ica l fo r m u la e ” ; M ich e ls ter m ed th em “ fict io n s .” In h is L e s sy stèm es s o c ia lis t e s , p u b lis h e d in 19 0 2 , V ilfr e d o P a r eto ( 18 4 8 - 19 2 3 ) c a lle d th e S o c ia lis t a p o ca lyp s e a m ir a ge . T h e M a r xis t v ie w o f c la s s s t r u g g le , b e s a id , w o u ld p r o d u ce n o t a tr u e p e o p le ’s d e m o cr a cy b u t th e r u le o f a n o th er “ p o lit ica l c la s s ,” a n e lit e b e h in d th e p r o le ta r ia t r e a d y t o r e a p th e b e n e fits o f w o r k in g-cla s s a ct io n s fo r t h e ir o w n in d i­ vid u a l o r c la s s in te r e sts. In th is an d o th e r w o r k s— m o st n o ta b ly h is T r a tta to d i s o c io lo g ia g e n e r a le ( 19 13 ) , tr a n sla ted a s T h e M in d a n d S o cie t y : A T r ea tise o n G e n e r a l S o cio lo g y — P a r eto a r gu ed th a t th er e w a s

n o s cie n t ific fo u n d a tio n fo r th e s o ve r e ign r igh ts o f d ie m a jo r it y a n d str u ck a t th e r o o ts o f b o th s o cia lis m a n d d e m o cr a cy b y p r o cla im in g th a t go ve r n m e n t “ b y th e p e o p le ” w a s a lw a ys a fa ca d e fo r th e co n t r o l o f th e sta te b y a n o liga r ch y, m er e r h e to r ic m a sk in g d o m in a tim i o f th e d is o r ga n ­ ize d m a jo r ity b y th e o r ga n ize d m in o r ity. T h e s e e lit e s vin d ica t e d th e ir p o w er th r o u gh a n a p p e a l t o th e m a sses b a se d o n e m o tio n : “ H u m a n a ct io n s ,” a cco r d in g t o P a r e to , “ h a ve th e ir o r ig in n o t in lo g ic a l r e a so n in g b u t in sen tim en ts.” ' 2 T h is n o tio n w a s a ls o a d va n ce d b y G a e t a n o M o s ca ( 18 3 8 - 19 4 1) in T h e R id in g C la s s (E le m e n ti d i s c ie n z a p o lit ic a ) , p u b lish e d in 18 9 6 . M o s ca

m a in ta in ed th a t th e o r ga n ize d m in o r ity a lw a ys h e ld a n d ju s t ifie d p o w e r b y th e u se o f “ p o lit ica l fo r m u la e ,” e n e r g izin g m yth s th a t w e r e fu n e -

t io n a l— t h e y p r o d u ced co n se n su s— a n d n o t r a tio n a l. R o b e r t M ich e ls

7

( 18 7 6 - 19 3 6 ) , m u ch in flu e n ce d b y M a x W e b e r ’s n o tio n o f ch a r ism a tic p o w e r a n d b y M o s ca , a r gu ed in P o lit ic a l P a r tie s ( 19 11) w h a t h e ter m ed t h e “ ir o n la w o f o lig a r ch y” a n d e m p h a s ize d th e s o cio p s ych o lo g ica l a s­

“ Th e

p e ct s o f p o lit ica l b e h a v io r th e s u s ce p t ib ilit y o f th e m a ss t o th e a p p e a l o f

K in gd o m o f th e

a ch a r ism a tic le a d e r , th e in n a te co n s e r va t is m o f th e m a s s e s , a n d th e ir

W or d ”

r e s is t a n ce t o s o cia l ch a n ge . F o r a ll o f th e m , m yth s se r ve d t o le g it im ize th e cla im s o f th e p o lit ica l c la s s o r th e e lit e t in t w a s th e r e a l ce n t e r o f s o cia l co n tr o l o v e r th e m a jo r ity. A s le g it im izin g fict io n s , th e m yth s o r ga n ize d h u m an e m o tio n s fo r s o cia l a ct io n ; t h e y m o b ilize d th e m a ss o n th e sid e o f th e e lit e in it s s t r u g g le fo r p o w e r a n d ju s t ifie d it s h o ld o n p ow er . M yt h s a llo w e d a d yn a m ic m in o r ity t o le a d a n d co n t r o l a p a s s ive m a jo r ity b y p la yin g o n th e s u g g e s t ib ilit y o f th e m a ss a n d it s ge n e r a l p s ych o lo g ica l p r e d isp o si­ t io n t o a r r a n ge it s e lf in h ie r a r ch ica l o r d e r a n d t o co n fo r m . A lfr e d o R o cco e xp la in e d th a t fa s cis m r e je ct e d th e t h e o r y o f p o p u la r s o ve r e ig n t y, p r o cla im in g th a t th e “ gr e a t m a ss o f cit ize n s is n o t a su it a b le a d vo ca t e o f s o cia l in ter ests,” b e ca u s e th e ca p a cit y t o su b o r d in a te p r iva t e in te r e s ts t o th e go o d o f th e w h o le “ is a v e r y r a r e g ift a n d th e p r ivile g e o f a ch o se n fe w .” 13 T h e “ p e o p le ” w e r e r e p la ce d b y th e “ fe w e le c t ," q u a n tity b y q u a lit y, d e m o cr a cy b y a r is to cr a cy. In F a s cis t th eo r y, th e r e fo r e , e a ch in d ivid u a l w a s a n in te gr a l p a r t o f th e w h o le ; th e r e w a s n o r e a l d is tin ct io n b e tw e e n p u b lic a n d p r iva te sp h e r e s , fo r th e o r ga n ic v ie w o f s o cie t y s yn t h e s ize d th e in ter ests o f th e in d ivid u a l, s o cie t y, a n d th e s ta te . T h e r u lin g c la s s e x is t e d t o r em in d th e in d ivid u a l o f h is o r h e r r e la tio n s h ip to t h is o r g a n ic co m m u n ity, b e ca u s e o n ly th e p a r ty le a d er s h a d a tr u e co n ­ s cio u s n e s s o f th e d e s t in y o f th e n a tio n . H e n ce th e r is e o f th e s in g le p a r ty a s a p e d a go g ica l a n d e t h ica l im p e r a tive : th e n eed s o f th e s o cie t y a n d th o s e o f th e p a r ty w e r e o n e a n d th e sa m e . F a scism th u s r e je ct e d th e p r in cip le o f e q u a lit y a s a “ s o ft ” J u d a e o -Ch r istia n id e a l o u t o f k e e p in g w it h th e n e w v ir ile s p ir it o f cr e a t ive in eq u a lity. S o cie t y w a s d ivid e d in to su p e r io r s a n d in fe r io r s: b e lie ve r s a n d n o n b e lie ve r s , le a d e r s a n d le d , m en a n d w o m e n . T h e e xtr e m e fo r m o f F a s cis t e lit is m w a s th e e m p h a sis o n th e r o le o f th e le a d e r , th e o n e m a n w h o in ca r n a ted th e a sp ir a tio n s a n d d e s ir e s o f th e co m m u n ity. T h e m a n y b e ca m e th e fe w ; th e fe w b e ca m e th e o n e .

L a n g u a g e a n d M y th : T h e M u s s o lin ia n M o d e l W h e n M u s s o lin i w a s a sk e d in 19 2 2 t o w r it e a c o lle ct io n o f e s s a ys o n th e w a r , h e d e clin e d . ‘T o d a y in I t a ly," h e s a id , “ is n ot th e tim e fo r h isto r y. N o t h in g is ye t co n clu d e d . It is th e tim e fo r m yth s. E ve r yt h in g is ye t t o b e d o n e . O n ly th e m yth ca n g iv e str en gth a n d e n e r gy t o a p e o p le a b o u t to

8 ____

h a m m er o u t it s o w n d estin y.” 14 Co m m u n ica te d a s t h e y w e r e in a va r ie t y o f fo r m s a n d a va s t a r r a y o f p r o p a ga n d a , th e se m yth s w e r e o n e o f th e

B e lie v e ,

p r in cip a l in str u m en ts u se d b y th e r e gim e t o cr e a t e , o r g a n ize , a n d m a in -

O b e y,

ta in co n se n su s. To u n d er sta n d th e a p p e a l o f th e r e gim e , w e m u st u n d er -

F igh t

sta n d h o w fa s cis m p r esen ted it s e lf t o th e yo u n g , w h a t im a ge s o f fa s cis m w e r e p r esen ted in th e r e gim e ’s e d u ca tio n a l syste m a n d t e x t b o o k s , yo u th o r ga n iza t io n s , a n d yo u th -d ir e cte d m e d ia . T h e p o lit ica l m yth s w e r e th e a p p e a r a n ce r a th er th a n th e su b sta n ce o f fa s c is m , w h a t th e r e gim e sa id it w a s r a th er th a n w h a t it w a s in r e a lity. W ith o u t u n d er sta n d in g h o w th e r e gim e sp o k e to th e yo u n g, w e ca n n o t r e a lly u n d er sta n d th a t th e d e ve l­ o p m en t o f d is se n t o r a n t ifa s cis m a m o n g th em w a s n o t m e r e ly a ch a n ge o f p o lit ica l v ie w s b u t fo r m a n y a d e e p in ter n a l s t r u ggle fo r lib e r a tio n fr o m a n illu s io n o n ce a cce p te d a s r e a l. “ I n cu lca te d fr o m in fa n cy a n d in s is t e n t ly r ep ea ted ,” th e se m yth s w e r e “o ffe r e d a s a n a n sw e r t o yo u t h fu l a sp ir a tio n s a n d h o p e s . . . t o t h e ir d e s ir e fo r p r o gr e s s a n d lib e r ty.” 13 M u s so lin i fo u n d h is m yth in a fo r m o f n a tio n a lism h e a vily o ve r la id w it h S o cia lis t r h e to r ica l flo u r is h e s . H e h a d in h er ited a n a n a r ch istic/ B la n q u is t b r a n d o f s o cia lis m fr o m h is fa th e r , a n d o ft e n sp o k e in M a r xis t id io m a ft e r h is fin a l b r e a k w it h o r ga n ize d s o cia lis m . B u t h is M a r xis t cu lt u r e w a s s u p e r ficia l a n d seco n d h a n d a n d h is id e a s o f r e vo lu t io n in d e­ ter m in a te a n d in d e fin it e , b a se d le s s o n a n o b je ct iv e a n a lys is o f th e str u ctu r e o f s o cie t y th a n o n a n in s t in ct ive r e co gn it io n o f th e p o lit ica l va lu e o f a ctio n a n d vio le n ce a n d th e e m o tio n a l a p p e a l o f S o c ia lis t r h e to r ic. W o r ld W a r I d r a m a tize d fo r M u s s o lin i th e p o w er o f th e n a tio n a l m yth a n d th e w e a k n e ss o f w o r k in g-cla s s s o lid a r it y; i f th e n o tio n o f c la s s u n it y w o u ld n o t in sp ir e s a cr ifice in th e m u ltitu d e , m en w o u ld figh t a n d d ie fo r k in g a n d co u n tr y. A ft e r M u s s o lin i’s b r e a k w it h s o cia lis m , h is n e w o r ie n ­ ta tio n w a s s ym b o lize d in th e n a m e o f h is n ew sp a p er ; L o tta d i c la s s e b e ca m e I I P ò p o lo d ’I t a lia . In N o ve m b e r 19 14 , in h is fir s t e d it o r ia l fo r th e n e w p a p er , M u s so lin i w r o t e , “ I t is ce r ta in th a t th e n a tio n r e p r ese n ts a s t a ge in h u m an p r o gr e s s th a t h a s n o t ye t b e e n tr a n sce n d e d . . . . T h e sen tim en t o f n a tio n a lity e x is t s , it ca n n o t b e d e n ie d !” 16 F a scis t r h e to r ic w a s a m é la n ge o f s o cia lis m a n d n a tio n a lism ; s o c ia l­ ism str ip p ed o f its a n tin a tio n a l, in ter n a tio n a l, a n d p a cifis t o ve r t o n e s a n d in sp ir e d in stea d w it h lo ve o f co u n tr y a n d m ilita r ism . In O ct o b e r 19 2 2 , ju s t a fe w d a ys b e fo r e th e M a r ch o n R o m e , th e fu tu r e D u ce a n n o u n ced ; “ W e h a ve cr ea te d o u r o w n m yth . . . . O u r m yth is th e n a tio n . . . th e gr e a tn e s s o f th e n a tio n !” 17 F a s cis t m yth s h a d t w o e s s e n t ia l fu n ct io n s , p o s it ive a n d n e g a t ive . T h e e a r ly m yth s w e r e o ft e n n e g a t ive . T h e y a im ed a t tu r n in g th e m a sses a ga in s t in ter n a l a n d e xte r n a l e n e m ie s d e fin e d a s p o lit ica lly d a n ge r o u s o r a n tin a tio n a l; th e r e d a s s a s s in s , co r r u p t lib e r a ls , b o u r ge o is d e fe a t is t s , p lu to cr a tic E u r o p e . A w h o le s e r ie s o f p o s it ive m yth s se r ve d t o in cu lca t e

in t h e m a ss th e n e w F a s cis t vir t u e s o f s a c r ific e , lo ya lt y, a n d fa it h a n d t o

9

c o n v in c e th em th a t fa s cis m w a s in d ee d b u ild in g a n e w w o r ld . In b o th s e n s e s , th e m yth ten d ed t o p o r tr a y fa s cis m a s th e a ge n t o f I ta lia n s a l­ v a t io n .18 R h e t o r ic a n d th e co m m u n ica tio n o f p o lit ica l m yth s w e r e n o t m er e w in d o w d r e s s in g in F a s cis t I t a ly b u t a n e s s e n t ia l fu n ct io n o f th e r e gim e . D e n is M a ck Sm ith h a s cla im e d th a t M u s s o lin i d e vo t e d m o r e tim e t o p u b licit y th a n t o p o lic y .19 It m igh t r a th er b e sa id th a t in F a scis t It a ly, u n d er th e w a t ch fu l e ye o f th e D u ce , p u b licit y b e ca m e p o licy. M u s s o lin i, p o le m ica l jo u r n a lis t p a r e x ce lle n c e , w a s w e ll a w a r e o f th e p o w er o f th e w o r d . H e w a s co n vin ce d th a t th e m a sses w o u ld a cce p t a lm o st a n yth in g p r o vid e d th e a p p e a l w e r e clo t h e d in th e p r o p e r r h e to r ica l ga r b . F o r M u s s o lin i la n gu a ge h a d a m a g ica l p o w er . “An d w h y d o I in s is t o n p r o cla im in g th a t th a t O ct o b e r w a s h is t o r ica lly a r e vo lu t io n ? ” h e a sk e d o n o n e o cca s io n . “ B e ca u s e w o r d s h a ve t h e ir o w n tr em en d o u s m a gic.” 20 M u s s o lin i w a s a co n su m m a te p r o p a ga n d is t, a cto r , a n d s t a ge m a n a ger . H is p o lit ica l s t y le r e fle ct e d h is th o u gh t p r o ce s s e s , w h ich w e r e le s s in t e l­ le ct u a l th a n in st in ct u a l. In p o lit ics h e r e lie d o n h is o w n u n d er sta n d in g o f gr o u p p s ych o lo g y a n d h is in tu itio n — w h a t h e o ft e n r e fe r r e d t o a s h is “ a n im a l

in stin ct” — r a th er th a n o n s t r ict a d h e r en ce t o id e o lo g y a n d lo g ic .

H e w a s in flu e n ce d b y m a n y o th e r t h in k e r s, b u t h is a p p r o a ch t o p o lit ics w a s b a se d n o t o n p r in cip le s , a t b e st u s e fu l n a ils o n w h ich t o h a n g a p a r t icu la r p o lic y, b u t r a th er o n a n in t u it ive gr a sp o f w h a t h e p e r ce ive d a s th e p s ych o lo g ica l n eed s o f th e m a ss. M u s s o lin i’s in s is t e n ce o n th e im p o r ta n ce o f m yth s a n d w o r d s w a s c lo s e ly r e la te d t o h is co n ce p t io n o f p o lit ics a s ge stu r e o r th e a te r a n d h is b e lie f in th e p o lit ica l va lu e o f h is t r io n ics . H er e h e w a s in flu e n ce d b y D ’An n u n zio a n d th e F u tu r ists. D ’An n u n zio h a d a k e e n se n s e o f th e r o le o f s t y le a n d s e lf-d r a m a tiza tio n in p o lit ics . H is d ep a r tu r e fo r th e w a r a t th e a g e o f fift y- t w o , h is d a r in g flig h t s , a n d h is d r a m a tic F iu m e a d ve n tu r e w e r e e xa m p le s o f ge stu r e a s p o lit ics . F u tu r ist “e ve n in g s ” w e r e r e a lly a k in d o f p o lit ica l p sych o d r a m a , t h e a tr ica l s p e ct a cle s fu ll o f d r a m a tic in vo ca t io n s , n o is e , so m e tim e s ge n e r a l fis t ic u ffs , a n d a p r o d igio u s w a ste o f ve g e t a b le s . H is t r io n ic, t o o , w e r e M u s s o lin i’s 19 0 4 th r ea t t o G o d to st r ik e h im d e a d ; h is p la n e r id e s , ca r r a ce s , h o r se ju m p s , d u e ls , a n d vio lin p la yin g ; a n d h is p o se s: le g s sp r ea d a p a r t, ch e s t th r u st o u t b e llic o s e ly, ja w t e n s e d . H is s p e e ch e s w e r e d r a m a tic s p e ct a cle s : gr e a t r ive r s o f fie r y r h e t o r ic a lte r n a tin g w ith lo n g , p r egn a n t p a u s e s . M u s s o lin i’s lo n g e xp e r ie n ce a s a p o lit ica l jo u r n a lis t a n d h is p r e o ccu ­ p a tio n w it h th e w o r d a ffe ct e d h is s t yle o f a d m in istr a tio n . H e sp en t a n in o r d in a te a m o u n t o f h is tim e e a ch d a y te n d in g h is p u b lic im a ge a n d th a t o f h is r e gim e : p o r in g o ve r fo r e ig n a n d d o m e stic n e w s p a p e r s, w r it in g a r t ic le s , ch e ck in g o n th e cir cu la t io n figu r e s fo r th e P N F p r e s s , a n d co m p o s in g th e d a ily v e lin e o r in str u ctio n s t o t h e p r e ss th a t r e gu la t e d in

“Th e K in gd o m o f th e W ord ”

IO

B e lie v e ,

m in u te d e t a il w h a t d k l o r d k l n o t a p p e a r in I ta lia n p a p e r s a n d , ju s t a s im p o r ta n t, h o w it sh o u ld a ll b e s a id .21 M u s s o lin i’s r h e to r ica l a n d o r a t o r ica l s t yle d e ve lo p e d d u r in g h is ca r e e r

O b e y,

a s a S o c ia lis t jo u r n a lis t . H is s t y le fitted h is c h a r a c t e r a g g r e s s iv e , p o -

F ig h t

le m ica l, a n d co n te n tio u s . H e s p o k e a s h e w r o t e , a lw a ys co n s cio u s o f h o w h is w o r d s co u ld b e tr a n sla ted in to b a n n er h e a d lin e s o r a p o d ict ic s lo g a n s . H is ch a r a ct e r is t ic u se o f la n gu a ge a n d h is s t yle o f p o lit ica l co m m u n ica tio n d id n o t ch a n ge m u ch fr o m h is e a r ly d a ys a s a S o c ia lis t . In 19 14 h e sa id : "T h e gr ea t m a sses ca lle d t o fo u n d a n e w k in gd o m d o n o t n e e d s o m u ch t o k n o w a s t o b e lie v e . . . . T h e S o c ia lis t r e vo lu t io n is n o t a m en ta l sch em a o r a ca lcu la t io n b u t , a b o ve a ll, a n a ct o f fa it h .” 22 T h e u s e o f th e w o r d s “ k in gd o m ,” “r e vo lu t io n ,” a n d “ fa it h ” is n o t co in ­ cid e n t a l. W or d s a n d p h r a ses w e r e sh o r n o f t h e ir se m a n tic co n te n t a n d u se d a s e vo ca t io n s , t o co n ju r e u p fe e lin g s a n d im a ge s . T h e w h o le p r o ce s s w a s a k in d o f p s ych o cu ltu r a l co n d it io n in g b a se d o n ir r a tio n a l m e ss a ge s th a t so u gh t to d e p e r s o n a lize in d ivid u a ls a n d r e a sse r t t h e ir id e n tity w ith th e co m m u n ity a n d th e gr o u p , t o id e n t ify th em w it h so m e tr a n scen d en t r e a lit y— n a tio n , fa th e r la n d , s t a t e , e m p ir e . M u s s o lin i w a s a m a ste r o f w h a t h e c a lle d th e a ct io n w o r d . T h e g o a l w a s n o t t o co m m u n ica te r a t io n a lly b u t t o m a k e th e m a ss a c t , t o p er su a d e o r d is s u a d e , t o in c it e , t o m o ve . H ie su p r em e m o m en t in th is co m m u n io n w a s th e le a d e r ’s u s e o f r h e t o r ica l q u e stio n s t o th e m u ltitu d e ( a D 'An n u n zia n d e v ic e ) , w h ich e sta b lish e d a n im m ed ia te co n t a ct w it h th e cr o w d a n d a s s o cia t e d th e in d ivid u a l w it h th e co m m u n a l e n te r p r ise . T h e r e gim e a ls o a d o p ted te ch ­ n iq u e s o f n o n ve r b a l co m m u n ica tio n . F a scis t m yth s w e r e p r esen ted in a w h o le s e r ie s o f e la b o r a te r itu a ls a n d ce r e m o n ie s , o ce a n ic m e e t in gs , u n ifo r m s, s a lu t e s , a n d fla g s , th e g o a l b e in g n o t d is p a ss io n a te r e fle ct io n b u t b e lo n gin g a n d id en tity. T h e s e fu n ctio n s w e r e lit u r g ica l a n d m ilit a r y; t h e y str e sse d th e v ie w o f fa s cis m a s a n e w r e lig io n o n th e m a r ch , a n im a ge o f a n I t a ly n o lo n ge r in ch a o s b u t a r r a ye d in im p o sin g a n d o r d e r ly r a n k s a n d m a tch in g o ff in th e s e r vice o f a n e w ca u s e , a n e w cu lt . M u s s o lin i’s o w n ch a r a cte r istic u s e o f la n gu a ge h a d a n o r m a tive in flu ­ e n ce . T h e r e gim e ’s p r o p a ga n d a m a ch in e so u gh t t o im p o se a ce r t a in lin g u is t ic s t yle a n d u se o f p a r t icu la r o r a t o r ica l a n d r h e to r ica l m o d e ls a s a n a r m y o f jo u r n a lis t s a n d sp o k esm e n t o o k ca r e t o im ita te th e M u s s o lin ia n m e ss a ge . Tb in ve s t iga t e th e F a scis t u se o f p o lit ica l m yth is th u s t o in ve s t iga t e th e m a n ip u la tio n o f a lin g u is t ic s ys t e m , a syste m o f p o lit ica l im a ge m a k in g th a t w a s o n e o f d ie r e gim e ’s m o st p o w e r fu l m ea n s fo r t h e o r ga n iza tio n o f co n se n su s a n d d ie im p o sitio n o f cu lt u r a l a n d p o lit ica l co n fo r m ity. M u s s o lin i’s o ft-q u o t e d u tte r a n ces w e r e u se d in Ita lia n s ch o o ls a s m o d ­ e ls o f e xp r e s s io n , s o th a t a ge n er a tio n o f Ita lia n s w a s fa m ilia r ize d w it h th e a cce p t a b le M u s so lin ia n s t yle a n d th e e th o s o f h is m o ve m e n t. T h e

sta n d a r d gr a m m a r u se d in I ta lia n se co n d a r y s ch o o ls a ft e r 19 3 4 in clu d e d

ii

M u s s o lin i’s in im it a b le (b u t o ft e n im ita te d ) p h r a ses a lo n gs id e th o s e o f s u ch o t h e r gr e a t Ita lia n a u th o r s a s D a n te , P e tr a r ch , M a c h ia ve lli, a n d “ T h e M a n zo n i.23 F o r th e e d ifica t io n a n d illu m in a tio n o f th e m a ss e s , c o lle c ­

K in gd o m

t io n s o f h is s a yin g s w e r e p u b lis h e d (n o te th e r e lig io u s a llu s io n ) a s th e

o f th e

B r e v ia r io m u s s o lin ia n o , a k in d o f F a s cis t ve r s io n o f Ch a ir m a n M a o ’s

W ard ”

lit t le r e d b o o k . A s th e r e w a s a n o ffic ia l F a s cis t s t y le o f g r e e t in g , d r e s s in g , w a lk in g , e a t in g ( s p a r in g ly), a n d e ve n fu r n itu r e , th er e w a s a ls o a F a s cis t s t yle o f w r it in g a n d s p e a k in g a n d th in k in g: th e M u s so lin ia n m o d e l. H is lin g u is ­ t ic s t y le m a d e fr e q u e n t u se o f r h yth m ic a n d to n a l va r ia t io n s , h yp e r b o le , im a g e r y, m eta p h o r , a n d a llit e r a t ive a n d o n o m a to p o e ic e xp r e s s io n s ch o ­ s e n fo r t h e ir so u n d a n d e v o c a t iv e p o w er . O ffic ia l F a s cis t s t yle em p h a ­ s iz e d co n cis e n e s s a n d v ig o r o f e x p r e s s io n , a s co n tr a ste d w it h d e m o ­ c r a t ic a n d lib e r a l p r o lixit y. M yt h s w e r e co n ve ye d in a p h o r ism s, la p id a r y p h r a s e s , a n d p u n ch y s lo ga n s th a t b e ca m e a co n tin u in g a n d h a m m er in g p r e s e n ce o n th e w a lls o f o ffic e s , fa ct o r ie s , b a r r a ck s , p a r ty h e a d q u a r te r s, a n d r a ilr o a d sta tio n s; o n th e r a d io ; a n d in t e xt b o o k s , ca r to o n s t r ip s , a n d n e w s p a p e r h e a d lin e s .24 M u s s o lin ia n , a n d h e n ce o ffic ia l, p r o p a ga n d a u sed a vo ca b u la r y ta ken fr o m th e b a r r a ck s a n d th e ch u r ch th a t e m p h a s ize d th e r e gim e ’s v ie w o f p o lit ic s a s a r e lig io u s m o b iliza t io n in a gr e a t n a tio n a l s t r u g g le . M ilit a r y e x p r e s s io n s p o r tr a yed F a s cis t I t a ly a s a n e w a r m y o n th e m a r ch in tire s e r v ic e o f a r e ju ve n a te d n a tio n . W or d s su ch a s “ s t r a g g le ,” “co u r a g e ,” “ h e r o is m ,” “ in tr a n sige n ce ,” “co w a r d ice ,” “d ea th ,” “ glo r y,” “ d is cip lin e ,” “ w a r ,” a n d “ o r d e r o f th e d a y” w e r e co m m o n ly u se d t o co n ju r e u p im a ge s o f s t r e n gt h a n d im p la ca b le (a n o th e r fa vo r it e ) fo r ce . F a s cis t w ill w a s h e r cu le a n , p o te n t, g r a n it e , t e n a cio u s , m a d e o f s t e e l. F a scis m w a s n o t o n ly a n a r m y b u t a ls o a c u lt . A r e lig io u s le x ico n h a m m er ed h o m e th is m e s s a g e r e p e a te d ly, u s in g w o r d s lik e “ m a r tyr ,” “ s a cr ifice ,” “ r it e ,” “ a lt a r ,” “ r ed em p tio n ,” “co m m u n io n ,” “ m iss io n ,” “ co m m a n d m en t,” a n d “ h ie r a r ch y.” F a scis m w a s a “ sa cr e d ” o r “ h o ly” s t r a g g le ; w a r th e “ su ­ p r e m e s a cr ifice ” ; s e r v ic e o f t h e n a tio n a “ d ivin e co m m a n d m en t.” T h e r e gim e ’s a ttem p t t o im p o se a lin g u is t ic m o d el p r o d u ced a p o lic y o f lin g u is t ic a u ta r k y o r cu lt u r a l ch a u vin ism d e s ign e d n o t o n ly t o r o o t o u t o ffe n s iv e fo r e ig n e xp r e s s io n s fr o m th e la n gu a ge b u t a ls o (a ft e r G e n t ile le ft t h e M in is t r y o f P u b lic In str u ctio n ) t o p r e ve n t th e u se o f d ia le ct in d ie s c h o o ls a n d th e m e d ia . F o r e ign e xp r e s s io n s w e r e se e n a s s ig n s o f u n a cce p t a b le cu lt u r a l d e fe r e n ce .23 P er h a p s th e m o st -p u b licize d a sp e ct o f t h e F a s cis t a ttem p t t o p u r ify th e Ita lia n la n gu a ge o f fo r e ign in flu e n ce s w a s A c h ille S t a n c e ’s “ a n t i - k f ca m p a ign to p r o h ib it th e u se o f th e th ir d p e r s o n s in g u la r , w h ich h e sa w a s a c le a r s ig n o f b o u r ge o is sn o b b ism a n d a r e m n a n t o f fo r e ign in va s io n s . T h e tr u e F a scis t u se d th e se co n d p er so n s in g u la r , m , o r th e se co n d p er so n p lu r a l, v o i. D ia le ct s w e r e , in th e v ie w

12

o f th e p o lic y m a k e r s, h o ld o ve r s fr o m a n in glo r io u s p a st . A s th e fu lfill-

____

m en t o f th e p r o m ise o f th e R is o r gim e n t o , fa s cis m h a d u n ited I t a ly; it h a d

B e lie v e ,

co m p le te d D ’A z e g lio ’s ta sk o f “ m a k in g Ita lia n s.” H e n ce a ll r e gio n a lis m

O b e y,

a n d p a r ticu la r ism b e lo n ge d n o t to th e F a s cis t fu tu r e b u t t o th e d e ca d e n t

F ig h t

a n d d is ca r d e d lib e r a l p a st . F a s cis t m yth s w e r e a n a m a lga m o f tr a d itio n a l a n d r e vo lu t io n a r y th e m e s, o f n a tio n a list a n d F a s cis t r h e t o r ic. N a tio n a l th em es e m p h a s izin g th e p a st , tr a d it io n , a n d s t a b ilit y co e x is t e d w ith th o se th a t p o r tr a ye d fa s cis m a s r e vo lu t io n , d yn a m ism , s t r u g g le , a n d a r u p tu r e w ith th e sa d p a st . D e s p it e th e r e gim e ’s t o ta lita r ia n p r e te n sio n s. F a scis t I t a ly w a s a d ya r ch y. T h e r o le o f th e k in g a s a s ym b o l o f n a tio n a l u n ity a n d a s a gu a r a n to r o f n a tio n a l tr a d itio n a n d co n t in u it y w a s a cr u cia l p a r t o f F a scis t p r o p a ga n d a , a c le a r r e co gn it io n o f th e m o n a ich ich a l sen tim en ts o f th e co u n tr y a n d o f th e a r m y, w h ich , a ft e r a ll, t o o k an o a th o f lo ya lt y t o th e k in g an d n o t (a s d id th e m ilit ia ) t o th e D u ce . T h e im p o r ta n ce a tta ch ed t o n a tio n a l e m b le m s w a s ve r y e vid e n t in ico n o gr a p h y, w h e r e n a tio n a l a n d F a scis t s ym b o ls r e gu la r ly a p p ea r ed s id e b y s id e , l b in s t ill th e m e ss a ge o f fa s cis m a s lib e r a t o r o f th e n a tio n in ch a in s , th e t w o s e t s o f s ym b o ls w e r e lin k e d in e xt r ica b ly in th e p o p u la r m in d : th e m u scu la r a r m o f a b la ck -sh ir te d s q u a d r ista h e ld a lo ft th e n a tio n a l fla g ; th e f a s c e s w e r e su p er im p o sed o v e r th e t r ico lo r o r th e S a vo ya r d co a t o f a r m s .26

T h e M u s s o lin i M y th : T h e L e a d e r a n d t h e N a tio n T h e k e r n e l o f F a scis t m yt h o lo gy a s p r esen ted t o Ita lia n s w a s th e id e n t ifi­ ca t io n b e tw e e n r e gim e , s ym b o lize d b y th e c a p o , an d th e n a tio n . F a s cis t p r o p a ga n d a u n r e le n tin gly h a m m er ed h o m e th e eq u a tio n s: lo ve o f co u n ­ t r y e q u a le d fa it h in fa s cis m , p a r ty e q u a le d n a tio n , fa th e r la n d e q u a le d r e gim e , M u s so lin i e q u a le d Ita ly. T h e d e ifica t io n o f th e le a d e r d id n o t ta k e p la ce o ve r n igh t , b u t a lo n g w it h th e co n so lid a t io n o f th e r e gim e w e n t th e tr a n sfo r m a tio n o f M u s s o ­ lin i th e F a scis t in to M u s so lin i th e le a d e r o f fa s cis m , fr o m p a r ty le a d e r t o n a tio n a l a n d in ter n a tio n a l str o n g m a n . In 19 2 1 M u s s o lin i h a d w a r n ed h is fo llo w e r s : “C u r e yo u r s e lve s o f m e.” T h e sa m e m a n , sp e a k in g fr o m th e sa m e p o d iu m in 19 3 2 , sa id : “ Yb u m u st b e p r o u d t o liv e in th e tim e s o f M u s s o lin i.” 27 D u r in g th e fir st ye a r s o f th e r e gim e , th e F a scis t p r o p a ga n d a m a ch in e w a s a id e d b y th e w id e sp r e a d r e co gn it io n a n d r e sp e ct M u s s o lin i se e m e d t o e n jo y a b r o a d a n d b y th e a p p a r en t la ck o f r e a l a lt e r n a t ive s a t h o m e . M u s s o lin i t o o k gr ea t p a in s t o cu lt iva t e go o d r e la tio n s w ith a ll fo r e ig n jo u r n a lis t s in R o m e b y gr a n tin g h u n d r ed s o f in t e r vie w s a n d a u d ie n ce s w ith vis it in g w r it e r s. T h e e ffo r t p a id h a n d som e d ivid e n d s a s a s t e a d y

str e a m o f la u d a to r y a r t icle s a n d b o o k s sp r ea d th e ge n e r a l fe e lin g a m o n g

13

I t a lia n s th a t t h e ir n a tio n w a s fin a lly ge t t in g th e tr ea tm en t it d e se r ve d a n d

____

th a t I t a ly w a s a t la s t in th e va n gu a r d o f E u r o p ea n p o lit ica l a n d s o cia l “ T h e e ve n ts. L e g io n s o f fo r e ig n co r r esp o n d en ts r etu r n ed fr o m I t a ly a n d w r o te th e o ld s a w s a b o u t M u s s o lin i m a k in g th e tr a in s r u n o n t im e , a b o u t th e t ir e le s s le a d e r w h o n e ve r sle p t (o r a t le a s t n e ve r tu rn ed o ff th e lig h t s in h is o ffic e ) o r th e fe a r le s s s a v io r w h o h a d r e scu e d I t a ly fr o m th e “ B o ls h e ­ v is t s . b r iga n d s , a n d B la c k H a n d er s.” 28 T h e s e tr ib u tes w e r e g iv e n gr e a t p la y in th e F a s cis t p r e ss . In 19 2 3 L o r d C u r zo n ’s ch a r a ct e r iza t io n o f M u s s o lin i a s a “ m a n o f m a r ve llo u s e n e r g y a n d ir o n fis t ” w a s p u b lish e d in t h e P o p o lo d ’I t a lia a s th e “ e u lo g y o f L o r d C u r zo n .” 29 M u s s o lin i w a s o m n ip r esen t. B y th e t im e th e in ter n a tio n a l situ a tio n b e g a n t o d e ge n e r a te a n d cr it icis m a r o se fr o m m a n y q u a r te r s , Ita lia n s h a d g r o w n u se d t o s e e in g h is fa m ilia r ju t t in g-ja w e d fa ce g la r in g d o w n a t t h e m in e v e r y p u b lic p la ce . B u t a s p e o p le b e ga n t o s e e d ie cr a ck s in th e fa c a d e o f fa s cis m m or e cle a r ly, so m e o f th em clu n g to th e le ge n d o f th e D u c e w it h e ve n gr e a t e r te n a city. R e n zo D e F e lice cla im e d th a t M u s so ­ lin i’s p e r so n a l p r e s t ige d e ve lo p e d in a lm o st in v e r s e p r o p o r tio n t o th e p r e s t ig e o f th e p a r ty, a n d th a t a s th e F a s cis t e xp e r im e n t b e ga n t o sh o w it s “ lim it s a n d it s n e g a t ive a s p e ct s , th e se p e o p le clu t ch e d o n t o fa it h , to h o p e in th e (o n ly] m a n . . . a b le t o u n d er sta n d th e tr u e a sp ir a tio n s o f th e co u n t r y, t o s e t h im s e lf u p a s th e a r b ite r a n d m e d ia to r o f co n flict s a n d in t e r n a l co n tr a sts a n d t o im p o se h is o w n w ill o n a ll." 30 T h is w a s n ot a c cid e n t a l b u t a r e fle ct io n o f th e e s s e n ce o f th e F a scis t r e gim e . B y th e la t e 19 2 0 s th e P N F h a d b e en sh o r n o f it s e ffe c t iv e r o le in p o lit ics , a n d it s e n e r g ie s , a s G iu s e p p e B o t t a i co m m e n te d , w e r e “ d ir e cte d tow a r d cr ys t a l­ liz in g th e p o w er h e ld b y th e D u ce .” 31 T h e F a scis t r e gim e w a s b a se d o n a co m p r o m ise w it h th e e sta b lish e d e lit e s a n d p o w er str u ctu r es— th e ch u r ch , th e m o n a r ch y, b ig ca p it a l a n d la n d o w n e r s , a n d th e a r m y. M u s s o lin i’s e s s e n t ia l fu n ct io n , th e n , w a s t o s e r v e a s a m ed ia to r , a n d th is r o le e n t a ile d clip p in g th e w in g s o f th e m o r e r a d ica l F a scis ts a n d r e d u cin g th e P N F t o th e p a s s ive r o le o f a ch o r u s a p p la u d in g p o lic ie s d e cid e d o n h igh . M u s s o lin i d id n o t d ism a n tle th e m a ch in e r y o f th e sta te ; in d e e d , a ft e r th e fa m o u s cir cu la r o f 5 J a n u a r y 19 2 7 , th e r e a l r e p r e s e n ta tive s o f go ve r n m e n t p o lic y in th e p r o vin ce s w e r e n o t P N F o ffic ia ls b u t th e sta te p r e fe ct s u n d er th e co n t r o l o f th e M in is t r y o f th e I n te r io r .32 Le a d e r s o f th e P N F m igh t gr u m b le th a t th e D u ce w a s b e tr a yin g th e p r in cip le s o f th e F a s cis t r e vo lu t io n , a s d id r a s lik e R o b e r t o F a r in a cci, b u t th e in stitu tio n s o f th e F a scis t r e gim e sa n cti­ fie d M u s s o lin i’s ch o ice : a “ to ta lita r ia n ” s yste m th a t p r o cla im e d it s e lf a r e vo lu t io n b u t sa fe gu a r d e d th e in ter e sts o f p r ivile g e d gr o u p s a n d su p ­ p r e s s e d o p p o s it io n to th e gr o w in g p o w er o f th e le a d er . C o h e s io n a n d

K in gd o m o f th e W ard ”

14 ____ B e lie v e , O b e y, F ig h t

co n se n su s w e r e th u s o r ga n ize d a r o u n d th e “ c u lt o f th e D u ce ” a n d n o t a r o u n d th e id e a ls o f d ie F a scis t m o ve m e n t. O p p o s it io n w a s d e fin e d a s a n ti-F a scist a n d a n tin a tio n a l. D is cip lin e a n d o b e d ie n ce w e r e th e h igh e st vir t u e s o f th e n e w Ita lia n a n d th e lo ya l p a r ty fo llo w e r . T h e M u s so lin ia n vis io n o f th e to ta lita r ia n sta te d em a n d ed th e b u r e a u cr a tiza tio n a n d d e vit a liza t io n o f th e p a r ty. B u t w ith o u t a n e ffe c t iv e p o lit ica l p a r ty, th e p r o m ise o f cr e a t in g a n e w r u lin g c la s s w a s a n illu s io n . T h e fu tu r e o f th e r e gim e w a s tie d in cr e a s in g ly to th e life o f M u s s o lin i a n d th e e ffe ct ive n e s s o f h is c u lt a n d m yt h .33 In it s a p p e a l t o th e p a tr io tic a n d co n s e r va t ive b o u r g e o is ie , th e r e gim e p la ye d o n th e p e o p le ’s n e e d fo r s e cu r it y a n d o r d e r a n d str e sse d th o se m o d er a te a sp e cts o f fa s cis m th a t w o u ld gu a r a n tee h a r m on y. M a n y b o u r ­ g e o is F a scis ts vie w e d th e e xtr e m is t r a s w it h s u s p icio n , b u t t h e y co u ld sym p a th ize w it h th e o ld n a tio n a lists a n d w it h M u s s o lin i, a str o n g m a n in a n e r a th a t d em a n d ed d e cis iv e a ct io n . H e h a d s a ve d I t a ly fr o m th e m e n a ce o f s o cia l u p h e a va l a n d h a d m a d e it r e sp e cte d in th e w o r ld . W ith o u t h im th e e d ifice o f fa s cis m w o u ld co lla p s e a n d I t a ly w o u ld b e p lu n ged o n ce a ga in in to ch a o s . F a ce d w ith M u s s o lin i’s s u cce s s e s , th e n e g a t ive a n d so m etim es w o r r iso m e a s p e ct s o f th e r e gim e p a ss e d in to se co n d a r y im p o r ta n ce fo r m a n y. F a ith in M u s s o lin i d id n o t a lw a ys m ea n b e lie f in fa s cis m , b u t d ie e xtr e m ism o r co r r u p tio n o f m a n y o f th e p a r ty h ie r a r ch s co u ld b e b la m e d o n th e ir b e tr a ya l o f th e M u s so lin ia n vis io n . A s th e ye a r s p a sse d th e cu lt o f th e D u ce b e ca m e “th e fu lcr u m o f th e r e gim e , it s p er m a n en t p le b is cit a r y e le m e n t.” 34 T h e h o ld o f th e M u s s o lin i m yth o n th e yo u th o f I t a ly— a n d th e ve r y r e a l d is t in ct io n t h e y o ft e n m a d e b e tw e e n th e r e gim e a n d t h e vis io n o f th e D u ce — is e vid e n t in so m e o f th e F a scis t u n ive r s it y gr o u p n e w s p a p e r s, w h e r e th e sh ib b o le th s a b o u t th e in fa llib le D u ce m u ltip lie d e ve n a s th e u n ive r s it y stu d en ts cr it icize d th e P N F a n d it s o th e r le a d in g lig h t s . T h e ir cr it icis m s w e r e b a se d o n w h a t t h e y sa w a s “ p u r e fa s cis m ,” w h ich w a s n o t b e in g r e a lize d u n d er th e r e gim e . T h e F a scis t st a t e , t h e y so m e tim e s cla im e d , w a s n o t a tr u e r e fle ct io n o f F a scis t id e a ls b e ca u s e th e r e vo lu ­ tio n a r y w ill o f M u s s o lin i w a s b e in g h in d er ed b y co r r u p t h ie r a r ch s to o t ie d t o th e b o u r ge o is p a st . So m e o f th e se yo u n g m en w en t t o th e w a r s t ill co n vin ce d th a t t h e y co u ld r etu r n a s h er a ld s o f a n e w fa s cis m , a se co n d w a ve th a t w o u ld sw e e p a w a y th e o ld co n s e r va t ive a n d r e a ctio n a r y fo r ce s s t ill in sid e th e r e gim e a n d th u s r e a lize th e p r o m ise s o f M u s s o lin i. T h e w a r w a s fo r m a n y, h o w e ve r , cr u cia l e vid e n ce th a t th e e v ils t h e y c r it ic ize d w e r e n o t in th e syste m b u t o f th e s ys t e m . T h e d eta ch m en t o f th e yo u n g fr o m th e r e gim e m u st b e se e n a t le a s t in p a r t a s a lib e r a tio n fr o m th e m yth o f th e in fa llib le le a d er . U go b e r to A lfa s s io G r im a ld i, a n e a r ly b e lie v e r tu r n ed a n t i-F a s cis t , co m m en ted o n th e a lm o st p h ys ica l b o n d b e tw e e n M u s so lin i an d th e yo u n g: “ M u s s o lin i. . . w a s fo r a li o f u s b o m in th e F a s cis t clim a t e a n e xce p t io n a l p e r so n a lity a t w h o se a lt a r . . . w e

b u r n e d a t le a s t a b it o f o u r yo u th . W e n e ve r sa w h im a s ju s t a n y o r d in a r y

15

m o r t a l. . . [b u t a s] a m a n in fin it e ly h igh e r th a n th e o th e r s. . . . O f th e

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v a r io u s d o gm a s w it h w h ich w e h a d to b r e a k t o g e t o u t fr o m u n d er “ T h e fa s c is m , th a t o f th e in fa llib ilit y o f th e D u ce w a s ce r t a in ly th e m o st

K in gd o m

r e s is t a n t .” 35

o f th e

M u s s o lin i h im s e lf a s s id u o u s ly fo st e r e d a n d n u r tu r ed th is m yth o f h is o w n su p er h u m a n ity. H is r e m in is ce n ce s w e r e r a r e ly co m p le t e ly fa ls e b u t w e r e fa n t a s t ic e m b r o id e r ie s o n th e m o r e sta id r e a lit ie s ; t h e y e m p h a s ize d h is p a ter n a l lo v e fo r h is p e o p le , h is in cr e d ib le str e n gth , h is va lo r , a n d h is t o t a l in co r r u p tib ility. T h e D u ce w a s p o r tr a yed a s va s t ly a b o ve o r d in a r y m o r ta ls b u t t ie d t o h is p e o p le b y lo ya lt y a n d a tr u e co n ce r n fo r t h e ir w e lfa r e : h e h a d co m e fr o m th e m , h e w a s o n e o f th e m , h e w a s in fin it e ly a b o ve th em . S o th a t t h e m a ss e s co u ld id e n t ify w ith t h e ir le a d e r , F a scis t p r o p a ga n d a e xp lo it e d h is h u m b le o r ig in s ; th e p o o r h o u se o f h is b ir th a t P r e d a p p io b e ca m e a p o p u la r sh r in e fo r Ita lia n p ilg r im s . T h e d e p r iva tio n s o f h is e a r ly ye a r s a n d h is p e r io d o f “ e x ile ” in S w it ze r la n d p r o vid e d gr is t fo r h is p r o p a ­ ga n d a m ill b y id e n t ifyin g h im a s a m a n o f th e p e o p le a n d a n e n e m y o f th e r ich . G a llo n s o f in k a n d r ea m s o f p a p e r w e r e u sed to r e t e ll M u s s o lin i's o w n t a le s o f h is p e cu n ia r y d isin ter e st: “ In p o lit ics I n e ve r ga in e d a p en n y. I d e t e s t th o se w h o liv e lik e p a r a site s s u ck in g a w a y a t t h e e d ge s o f th e s o c ia l s t r u g g le . I h a te m en w h o gr o w r ich in p o lit ics ."36 M u s s o lin i w a s in tru th n o s yb a r it e , a n d fo r tw e n ty ye a r s Ita lia n s h a d th is d r u m m ed in t o t h e ir h e a d s in st o r y a ft e r st o r y a b o u t h is a b ste m io u s ch a r a ct e r a n d t h e e xtr e m e m o d er a tio n o f h is p e r so n a l h a b its. S o m e o f th e m o st t yp ica l a n d fr e q u e n tly p r in ted p h o to gr a p h s o f th e D u ce e m p h a s ize d th is co m m u n io n a n d co n ce r n w ith th e m a sses: p h o to s o f h im lis t e n in g w it h a co n ce r n e d e xp r e ssio n t o a n o ld w o m a n , su r ­ r o u n d ed b y a d o r in g lit t le ch ild r e n , in w o r k clo t h e s a m o n g th e fa r m e r s, o r b r a n d ish in g a to r ch a m o n g fa ct o r y w o r k e r s. O n e o f th e r ecu r r en t im a ge s w a s th e a n n u a l p h o to gr a p h o f M u s s o lin i su r r o u n d ed b y th e “ p r o lific m o th er s” b e in g d e co r a te d b y th e le a d e r fo r t h e ir co n tr ib u tio n s t o th e v it a lit y o f th e fa th e r la n d . T h e D u ce — o r r a th er th e D U C E — w a s th u s p r e se n te d a s a so n o f th e p e o p le a n d a s a fa th e r figu r e , a n e ve r -p r e s e n t s o u r ce o f co n s o la t io n w h o h ea r d th e p r a ye r s a n d p r o b le m s o f h is flo c k . T h e r e gim e ’s p r o p a ga n d a im a ge s w e r e co n ve ye d in a s e r ie s o f m yth ic a n d h e r o ic e p is o d e s . O n e b io gr a p h e r cla im e d , fo r e x a m p le , th a t in th e h o u r o f M u s s o lin i’s b ir th a n e a g le w a s str u ck b y a b o lt o f ligh t n in g a t Sch o e n b r u n n , th e r e sid e n ce o f th e H a p sb u r gs. T h e m o r a l o f th e t a le w a s c le a n th is p r o d igio u s ch ild w o u ld b y h is in ter ven tio n ist ca m p a ign b r in g th e e n d o f th e D u a l M o n a r ch y. In a p a m p h let fo r th e L ib ya n yo u th gr o u p , M u s s o lin i’s s u cce s s w a s a ttr ib u ted to th e fa ct th a t th e fa m o u s r in g o f S o lo m o n th a t h a d b e en lo s t fo r m ille n n ia h a d r ea p p ea r ed m yste r io u s ly, an d b y d iv in e w ill, in M u s s o lin i’s h a n d s .37 M a n y o f th e se ta le s em p h a -

W or d ”

i6

s ize d th e D u ce ’s p h ys ica l co u r a ge a n d vir ilit y. Yo u n g Ita lia n s h ea r d

____

a ga in a n d a ga in o f h is s u ffe r in g a n d b r a ve r y in th e w a r , a n d st o r ie s

B e lie v e ,

e m p h a s ize d th e fa scin a t io n h e e xe r t e d o v e r h is m en : “ I h a d a n e ffe c t o n

O b e y,

m y so ld ie r s th a t se e m e d t o b e a lm o st m ys t ica l. T h e b o ys sa w m e a s th e

F igh t

a ve n ge r o f o u r w r o n ge d Ita ly. . . . I co u ld n o t r em a in u n m o ved w h en I k n e w th a t t h e ir la s t th o u gh ts w e r e o f ‘o u r n a t ive la n d a n d th e D u c e .' ” 38 M a r gh e r ita S a r fa t t i’s h a gio gr a p h ie b io gr a p h y cla im e d th a t d u r in g th e w a r M u s s o lin i r e ce ive d s o m a n y w o u n d s (fo r t y-t w o ) th a t h e se e m e d lik e “ Sa n S e b a s t ia n , h is fle sh p ie r ce d a s i f w ith a r r o w s.” 39 In h is a u to b io gr a ­ p h y M u s so lin i cla im e d th a t a lth o u gh th e w o u n d s in flict e d “ in d e s cr ib a b le p a in ,” “ I u n d er w en t p r a ct ica lly a ll o f m y o p e r a t io n s w ith o u t th e a id o f a n a n e sth etic.” 40 T h e sa m e m an w h o , co n te m p o r a r ie s r e p o r te d , w a s p h ys i­ c a lly ill a t th e s igh t o f a s yr in g e , h a d n igh tm a r es a b o u t th e sm e ll o f e th e r , a n d w a s a fr a id o f sh a d o w s a n d so lit u d e p r o ve d h is co u r a ge in d u e ls— d ie d iffe r e n ce b e in g th a t o n e w a s a p u b lic d em o n str a tio n o f b r a ve r y, d ie o th e r a p r iva t e a d m issio n o f w e a k n e ss . T h e r e is in a ll o f th is M u s so lin ia n e xh ib it io n is m , o n e is tem p ted to s u r m is e , a co m p e n sa tio n fo r r e a l fe e l­ in gs o f in a d e q u a cy a n d in se cu r ity, a p s ych ic n eed t o p r o ve in p u b lic th a t h e w a s so m e o n e w h o in p r iva t e h e fe a r e d h e w a s n o t .41 F o r p u b lic co n su m p tio n , M u s s o lin i w a s th e s ym b o l o f F a scis t str en gth a n d vir ilit y, a m a n w h o d is d a in e d p h ys ica l d a n ge r a n d w h o w a s ca p a b le o f m e e tin g a n y ch a lle n g e w ith s a n gfr o id . H e w a s a b r a ve s o ld ie r a n d a n a cco m p lis h e d a th le te . Ita lia n s w e r e tr ea ted t o in n u m er a b le im a ge s o f h im sw im m in g ( s t ill w it h h is gr a n ite ja w o u t o f th e w a te r ), r id in g h o r s e b a ck , fe n cin g , p ilo t in g r ick e t y p la n e s , r id in g m o t o r cycle s w it h d a sh in g g o g g le s an d s ca r ve s . T h e p r e ss w a s e xp r e s s ly fo r b id d e n t o m en tion d a n cin g , th o u gh h e w a s o ft e n p h o to gr a p h ed p la yin g th e v io ­ lin — th e o n e u n m a n ly an d b o u r g e o is , th e o t h e r a n e xp r e s s io n o f d e e p cu lt u r a l in ter e sts. T h e em p h a sis o n h is p h ys ica l v ir ilit y a n d co u r a ge w a s c lo s e ly t ie d t o th o se a sp e cts o f th e m yth th a t p o in ted t o h is a p p a r e n tly p er p etu a l yo u th . N o m en tim i o f a n y illn e s s w a s e v e r p er m itted in th e Ita lia n p r e ss , a n d p a p er s w e r e fo r b id d e n to m en tion h is a g e o r h is gr a n d ch ild r e n . In h is d ia r y fo r 3 1 M a y 19 4 1 G a le a zzo C ia n o e m p h a size d th e D u ce ’s d e ter m i­ n a tio n t o p r e s e r ve h is yo u th fu l im a ge : “ I lea r n fr o m B o t t a i,” sa id C ia n o , “ th a t th e D u ce is e xa sp e r a te d b y th e p u b lic a t io n . . . o f a m o tto b y so m e G r e e k p h ilo s o p h e r . . . ’N o gr e a te r m isfo r tu n e ca n b e fa ll a co u n t r y th a n t o b e go ve r n e d b y a n o ld t yr a n t .' ” 42 H is clo s e s t a s s o cia t e s w e r e w e ll a w a r e o f M u s s o lin i’s o b s e s s io n w it h yo u t h , w h ich t h e y s a w a s th e e xp la n a tio n fo r h is r e la tio n sh ip w it h t h e m u ch yo u n ge r C la r e t t a R e ta cci. G iu s e p p e B o t t a i w r o te in h is d ia r y: “ I so m e tim e s th in k w h a t th is L e a d e r w o u ld b e i f h e h a d , a m o n g th e m a n y o th e r k in d s o f co u r a ge w h ich n o o n e d e n ie s , [th e co u r a ge ] t o m a tu re w ith d ig n it y a n d ser en ity.” 43 B y 19 3 1, w h en th e su p er -F a scist A c h ille Sta r a ce t o o k o ve r a s s e ct e -

t a r y o f th e P N F , th e r it u a liza t io n o f d ie ch a r ism a o f th e D u ce h a d b e co m e

17

a fu ll-t im e b u sin e ss an d h a gio gr a p h y th e o r d e r o f th e d a y. T h e F a s cis t p r e s s r e fe r r e d t o h im (o r r a th er t o H im ) a s d ie “ m a gn ifice n t” D u ce , th e

Th e

“ s u b lim e ” D u ce , a n d e v e n th e “ d ivin e ” D u ce . D e b a te s o v e r w h a t a d je c­

K in gd o m

t iv e s to u s e t o d e s cr ib e h is a n im a l m a gn etism w e r e le g io n , a n d h u n d r ed s

o f th e

o f b o o k s a n d p a m p h lets w e r e p u b lish e d a n a lyzin g th e d e e p r e lig io u s a n d

W or d ”

p h ilo s o p h ica l s ig n ifica n ce o f h is th o u gh t o r th e h is t o r ica l im p r in t o f h is p e r so n a lity. O n e th a t r e ca lle d T h o m a s à K e m p is ’s I m ita tio n o f C h r is t w a s e n t it le d I m ita z io n e d i M u s s o lin i. A s e r ie s o f b o o k s b y P a o lo

O r a n o p o r tr a ye d M u s s o lin i a s th e a p o th e o sis o f Ita lia n ge n iu s . I t a c t s , s p e e ch e s , a n d a r t icle s co m p a r ed h im t o S a in t F r a n cis o r t o J esu s h im s e lf. O n e w a s e s p e c ia lly su ccin ct : “ M u s s o lin i is G o d a n d I t a ly is th e P r o m ise d L a n d .” 44 In 19 3 0 O t t a vio D it t a le , o n e o f M u s s o lin i’s e a r lie s t co lla b o r a ­ t o r s a n d a m a n m u ch sm itten w it h d ie m yth o f th e le a d er , w r o te : “ H e w a s c a lle d B e n it o M u s s o lin i b u t h e w a s in ste a d Ale xa n d e r th e G r e a t a n d C a e s a r , S o cr a t e s a n d P la t o , V ir g il a n d L u cr e t iu s , H o r a ce a n d I h c it u s , K a n t a n d N ie t zs ch e , M a r x a n d S o r t i, M a ch ia ve lli a n d N a p o le o n , G a r i­ b a ld i a n d th e U n k n o w n So ld ie r .” 45 A s a le a d e r M u s s o lin i p o ss e sse d s e m id ivin e ch a r a ct e r is t ics , a n d th e p r o te ctio n o f th e A lm ig h t y w e n t w it h h im . A ft e r a n a ttem p ted a ss a s sin a ­ t io n th e G io r n a le d 'I t a lia p u b lis h e d th e h e a d lin e: “ In sa n e a ttem p t o n th e life o f M u s s o lin i. G o d h a s s a ve d Ita ly.” 46 A ll th e in it ia t ive s o f th e r e gim e a ls o h a d d ivin e b le s s in g . O n e w id e ly cir cu la t e d p o stca r d d u r in g th e a n tiL e a g u e ca m p a ign o f 19 3 3 d e p ict e d th e ga th e r in g o f g o ld fo r th e ca u s e a s o ve r s e e n b y J e s u s , w h o w o u ld gr a n t th e n a tio n s u cce s s fo r th e “ H o lin e s s o f th e C a u s e .”47 M u s s o lin i h im s e lf w a s so m e tim e s p o r tr a yed a s h a vin g q u a lit ie s b e yo n d th e n a tu r a l. A n a r t icle in a T r ip o li n e w sp a p e r cla im e d th a t th e v is it o f th e D u ce t o th e co lo n y b r o u gh t th e b e n e ficia l r a in s th e A r a b p o p u la tio n h a d lo n g d e s ir e d .4* M u s so lin i q u it e co n s cio u s ly p la ye d m a n y r o le s . H e w a s va r io u s ly th e o d d M a ch ia ve llia n , th e h o t-b lo o d e d r o m a n tic w h o w r o t e ve r s e a n d p la ye d th e v io lin , th e s t e e ly-e ye d R e n a issa n ce co n d o ttie r e w it h a w ill o f ir o n , th e d eter m in ed Le n in ist r e vo lu t io n a r y le a d e r , th e N ie t zs ch e a n su ­ p e r m a n , th e cla ir vo ya n t sta te sm a n , o r th e n e w sa in t o f Ita ly. M u s so lin i w a s n o t a m a n g ive n t o so b e r n e ss in p o lit ics o r t o d ie d r e a r in e ss o f r o u tin e a d m in istr a tio n . I t w a s e a s ie r t o cu r e th e ills o f s o cie t y w it h w o r d s a n d slo ga n s th a n w it h h a r d w o r k a n d ca r e fu l p la n n in g. B u t t o m a k e p e o p le fo r g e t th e r e a lit y o f lo s t lib e r ty, th e sh o w h a d t o b e p e r p e tu a lly fla m b o ya n t a n d e x cit in g . H e w a s k e e n ly a w a r e th a t m yth s w e r e o f m o r e va lu e t o h im a n d t o h is m o ve m e n t th a n th e tr u th , a n d s o th e r e gim e ’s p r o p a ga n d a m a ch in e co n str u cte d a fa ls e a n d in cr e a s in g ly d isto r te d im ­ a g e o f a le a d e r th a t “ b e ca m e th e k e r n e l . . . r ou n d w h ich th e fa s cis t m o ve m e n t w a s b u ilt .” In retu r n fo r th e su r r en d er o f t h e ir lib e r t ie s t o th e g o d lik e le a d e r , M u s s o lin i “ w o u ld tr a n sfo r m th e n a tu r e o f th e Ita lia n s a n d

i8

m a k e th em m igh ty a n d ir r e s is t ib le .”49 “ I ca n n o t h e lp th in k in g,” sa id d ie

____

a it c r it ic U g o O je t t i, “ h o w m u d i h is fa c e m u st a ch e a t n igh t w h e n h e

B e lie v e ,

r e tir e s.” 50 T h e te ch n iq u e w a s n o t s o p h is t ica t e d , b u t fo r a tim e m a n y w e r e

O b e y,

w illin g t o s a cr ifice t h e ir lib e r t y in r etu r n fo r th e p e r p e t u a lly n e w a n d

F ig h t

sta r tlin g s p e ct a cle o f h is r u le a n d h is p r o m ise s fo r a b r igh t a n d se cu r e fu tu r e . A ft e r th e E th io p ia n w a r M u s s o lin i w a s a lw a ys gr e e t e d w it h t h e r itu a l in vo ca t io n “ H a il t o th e D u c e , F o u n d er o f E m p ir e!” H is s u cce s s in th a t w a r co n vin ce d h im o f h is o w n in fa llib ilit y a n d in cr e a se d h is d eta ch m en t fr o m th e r e a lit y a r ou n d h im . G iu s e p p e B a s t ia n in i, w h o se r ve d a s u n d er ­ se cr e t a r y o f fo r e ig n a ffa ir s fr o m 19 3 6 t o 19 3 9 , n o ted in h is m em o ir s: “ H e is su r e o f h im s e lf a n d o f h is s ta r , a ll o th e r s m u st, a ft e r th a t h is t o r ic p r o o f, gr a n t h im in fa llib ilit y in e v e r y e ve n t u a lit y n o w a n d fo r e ve r .” 51 T h is b e lie f in th e p o lit ica l v a lid it y o f h is o w n in tu itio n , fa it h , a n d w ill tr a n sla ted in to a b e lie f in h is m is s io n , a n e ve r -d e e p e r c o n vict io n th a t h e h a d b e e n ca lle d t o a Ca e sa r e a n vo ca t io n . H is in te r e st a ft e r th e w a r w a s le s s in r o u tin e p o lit ics th a n in h is o w n p la ce in h isto r y. M u s s o lin i h a d a lw a ys b e en n a tu r a lly d iffid e n t to w a r d o th e r s. H e h a d fe w c lo s e fr ie n d s a n d tr u sted a lm o st n o o n e e xce p t h is b r o th er A r n a ld o , w h o s e d e a th in 19 3 1 e xa gge r a t e d th e D u ce ’s te n d e n cy t o c lo s e h im s e lf o ff fr o m th o se a r ou n d h im . B u t a ft e r th e E th io p ia n w a r a n d th e p r o cla ­ m a tion o f e m p ir e , h e b e ca m e s t ill m o r e O lym p ia n in h is d eta ch m en t fr o m e ve n h is clo s e s t a d vis e r s a n d m u ch le s s a cce s s ib le t o th e fo r e ig n p r e s s . In Au g u s t 19 3 6 , a ft e r a m e e tin g w it h M u s s o lin i, B o t t a i n o te d in h is d ia r y: “ N o t th e

m a n

b u t th e sta tu e sto o d b e fo r e m e.” 52 H e e ve n t u a lly

b e ca m e a d d icte d t o th e m yth h e h a d cr ea te d fo r o th e r s; p er h a p s e ve n in h is o w n m in d h e w a s th e P r in ce p s J u v e n tu tis , th e p e r p e t u a lly yo u n g a n d v ir ile p r in ce w h o se d e s t in y w a s in e xt r ica b ly lin k e d t o th a t o f Ita ly. A ft e r th e E th io p ia n w a r M u s s o lin i w ith d r e w in cr e a s in g ly fr o m th e d a y-t o -d a y a d m in istr a tio n o f th e sta te ; r e a l b u sin e ss w a s co n d u cte d b y a p h a la n x o f u n d e r se cr eta r ies w h o co m p e ted fo r th e tim e a n d a tten tio n o f t h e ir e v e r m o r e d ista n t le a d e r — a n d b y G a le a zzo C ia n o , w h o seem ed in th e se ye a r s th e m o st lik e ly ca n d id a te t o s u cce e d M u s s o lin i, th o u gh th e D u ce h im s e lf r e fu se d t o d is cu s s th e t o p ic o f s u cce s s io n . H is a d vis e r s s e r ve d o n e k e y fu n ctio n : t o b o ls t e r h is o w n im a ge o f h im s e lf. H e d id n o t w a n t t o h e a r a n yth in g th a t co n tr a d icte d h is p e r ce p tio n o f r e a lit y o r d e n ie d h is m iss io n . A s a r e s u lt , h e w a s m o r e a n d m o r e p r o te cte d fr o m u n p lea sa n t tr u th s an d fr o m w o r d s o f d is se n t o r p e ss im is m . R o b e r to Ca n t a lu p o , ju s t r etu r n ed fr o m a lo n g a b se n ce in S p a in , m e t w it h M u s s o lin i in Au g u s t 19 3 6 . H e fo u n d “ a v e r y d iffe r e n t m a n th a n I h a d le ft fo u r ye a r s b e fo r e .” T h e D u ce “ s p o k e fr o m o n h ig h , w it h a n ‘o ffic ia l’ v o ic e a n d ca d e n ce . . . w o r d s e n u n cia te d a s i f th e r e w e r e a gr e a t p u b lic t o r e ce ive th em .” Ca n ta lu p o n o ted M u s s o lin i’s gr e a t d is -

t a n c e . “ H e a d d r e sse d m e u s in g th e v o i, d e t a ch e d , a s i f it w e r e im p o ss ib le

19

fo r h im t o r etu r n t o th is ea r th : h e le t fa ll a fe w w o r d s w it h e xtr e m e ca u t io n , lik e t h e y w e r e r a r e p e a r ls th a t m igh t va n ish o n co n t a ct w it h th e “ T h e a ir .” 53 B u t th o se w e a k n e ss e s w e r e h id d en fr o m th e p u b lic, a n d M u s s o lin i’s im a g e d id s t r ik e r e s p o n s ive ch o r d s a m o n g th e yo u n g. G io r g io P in i, a yo u t h fu l a d m ir e r o f M u s s o lin i a n d fr o m 19 3 6 t o 19 4 3 e d it o r o f P o p o lo < t I t a lia , w a s d r a w n t o th e fu tu r e D u ce d u r in g th e in te r ve n tio n ist ca m ­

p a ig n . H e r em em b er ed M u s s o lin i's fir st e d it o r ia l in h is n e w p a p e r in N o ve m b e r 19 14 a s "d ie fir st tr u e p o lit ica l in itia tio n ” fo r h im a n d fo r th o u sa n d s o f o t h e r yo u n g Ita lia n s w h o id e n tifie d M u s s o lin i w it h r e b e l­ lio n a ga in s t t h e “d e n ia ls a n d r e n u n cia tio n s” o f a co r r u p t p a r lia m en ta r y s ys t e m . M u s s o lin i, P in i fe lt , s p o k e t o a w h o le ge n er a tio n o f co m b a ta n ts a n d a s k e d th em t o jo in th e "m a r ch tow a r d lib e r t y a n d p o w er fo r I t a ly in t h e w o r ld ” — a co n tin u a tio n o f th e w a r tim e s t r u ggle th a t "id e n t ifie d th e a ffir m a t io n o f o u r p e r so n a lit ie s a n d o f o u r lib e r t y w ith th e a ffir m a tio n o f a st r o n g a n d fr e e F a th er la n d .” F a s cis m , co n clu d e d P in i, w a s in th is se n s e “ t h e p e r fe ct m e e tin g o f a m a n a n d a ge n e r a tio n .” 54

F a s cis m a n d t h e “T h ir d R o m e” M e m o r ie s o f th e im p e r ia l gr ea tn e ss o f R o m e — th e m yth o f r o m a n ità — h a d b e e n a p o ten t p o lit ica l th em e d u r in g th e n in eteen th ce n tu r y, b u t M u s s o lin i w a s t r u ly in to xica te d b y th e h e a d y fu m e s o f p a st g lo r ie s . H is c o lle c t e d w o r k s a r e sp r in k le d w it h r e fe r e n ce s t o th e R om a n m yth . "R o m e is o u r ju m p in g - o ff p o in t a n d o u r p o in t o f r e fe r e n ce ,” h e sa id in 19 2 2 ; " it is o u r s ym b o l, o u r m yth .” F a scis m w o u ld b e th e fu lfillm e n t o f h is t o r y, th e th ir d R o m e: “A ft e r th e R o m e o f th e C a e s a r s , a ft e r th a t o f th e P o p e s , th er e is to d a y a R o m e , F a scis t R o m e , th a t o n ce a ga in co m ­ m a n d s th e a d m ir a tio n o f th e w o r ld .” 55 In h is a u to b io gr a p h y M u s so ­ lin i e xcla im e d : " I a m d e sp e r a t e ly Ita lia n ! I b e lie v e in th e fu n ctio n o f L a t in it y!”56 T h e "fu n ct io n ” o f th is R om a n m yth w a s c le a r it se r ve d t o le g it im ize t h e r e gim e b y id e n t ifyin g th e g lo r ie s o f th e p a st w ith th e F a scis t p r esen t a n d it s p r o m ise s fo r th e fu tu r e . T h e m yth o f R o m e a cte d a s a n in str u m en t o f in t e gr a t io n , lin k in g th e id e a o f t h e c o lle c t iv e in ter e st o f th e n a tion t o t h e r e p r esen ta tio n o f fa s cis m a s a n e w c iv iliza t io n a n d a n e w p r im a cy fo r t h e I t a lia n s. F a scism w a s th u s r o o ted in th e m o st a n cie n t a n d s u b lim e p a r t o f th e h isto r y o f th e p e n in su la . T h e R om a n m yth w a s th e “w ill t o p o w e r a n d e m p ir e ” a n d a ju s t ifica t io n fo r F a s cis t fo r e ig n p o licy: th e p a x r o m a n a , im p e r ia l e xp a n s io n , a n d cla im s t o m a r e n o str u m . T h e o b s e s ­

s io n w it h th e id e a o f R o m e a n d th e e m p ir e w a s a t th e v e r y co r e o f th e

K in gd o m o f th e W or d ”

20

d o m e stic p r o p a ga n d a a n d r h e to r ic o f fa s cis m a n d o n e o f th e fu n d a m en ta l

____

e le m e n ts o f o ffic ia l F a s cis t cu ltu r e a n d p o lit ica l e d u ca t io n . It h a d gr e a t

B e lie v e ,

a p p ea l t o w id e se gm e n ts o f th e p o p u la ce a n d e s p e c ia lly t o th e yo u n g .57

O b e y, F igh t

M u s s o lin i’s in fa tu a tio n w it h t h in gs R o m a n w a s th e ce n tr a l a n d p ivo t a l p o in t in h is v ie w o f p o lit ics a s s p e ct a cle ; h is p r e o ccu p a tio n w it h th e R om a n m yth r e a ch ed e p ic p r o p o r tio n s d u r in g S t a n c e ’s ten u r e a s p a r ty se cr e ta r y. Cu r r e n t e ve n t s b e ca m e h isto r ic e ve n t s a n d th u s w e r e p la ce d in th e gr a n d p r o ce s s o f e vo lu t io n o f w h ich a ll Ita lia n s a n d F a scis ts h a d t o fe e l t h e m s e lve s a p a r t: F a scis t I t a ly h a d a ’’h is t o r ic r e sp o n s ib ility,” M u s s o lin i’s s p e e ch e s w e r e ’’h is t o r ic m o m en ts,” fa s cis m w a s liv in g a ’’h is t o r ic s t r u ggle .” O n 9 M a y 19 3 6 M u s so lin i p r o cla im e d h is n e w e m ­ p ir e b y sa lu t in g ’’a ft e r fift e e n ce n tu r ie s th e r ea p p e a r a n ce o f th e E m p ir e o n th e fa t e fu l h ills o f R o m e .”58 R om a n sym b o ls an d im a ge s a b o u n d ed in F a s cis t ico n o gr a p h y. T h e f a s c e s , s ym b o l o f u n it y a n d str e n gth , th e s h e -w o lf th a t h a d s u ck le d

R o m u lu s a n d R e m u s, a n d th e R om a n e a g le w e r e e ve r -p r e s e n t. T h e P N F in siste d o n th e a d o p tio n o f th e v ir ile R om a n str a igh t-a r m ed sa lu t e in p la ce o f th e d e ge n e r a te , e ffe m in a t e (a n d ge r m -r id d en ) b o u r ge o is h a n d ­ sh a k e . T h e p a s s o r o m a n o , s u s p icio u s ly a k in t o th e G er m a n g o o s e s t e p , b e ca m e th e o b lig a t o r y m a r ch in g ste p o f th e Ita lia n tr o o p s. O ffic ia l F a scis t a r ch itectu r e im ita ted m o d ifie d R om a n c la s s ic a l m o d e ls a n d le ft I t a ly sp r in k led w ith fo r u m s a n d tr iu m p h a l a r ch e s . P er m a n en t m on u ­ m en ts t o th e r e gim e ’s R om a n o b se ss io n a r e s t ill e vid e n t in r a ilr o a d s ta tio n s, p o st o ffic e s , a n d p u b lic b u ild in gs a ll o v e r Ita ly. T h e M u s s o lin i F o r u m o n th e b a n k s o f th e U b e r s t ill in clu d e s a m a r b le sta d iu m d e co ­ r a ted w ith h u ge , n u d e m a le figu r e s th a t ca n a lm o st b e se e n t o str a in in e m u la tio n o f t h e ir c la s s ic a l m o d e ls. T h e fo c a l p o in t o f th e co m p le x is th e fa m o u s o b e lis k d e d ica te d t o M u s s o lin i a n d in scr ib ed w it h th e La t in D U X . T h e F a s cis t s , lik e th e R o m a n s, b u ilt r o a d s; in d e e d , m a n y o f I t a ly ’s m a jo r h igh w a ys w e r e co n str u cte d d u r in g th e v e n te n n io . M a n y m a jo r a r ch a e o lo g ica l p r o je ct s in vo lve d e xca va t io n s o f R om a n fo r u m s a n d th e o th e r R om a n r u in s in a n d a r ou n d R o m e . In 19 2 5 th e r e gim e e sta b lish e d th e In stitu te fo r R om a n Stu d ie s a n d b u ilt th e A u g u s te o , a m a r b le m on u m en t t o th e fir st R om a n em p e r o r , n e xt t o th e (fid im p e r ia l b u r ia l gr o u n d s. O n e o f th e m o st a m b itio u s e xh ib it io n s sta ge d b y th e r e gim e w a s th e M o str a Au gu s t e a d e lla R o m a n ità , w h ich o p e n e d in 19 3 7 a ft e r ye a r s o f p la n n in g t o ce le b r a t e th e tw o-th ou sa n d th a n n ive r sa r y o f th e b ir th o f Au g u s t u s . It b e ga n w it h e x h ib it s o n e a r ly R o m e a n d e n d e d , fit t in g ly e n o u gh , w it h a se ct io n o n "F a s cis m o e R o m a n ità .” O ve r th e e n tr a n ce M u s s o lin i’s w o r d s w e r e e m b la zo n ed : “ I t a lia n s , yo u m u st en su r e th a t th e g lo r ie s o f th e p a st a r e su r p a ssed b y th e g lo r ie s o f th e fu tu r e .” D u r in g th e c lo s in g ce r e m o n ie s M u s s o lin i w a s p r esen ted w ith a n e a g le , a s ig n th a t th e im p e r ia l tr a d itio n h a d p a sse d to th e th ir d R o m e .59

F r o m t h e ir e a r lie s t d a ys in s ch o o l a n d in t h e ir yo u th gr o u p s , th e yo u n g

21

w e r e s u b je ct e d m o r e th a n a n y o t h e r s e ct o r o f th e p o p u la ce t o fr e q u en t d o s e s o f th e R o m a n m yth . C h ild r e n w e r e o r ga n ize d in to p a r a m ilita r y “ T h e fo r m a t io n s b e a r in g R om a n n a m es— co h o r t s , c e n t u r ie , le g io n s , a n d s o

K in gd o m

o n — a n d w e r e p r e se n te d w it h a n a r r a y o f e m b le m s , u n ifo r m s, a n d b a n ­ n e r s th a t h a r k en ed b a ck t o R o m a n im a ge s a n d th e m e s. Ve r y yo u n g

o f th e

ch ild r e n w e r e r em in d ed o f th e h is t o r ica l b u r d en t h e y ca r r ie d o n th e ir s h o u ld e r s w h e n t h e y jo in e d th e F a scis t gr o u p s a n d b e ca m e so n s a n d d a u gh te r s o f t h e s h e -w o lf, f ig li e f ig lie d e lla lu p a . T h e G io ve n t ù Ita lia n a d e l L it t o r io t o o k its n a m e fr o m th e u b iq u ito u s lic t o r r o d s , a s d id th e a n n u a l co m p e titio n s fo r th e u n ive r s it y stu d e n ts, th e L it t o r ia li. T h e r it e o f in it ia t io n in to F a s cis t yo u th gr o u p s t o o k p la ce e a ch ye a r o n 2 1 A p r il, th e b ir th d a y o f R o m e , w h ich r e p la ce d th e o ld ce le b r a t io n o f M a y D a y. In s t a t e t e xt b o o k s a n d tr a in in g m a n u a ls th e co n n e ct io n b e tw e e n th e R o m a n p a s t a n d th e F a s cis t fu tu r e w a s d r a w n w ith o u t h e s it a t io n , a n d ch ild r e n w e r e r e p e a t e d ly a n d in s is t e n t ly b a r r a ged w it h stir r in g ju s t ifica t io n s o f t h e cla im s t o m a r e n o str u m a n d p r o m ise s t o lib e r a t e I t a lia ir r e d e n ta . A lo n g w it h t h e ir le ss o n s ch ild r e n h ea r d a ll a b o u t th e sp ir itu a l a n d m o r a l p r im a cy o f th e R om a n s t o ck a n d I t a ly’s n eed fo r a “ p la ce in th e su n ” w o r t h y o f it s gr e a t a n d glo r io u s p a st. In 19 3 5 th e m in iste r o f n a tio n a l e d u ca t io n , C e s a r e M a r ia D e Ve cch i, w r o t e th a t F a s cis t e d u ca tio n m u st b e in sp ir e d b y r o m a n ità . T h e e xa m p le o f t h e v a lo r a n d m ilit a r y d is cip lin e o f th e R o m a n s h a d t o b e e ve r -p r e s e n t fo r yo u n g I t a lia n s , h e e m p h a s ize d , “ in th e id e a -fo r ce o f im p e r ia lism , e x p a n s io n , o f u n ity a n d c iv iliza t io n ." T h e d e s t in y o f R o m e , h e cla im e d , w a s a "p e r e n n ia lly im p e r ia l d e stin y. R o m e is a liv e . . . w it h a ll it s w is d o m , w it h a ll its p o w er , in th e h ea r t o f th e Ita lia n s ch o o l a n d c u l­ t u r e .”60 In a tr a in in g b o o k fo r t e n -ye a r -o ld b o ys th e R om a n m yth w a s s o ld in e ve n m o r e e m o tio n a l ter m s: “ I f yo u lis t e n c a r e fu lly . . . yo u m a y s t ill h e a r th e t e r r ib le tr ea d o f th e R o m a n le g io n s . . . . C a e s a r h a s co m e t o life a ga in in th e D u ce ; b e r id e s a t th e h ea d o f n u m b er less co h o r t s , t r e a d in g d o w n a ll co w a r d ice a n d a ll im p u r itie s t o r e e s ta b lis h th e cu ltu r e a n d th e n e w m igh t o f R o m e . S t e p in to th e r a n k s o f h is a r m y a n d b e th e b e s t s o ld ie r s .”61

W ar, V io le n c e , a n d A c t io n in F a s c is t M y th o lo g y In t h e ir e m p h a sis o n th e b e a u ty o f w a r a n d th e cle a n s in g s o c ia l a n d p o lit ica l e ffe c t s o f st r u ggle a n d v io le n c e , th e F a scis t s so u n d ed ve r y m u ch lik e th e R it u r is t s , w h o h a d a ls o p r o cla im e d w a r th e “ o n ly h yg ie n e o f th e w o r ld .” In stea d o f b e in g vie w e d a s a n a b n o r m a lit y o r a t r a g ic n e ce s s it y, w a r fo r th e F a scis ts b e ca m e life ’s gr e a t t e s t , t h e su p r em e m a n ife s ta tio n o f vir tu e a n d vir ilit y.

W or d ”

22

E ve n a s a S o c ia lis t , M u s s o lin i’s u s e o f la n gu a ge w a s r e p le t e w it h

____

m ilit a r y a llu s io n s . O n ce h e b r o k e w it h th e S o c ia lis t p a r ty h e o ft e n

B e lie v e ,

r e vile d h is fo r m e r co m r a d e s fo r t h e ir p a cifis m a n d co w a r d ice .62 “ W a r

O b e y,

a lo n e ,” h e s a id , “b r in gs u p t o it s h igh e s t t e n sio n a ll h u m an e n e r g y a n d

F ig h t

p u ts th e sta m p o f n o b ilit y u p o n th o se p e o p le s w h o h a ve th e co u r a ge t o m e e t it .”63 W a r w a s th e su p r em e te st o f m a n h o o d , a n e ce s sa r y r it e o f p a s s a ge . “A m a n w h o scr u p u lo u s ly a vo id s w a r w ill b e a n yth in g b u t a m a n ,” sa id M u s s o lin i in M a r ch 19 4 5 , “ b e ca u s e o n ly b a ttle co m p le t e s a m a n .”64 T h e m ystiq u e o f a ct io n a n d vio le n ce w a s t ie d in c lo s e ly w ith d ie r e gim e ’s m ystiq u e o f yo u th . In a b o o k o f r e a d in gs fo r th e yo u n g , Ar n a ld o M u s s o lin i r em in d ed th e n e w ge n er a tio n s: “ Yo u m u st a cce p t a ll r e s p o n s ib ilit ie s , u n d er sta n d a ll a ct s o f h e r o is m , fe e l a s yo u n g I ta lia n s a n d F a s cis t s th e m a scu lin e p o e tr y o f a d ven tu r e a n d d a n ger .”63 In th e fir st is s u e o f P o p o lo d ’I t a lia , B e n it o M u s s o lin i a d d r essed h is c a ll t o th e yo u n g: “ It is t o yo u , th e yo u th o f I t a ly . . . th a t I a d d r e ss m y c r y o f gr e e t in g . . . a fe a r fu l a n d fa s cin a t in g w o r d : w a r.” M o r e th a n a ll th e t e xt b o o k s a n d le a r n ed w o r d s, w a r w a s th e e d u ca tio n n e ce s s a r y fo r th e yo u n g: “ W o r d s a r e b e a u t ifu l t h in gs b u t m u s k e ts , m a ch in e g u n s , s h ip s , a ir p la n e s , a n d ca n n o n a r e s t ill m o r e b e a u t ifu l.”66 T h e e a r ly m o vem en t a p p e a le d t o th e e lit e o f t h e tr e n ch e s, t o w h a t M u s s o lin i c a lle d th e “ tr in ce r o cr a z ia ,” a n d p la ye d co n t in u a lly o n th e h e r o ism o f d ie G r e a t W a r in “ h isto r ie s” th a t w e r e r e a lly F a s cis t m a r t yr o lo g ie s a n d m yt h o lo gie s . M u s s o lin i u n d er sto o d d ie p s ych o lo g ica l tr a u m a o f Ca p o r e tto a n d th e r a llyin g p o w er o f th e m yth o f th e r e vo lu ­ tio n a r y w a r a n d th e n a tio n in a r m s. H e c a lle d fo r p o w er t o th e co m b a t­ a n t s, th e m o st n o b le a n d a u th en tic p a r t o f th e n a tio n , w h o w o u ld b r in g a n e w s o cie t y. “ Ita ly,” h e sa id in 19 17 , “ is co m p o se d o f t w o gr e a t p a r ties: th o se w h o h a ve b e e n [in w a r ] a n d th o se w h o h a ve n o t.” T h e w o r k e r s w h o r etu r n ed fr o m th e tr e n ch e s t o th e fa ct o r ie s a n d fie ld s o f I t a ly w o u ld r e a lize , h e p r o m ise d , “ th e syn th e s is o f t h e a n tith e sis cla s s -n a t io n ."67 T h e ve r y n a m e o f th e m o ve m e n t, F a sci I ta lia n i d i Co m b a ttim e n to , co n ju r e d u p r o m a n ticize d im a ge s o f th e h e r o ism o f th e tr e n ch e s a n d th e ca m a r a d e r ie o f th e w a r . F o r th e yo u n g th is cr e d o w a s tr a n sla ted in to M u s so lin ia n s lo ga n s in te xt b o o k s a n d tr a in in g m a n u a ls: “ T h e cr e e d o f d ie F a s cis t is h e r o is m , th a t o f th e b o u r g e o is , e go is m .” “ H e w h o is n o t r e a d y t o d ie fo r h is fa it h is n o t w o r th y o f p r o fe s s in g it .” “ W e a r e a ga in s t th e co m fo r t a b le life .” M u s s o lin i b o a s t e d , “ W e a r e b e co m in g a n d w ill e v e r m o r e b e co m e . . . a m ilit a r y n a tio n . B e ca u s e w e d o n o t fe a r th e w o r d , I w ill ad d : m ilit a r is t . 1 b co m p le te : w a r lik e . T h a t is , e n d o w ed in a n e v e r h igh e r d e gr e e w ith th e vir tu e s o f o b e d ie n ce , s a c r ific e , a n d d e d ica ­ tio n t o th e fa th er la n d .”68 T h e fir st F a scis t s q u a d r is ti w e r e p o st w a r r e p lica s o f th e a r d it i, th e d a r e d e vil I ta lia n s h o ck tr o o p s o f th e G r e a t W ar. T h e gr o u p s h a d b e e n

e s t a b lis h e d a ft e r th e r o u t a t Ca p o r e t t o in O ct o b e r 19 17 , a n d t h e y s e r ve d

23

fir s t a s co m m a n d o s d u r in g th e r e sist a n ce o n th e P ia ve . T h e a r d it i w o r e b la c k s h ir t s , ca r r ie d gr en a d e s a n d d a g g e r s , a n d w o r e fe zze s o n th e ir “ T h e s h a ve d h e a d s; t h e ir u n it s , k n o w n a s th e “ co m p a n y o f d ea th ” o r th e

K in gd o m

“ b la c k fla m e s,” h a d th e s k u ll a n d cr o ssb o n e s a s t h e ir e m b le m . T h e y h a d

o f th e

b e e n tr a in ed fo r a life o f v io le n c e , a n d m a n y h a d d iffic u lt y a d ju st in g to

W or d ”

t h e q u ie t a t w a r ’s e n d . In N o ve m b e r 19 18 M a r io C a r li fo u n d e d a n a tio n a l o r g a n iza t io n , th e A s s o cia zio n e fr a g li Ar d it i d ’I t a lia , w h ich b y m id -19 19 h a d e n r o lle d so m e tw en ty th o u sa n d yo u n g m en . M a n y o f th e fo r m e r a r d it i jo in e d in D ’An n u n zio ’s e xp e d it io n t o F iu m e . T h e F e d e r a zio n e

N a zio n a le d e i L e gio n a r i F iu m a n i, w h ich th e p o e t-a d ven tu r e r e s t a b lis h e d in J a n u a r y 19 2 1, m e r ged w ith th e n a sce n t F a s cis t m o vem en t la t e r th a t ye a r .69 R e a lizin g t h e ir p o te n tia l im p o r ta n ce t o h is m o ve m e n t, M u s so lin i a p p e a le d q u it e co n s cio u s ly t o th e se e lit e tr o o p s. A t th e en d o f th e w a r h e t o ld th em : “ Yo u r ep r esen t th e a d m ir a b le , w a r lik e yo u th o f Ita ly. T h e fla s h o f yo u r k n ive s a n d th e r o a r o f yo u r gr en a d e s w ill w r e a k ju s t ice o n a ll t h e w r e tch e s w h o w a n t t o h in d e r th e a d va n ce o f a gr e a t e r I t a ly! W e s h a ll d e fe n d h e r to geth e r .” 70 T h e a r d itis m o o f th e w a r b e ca m e th e sq u a d r ism o o f th e fir st F a s cis t g a n g s ; th e n e w h e r o e s b e ca m e cu lt fig u r e s , a n d t h e ir m o tto , M e n e f r e g o — “ I d o n ’t g iv e a d a m n ” — fo u n d r e a d y e ch o in m a n y yo u n g m en

w h o , th o u gh p er h a p s n o t e n t ir e ly c le a r w h a t th e m o vem en t sto o d fo r , w e r e d r a w n t o th e u n ifo r m s, th e ja c k b o o t s , a n d th e co m r a d e sh ip o f th e s q u a d s . T h e q u e stio n la t e r w a s h o w t o h a r m o n ize th e ir r a tio n a l a ct ivis m th a t g a v e th e m o vem en t its e a r ly sp ir it w it h th e d em a n d s o f fa s cis m a s r e g im e . M a n y o f th e r a s w e r e in t h e ir tw e n tie s w h en th e m o vem en t ca m e t o p o w e r , a n d so m e h a d b e e n a r d it i. In th e ir e a ge r n e ss t o r e a lize th e a c t iv is t id e a ls o f th e m o vem en t t h e y o ft e n ca m e in to h ea d -o n c o llis io n w it h su ch o ld e r n a tio n a lis ts a s R o cco a n d L u ig i F e d e r zo n i, w h o se ten ­ d e n cy to w a r d b u r e a u cr a tiza tio n a n d co m p r o m ise w a s a n a th em a t o th em . M a n y o f th e e a r ly s t r u ggle s in vo lve d in th e s t a b iliza t io n a n d co n s o lid a ­ t io n o f th e r e gim e m u st b e se e n a s a ttem p ts b y F a scis t h ie r a r ch s— in th e fir s t p la ce M u s s o lin i h im s e lf— t o ta m e th e a ct ivis m o f th e sq u a d s b u t a t t h e sa m e t im e t o r eta in t h e ir vit a lit y a n d fe r vo r a s p a r t o f t h e r e vo lu ­ t io n a r y im a ge o f fa s cis m . T h e n o ve lis t E lio Vit t o r in i m a d e th is vio le n t a sp e ct o f fa s cis m th e s u b je ct o f o n e o f h is m o st fa m o u s n o ve ls , T h e R e d C a r n a tio n . T h e n o ve l is a r a th er sim p le s t o r y o f a gr o u p o f yo u n g b o ys gr o w in g u p d u r in g th e M a tte o tti c r is is ; it w a s w r itte n in F lo r e n ce b etw een 19 3 3 a n d 19 3 5 a n d p u b lis h e d in in sta llm en ts in th e F lo r en tin e r e vie w S o la r ia . P u b lica t io n o f th e th ir d in sta llm e n t , h o w e ve r , p r o vo k e d seq u estr a tio n o f th e jo u r n a l, a n d Vit t o r in i la t e r r e w r o te th e b o o k s o th a t it w o u ld p a ss th e ce n s o r s . T h e r e g im e , b y th en th e sta n d a r d -b ea r er o f le g a lit y a n d o r d er , o b je ct e d t o V it t o r in i’s o b vio u s s u gge s t io n th a t m a n y o f th e yo u n g m en in h is n o ve l

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w e r e a ttr a cted t o th e F a scis t m o ve m e n t b e ca u s e o f it s vio le n t a s p e c t s ,

____

“t h e b lo o d y a n d n o is ily a r r o ga n t s id e w h ich , t o o u r e ye s a s b o y s , w a s

B e lie v e ,

a ls o th e liv e lie s t s id e .” In it s p o st -F a scist ve r s io n , h o w e ve r , T h e R e d

O b e y,

C a r n a tio n p r esen ted a v e r y c le a r p ictu r e o f s ixt e e n -ye a r -o ld A le s s io ,

F ig h t

w h o o ft e n d w e lt o n h is n eed “ t o a ffir m h im s e lf, t o e n te r in to a d u lt life.** l b d o th is h e fe lt h e n eed ed t o k ill so m e o n e , o r a t le a s t t o s p ill b lo o d , ju s t a s fa s cis m h a d k ille d M a tte o tti. A s Vit t o r in i e xp la in e d in th e in tr o d u c­ t io n t o h is n o ve l: ‘T o t h e ir e ye s , w h ich s e e th a t o th e r p o lit ica l p a r tie s d o n o t k ill, fa s cis m is str e n gth , a n d a s str en gth it is life , a n d a s life it is r e vo lu tio n a r y.” 71 A ll th is e m p h a sis o n v ir ilit y a n d h e r o ism w a s p la ye d u p in c le a r ly s e xu a l ter m s in th e m e d ia . T h e d a sh in g a n d ir r e s is t ib le D u ce a p p ea r ed in a su cce s s io n o f fa s t ca r s , a ir p la n e s , an d m o t o r cycle s ; h is to r so b e ca m e fa m ilia r t o a ll Ita lia n s a s h e w a s p h o to gr a p h ed b a r e-ch e sted s k iin g , r u n n in g o n th e b e a ch , o r r e a p in g gr a in . H is a n im a l m a gn etism o v e r th e fe m a le o f a ll s p e cie s w a s d r a m a tize d in a s e r ie s o f fa m o u s p h o to gr a p h s sh o w in g h im su b d u in g a lio n e s s . O th e r s sh o w ed w o m en h o ld in g u p th e ir b a b ie s fo r h is k is s o r n u b ile g ir ls st r e w in g flo w e r s in h is p a tii. In h is m a r tia l p o se s h e w a s u s u a lly sh o w n s it t in g str a igh t-b a ck e d o n h is p o w er ­ fu l w h it e ch a r ge r . H e w a s m o st fr e q u e n tly d e scr ib e d a s m a gn e t ic, v ir ile , v it a l, w illfu l, d o m in a n t, a n d e n e r ge t ic; h is e ye s w e r e s cin t illa t in g , fla s h ­ in g , b la zin g , sm o ld e r in g, s p a r k lin g, lik e th u n d er b o lts. M u s s o lin i’s o w n a ttitu d e tow a r d w o m en w a s r e s o lu t e ly tr a d it io n a l. D e s p ite so m e e a r ly r e la tio n s h ip s w it h w o m en in r e vo lu t io n a r y p a r t ie s , h e live d th e d o u b le sta n d a r d . H e w a s a vio le n t a n d so m e tim e s s a d is t ic w o m a n ize r w it h lit t le r e ga r d fo r h is ca s u a l p a r tn er s; a t th e sa m e t im e , h o w e ve r , h e d em a n d ed to ta l d e vo t io n a n d fid e lit y fr o m h is w ife . S t o r ie s o f h is su p p o se d s e xu a l p r o w ess cir cu la t e d w id e ly in th e fo r e ig n p r e ss ; it w a s sa id th a t w o m en w a ite d in lin e o u tsid e h is o ffic e fo r a m o m en t o f h is fa v o r s , th a t h e t o o k se r va n ts o n th e sta ir s in th e P a la zzo Ve n e zia . In ter ­ e s t in g ly e n o u gh , a p a r t fr o m M u s s o lin i’s o p p o s itio n to sp e cu la tio n in p r in t a b o u t h is r e la tio n s h ip w ith D o n n a R a ch e le o r h is e xtr a m a r ita l a ffa ir w it h G a r e t t a F e t a cci, th e r e gim e d id n o t m a k e a co n ce r t e d a ttem p t t o s co t ch su ch g o s s ip .72 T h e F a s cis t s ’ e m p h a sis o n d ie m ystiq u e o f v ir ilit y an d p o t e n cy h a d it s co u n ter p a r t fo r w o m en ; th e r h e to r ic Irete w a s tr a d itio n a l w ith a ve n ­ g e a n ce , th o u gh d e sign e d t o s e r ve “ r e vo lu t io n a r y” a im s . T h o u gh th e 19 19 p r o gr a m o f th e F a sci h a d ca lle d fo r fe m a le s u ffr a g e , M u s s o lin i la t e r ch a n ge d h is m in d . In 19 2 5 h e sa id th a t “ th e co n ce s s io n o f t h e vo t e t o w o m en is n o t a q u e stio n o f d e m o cr a cy” a n d w o u ld s e r ve n o t h in g, “ b e ca u s e i f th e w o m a n lo v e s h e r h u sb a n d , sh e vo t e s fo r h im a n d h is p a r ty; i f sh e d o e s n o t lo ve h im , sh e h a s a lr e a d y vo t e d a ga in s t h im .’’73 Sid e s te p p in g th e q u e stio n a b o u t in fe r io r it y o r su p er io r ity, M u s s o lin i a d m itted in h is t a lk s w ith L u d w ig o n ly th a t w o m en w e r e “ d iffe r e n t .”

W h e n th e p a ge p r o o fs o f th e b o o k r e tu r n ed , M u s s o lin i e d ite d th e sen -

25

t e n c e “ W om en sh o u ld b e p a s s ive ” t o r e a d ‘T h e w o m a n m u st o b e y” a n d

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co n t in u e d : Sh e is “ a n a lyt ic a n d n o t s yn t h e t ic. . . . M y v ie w o f th e r o le “ T h e o f w o m e n in th e st a le is o p p o s e d t o fe m in is m . N a t u r a lly sh e d o e s n o t

K in gd o m

h a v e t o b e a s la v e ; b u t i f I g a ve h e r th e r igh t t o v o t e , sh e w o u ld d e r id e

o f th e

m e . In o u r sta te sh e s im p ly d o e s n o t co u n t.” 74

W or d ”

T h e r e gim e t r ie d t o e n co u r a ge p a p er s t o p r in t a r t icle s fa vo r in g m o th ­ e r h o o d , fo r , a s th e o ft-r e p e a te d s lo ga n s a id , “ M a te r n ity is t o a w o m a n w h a t w a r is t o a m a n .” 75 In th e v e lin e t o th e p r e ss in 19 3 3 , p a p er s w e r e fo r b id d e n t o p u b lis h p ictu r e s o f w o m en w it h d o g s (ch ild su b stitu tes a n d e v id e n c e o f fo r e ig n co r r u p tio n ), w a sp -w a iste d w o m en ( c le a r ly u n su ited fo r fr e q u en t m o th er h o o d a n d p r o b a b ly s y p h ilit ic) , o r a n y th in w o m en ( d ie t in g te n d er e d w o m en s t e r ile a n d s ic k ) . S u ch w o m en w e r e se e n a s t y p ic a l p r o d u cts o f th e d e ca d e n t W ester n s o cie t ie s a n d h a d t o b e t o t a lly e lim in a t e d fr o m th e n e w F a scis t clim a t e . W h a t e ve r stim u la te d e r o t icis m o r p o r tr a ye d fe m a le s a s w o m e n a n d n o t a s m o th er s w a s to b e o u tla w e d . T h e r e w e r e t o b e n o p ictu r e s o f w o m en in sk im p y b a th in g su its o r sh o r t s k ir t s in F a scis t p a p e r s. T h e r e w e r e t o b e n o a d ve r tisem e n ts fo r cu r e s fo r s e x u a l d ys fu n ct io n s o r ve n e r e a l d is e a s e , s in ce fa s cis m h a d p r e su m a b ly e lim in a t e d b o t h .76 T h e id e a l w o m a n w a s a m p le -b o so m e d , w id e -h ip p e d , a n d r o s y-ch e e k e d ; sh e lo o k e d , in fa c t , a gr e a t d e a l lik e D o n n a R a ch e le M u s s o lin i. M u s s o lin i’s fe e lin g s a b o u t th e r o le p la ye d b y w o m en in p u b lic life a n d th e r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n w o m en a n d m en in m a r r ia ge so u n d e d m u ch lik e th o se o f X e n o p h o n , w h o o n ce a s k e d , “ I s th er e a n yo n e w ith w h o m yo u h o ld fe w e r d is cu s s io n s th a n yo u r w ife ? ” In o o e in t e r vie w in th e la t e 19 2 0 s M u s s o lin i sa id t o a fe m a le jo u r n a lis t : “ W o m en a r e th e ten d er , g e n t le in flu e n ce th a t r ep r esen ts a p le a sa n t p a r en ­ t h e s is in a m a n ’s life , th e in flu e n ce th a t o ft e n h e lp s a m a n t o fo r g e t h is t r ia ls an d h is fa t ig u e , b u t th a t le a ve s n o la s t in g t r a ce . . . . W om en a r e a ch a r m in g p a st im e , w h e n a m a n h a s tim e t o p a ss . . . b u t t h e y sh o u ld n e ve r b e ta k en s e r io u s ly, fo r t h e y t h e m s e lve s a r e r a r e ly s e r io u s . . . .M y w ife a n d m y fa m ily a r e m y d e a r e st p o s s e s s io n s , b u t s o g r e a t ly d o I tr e a s u r e th em th a t I k e e p th em a p a r t fr o m m y d a y.” 77 M u s s o lin i’s co n vict io n th a t d ie v it a lit y o f th e n a tio n w a s t ie d to th e b ir t h r a t e , a n d h is co n ce r n a b o u t gr o w in g u n e m p lo ym e n t, le d h im in th e 19 2 0 s t o in a u gu r a te th e d e m o gr a p h ic ca m p a ign a n d p a ss la w s lim it in g fe m a le p a r ticip a tio n in th e w o r k fo r c e . In 19 2 7 w o m e n ’s s a la r ie s w e r e r e d u ce d t o h a lf o f th o se o f m en in th e F a s cis t syn d ica t e s; t h e y w e r e e xclu d e d (b e ca u s e o f in t e lle ct u a l w e a k n e ss) fr o m t e a ch in g le tte r s a n d p h ilo s o p h y in th e c la s s ic a l lic e i, l b d is co u r a ge u s e le s s h igh e r e d u ca t io n , w o m e n w e r e n o t p er m itted a ft e r 19 2 8 t o b e d ir e ct o r s o f m id d le s ch o o ls , a n d fe m a le stu d en ts w e r e r e q u ir e d t o p a y d o u b le fe e s in se co n d a r y s c h o o ls an d u n ive r s it ie s . D e s p ite t h is co n ce it e d e ffo r t , th e p r o p o r tio n o f fe m a le stu d en ts a t th e u n ive r s it ie s a ct u a lly in cr e a se d fr o m a b o u t 10

26

p e r cen t in 19 2 2 t o so m e 16 p e r ce n t in 19 3 6 . A ft e r 19 3 3 w o m en w e r e n o t a llo w e d t o co m p e te in e xa m in a tio n s fo r jo b s in sta te a d m in istr a tio n . B y

B e lie v e ,

19 3 8 le g is la t io n h a d r e d u ce d th e n u m b er o f jo b s in p u b lic e m p lo ym e n t

O b e y,

fo r w o m en t o 10 p e r cen t o f t h e t o t a l. W o m en , th e r e gim e e m p h a s ize d ,

F ig h t

sh o u ld h a ve r o le s th a t w e r e co m p le m e n ta r y t o th o se o f m en a n d n o t co m p e t it ive . “ W om a n ’s p la ce ,” sa id M u s s o lin i in th e tr a d itio n o f m a n y b e fo r e a n d a ft e r h im , “ in th e p r esen t a s in th e p a s t , is in th e h o m e.” 7* T h o u gh th er e w a s a tem p o r a r y d e clin e o f w o m en in t h e la b o r fo r c e d u r in g th e 19 3 0 s , b y 19 4 0 w a r tim e m o b iliza t io n h a d ch e ck e d th e e ffe c t s o f th e e a r lie r q u o ta s. M u s s o lin i’s d e m o gr a p h ic ca m p a ign w a s p a r t a n d p a r ce l o f h is r u r a liza t io n d r iv e , b e ca u s e in h is v ie w u r b a n s e t t in gs d e cr e a se d th e d is p o s i­ tio n t o p r o cr e a te . F e m in ism , t o o , ca m e in fo r its sh a r e o f th e b la m e fo r th e fa llin g b ir th r a te . T h e e m a n cip a tio n o f w o m en w a s d e fin e d a s co u n ­ te r r e vo lu tio n a r y, a s it b r o u gh t w it h it la te m a r r ia ge , e a s y d iv o r ce , in d e­ p e n d e n ce , a n d a b o r tio n , a ll o f w h ich a te a w a y a t th e fo u n d a tio n s o f t h e fa m ily a n d le d t o th e d e clin e a n d th e e ve n t u a l d ea th o f n a tio n s. O t h e r le a d in g F a scis ts sh a r ed M u s s o lin i’s co n ce r n a b o u t th e fa llin g b ir th r a t e ; R o cco sa id th a t th e gr e a te st th r ea t o f fe m in is m w a s th a t it “ su p p o r ted vo lu n ta r y lim ita tio n o n r e p r o d u ctio n .” B e ca u s e “ n u m b er s co n stitu te t h e u ltim a te str e n gth o f th e r a ce ,” fe m in is m w a s a n t i-F a s cis t .79 J u st a s w o r k ­ e r s , fo r th e go o d o f th e n a tio n , h a d t o a cce p t co n t r o lle d w a ge s a n d ca p it a lis t s h a d t o s a cr ifice p r o fits fo r th e d e ve lo p m e n t o f a so u n d a u ­ ta r k ic e co n o m y, s o , t o o , w o m en w e r e co m m a n d ed t o in cr e a se a n d m u ltip ly.

R e lig io n a n d R it u a l in F a s c is t M y th o lo g y O n e o f tire m o st p o w e r fu l fict io n s o f d ie P N F w a s th e co n s is t e n t id e n tifi­ ca t io n o f fa s cis m a s r e lig io n . In th is co n t e xt th e p a r ty, w h ich t o o k o n a c h ilia s t ic a n d a p o ca lyp t ic ch a r a cte r , w a s seen a s a r e lig io u s o r d e r a sa cr e d in stitu tio n w ith it s o w n h igh p r ie s t s , it s o w n lit u r gy, a n d it s o w n b o d y o f in vio la b le tr u th s. I f th e m yth s w e r e s t a t ic, r itu a l w a s a n a c t iv e lin k in g o f th e m a ss w it h th e t r a d itio n s a n d t h e id e a ls o f fa s cis m a n d Ita ly. F a s cis t r h e to r ic a p p e a le d t o th e yo u n g b y d is p a r a gin g th e m a te r ia lism a n d e g o is m o f th e L e ft a n d th e lib e r a ls a n d b y p r o cla im in g it s o w n b r a n d o f p o lit ica l id e a lis m a n d m ys t icis m . R e vilin g th e n e u tr a list S o cia lis t s in 19 15 , M u s s o lin i sa id : “ Yo u h a ve co r r u p ted s o cia lis m : it w a s ’m ysticism * a n d yo u h a ve m a d e it ’p o lit ic s .’ ’* F a s cis m , h e s a id , “ is a n id e a , a p a s s io n , a fa it h , a n a p o sto la te .” C a s t ig a t ­ in g th e s p in e le s s go ve r n m e n ts o f p r e -F a s cis t I t a ly, h e cla im e d th a t b e h a d b e e n fo r ce d “ t o ca r r y th e cr o s s o f p ow er .” F a s cis t s , h e m a in ta in e d , “ a r e

I n s p ir e d w it h a r e lig io u s se n s e o f d u ty.” T h e P N F is “ n o t o n ly a p a r ty, it

27

is a r e g im e ; it is n o t o n ly a r e gim e b u t a fa it h ; it is n o t o n ly a fa it h , b u t a r e lig io n ."80 “Th e A s in a n y o th e r r e lig io n , r itu a l a n d sym b o l se r ve d t o b in d b e lie ve r s t o K in gd o m t h e c u lt . L ik e a s e cu la r r e lig io n , fa s cis m e xp r e sse d it s tr u th s a n d m yth s

o f th e

t h r o u gh ce r e m o n ia l an d lit u r g ica l fo r m s th a t b r o u gh t th e p e o p le in to th e

W or d ”

w o r s h ip o f th e n a tio n . R it u a l th u s b e ca m e a co n cr e t e e xp r e ssio n o f th e n a tio n a l w ill; it tr a n sfo r m ed p o lit ics in to a d r a m a , o n e in w h ich th e p e o p le th e m s e lve s w e r e c a lle d t o (d a y t h e ir p a r t. T h e r o le o f t h e r e gim e w a s t o sp e a k t o th e co n s e r va t ive n a tu r e o f th e m a ss a n d t o b u ild u p o n t r a d itio n s fa m ilia r t o th em b y u s in g r itu a l t o cr e a t e , in tu r n , n e w tr a d i­ t io n s th a t w o u ld ca p tu r e a n d h o ld th e p e o p le . “ E ve r y r e vo lu t io n ,” M u s­ s o lin i s a id , “cr e a t e s n e w fo r m s , n e w m yt h s , a n d n e w r it e s .” 81 S ym b o ls w e r e th u s th e v is ib le r e n d er in gs o f th e n a tio n a l m yt h s , a n d th e p a r t y h a d a n im p r e s s ive a r r a y o f th em : r em em b r a n ce p a r k s , sa cr e d fla m e s , h o ly t r e e s , fla g s , b a n n e r s, u n ifo r m s, s o n g s , a n d b a d ge s . H er e th e m ilit a r y a n d r e lig io u s m er ged : th e n a tio n u n d er th e le a d e r s h ip o f th e p a r t y w a s a n a r m y o r ga n ize d in a m ilit a r y fa sh io n in th e s e r vice o f th e n e w s e cu la r c u lt . T h e m a m m oth d is p la ys a r r a n ged d o w n t o th e m o st m in u te

d e t a il, th e h u ge p u b lic b u ild in gs a n d m on u m en ts e m b la zo n e d

w it h t h e f a s c e s , se r ve d t o illu s t r a t e th e o r d e r , d is cip lin e , a n d h ie r a r ch y th a t w e r e su p p o se d t o b e th e g lo r y o f th e n e w s o cie t y. T h e y se r ve d a s a lin k t o th e p a s t , a fix e d p o in t in th e ch a o s o f th e m o d em w o r ld . T h e “o ce a n ic” m e e tin gs a n d p u b lic r itu a ls d em a n d ed o f th e m a ss th a t t h e y b e co m e n o t m er e sp ecta to r s b u t a ct o r s in th e n a tio n a l d r a m a o f r e n o va ­ t io n . “ T h e ce r e m o n ia l,” sa id E r ik E r ik s o n , “ p er m its a gr o u p t o b e h a ve in a s ym b o lic a lly o r n a m en ta l w a y s o th a t it se e m s t o p r esen t a n o r d er ed u n ive r s e ; e a ch p a r t icle a ch ie ve s a n id e n tity b y it s m er e in ter d ep en d en ce w it h a ll o th e r s.” 82 W ith th e p e o p le u n ited in th e co m m o n o b s e r va n ce o f ce r e m o n y a n d r it u a l, o ld d ivis io n s o f c la s s w e r e t o b e tr a n scen d ed in th e n e w s p ir it o f co m m u n ity. T h e a to m ize d o n e s w o u ld b e co m e th e o n e , th e u n ity. l i k e a ll r e lig io n s , fa s cis m h a d it s h e r o e s a n d s a in ts. Co m m em o r a tio n s o f F a scis t m a r tyr s w e r e a m o n g th e m o st fr e q u en t ce le b r a t io n s sta ge d b y th e r e gim e . E a ch yo u th gr o u p t o o k th e n a m e o f o n e o f th e fa lle n h e r o e s o f t h e e a r ly m o ve m e n t, a n d e a ch gr o u p m e e tin g o p e n e d w it h th e r itu a l c a llin g o f th e t o ll. T h e n a m es o f th e m a r tyr s w e r e gr e e te d w it h “ P r e se n t! P r e se n t! l b u s . E ia , e ia , a la là V ’ E a ch gr o u p a ls o h a d it s o w n p r a ye r a n d it s o w n “ ten co m m a n d m en ts.” You th gr o u p s a n d s ch o o l cla s s e s m a d e p ilg r im a g e s t o th e sa cr e d sh r in es o f fa s cis m : t o th e D u ce ’s b ir t h p la ce , t o h is fo r m e r o ffic e a t th e P o p o lo d ’I t a lia , t o th e Tom b o f th e U n k n o w n S o ld ie r . F a scis t s d id n o t fo r g e t t h e ir d e a d , n o t o n ly b e ca u s e t h e y w e r e w o r t h y o f b e in g r em em b er ed fo r t h e ir o w n s a k e s b u t a ls o b e ca u s e t h e y

28

se r ve d a s a n e xa m p le t o th e m a sses a n d m o st e s p e cia lly t o d ie yo u n g ,

____

w h o w e r e ta u gh t t o e m u la te t h e ir b r a ve d e e d s in d e fe n s e o f fa s cis m a n d

B e lie v e , O b e y,

th e fa th e r la n d . U n ifo r m e d ch ild r e n w e r e m a r ch ed o u t o n a ll n a tio n a l a n d p a r ty h o li-

F ig h t

d a ys , a n d th e se b e ca m e in cr e a s in gly n u m er o u s an d e la b o r a t e a s th e ye a r s p a ss e d . T h e n e w F a s cis t ca le n d a r , w h ich a d d ed th e n o ta tio n E r a F a s cis ta a n d co u n te d th e ye a r s fr o m th e M a r ch o n R o m e , w a s in th is

se n se n o t m e r e ly a n a ffe ct a t io n b u t a n illu s tr a tio n o f th e F a scis t co n ce p ­ tio n o f tim e a n d h isto r y, w h ich w o u ld r e p la ce th e Ch r is t ia n o b s e r va n ce s o f th e p a st . In th e s ch o o ls r itu a l a n d lit u r g y w e r e b u ilt in to th e d a ily r o u tin e . T h e d a ys b e ga n w ith th e r a is in g o f th e t r ico lo r a n d p r a ye r s a n d so n gs fo r th e r e gim e a n d its le a d e r ; t h e y en d ed in th e sa m e m a n n er. M u s s o lin i’s p o r tr a it gr a ce d e v e r y Ita lia n cla s s r o o m . C la s s e s w e r e r e gu ­ la r ly in ter r u p ted fo r th e p e r fo r m a n ce o f o th e r c u lt ic r ite s— a n in te r fe r ­ e n ce la m en ted b y m a n y e d u ca to r s a n d te a ch e r s . T h e r e gim e e ve n a p p r o ­ p r ia ted th e tr a d itio n a l ce le b r a t io n o f th e E p ip h a n y b y e s t a b lis h in g th e B e fa n a f a s c is t a , w h en P N F le a d e r s p a ss e d o u t g ift s t o th e n e e d y ch ild r e n

o f th e a r ea . A s p o lit ica l s t yle fa s cis m d em a n d ed a d ir e ct lin k b e tw e e n th e le a d e r a n d th e p e o p le , a sw e e p in g a w a y o f th e m e d ia tin g in stitu tio n s o f d e m o ­ cr a t ic go ve r n m e n ts. P a r lia m en ta r y s yst e m s r e d u ce d th e in d ivid u a l t o a cip h e r , a n u m b er in a n e le ct o r a l vict o r y. T h e s e cu la r r e lig io n w o u ld p r o vid e a t le a s t th e illu s io n o f p a r ticip a tio n , th e p o lit ica l ce m e n t b e tw e e n le a d e r a n d le d . T h is b o n d b e tw e e n d ie o n e a n d th e m a n y w a s e n h a n ce d b y M u s s o lin i’s m a n y o r ch e str a te d s p e e ch e s , w h ich w e r e n o t e xp o s it io n s o f id e o lo g y b u t lit u r g ica l fu n ctio n s a n d m a ss r it e s o f n a tio n a l ve n e r a t io n . M u s s o lin i k n e w th e p o w er o f h is v o ic e , a n d th e a p p e a l h e m a d e w a s b a sed n o t o n co n te n t b u t o n fo r m : o n th e se ttin g a n d o n th e se n s e o f to ge th e r n e ss h e a im ed a t a r o u sin g in liste n e r s in sq u a r es a ll o v e r Ita ly. F o r th e m o m en t th e h u ge th r o n gs w e r e u n ited in th e r itu a l in ca n ta tio n “ H a il t o th e D u ce .” In th e a lm o st co n tin u a l r ou n d o f b r illia n t d is p la y s , co lo r s fle w , b a n d s p la ye d , a n d a r m s w e r e r a is e d in th e F a scis t s a lu t e . In th e la r ge cit ie s th e se co m m a n d p e r fo r m a n ces w e r e o n a gr a n d er s ca le th a n e ls e w h e r e , a n d th e r a n k s o f th e lo ca l F a scis t s w e r e s w e lle d b y h u n d r ed s b r o u gh t in fr o m th e p r o vin ce s fo r th e d a y. T h e y sto o d b en ea th th e w in d o w s o f th e D u ce ’s o ffic e o r a t th e Tom b o f th e U n k n o w n S o ld ie r ; t h e y liste n e d t o th e sh o u ts o f th e cr o w d ; a n d , s o th e p a r ty p la n n er s h o p e d , t h e y fe lt th e gr ea tn e ss o f t h e ir le a d e r a n d t h e ir co u n tr y.83

F a s c is m a s C o n tin u in g R e v o lu tio n

29

P r e s e n t in g h is n e w go ve r n m e n t t o th e Ch a m b e r o n 16 N o ve m b e r 19 2 2 , “ T h e M u s s o lin i sa id : MI in sist th a t th e r e vo lu t io n h a s it s r igh t s . . . . I a m h er e

K in gd o m

t o d e fe n d a n d e n fo r ce in th e h igh e st d e gr e e th e B la ck s h ir t s ’ r e vo lu t io n ,

o f th e

a n d t o in je ct it in to th e h isto r y o f th e n a tio n a s a fo r ce fo r d e ve lo p m e n t ,

W ord ”

p r o g r e s s , a n d e q u ilib r iu m .” 84 M u s s o lin i h a d a lw a ys ca lle d h im s e lf a r e vo lu t io n a r y le a d e r , fir st a s a n a d vo ca t e o f th e p r o le ta r ia n r e vo lu t io n , th e n a s a le a d e r o f th e n a tio n a l r e vo lu t io n a r y w a r o f 19 15 - 18 , a n d fin a lly a s le a d e r o f th e r e vo lu t io n a r y st r u ggle o f 19 19 - 2 2 . F a scis m p r o cla im e d it s e lf a r e vo lu tio n : it w o u ld p r o d u ce b o th a n e w I t a ly a n d a n e w I t a lia n , a p o lit ica l a n d e co n o m ic r e vo lu t io n th a t w o u ld s w e e p a w a y in ju s t ice a n d c la s s s t r u ggle a n d e ffe c t a sp ir itu a l a n d m o r a l r e vo lu t io n in th e ch a r a cte r o f th e It a lia n s. I t w a s p o r tr a yed n o t a s a r e a ct io n a ga in s t M a r xism b u t a s a r e vo lu t io n a r y a lte r n a tive t o M a r xism th a t w o u ld a ch ie ve s o cia l h a r m o n y a n d p r o d u ct ivit y in th e co n t e xt o f n a t io n a l s e lf-a s s e r t io n . F a scis m w a s th e th ir d w a y, a r e je ct io n o f th e m a te r ia lism a n d e g o is m o f s o cia lis m a n d lib e r a lis m th a t w o u ld th r o u gh d ie co r p o r a te sta te r e co g n ize th e n e e d s o f d ie in d ivid u a l b u t h a r m o n ize t h e m w ith th e n e e d s o f th e co m m u n ity. F a scis m w o u ld b e a tr u e S o c ia lis t r e g im e s e r vin g n a tio n a l p u r p o s e s , d e s ign e d n o t t o d e st r o y th e ca p it a lis t s ys t e m b u t t o m a k e it w o r k fo r th e go o d o f a ll u n d er th e o ve r a r ch in g co n t r o l o f th e st a t e , a s yn d ica lis m in sp ir e d n o t b y p a cifis m a n d in ter n a ­ t io n a lis m b u t b y lo ve o f co u n tr y a n d n a tio n a l s o lid a r ity. In th is w a y fa s cis m co u ld r e je ct s o cia lis m b u t p r o m ise s o cia l ju s t ice a n d r e fo r m — s o c ia l ch a n ge w ith in th e la w in stea d o f th e a n a r ch y a n d ch a o s o f th e le ft is t s . In p o st er s a n d p r o p a ga n d a tr a cts th e r e gim e p la ye d o n th is a s th e fu n d a m e n ta l d is t in ct io n b e tw e e n th e S o c ia lis t r e vo lu t io n a n d th e F a scis t r e vo lu t io n . L e ft is t r e vo lu t io n w o u ld p r o d u ce d e s t r u ct io n , ch a o s , d e s o la ­ t io n , s t r ik e s , a n d p o ve r ty. T h e F a scis t im a ge s w e r e q u it e d iffe r e n t : flo w e r in g a n d fe r t ile fie ld s , h a p p y a n d p r o d u ct ive w o r k e r s , st a b iliza t io n o f th e lir a , o r d er , a n d tr a in s r u n n in g o n t im e .89 In a ll o f th e se r e vo lu t io n a r y e n d e a vo r s yo u th w a s t o p la y a k e y r o le . I f t h e r e gim e ’s m ilit a r is t ic r h e to r ic a p p e a le d t o th e yo u t h fu l th ir st fo r g lo r y a n d a d ve n tu r e , th e m yth o f th e F a scis t r e vo lu t io n , th e “ n e w o r d er ” th a t fa s cis m w o u ld b r in g t o I t a ly a n d t o E u r o p e , a p p e a le d t o th e id e a lis m a n d t h e s o cia l co n s cie n ce o f t h e yo u n g. M u s s o lin i se e m e d t o h a ve lit t le fa it h in th e o ld e r ge n e r a t io n s , b u t in h is a u to b io gr a p h y h e e xcla im e d : “ I h a ve tr u st in yo u n g p e o p le . T h e ir sp ir it u a l a n d m a ter ia l life is le d b y q u ick a tte n tive m in d s a n d b y a r d en t h e a r ts.” 86 T h e M a r ch o n R o m e w a s p r esen ted a s a r e vo lu t io n a r y s e izu r e o f p o w e r th a t h a d b e gu n th e p r o ce s s o f r e n ew a l in Ita lia n s o cie t y, a r e n e w a l in w h ich th e yo u th h a d a s p e cia l r o le t o p la y. T h e r h e to r ic o f th e r e gim e se e m e d t o p r o m ise co n s t r u ct io n , b u ild in g , a n d a ze s t fo r th e

30

fu tu r e — a ll o f d û s t ie d t o th e d yn a m ic im a ge o f th e le a d e r w h o o ffe r e d t o

____

th e yo u n g a w a y t o ch a n n e l t h e ir sp ir it o f r e b e llio n in to p o lit ic a lly

B e lie v e ,

p r o d u ctive o u t le t s . T h e co u n d e s s im a ge s o f M u s s o lin i in th e fie ld s a n d

O b e y,

fa ct o r ie s seem ed t o g iv e cr e d e n ce t o h is p r o m ise th a t in te n ye a r s I t a ly

F ig h t

w o u ld b e u n r e co gn iza b le . U n d er fa s cis m I t a ly w a s t o b e vie w e d n o lo n g e r a s a la n d o f sp a gh e ttie a t in g an d m a n d o lin -str u m m in g r o m a n tics b u t a s a la n d o f so b r ie t y, h a r d w o r k , a n d se r io u s n e ss o f p u r p o se. T h e p a r ty a n d th e D u ce h a d r e vo lu ­ t io n ize d I ta ly, a n d a ll w a s w o r k in g a cco r d in g t o h is w ill. l b m a in ta in t h is im a ge , th e p r e ss o ffic e fo r b a d e th e m en tio n o f a n y in ter n a l co n flict s . N e w sp a p e r s co u ld n o t c a n y st o r ie s o f cr im e s o f p a s s io n , s u icid e s , o r o b it u a r ie s , w h ich w e r e n o t in th e F a s cis t s t y le . N o r d id Ita lia n s r e a d st o r ie s o f e p id e m ics , n a tu r a l ca la m it ie s , o r e ve n b a d w ea th er . T h e n e w Ita lia n w o u ld b e p h ys ica lly a n d m e n ta lly h a r d a n d fit , lea n a n d s in e w y a n d r e a d y fo r co m b a t. “ I h a ve n o p it y fo r th e fa t ,” M u s s o lin i w a s q u o te d a s s a yin g . “ I f yo u e a t t o o m u ch yo u st e a l fr o m th e F a th er la n d ,” r ea d a n o th er p r o p a ga n d a p o st e r .87 T h e sh o w ie s t ce le b r a t io n o f th e F a scis t r e vo lu t io n w a s th e M o str a d e lla R ivo lu zio n e , w h ich o p e n e d o n 2 8 O ct o b e r 19 3 2 t o co m m e m o r a te th e ten th a n n ive r sa r y o f th e M a r ch o n R o m e . T h e m yth o f th e “co n tin u ­ in g r e vo lu t io n ” t o th e co n tr a r y, th is e xh ib it io n m a d e it q u it e c le a r th a t th e r e vo lu t io n w a s in th e p a st , en sh r in ed w ith in th e w a lls o f th e gr e a t h a ll o n V ia N a zio n a le in R o m e . T h e e xh ib it io n d a ted th e b e gin n in g o f th e “ ye a r s o f a n gu ish ” fr o m 19 14 a n d th e in te r ve n tio n ist st r u ggle ; it w a s in e s s e n ce a m a r tyr o lo gy, fo r th e e x h ib it s , in a d d itio n t o m e m o r a b ilia fr o m th e D u ce ’s e a r ly ye a r s , in clu d e d th e b lo o d y r a gs an d u n ifo r m s o f th e e a r ly F a s cis t sa in ts. T h e la s t r o o m , th e “ sa cr a r iu m ” o r th e sh r in e o f th e m a r tyr s, w a s a v o t iv e ch a p e l d e d ica te d t o th o se w h o h a d fa lle n d u r in g d ie r e vo lu t io n a r y s t r u g g le .88 M illio n s o f vis it o r s o ve r th e ye a r s ca m e t o s e e th is e xh ib it ; th e r e gim e p r o vid e d r e d u ce d fa r e s fo r s o ld ie r s a n d m em b er s o f F a s cis t yo u th gr o u p s a n d a d u lt o r ga n iza t io n s , l b e m p h a s ize th e u n ity o f th e p e o p le w it h th e r e vo lu t io n , th e gu a r d in clu d e d p e o p le fr o m a ll w a lk s o f life : s o ld ie r s , m ilitia m e n , p e a sa n ts, w o r k e r s , in t e lle ct u a ls , stu d en ts. B u t th e e x h ib it w a s a ce le b r a tio n a n d sa n ctifica tio n o f th e p a s t , n o t a p r o m ise fo r th e fu t u r e . T h e e x h ib it , lik e t h e r e vo lu t io n , ca m e m or e a n d m o r e t o b e s ym b o lize d , a s D in o A lfie r i e m p h a s ize d in a n o ffic ia l co m m u n iq u é , in “ th e w ill o f th e Le a d e r , in w h o m a ll th e m yste r io u s fo r ce s o f th e r a ce co n ve r g e .” T h e e n tir e e xp o s it io n h a d b e en “ p r ep a r ed a n d o r ga n ize d in su ch a w a y th a t o n e fe e ls th e p e r s o n a lit y o f th e D u ce a lw a ys p r esen t.” 89 T h e th em es o f th e M o str a d e lla R ivo lu zio n e w e r e v e r y s ym b o lic. It en sh r in ed a ll th e p o lit ica l m yth s o f fa scism : th e r e vo lu t io n o f th e sp ir it a n d s o cia l ju s t ic e t o b e a cco m p lis h e d b y th e m o b iliza t io n o f th e m a ss in a gr e a t n a tio n a l u n d er ta k in g u n d er th e in sp ir e d le a d e r s h ip o f a n e w p a r ty

a n d a ch a r ism a tic lea d er . F o r a tim e th e se m yth s h a d gr e a t a p p e a l. B u t a ll

31

t h e r h e to r ic co u ld n o t ch a n ge r e a lity. W o r d s, e ve n w o r d s su p p o r ted b y t h e m e ch a n ism o f s o cia l co n t r o l an d r e p r e s sio n , w e r e n o t en o u gh t o h o ld

“Th e

u p a w o r ld co n str u cte d o n ly o n p r o m ise s. T h e F a s cis t r e gim e u n d er

K in gd o m

B e n it o M u s s o lin i h a d n o r e a l d eter m in a tio n t o r e a lize it s p r o m ise s o f

o f th e

r e n e w a l a n d r e fo r m . A s th e ye a r s p a sse d th e ch a sm b e tw e e n th e id e a l

W or d ”

a n d th e r e a l, b e tw e e n m yth a n d p r a ct ice , o n ly w id e n e d . H o w e ve r m u ch th e le a d e r s t a lk e d a b o u t r e vo lu t io n , th e r e a lit y o f life in F a scis t I t a ly b e lie d t h e ir p r o m ise s. T h e th em e o f t h e r e vo lu t io n o f yo u th w a s co n tr a ­ d ict e d b y th e co n tin u a tio n in p o w er o f th e o ld le a d e r s h ip ca d r e s . T h e m yt h s o f F a s cis t n a tio n a l gr a n d eu r a n d str en gth w e r e ga in s a id b y th e r e g im e ’s fa ilu r e t o p r ep a r e fo r w a r , a n d th e m yth s o f g lo r y a n d r o m a n ità b y d e fe a t s a n d th e in cr e a sin g su b o r d in a tio n o f I t a ly t o N a zi G er m a n y. T h e m yth o f th e co n tin u in g r e vo lu t io n a n d s o cia l ju s t ic e co n tr a ste d w it h t h e r e a l fu n ctio n in g o f th e co r p o r a te sta te a n d fa s cis m ’s co m p r o m ise s w it h th e p r ivile g e d c la s s e s . An d p er h a p s m o st im p o r ta n t, t iie m yth o f th e in fa llib le D u ce cla s h e d w it h h is o w n in cr e a sin g id e n tifica tio n w it h H it­ le r ia n fa n a t icis m , w it h a n ti-Se m itism a n d a g gr e s s io n . I f M u s s o lin i h a d o n c e b e e n a ss o cia t e d w it h co n str u ctio n a n d th e u n iq u en ess o f th e Ita lia n s p ir it , h e ca m e m or e a n d m o r e t o b e id e n tifie d w it h d e str u ctio n a n d s u b s e r vie n ce t o h is str o n ge r a lly t o th e n o r th . F a scis m p r o m ised t o r a lly th e p e o p le in a gr e a t n a tio n a l r e v iv a l. In fa ct t h e r e gim e w a s p r e d ica te d o n d e p o lit iciza t io n o f th e m a ss e s , w h o se p a r t icip a t io n in th e p o lit ica l p r o ce s s w a s r e d u ce d t o r itu a l cr ie s o f su p ­ p o r t fo r p o licie s d e cid e d o n h ig h , t o o r ch e str a te d d em o n str a tio n s o f fa it h in th e D u ce . T h e d yn a m ism o f th e e a r ly m o vem en t w a s r e d u ce d t o a fe w fo r m u la s , r ep ea ted in ce s sa n tly. T h e id e a ls o f cr e a t ivit y a n d a ct ivis m w e r e tr a n sfo r m ed in to th e d e a d w e igh t o f d o gm a . S lo g a n s a b o u t r e n ew a l a n d co n str u ctio n w e r e r e d u ce d t o th e im m o b ilit y o f th e ca t e ch is m . T h e t o n e b e ca m e e v e r m o r e e xa lt e d a s th e ye a r s p a s s e d , th e id e a s e v e r m o r e b a r r en . T h e gr e a t r e vo lu t io n w a s in th e en d r e d u ce d t o th e cu lt o f o n e m a n , th e stu d y o f F a s cis t ’’m ys t icis m :” “T h e fo n t , th e o n ly fo n t o f o u r m ys t icis m . . . is M u s s o lin i, e x c lu s iv e ly M u s s o lin i. T h is is o u r fixe d p o in t . . . fa s cis m fo r u s m ys t ics is M u s s o lin i, o n ly a n d e x clu s iv e ly M u s s o lin i.”90 F o r th e yo u th th is co n tr a st b e tw e e n r e vo lu t io n a r y r h e to r ic a n d r e a lit y h a d e s p e cia lly im p o r ta n t co n se q u e n ce s . G iu s e p p e B o t t a i in siste d th a t t o a vo id p a r a lys is a n d d e ca y, th e P N F h a d t o a llo w th e yo u n g t o a ssu m e r e a l p o w er in th e F a scis t p a r ty. T h e y sh o u ld b e fr e e , h e w a r n e d , t o r e th in k fa s cis m a n d t o m a k e t h e ir o w n co n tr ib u tio n s t o k e e p th e r e gim e in tu n e w it h th e n e e d s o f a ch a n gin g w o r ld . In 19 2 9 h e a sk e d : ” Is th e R e vo lu t io n t h e r e fo r e co m p le te d ? Is n o th in g le ft b u t t o a cce p t th e clo s e d c y c le o f it s h isto r y a s it e x is t s in th e in stitu tio n s, la w s , th e co n cr e t ize d r e g im e ? ’91 B o t t a i r e fu se d t o b e lie v e th a t th e r e vo lu t io n d id n o t h a ve a

32 ____ B e lie v e , O b e y, F ig h t

fu t u r e , a n d m a n y yo u n g p e o p le , t o o , clu n g t e n a cio u s ly t o th e b e lie f t h a t , a p p e a r a n ce s t o th e co n tr a r y, th e r e a l b a ttle fo r a n e w s o cie t y w a s s t ill a h ea d . F a scis m p r o m ise d th a t it w o u ld b u ild u p o n th e s p ir it o f r e b e llio n a n d th e yo u th fu l a ct ivis m th a t h a d b r o u gh t it t o p o w er , th a t it w o u ld p r o vid e r e a l o u t le t s fo r t h e ir sp ir it o f c r it icis m , t h e ir d e s ir e t o cr e a t e , t o r e fo r m . In a s p e cia l e d it io n o f P o p o lo d ’I t a lia in 19 3 2 , Ar t u r o M a r p ica t i, th en vice -s e cr e t a r y o f th e P N F , cla im e d th a t th e “ F a s cis t sta te co n s id e r s . . . th e e d u ca tio n a l m issio n a s fu n d a m en ta l a m o n g it s fu n ct io n s , a n d it h a s a ssu m ed th is m issio n w it h a r d or , l b th e yo u th it en tr u sts th e d u ty o f p er p etu a tin g th e fa it h a n d co n tin u in g th e w o r k o f fa s cis m .”92 T h e r e gim e p r o m ised t o fu lfill it s m o tto o f la r g o a i g io v a n i— “ m a k e w a y fo r th e yo u n g "— b u t p r o ce e d e d t o e r e ct a n e d u ca tio n a l syste m a n d yo u th o r ga n i­ za t io n s th a t a im ed a t su p p r e ssin g a ll e vid e n ce o f in t e lle ct u a l in d ep en ­ d e n ce a n d co u r a ge a n d a t p r o d u cin g b lin d b e lie ve r s a r m ed w it h a ca t e ­ ch is m o f F a scis t r e sp o n s e s . In t h is se n s e th e F a scis t r e vo lu t io n fo r th e yo u n g w a s b e s t su m m a r ized w ith th e m o tto “ B e lie v e , O b e y, F igh t ” o r , p er h a p s m o r e t o th e p o in t , “ M u s s o lin i is a lw a ys r igh t.”

CHAPTER TWO

“The M ost Fascist Reform



Th e Governm ent dem ands that the school be inspired by the ideals o f fa scism . . . it dem ands that the school at all levels and in all its instruction train Italian youth to understand fascism , to ennoble it self through fascism , and to live in the historic clim ate created by die Fascist revolution. — benho M ussolini, 1925

^ V i t h th e se w o r d s B e n it o M u s s o lin i o u tlin e d th e g o a ls F a s cis t e d u ca tio n a l p o lic y .1 In F a s cis t s o cie t y ce r ta in m ys t ica lly d e r ive d a b str a ct g o a ls a n d im p e r a tive s W

m m w er e t o ta k e p r e ce d e n ce o v e r a ll in d ivid u a l a n d gr o u p

in te r e s ts an d o ve r a ll s o cia l r e la t io n s . In t h e o r y fa s cis m w a s t o b e b a se d n o t o n ly o n th e su b o r d in a tio n o f th e in d ivid u a l to th e sta te b u t a ls o o n th e su b o r d in a tio n o f a ll h u m an a s s o cia t io n s a n d a ll tr a d itio n a l in stitu tio n s cr e a t e d t o m e e t th e s o cia l n e e d s o f m a n . T h e a ttem p t t o co n tr o l th ese t r a d itio n a l in stitu tio n s w a s o n e o f th e c h ie f m ea n s o f s o cia lizin g in d i­ vid u a ls in th e F a scis t sta te . O n e o f th e m o st im p o r ta n t o f th e se t r a d itio n a l in stitu tio n s w a s th e s ch o o l. T h o u gh th e P N F ca m e t o p o w er w ith o u t a n y c le a r ly a r ticu la te d e d u ca tio n a l t h e o r ie s , a ttem p ts t o t a ilo r th e s ch o o l s ys t e m t o th e n e e d s o f th e n e w go ve r n m e n t b e ga n v e r y e a r ly a n d co n tin ­ u e d u n til th e fa ll o f th e r e gim e . A n y stu d y o f e d u ca tio n a l r e fo r m a n d s ch o o l p o lic y in F a s cis t I t a ly m u st b e g in w it h a d is cu s s io n o f th e r o le p la ye d b y G io va n n i G e n t ile a n d th e n e o -id e a lis t e d u ca tio n a l r e fo r m er s. G e n t ile ’s 19 2 3 r e fo r m w a s th e fo u n d a tio n u p on w h ich la t e r m in iste r s o f e d u ca tio n co n str u cte d t h e co m ­ p le x su p er str u ctu r e o f s ch o o l a n d p a r ty o r ga n iza t io n s a im ed a t s o c ia liz­ in g Ita lia n yo u th . G e n t ile ’s p er so n a l a n d in t e lle ct u a l r e la tio n s h ip t o fa s ­ c is m is so m e th in g o f a co n u n d r u m . H e w a s o ft e n p u t o n d is p la y b y th e r e gim e a s it s in t e lle ct u a l-in -r e s id e n ce , a n d m a n y o f h is id e a s o n th e sta te a n d th e le a d e r str u ck r e sp o n s ive ch o r d s a m o n g th e F a s cis t h ie r a r ch s. B u t a lm o s t a s so o n a s it b e ca m e la w , G e n t ile ’s r e fo r m w a s d is s e ct e d b y th o se w h o fo u n d it “ la ck in g in tr u e F a scis t sp ir it” — m u ch t o th e ch a gr in o f G e n t ile a n d h is fo llo w e r s . G e n t ile p r o d u ced th e p h ilo s o p h ica l a n d in te l­ le ct u a l u n d er p in n in gs o f a n a u th o r ita r ia n a n d e lit is t e d u ca tio n a l syste m ; la t e r F a s cis t m in iste r s a d d ed la r ge d o s e s o f m ilita r ism a n d e xtr e m e n a t io n a lis m , se a so n e d it a ll w it h ge n e r o u s p o r tio n s o f La t in -s p ice d F u e h r e r p r in z ip , a n d p r o d u ced w h a t t h e y h o p ed w o u ld b e th e p e r fe ct

34

s o cia liza t io n t o o l fo r th e fo r m a tio n o f th e “ n e w F a scis t m an ” a n d th e n e w F a s cis t t illin g c la s s .

B e lie ve »

T h e G e n t ile r e fo r m it s e lf w a s n o t a r e vo lu t io n a r y d ep a r tu r e fr o m p r c-

O b e y,

F a scis t d e ve lo p m e n ts in e d u ca tio n b u t r a th er a r e fle ct io n o f id e a s cu r -

F ig h t

r en t in p e d a go gica l c ir c le s fo r d e ca d e s .2 T h e F a scis t r e gim e d id in tr o ­ d u ce so m e s ign ifica n t in stitu tio n a l ch a n ge s in Ita lia n e d u ca tio n : b y 19 4 3 th e s yste m w a s m u ch m or e ce n t r a lize d a n d m o r e d ir e ct ly co n t r o lle d b y th e s ta le ; so m e n e w t yp e s o f s ch o o ls h a d b e e n e st a b lish e d t o b r o a d en t h e e d u ca tio n a l b a s e (w it h va r yin g r e su lts ); r e lig io n h a d e n te r ed th e c la s s ­ r o o m , a n d th e C a t h o lic ch u r ch w a s p la yin g a k e y r o le in e d u ca tio n a l a ffa ir s . B u t th e r e a lly im p o r ta n t ch a n ge s in th e Ita lia n s ch o o l s yst e m u n d er fa s cis m — th e b a s is fo r th e r e gim e ’s cla im s th a t it h a d e ffe c t e d a r e vo lu t io n in e d u ca tio n — w e r e ch a n g e s n o t s o m u ch in str u ctu r e o r a d m in istr a tio n a s in s p ir it . T h is n e w sp ir it w a s m ilit a r is t ic a n d n a t io n a lis t ic; it w a s b a se d o n G e n t ilia n n o tio n s o f th e e t h ica l sta te a n d n a tio n a l co m m u n ity str e tch e d t o t h e ir m o st e xtr e m e lim it s b y m en w ith o u t h is s e n s it ivit y t o d ie s o c ia l fu n ctio n o f cu lt u r e a n d th e im p o r ta n ce o f in d ivid u a l cr e a t ivit y, a n d w it h o u t h is to le r a n ce o f d ive r s e o p in io n s . In th is n e w v ie w o f t h in g s , th e s ch o o l w a s se e n n o t a s a ve h ic le fo r cu lt u r a l en r ich m en t a n d d ie fo r m a ­ t io n o f a s o c ia lly r e sp o n s ib le r u lin g e lit e b u t a s a n a ge n cy o f in d o ctr in a ­ t io n b u ttr e ssin g a p e r so n a l d icta to r sh ip . T h e s ch o o l w a s t o b e n o t a p la c e o f co m m u n io n b e tw e e n te a ch e r a n d stu d en t u n ited in th e p r o ce s s o f d is co ve r y b u t a t o o l th a t, to ge th e r w it h th e r e gim e ’s yo u th o r g a n iza t io n s , w a s t o fo r m th e F a s cis t cit ize n -s o ld ie r . T h e d e ve lo p m e n t o f F a scis t e d u ca tio n a l p o lic y ca n b e d ivid e d in t o th r ee p e r io d s . T h e fir s t b e gin s w ith th e G e n t ile r e fo r m o f 19 2 3 a n d t h e r e a ctio n t o th is k e y e d u ca tio n a l le g is la t io n u n til 19 2 9 . In th a t ye a r t h e M in is t r y o f P u b lic In str u ctio n b e ca m e th e M in is t r y o f N a tio n a l E d u ca ­ t io n , a ch a n ge su b sta n tia l a s w e ll a s r h e t o r ica l. T h e se co n d p e r io d str e tch e s fr o m 19 2 9 t o a b o u t 19 3 9 a n d m a y b e ter m ed th e p e r io d o f “ fa s cis t iza t io n ” (fa s cis tiz z a z io n e ) in th e s ch o o ls : in cr e a sin g in flu e n ce o f t h e r e gim e in a ca d e m ic a ffa ir s , co m p e titio n b e tw e e n s ch o o ls a n d yo u th gr o u p s fo r th e t im e a n d a tten tio n o f t h e stu d e n ts, co n flict s w it h th e C a t h o lic ch u r ch o v e r e d u ca tio n a l p o licy, a n d th e s e r ie s o f co u n t e r r e fo r m s o r "r e t o u ch in gs ” ( r it o c c h i ) th a t a ll b u t m a d e d ie G e n t ile r e fo r m a d e a d le tte r . T h e th ir d a n d fin a l p h a se b e gin s w it h th e in tr o d u ctio n o f B o t t a i’s Ca r t a d e lla S cu o la — in th e v ie w o f so m e th e "o n ly tr u e F a s cis t r e fo r m o f th e s ch o o l” — a n d a id s w ith th e fa ll o f th e r e gim e it s e lf.3

I t a lia n E d u ca t io n t o 19 2 2 In 18 5 9 C o u n t C a m illo C a v o u r a p p o in ted th e M ila n e s e r e fo r m e r Co u n t

35

“Th e

G a b r io C a s a t i m in iste r o f p u b lic in str u ctio n . T h e C a s a t i la w , p r o m u l­

M ost

g a t e d o n 13 N o ve m b e r 18 3 9 (R o ya l D e cr e e n o . 3 72 3 ), w a s o n e o f th e

F a s cis t

P ie d m o n te se sta te sm a n ’s m o st e n d u r in g le g a cie s t o u n ited Ita ly. T h e

R e fo r m ”

C a s a t i r e fo r m s r em a in ed s u b s ta n tia lly u n ch a n ge d fo r s ix t y ye a r s; G e n ­ t ile ’s s ch o o l r e fo r m s m o d ifie d th e in stitu tio n a l str u ctu r e o f th e 18 3 9 la w b u t d id n o t r a d ica lly a lt e r it s e s s e n t ia l o u t lin e o r s p ir it . O n e h isto r ia n o f I t a lia n e d u ca tio n h a s r e fe r r e d t o th e C a s a t i la w a s th e “ M a gn a C a r t a o f t h e Ita lia n s ch o o l.’*4 T h e C a s a t i la w w a s ve r y m u ch a r e fle ct io n o f th e p o lit ica l a n d s o c ia l b ia s e s o f it s a u th o r s a n d o f th e n or th er n Ita lia n co n t e xt in w h ich it o r ig in a t e d . Its 3 79 a r t icle s w e r e in sp ir e d b y th e p r in cip le o f a d m in istr a ­ t iv e ce n t r a liza t io n fr o m se co n d a r y s ch o o ls t o th e u n ive r s it ie s , a n d b y a r ig id sep a r a tio n b e tw e e n h u m a n istic a n d t e ch n ica l e d u ca tio n — th e la tte r co n s id e r d a b r u tta co p ia o f th e fo r m er — a n d b e tw e e n e le m e n ta r y a n d h ig h e r e d u ca tio n . T h e C a s a t i la w cr e a te d a n a tio n a l s yste m o f p u b lic s ch o o ls , a n d in t h is se n se th e fr a m e r s w e r e r e sp o n d in g t o th e n e e d s o f th e la b o r m a r k et in a n e w ly in d u s t r ia lizin g s o cie t y. B u t th e r e fo r m , th o u gh it d id in tr o d u ce a lim ite d s ch o la s t ic o b lig a t io n a n d p r o vid e th e r u d im en ts o f t h e th r ee R s a n d vo ca t io n a l tr a in in g fo r th e m a ss e s , w a s m o st co n ­ ce r n e d w it h th e e d u ca tio n o f th e I ta lia n r u lin g e lit e s a n d th e p r e se r va tio n o f th e s o cia l d ivis io n o f la b o r s o d e a r t o th e h ea r ts o f it s r igh t -w in g lib e r a l a u th o r s. A cco r d in g t o th e la w , e le m e n ta r y s ch o o ls w e r e d ivid e d in to tw o c o u r s e s , e a ch la s t in g t w o ye a r s . E a ch co m m u n e w a s r e sp o n s ib le fo r th e e sta b lish m e n t o f a t le a s t o n e lo w e r co u r s e fo r e a ch s e x w h e r e th e r e w e r e a t le a s t fift y stu d en ts o f s ch o o l a g e . T h e lio n ’s sh a r e o f sta te fu n d s fo r e d u ca t io n w a s fu n n e le d in to th e se co n d a r y s ch o o ls a n d u n ive r s it ie s ; p r im a r y in str u ctio n w a s to b e p a id fo r b y lo c a l co m m u n e s, m a n y o f w h ich s im p ly co u ld n o t s h o u ld e r th e fin a n cia l b u r d en o r w e r e r u n b y lo c a l n o ta b le s w h o co n sid e r e d th e a lp h a b e t a d a n ger o u s w e a p o n in th e h a n d s o f th e lo w e r c la s s e s . In m a n y r u r a l a n d u n d e r d evelo p e d a r e a s , th is p a tter n m ea n t th a t lo c a l ch ild r e n , i f t h e y a tten d ed s ch o o l a t a ll, r e ce ive d o n ly t w o ye a r s o f e d u ca t io n , n o t e n o u gh t o p r e ve n t a la p s e b a ck in t o illit e r a c y w h e n t h e y le ft s ch o o l. S ch o o ls w e r e m o st o ft e n la ck in g in p r e c is e ly th o se a r ea s w h e r e t h e y w e r e m o st n e e d e d , w h e r e p a r en ts d id n o t h a ve d ie m o n e y t o sen d ch ild r e n t o p r iva t e in stitu tio n s o r h ir e p r iva te tu to r s. W h e r e t h e y w e r e s e t u p , t h e y w e r e u s u a lly w ith o u t e ve n th e m o st b a s ic e q u ip m en t a n d s t a ffe d b y te a ch e r s w h o w e r e o ft e n fo r ce d t o ta k e s e co n d jo b s t o m a k e e n d s m e e t. A t th e d a w n o f th e u n ita r y sta te a b o u t o n e -t h ir d o f a ll Ita lia n co m m u n es w e r e s t ill w ith o u t a n y e le m e n ta r y s c h o o ls .3 T h e C a s a t i la w d id lit t le t o s o lv e th e s o cia l o r e co n o m ic

36

p r o b le m s o f e it h e r stu d en ts (n o p r o vis io n s w e r e m a d e , fo r e xa m p le , fo r

____

stu d en ts w h o sp o k e o n ly d ia le ct ) o r te a ch e r s in a s o cie t y in w h ich

B e lie v e ,

e d u ca tio n w a s s t ill se e n b y m a n y a s d e s t r u ct ive o f Ch r is t ia n m o r a lit y a n d

O b e y, F igh t

a s a ch a lle n g e t o th e tr a d itio n a l s o cia l (» d e r b a se d o n p a tr ia p o t e s t a s .6 T h e se co n d a r y s yste m u n d er th e C a s a t i la w w a s m o r e co m p le x , a s b e fitte d it s m or e p r ivile g e d sta tu s. A t th e cr o w n o f th is s yste m w e r e th e c la s s ica l g in n a s io a n d lic e o , w h e r e th e m o st fo r tu n a te stu d en ts w e r e p r o vid e d w it h a lit e r a r y an d h u m a n istic e d u ca tio n th a t a llo w e d th em a cce s s to a ll u n ive r s it y fa cu lt ie s . Ch ild r e n co u ld b e e n r o lle d in th e se s ch o o ls o n ly a ft e r co m p le t in g a fo u r -ye a r e le m e n ta r y co u r se a n d a ft e r p a ss in g a n e xa m in a tio n . T h e la w a ls o p r o vid e d fo r e igh t e e n th r e e -ye a r n o r m a l s ch o o ls t o tr a in t e a ch e r s , a s w e ll a s t e ch n ica l s ch o o ls a n d in sti­ tu te s fo r th o se stu d en ts w h o p la n n ed ca r e e r s in in d u str ia l, tr a d e , o r a gr icu lt u r a l m a n a gem en t. Ad m is s io n t o th e se s ch o o ls w a s r e gu la te d a s in th e c la s s ic a l s ch o o ls , an d a ft e r i8 6 0 th e p h ys ics a n d m a th em a tics s e ct io n o f th e is titu t o t e c n ic o d id a llo w a d m issio n t o th e s cie n ce fa cu lt ie s o f th e u n ive r s it ie s . T h e u n ive r s it y w a s th e a p e x o f th e C a s a t i s yste m . P er m a n en t p r o fe s ­ so r s w e r e a p p o in ted b y th e k in g fo r life , a n d o n ly th e m a in su b je ct s in e a ch fa cu lt y w e r e ta u gh t b y su ch p r o fe s s o r s . T h e s e sta te -fin a n ce d u n i­ ve r s it ie s a w a r d ed o n e d e gr e e , th e la u r e a d o t to r a le , a ft e r co m p le tio n o f co u r s e w o r k an d p u b lic d e fe n s e o f th e th e s is . T h e C a s a t i s yste m w a s h ig h ly ce n t r a lize d in it s a d m in istr a tive str u c­ tu r e: th e e d u ca tio n a l a d m in istr a tio n w a s co m p o se d o f th e m in iste r , th e c o n s ig lio s u p e r io r e , a n d th r ee ge n e r a l in s p e ct o r s , o n e fo r e a ch le v e l o f

in str u ctio n . T h e c o n s ig lio s u p e r io r e w a s co m p o se d o f tw e n ty-o n e m em ­ b e r s , a ll a p p o in ted o n r o ya l n o m in a tio n a ft e r r eco m m en d a tio n b y th e m in ister . E a ch u n ive r s it y w a s d ir e cte d b y a r e cto r , w h o w a s n o m in a ted b y th e k in g fr o m a m o n g th e p er m a n en t p r o fe s s o r s an d w a s r e sp o n s ib le t o th e ce n tr a l go ve r n m e n t. T h e se co n d a r y a n d e le m en ta r y s ch o o ls in e a ch p r o vin ce w e r e u n d er th e co n tr o l o f p r o vin cia l d ir e cto r s ( p r o v v e d ito r i a g li s t u d i) n o m in a ted b y th e k in g a ft e r co n su lt a tio n w ith th e m in iste r .7

T h e C a s a t i la w p r o vid e d fo r r e lig io u s in str u ctio n in th e s ch o o ls . A t th e e le m e n ta r y le v e l r e lig io n w a s t o b e ta u gh t in b o th th e lo w e r a n d u p p er co u r s e s ; in th e se co n d a r y s ch o o ls th e r e lig io u s a n d m o r a l e d u ca tio n o f th e stu d en ts w a s en tr u sted t o a “ sp ir itu a l d ir e ct o r ” a p p o in ted fo r e a ch s ch o o l b y th e m in ister . A t th e u n ive r s it y th e te a ch in g o f r e lig io n w a s co n fin e d t o th e fa cu lt ie s o f t h e o lo gy, b u t th e se w e r e clo s e d in 18 73 . T h e sp ir itu a l d ir e cto r s a ls o d isa p p e a r ed ve r y so o n fr o m th e se co n d a r y s ch o o ls , a n d r e lig io u s tr a in in g in th e p r im a r y gr a d e s b e ca m e vo lu n ta r y, th e d e cis io n r e stin g w it h lo ca l a u th o r itie s an d fa m ilie s . In p r a ct ice , it ce a s e d t o b e ta u gh t in m a n y co m m u n e s, e s p e cia lly in u rb a n a r e a s , a d e ve lo p m e n t th a t o n ly in cr e a se d th e d is a ffe ct io n o f m a n y C a t h o lics fr o m th e lib e r a l st a t e . T h o s e ch ild r e n w h o d id r e ce ive fo r m a l r e lig io u s in -

s t r u ct io n o ft e n d id s o b y m a k in g s p e cia l a r r a n gem en ts t o stu d y in th e

37

p a r is h ch u r ch o r t o a tten d p r iva t e s ch o o ls ru n b y r e lig io u s o r d e r s .8 T h e e d u ca tio n a l s yste m e st a b lish e d b y th e C a s a t i la w en sh r in ed d ie “ T h e s o c ia l a n d p o lit ica l in ter e sts o f a r u lin g c la s s co n vin ce d th a t th e p e o p le M ost w e r e t o o im m a tu r e fo r se lf-go ve r n m e n t a n d th a t o r d e r a n d co n tr o l h a d to

F a scis t

b e im p o se d o n th e m a ss b y t h e ir s o cia l b e tte r s . T h e le a d e r s o f th e D estr a

R e fo r m ”

S t o r ica , in p o w er u n til 18 7 6 , fo llo w e d p o lic ie s th a t m ir r or ed t h e ir la ck o f in te r e s t in e le m e n ta r y e d u ca tio n a n d t e ch n ica l in str u ctio n a n d t h e ir d e ­ s ir e — b y n o m ea n s co n fin e d t o I t a ly— t o u se se co n d a r y e d u ca tio n a s a s o c ia l filt e r t o p r e se r ve th e h o m o ge n e ity a n d p r ivile g e s o f t h e ir o w n e lit e . T h e a d ve n t o f th e L e ft in 18 76 g r a d u a lly b r o u gh t so m e ch a n g e s , th o u gh h a r d ly d r a m a tic o n e s: a r en ew ed in ter est in t e ch n ica l a n d p r o fe s ­ s io n a l in str u ctio n , a n in cr e a se in tea ch er s* a n d p r o fe s s o r s ’ s a la r ie s , e le c ­ t io n o f so m e a d m in istr a to r s t o th e c o n s ig lio s u p e r io r e , a n d sta te p r o vi­ s io n s a ga in s t co m p e titio n fr o m p r iva t e s ch o o ls . B u t i f th e L e ft sh o w ed m o r e co n ce r n w it h p o p u la r e d u ca t io n , it s t ill sh a r ed th e sa m e fu n d a m en ­ t a l p o lit ica l o r ie n ta tio n : p r im a r y e d u ca tio n w a s a im ed a t fo r m in g n o t p o lit ic a lly r e sp o n s ib le cit ize n s b u t o b e d ie n t w o r k e r s w h o w o u ld le a ve th e go ve r n m e n t t o th o se ca p a b le o f g o ve r n in g fo r t h e m s e lve s a n d fo r o t h e r s . H o w e ve r , th e w h o le co m p le x o f s o c ia l, p o lit ic a l, a n d e co n o m ic d e ve lo p m e n t s in I t a ly p r o d u ced b y th e b r o a d e n in g o f s u ffr a g e a n d th e ir r u p tio n o f n e w s o cia l gr o u p s vy in g fo r a n e xp a n sio n o f t h e ir o w n p o w er a n d in flu e n ce co u ld n o t b e t o t a lly ign o r e d b y th e le a d e r s o f th e L e ft . M e m b e r s o f th e r u lin g cla s s it s e lf ca m e t o r e a lize th e a d va n ta ge s o f lit e r a cy a m o n g th e w o r k e r s; a p a r lia m en ta r y in q u ir y in 18 76 b y L e o ­ p o ld o F r a n ch etti a n d S id n e y So n n in o in to co n d itio n s in S ic ily e n d ed b y e n co u r a gin g th e sta te a n d th e la t ifo n d is t i t o p r o vid e e le m e n ta r y e d u ca ­ t io n fo r w o r k e r s, a n e d u ca tio n d e sign e d b o th t o r a is e t h e ir h u m an d ig n it y a n d t o m a k e t h e ir w o r k m or e p r o d u ct ive . A la w o n co m p u ls o r y s ch o o l a tte n d a n ce t o th e a g e o f n in e w a s p a sse d u n d er M in is t e r o f P u b lic In str u ctio n M ich e le C o p p in o in 18 7 7 . T h e la w r em a in ed a d e a d le tte r , h o w e ve r , b e ca u s e o f th e co n tin u ed p o ve r t y o f m a n y fa m ilie s , w h o n e e d e d t h e ir ch ild r e n in th e fie ld s , a n d b e ca u s e o f th e la ck o f in ter est o f m a n y co m m u n a l a u t h o r it ie s .9 T h e m o st im p o r ta n t e d u ca tio n a l le g is la t io n b e tw e e n th e C a s a t i la w a n d th e G e n t ile r e fo r m co n ce r n e d e le m e n ta r y e d u ca tio n . T h e 19 0 4 O r ­ la n d o r e fo r m p r o vid e d fo r a n in cr e a se in t e a ch e r s ’ s a la r ie s t o b e b o r n e p a r t ia lly b y th e st a t e , e st a b lish e d o b lig a t o r y in str u ctio n t o th e a g e o f t w e lv e , a n d se t u p a t w o -ye a r p o st ele m e n ta r y s ch o o l ca lle d th e s c u o la p o p o la r e fo r th o se stu d en ts w h o fa ile d t o p a ss th e e xa m in a tio n th a t

w o u ld a llo w th em t o co n tin u e o n t o se co n d a r y stu d ie s. In fa c t , th e s ch o o ls w e r e e sta b lish e d in ve r y fe w co m m u n e s, a n d th en u s u a lly in la r ge u r b a n ce n te r s .

38 ____

A n o ffic ia l in q u ir y in to th e sta te o f e le m e n ta r y e d u ca tio n in I t a ly in 19 0 8 - 12 p r o d u ced a th o r o u gh go in g co n d em n a tio n o f th e s ys t e m . O n e o f

B e lie v e ,

th e r e su lts o f th is in ve s t iga t io n w a s th e 19 11 D a n e o -Cr e d a r o r e fo r m th a t

O b e y,

a ttem p ted t o in cr e a se sta te co n tr o l in e d u ca tio n a l a ffa ir s a n d t o t a k e th e

F ig h t

fin a n cia l b u r d en o ff th e co m m u n es b y tr a n sfe r r in g e xp e n s e s t o th e m in ­ is t r y a n d b u d ge tin g sign ifica n t n e w su m s fo r a s ch o o l b u ild in g p r o gr a m . It a ls o e n co u r a ge d th e d e ve lo p m e n t o f lo c a l a ss is ta n ce o r g a n iza t io n s , ca lle d p a tr o n a ti s c o la s t ic i, th a t h a d fir st b e e n s e t u p in 18 79 a s vo lu n t a r y gr o u p s t o p r o vid e fo r th e m o r a l a n d m a te r ia l w e lfa r e o f p o o r ch ild r e n . T h r o u gh d ie p a tr o n a ti, lo c a l e le m e n ta r y s ch o o l stu d en ts w e r e g iv e n b o o k s , clo t h e s , a n d o ft e n m e a ls; in r u r a l a r ea s cla s s r o o m s w e r e fitted o u t w it h n e ce s s a r y s ch o o l fu r n itu r e a n d lib r a r ie s a s w e ll. B y la w e v e r y co m m u n e w a s t o e s t a b lis h a p a tr o n a to , a n d in 19 11 th e se gr o u p s w e r e g iv e n th e sta tu s o f p u b lic a g e n cie s s u b s id ia r y t o th e m in iste r ia l o r g a n iza ­ tio n in a ll co m m u n e s .10 T h e F a scis t go ve r n m e n t r e co g n ize d th e p o lit ica l p o te n tia l o f th e se lo ca l o r ga n iza tio n s a n d in 19 3 0 p u t th em u n d er th e co n t r o l o f th e O p e r a N a zio n a le B a lilla ( O N B ). T h e C a s a t i r e fo r m s d id su cce e d in r a is in g th e le v e l o f lit e r a cy in I t a ly, th o u gh r e su lt s w e r e b y n o m ea n s d r a m a tic. T h e r a te o f illit e r a c y fo r th o se s ix ye a r s o f a g e a n d o v e r w a s so m e 7 5 p e r cen t in 18 6 1; b y 18 71 it h a d d e cr e a se d t o a b o u t 6 9 p e r cen t; a n d b y 19 0 1 th e figu r e fo r I t a ly a s a w h o le w a s a b o u t 4 9 p e r ce n t. H o w e ve r , th e “ so u th er n q u e stio n ” w e igh e d h e a vily in th e se a ve r a g e s . T h e r a te o f illit e r a cy in th e so u th a n d d ie isla n d s r a n ged b e tw e e n 8 9 p e r cen t a n d 8 6 p e r cen t in 18 6 1 a n d w a s s t ill a b o u t 70 p e r cen t b y 19 0 1. In th a t ye a r P ied m o n t’s illit e r a c y r a te w a s o n ly 17 .7 p e r ce n t , b u t th e co r r e s p o n d in g figu r e fo r C a la b r ia w a s 78 .8 p e r ce n t .11 F igu r e s o n s ch o o l a tten d a n ce t e ll m u ch th e sa m e st o r y b e ca u s e in m o st r u r a l a r e a s , e s p e c ia lly in th e so u th , ch ild r e n sta yed in s ch o o l o n ly tw o ye a r s . T h e 19 0 7 figu r e s o n s ch o o l e n r o llm e n t a r e e n ligh te n in g: o f d ie to t a l n u m b er o f stu d en ts e n r o lle d in th e fir st s ix ye a r s o f s ch o o l, 4 2 p e r cen t w e r e in gr a d e o n e ; 2 8 .3 p e r cen t in gr a d e tw o ; 2 0 .2 p e r cen t in gr a d e th r ee; gr a d e s fo u r th r o u gh s ix a cco u n te d fo r 6 p e r ce n t, 2 .6 p er ­ ce n t , a n d 0 .6 p e r cen t r e s p e ct ive ly. E ve n th o se figu r e s , d is m a l a s t h e y s e e m , a r e m is le a d in g, fo r b y a ll a cco u n ts n o t m o r e th a n h a lf o f th o s e stu d en ts e n r o lle d a t th e b e gin n in g o f th e a ca d e m ic ye a r (w h e n th e ce n s u s w a s ta k e n ) r em a in ed e n r o lle d th e e n tir e ye a r .12 T h e r e fo r m s u n d er ta k en in lib e r a l I t a ly b e fo r e W or ld W a r I d id n o t a lt e r th e fu n d a m e n ta lly b o u r ge o is a n d e lit is t ch a r a cte r o f th e e d u ca tio n a l s yste m . T h e s yste m a im ed a t m a k in g e le m en ta r y e d u ca tio n w id e ly a v a il­ a b le t o th e lo w e r cla s s e s a n d a t co n q u e r in g illit e r a cy, b u t a ls o a t p r e se r v­ in g th e se co n d a r y s ch o o l a n d th e u n ive r s it y a s b o u r ge o is m o n o p o lie s. O n ly th e c la s s ic a l h igh s ch o o ls a llo w e d a cce s s t o a ll fa cu lt ie s o f th e u n ive r s it y; a ll o th e r s ch o o ls — t e ch n ica l, vo ca t io n a l, o r n o r m a l s ch o o ls

— w e r e in a se n s e d e a d e n d s. A s co m m o n ly vie w e d b y th e I ta lia n

39

lib e r a ls , th e s ch o o l w a s a n in str u m en t o f “ co n ta in m en t a n d a tten u a tio n o f s o c ia l t e n sio n s,” n o t a ve h ic le fo r p r o vid in g e q u a l e d u ca tio n a l o p p o r ­ t u n it y f o r a li . 13 T h e p r o b le m s o f th e C a s a t i syste m w e r e o n ly t o o e vid e n t b y th e tu r n o f t h e ce n tu r y. R o ya l in ve s t iga t io n s a n d n u m er o u s d e b a te s o n e d u ca tio n a l p o lic y a n d s ch o o l r e fo r m a m o n g e d u ca to r s a n d p o lit icia n s d id b r in g th e is s u e s in to th e p u b lic fo r u m , b u t d id n o t b e a r fr u it in a n y o ve r a ll r e­ fo r m o f th e e x is t in g sys t e m a n d str u ctu r e . T ea ch e r s’ o r ga n iza t io n s th a t e m e r ge d d u r in g th e e a r ly ye a r s o f th e n e w ce n tu r y o ft e n t o o k th e le a d in th e se d e b a te s. A n o r ga n iza t io n fo r e le m e n ta r y s ch o o l te a ch e r s , d ie U n io n e M a gis t r a le N a zio n a le , w a s e s t a b lis h e d in 19 0 1 a n d ch a ir e d b y L u ig i Cr e d a r o ; in 19 0 2 se co n d a r y te a ch e r s w e r e o r ga n ize d in to th e F e d e r a zio n e N a zio n a le d e g li In segn a n ti d e lle S cu o le M e d ie (F N I S M ) , a gr o u p le d b y G iu s e p p e K ir n e r a n d G a e t a n o S a lv e m in i.14 T h e r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n th e se t e a ch e r s ’ o r ga n iza t io n s a n d th e S o c ia l­ is t s w a s in d ir e ct b u t im p o r ta n t. M e m b e r s o f th e Ita lia n S o c ia lis t p a r ty h a d b e e n le a d in g p r o p o n en ts o f d e m o cr a tic r e fo r m o f th e s ch o o ls in th e la te n in eteen th ce n t u r y a n d h a d p la ye d k e y r o le s in n u m er o u s p a r lia m en ­ t a r y d e b a te s o n co m p u ls o r y s ch o o l a tten d a n ce a n d p o p u la r e d u ca t io n , th e b a ttle a ga in s t illit e r a cy, a n d th e str e n gth en in g o f t e ch n ica l a n d p r o ­ fe s s io n a l e d u ca tio n . M a n y S o cia lis t s a ls o t o o k le a d in g r o le s in th e se tea ch er s* o r ga n iza t io n s , a n d o v e r th e ye a r s th e ir le a d e r s b e ca m e a ct iv e a n d r a th er e ffe c t iv e lo b b yis t s , b r in gin g th e co n ce r n s o f d ie L e ft t o th e a tte n tio n o f th e m in istr y a n d th e ce n tr a l go ve r n m e n t. T h e gr o u p s d id n o t s u cce e d in r a d ica lly a lt e r in g th e e d u ca tio n a l syste m in I ta ly, b u t t h e ir a c t iv it ie s d id w in a ce r t a in d e gr e e o f p o lit ica l an d a ca d e m ic a u to n o m y fo r t h e te a ch e r s a n d d id b r in g p r o fe s s io n a l a n d fin a n cia l r e co gn it io n t o t h e ir m em b er s. N o t co in cid e n t a lly, th e se te a ch e r s’ gr o u p s w e r e d is ­ s o lve d ve r y so o n a ft e r th e M a r ch o n R o m e .15 C o n s e r va t ive co m m en ta to r s o n th e p lig h t o f th e s ch o o l in th e se ye a r s a d d r e sse d m a n y o f th e sa m e is s u e s , th o u gh fr o m a d iffe r e n t p o in t o f vie w . M o s t w o r r iso m e t o m a n y o n th e R ig h t w a s th e p e r ce ive d th r ea t p o se d b y th e gr o w in g n u m b er o f ch ild r e n fr o m th e lo w e r m id d le c la s s a n d th e u p p er le v e ls o f th e w o r k in g c la s s s e e k in g a cce s s t o se co n d a r y e d u ca tio n a n d e ve n t o th e u n ive r s it ie s . In th e vie w o f th e d e fe n d e r s o f th e sta tu s q u o , th is in flu x th r ea ten ed t o u p set th e o ld s yste m th a t a im ed a t r e ta in in g h igh e r e d u ca tim i fo r th e fe w . W o r r iso m e a ls o w a s th e o ve r ­ p r o d u ctio n o f u n ive r s it y la u r e a ti a n d th e fo r m a tio n o f a n in t e lle ct u a l p r o le ta r ia t in cr e a s in g ly em b itter e d a n d o p p o s e d t o a lib e r a l o r d e r in w h ich it s m em b er s h a d n o t fo u n d a p la c e .16 T h e cu ltu r a l a n d p o lit ica l ch o ice m a d e b y th e se lib e r a ls ca n b e su m m ed u p in th e fa m o u s p h r a se p o c h e , m a b u o n e — “ fe w s ch o o ls , b u t g o o d o n e s,” fe w e r te a ch e r s , b u t b etter -p r ep a r ed o n e s. T h e ir d e b a te s a n d

“Th e M ost F a s cis t R e fo r m ”

40

p r o p o sa ls fo r r e fo r m su gge st e d n o t a n y p r o fo u n d ch a n ge in th e s ch o o l

____

syste m in I t a ly b u t a r e in fo r ce m e n t o f t h e e x is t in g c la s s is i syste m b a s e d

B e lie v e ,

o n th e C a s a t i la w . B e h in d th e r h e to r ic la y a fir m co n vict io n th a t th e t a s k

O b e y,

o f th e s ch o o ls a t th e h igh e r le v e ls w a s n o t e d u ca tio n fo r th e m a n y b u t

F ig h t

cu lt u r a l a n d in t e lle ct u a l p r ep a r a tio n o f th e r u lin g c la s s , a n d p o lit ica l a n d s o cia l co n ta in m en t o f lo w e r cla s s e s n o t p r ep a r ed b y e it h e r b a ck gr o u n d o r in ter ests fo r p u b lic r e sp o n s ib ility. In th e w o r d s o f E d w a r d R . Ta n n en ­ b a u m : “ In n o o th e r m od ern E u r o p ea n co u n tr y d id a c la s s o f w o u ld -b e m a n d a r in s c lin g s o b lin d ly t o a fixe d c la s s ic a l tr a d itio n a s d id th e Ita lia n ‘in t e lle ct u a l b o u r g e o is ie ’ d u r in g th e lib e r a l p e r io d .” 17 T h e ye a r s a ft e r th e w a r w e r e fu ll o f fe r m e n t in e d u ca tio n a l c ir c le s , b u t th er e w a s in a ll th e se d e b a te s a n a ir o f u n r e a lity. E d u ca to r s h o t ly co n ­ te ste d is s u e s o f p h ilo s o p h y a n d p e d a go gy— d etu n es b e tw e e n p o s it ivis t s a n d n e o -id e a lis t s , o r b e tw e e n o p p o n en ts a n d p r o p o n en ts o f la icis m — b u t in th e p r o ce ss n e gle ct e d t o a d d r e ss th e c r yin g n e e d s o f a n e d u ca tio n a l s yste m th a t h a d n o t co m e t o ter m s w it h th e n e w d em a n d s o f a d e m o cr a tic a n d in d u str ia l s o cie t y. N a tio n a lis t e d u ca to r s s a w th e s ch o o l s yste m a s r e sp o n s ib le fo r m a n y o f th e ills o f Ita lia n s o cie t y; t h e y d e cr ie d th e e xp a n sio n o f se co n d a r y e d u ca tio n a n d b la m e d th e le ft is t n o n in ter ven ­ tio n is t sta n ce o f m a n y te a ch e r s fo r th e fa ilu r e o f n a tio n a l u n ity a n d th e la c k o f a t r u ly cu ltu r e d r u lin g c la s s . A t th e ten th co n gr e s s o f d ie F N I S M h e ld in M a y 19 19 , E r n esto C o d ig n o la , a n e o -id e a lis t e d u ca to r a n d in ti­ m a te o f G io va n n i G e n t ile , ve h e m e n t ly ca s t iga t e d th e se te a ch e r s a n d ch a r ge d th a t t h e ir a n t icle r ica l a n d a n tip a tr io tic id e a s h a d p r ep a r ed th e gr o u n d fo r th e Ita lia n h u m ilia tio n a t Ca p o r e t t o . T h e r e w a s a c r is is in th e s ch o o l, h e s a id , b e ca u s e “ a ll sp ir itu a l life in it h a s b e en s u ffo ca t e d b y a p le b e ia n c lie n t e le , b o m n o t fo r stu d ie s b u t fo r th e sp a d e a n d fo r s e r v ile la b o r s.” 18 In th is o ve r h e a te d a tm o sp h er e G e n t ile , C o d ig n o la , a n d G iu s e p p e Lo m b a r d o -R a d ice b r o k e o ff fr o m th e F N I S M a n d fo u n d e d th e F a s cio d i E d u ca zio n e N a zio n a le , w h ich , d e sp it e sim ila r it ie s in n a m e , h a d n o co n n e ct io n s w it h th e F a s ci d i Co m b a ttim e n to fo u n d e d th a t sa m e yea r . S e ve r a l m em b er s o f th is gr o u p , h o w e ve r , e ve n t u a lly d id s e r ve in M u s s o ­ lin i’s fir st m in istr y o f e d u ca tio n . B e tw e e n 19 19 a n d 19 2 2 fiv e m en h e ld th e p o sitio n o f m in iste r o f p u b lic in str u ctio n , a n d n o n e r e a lly m a n a ged t o a d d r e ss th e p r a ct ica l q u e stio n s o f s ch o o l r e fo r m . T h e b e st k n o w n w a s B e n e d e tto C r o c e , w h o w a s m in iste r in G io va n n i G io lit t i’s go ve r n m e n t fr o m J u n e 19 2 0 u n til J u ly 19 2 1. C r o c e , th o u gh h e o ft e n d is a gr e e d w ith G e n t ile o n p h ilo s o p h y a n d p o lit ics , a ck n o w le d ge d h is in t e lle ct u a l d e b t t o G e n t ile o n m a tter s o f e d u ca tio n a l t h e o r y a n d sh a r ed th e n e o -id e a lis t s ’ r e je ct io n o f p o s it ivis t e d u ca tio n a l n o tio n s an d t h e ir v ie w o f th e s ch o o l a s a n in str u m en t o f s o cia l a n d p o lit ica l s e le c t io n .19 N o t a ll o f th e n e o -id e a lis t e d u ca to r s r em a in ed lo ya l t o fa s cis m , b u t t h e ir w r it in gs o n e d u ca tio n a l r e fo r m in

t h e p r o -19 2 2 p e r io d d id c a ll fo r a r e n ew a l o f th e s ch o o l a s a b u lw a r k o f

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t h e n a tio n a l co m m u n ity. T h e ir v ie w o f th e b e n e fits o f th e str o n g sta te t h a t w o u ld b r in g o r d e r o u t o f th e p r e va ilin g ch a o s a ls o p r o d u ced a “ T h e te m p o r a r y w o r k in g a llia n ce b e tw e e n th e n e o -id e a lis t s a n d th e n e w

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r e gim e .

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G io v a n n i G e n t ile a n d t h e P N F B e n it o M u s s o lin i’s a p p o in tm en t o f G io va n n i G e n t ile a s h is fir st m in iste r o f p u b lic in str u ctio n w a s m o tiva te d m o r e b y th e d em a n d s o f p r a ct ica l p o lit ics th a n b y a n y r e a l id e o lo g ica l co n sid e r a tio n s. T h e t w o m en h a d n e ve r m et b e fo r e th e a p p o in tm en t, a n d M u s s o lin i w a s p r o b a b ly n o t fa m ilia r w it h G e n t ile ’s p h ilo s o p h ica l a n d p e d a go g ica l w r it in g s . T h e a p p o in tm en t m a d e go o d p o lit ica l s e n s e . G e n t ile ’s n o m in a tio n a llo w e d th e r e gim e t o p o r tr a y it s e lf a s co m m itted t o b r o a d r e fo r m a n d a s ca p a b le o f t a k in g s w ift a n d d e cis iv e a ct io n o n a n im p o r ta n t— a n d m u ch d e b a te d — p u b lic is s u e . F r o m M u s s o lin i’s p o in t o f v ie w , G e n t ile ’s a cce p ­ ta n ce w o u ld a ls o a ttr a ct im p o r ta n t gr o u p s t o th e n a sce n t r e gim e . H e h a d gr e a t d r a w in g p o w e r a m o n g n a tio n a lists b e ca u s e o f h is in te r ve n tio n ist id e a s; b e w a s v e r y w e ll k n o w n in p e d a go g ica l c ir c le s a s a r e su lt o f h is in vo lve m e n t in th e s t r u ggle t o r a is e e d u ca tio n a l sta n d a r d s. H is a p p o in t­ m en t w o u ld p r o vid e th e r e gim e w it h r e s p e ct a b ilit y b y co n vin cin g th e in t e lle ct u a l co m m u n ity th a t th e P N F w a s n o t a p a t t y o f h e a d -b a sh e r s, a t a ct ica l m a n e u ve r th a t “ w o u ld a ssu r e th e go ve r n m e n t o f su p p o r t fr o m n o ted in t e lle ct u a ls a n d m a k e a b r e a ch in th e w o r ld o f h igh cu lt u r e .” 20 G e n t ile w a s a ls o fa vo r e d b y so m e ch u r ch a u th o r itie s b e ca u s e o f h is sta n d o n p a r it y fo r p r iva t e s ch o o ls . M a n y co n s e r va t ive s fa vo r e d G e n t ile ’s a p p o in tm en t b e ca u s e h is co m m itm en t t o th e fo r m u la p o c h e , m a b u o n e w o u ld , b y r e d u cin g th e n u m b er o f sta te -fin a n ce d s ch o o ls , r e lie v e th e go ve r n m e n t o f a m o n eta r y b u r d en a n d sta n ch th e flo w o f u n a cce p ta b le e le m e n ts in to th e c la s s ic a l s ch o o ls . T h e D u ce ’s c h o ice , t h e r e fo r e , w a s la r g e ly p o lit ica l in m o tiva tio n a n d , a s R e n zo D e F e lice n o te d , h a d “ lit t le o r n o th in g to d o w ith th e id e o lo g ica l a n d p o lit ica l su b sta n ce o f th e r e fo r m it s e lf.” 21 W h en th e p o lit ica l clim a t e ch a n ge d a n d M u s s o lin i co n ­ so lid a t e d h is o w n a u th o r ity, h e d id lit t le t o d e fe n d G e n t ile ’s h a n d iw o r k fr o m th e “ co u n te r r e fo r m a tio n ” s e t in m o tio n b y la t e r F a s cis t m in iste r s o f e d u ca t io n . I f th e r e w a s n o s t r ict id e o lo g ica l b r o th er h o o d b e tw e e n th e n e o -id e a l­ is t s a r ou n d G e n t ile an d th e P N F , th er e w e r e p o in ts o f in t e lle ct u a l k in ­ s h ip . T h e r e w a s n o fo r m a l w o r k in g r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n th e F a s cio d i E d u ca zio n e N a zio n a le a n d th e F a s ci d i Co m b a ttim e n to u n til ju s t b e fo r e th e M a r ch o n R o m e , w h en th e F a s cio b e ca m e th e G r u p p o d i Co m p e ­ t e n za p e r la S c u o la , a llie d w it h th e P N E B u t e ve n e a r lie r th e t w o gr o u p s

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h a d so m e co m m o n id e a s th a t c o u ld ju s t ify co lla b o r a t io n : str o n g fe e lin g s

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t ivis t cu r r e n ts, a n d a d eter m in a tio n t o tr a n sfo r m th e life o f th e n a tio n .

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r e a lit ie s o f th e p r e se n t. It se e m e d a m u tu a lly b e n e ficia l a r r a n gem en t in th e b e gin n in g: th e ed u ca to r s n eed ed p o w e r fu l fr ie n d s w h o co u ld h e lp th em r e a lize t h e ir id e a s; th e F a s cis t r e gim e n eed ed id e a s a n d a w e lld e fin e d p r o gr a m . M em b er s o f th e F a s cio a cce p t e d a w o r k in g p a r tn er sh ip w it h th e n e w go ve r n m e n t p r o vid e d th a t M u s s o lin i w o u ld a llo w th em t o r e fo r m th e s ch o o l a lo n g th e lin e s in d ica te d b y t h e ir n e o -id e a lis t p h ilo s o ­ p h y. I t se e m e d in it ia lly th a t b e w o u ld . O n th e o th e r h a n d , M u s s o lin i fe lt th a t h e h a d fo u n d th e su p p o r t o f a gr o u p d eter m in ed to r e n e w th e life o f th e n a tio n , a gr o u p w h o se id e a s— th o u gh m o r e e le g a n t ly a n d a b st r u s e ly e xp r e sse d — w e r e co n ge n ia l w ith h is o w n a n d w h o se a sp ir a tio n s fo r th e fu tu r e se e m e d q u it e sim ila r . M u s s o lin i ju d g e d th a t th e p r o gr a m o f th e F a s cio co u ld b e r a p id ly tr a n sla ted in to d e e d s , a n d th u s w o u ld g iv e su b sta n ce to h is b o a st s th a t fa s cis m w a s a r e vo lu t io n th a t w o u ld s w e e p a w a y th e ch a o s a n d in d e cis io n o f th e p a st . H e w a s w illin g , a t le a s t u n til t h e co n so lid a t io n o f h is o w n p o w e r in 19 2 5 - 2 6 , t o g iv e th e se m en a r e la t iv e ly fr e e h a n d . T h is m a r r ia ge o f p o lit ics a n d p h ilo s o p h y p r o d u ced so m e in it ia l r e ­ s u lt s , b u t in th e lo n g r u n b a s ic in co m p a t ib ilit y le d to a r ift . M a n y o f th e in tr a n s ig e n ti in th e P N F d id n o t sh a r e M u s s o lin i’s v ie w o f th e n eed fo r

r e s p e ct a b ilit y a n d co n s e r va t ive su p p o r t. T h e s e b la ck -sh ir t e d sp o k esm e n fo r a “ r e vo lu t io n a r y" sq u a d r isi sp ir it in fa s cis m w e r e su s p icio u s o f th e in t e lle ct u a l co m m u n ity a n d co n vin ce d th a t a r e a l r e vo lu t io n in e d u ca tio n co u ld n o t b e e ffe ct e d b y e ffe t e sn o b s tie d t o b o u r ge o is a n d e lit is t co n ce p ­ t io n s o f s o cie t y a n d cu lt u r e , b u t o n ly b y v ir ile F a scis t “ n e w m en ” in ­ sp ir e d b y th e m ilit a r y vir tu e s o f d is cip lin e a n d s e lf- s a c r ific e . N o r w e r e th e e d u ca to r s e n t ir e ly sa tisfie d w it h th e b a r ga in t h e y h a d m a d e. S o m e m em b er s o f th e F a s cio , su ch a s P ie r o G o b e t t i, n e ve r su p p o r ted th e r e gim e a n d le ft im m e d ia te ly a ft e r d ie a llia n ce w it h th e P N F . Lo m b a r d o R a d ice , w h o se r ve d a s d ir e cto r -ge n e r a l o f e le m e n ta r y e d u ca t io n , w a ite d u n til th e M a tte o tti c r is is t o s e ve r h is co n n e ct io n s ; E r n e sto C o d ig n o la la ste d u n til th e La ter a n A cco r d s . O f th e im p o r ta n t n e o -id e a lis t s , o n ly G e n t ile h im s e lf r em a in ed lo ya l t o M u s s o lin i u n til th e e n d , a n d it w a s lo ya lt y fo r w h ich h e p a id d e a r ly b o th in t e lle ct u a lly a n d p e r so n a lly. G e n t ile se r ve d fo r a tim e a s so m e th in g o f a n in t e lle ct u a l figu r e h ea d fo r th e r e gim e . H e h a d ye a r s o f fir sth a n d e xp e r ie n ce in th e I ta lia n s ch o o l s ys t e m , h a vin g b e en a stu d en t a t th e p r e s t igio u s S cu o la N o r m a le Su p e r io r e in P is a a n d la t e r a te a ch e r a t lic e i in Ca m p o b a s so a n d N a p le s , fr o m 19 0 6 h e w a s p r o fe s s o r o f t h e o r e tica l p h ilo s o p h y a t th e u n ive r s it ie s o f P a ler m o a n d N a p le s ; in 19 17 h e tr a n sfer r ed t o t h e U n ive r s it y o f R o m e . F o r s e ve r a l ye a r s b e fo r e th e ir fa llin g -o u t h e co lla b o r a t e d w it h

B e n e d e t t o C r o c e o n th e r e vie w L a C r it ic a , a n d b y 19 2 2 h e w a s o n e o f

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t h e p e n in su la ’s in t e lle ct u a l lu m in a r ie s .22 H is lit e r a r y ta le n ts w e r e so o n p u t t o u se b y th e r e gim e . G e n t ile w a s th e a u th o r o f th e 19 2 5 “ M a n ife s t o “ T h e o f F a scis t I n t e lle ct u a ls ,” a n d h is 19 2 5 w o r k C h e c o s a i i l fa s c is m o ? w a s t h e b a s is fo r th e fir s t s e ct io n — “ D o ttr in a — id e e fo n d a m en ta li”— o f th e

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fa m o u s a r t icle o n fa s cis m in th e 19 3 2 E n cic lo p e d ia I ta lia n a p u b lis h e d in

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M u s s o lin i’s n a m e. A ft e r h is stin t a t th e m in istr y fr o m 19 2 2 t o m id -19 2 4 , G e n t ile w a s r e le ga t e d t o a ca d e m ic p o st s a n d h a d n o fu r th e r r e a l in flu e n ce o n g o ve r n ­ m en t p o licy. H e d id h a ve a n h o n o r a r y p o sitio n a s a se n a to r a n d m em b er o f th e F a s cis t G r a n d C o u n cil a ft e r 19 2 2 . F r o m 19 2 5 h e w a s d ir e ct o r o f th e E n cic lo p e d ia I ta lia n a a n d w a s in vo lve d in fo u n d in g th e Istitu to N a zio n a le F a scis t a d i C u lt u r a , th e jo u r n a l o f w h ich , E d u ca z io n e f a s c i­ s t a , h e e d it e d .23 In d ie t h ir tie s h e se r ve d a s d ir e ct o r o f th e U n ive r s it à

B o cco n i in M ila n a n d th e S cu o la N o r m a le in P is a . In a ll o f th e se p o s t s , G e n t ile e xh ib it e d a to le r a n ce a n d a w illin g n e s s to co lla b o r a t e a n d e xch a n ge id e a s w ith n o n -F a scists th a t e n r a ge d th e P N F in tr a n sigen ts— a p r a ct ica l o p en m in d ed n ess th a t cla s h e d r a th er s t r ik in g ly w it h th e la u d a to r y n a tu r e o f m a n y o f h is w r it in gs o n fa s cis m . D u r in g h is ten u r e a t th e E n cic lo p e d ia I t a lia n a , fo r e x a m p le , G e n t ile w a s r e sp o n s i­ b le fo r h ir in g e xp e r t s in va r io u s fie ld s ; h e a r o u se d th e ir e o f m a n y o f th e P N F b y in clu d in g o n h is s t a ff s ign e r s o f th e 19 2 5 m a n ife s to o f n on F a s cis t in t e lle ct u a ls a n d n o n -F a scist— o r e ve n a n d -F a s cist— u n ive r s it y p r o fe s s o r s . In r e sp o n se t o cr it icis m s , G e n t ile a r gu ed th a t h e co u ld n ot c lo s e h im s e lf a w a y in a “ str o n gh o ld o f m y co m r a d e s” b y n e g le ct in g to m a k e u se o f a ll th e “e le m e n ts a n d a ll th e e n e r g ie s I t a ly ca n o ffe r t o co n str u ct th is gr e a t n a tio n a l m o n u m e n t . . . th is fo r m e is fa s cis m . . . w h ich ca n a n d m u st c a ll u p on a ll Ita lia n s— e ve n th o se o f th e co u n te r ­ m a n ife s t o — fo r e v e r y n a tio n a l u n d e r ta k in g."24 U n fo r tu n a te ly fo r G e n t ile a n d fo r th e n a tio n th is w a s a co n ce p t o f fa s cis m sh a r ed b y fe w o f h is “ co m r a d e s” in th e p a r ty le a d e r s h ip . G e n t ile h a d d o u b ts a b o u t th e d ir e ct io n t h e r e gim e t o o k in th e 19 3 0 s , a n d o n o cca s io n h e cla sh e d b it t e r ly w it h so m e o f th e m o r e fa n a t ica l (a n d a cco r d in g t o G e n t ile u n w o r th y) h ie r a r ch s in th e P N F . B u t h e r em a in ed p e r s o n a lly lo ya l t o M u s s o lin i, w h o m h e sa w , e ve n a ft e r th e fa ll o f th e r e g im e , a s th e in ca r n a tio n o f th e n e w Ita ly. In 19 4 3 G e n t ile h a d a m e e tin g w it h th e D u ce , w h o p er su a d ed h im t o co m e o u t o f r etir em en t t o s e r ve a s p r e sid en t o f th e Ita lia n Aca d e m y in th e R e p u b lic o f S a lò . T h is d e cis io n p r o b a b ly c o s t h im h is life . H e w a s m u r d er ed in h is c a r w h ile r e tu r n in g t o h is h o m e in F lo r e n ce o n 15 A p r il 19 4 4 .25 G e n t ile w a s a p p o in ted m in iste r o f p u b lic in str u ctio n ju s t a ft e r th e M a r ch o n R o m e . T h e G e n t ile r e fo r m w a s r e fe r r e d t o b y M u s s o lin i a s la r ifo r m a fa s c is t is s im a o r la p iù fa s c is t a d e lle r ifo r m e — a le s s th a n d r a ­

m a tic en d o r sem en t s in ce it w a s a ls o th e fir st m a jo r r e fo r m u n d er ta k en b y

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t iw n e w F a scis t go ve r n m e n t. P o lit ica l r h e to r ic a s id e , h o w e ve r , th e 19 2 3

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s ch o o l r e fo r m w a s n o t a r e vo lu t io n a r y fr a ctu r e w ith th e p a st . T h e t e x t o f

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se ct io n s o n th e se co n d a r y s ch o o ls a n d u n ive r s it ie s , a n d Lo m b a r d o -

F ig h t

R a d ice co m p o se d th e le g is la t io n o n th e e le m e n ta r y s ch o o ls . T h o u gh h e h a d b e en a te a ch e r h im s e lf, M u s s o lin i’s o w n in ter e sts w e r e le s s o r ie n te d tow a r d b o o k s a n d cla ss r o o m s th a n tow a r d th e str eets a n d th e p ia zza s o f I t a ly; h e w a s m o r e in ter ested in n e w sp a p e r s a n d sp ea ker s* p la tfo r m s th a n in b la ck b o a r d s a n d t e a ch e r s ’ p la tfo r m s . Am o n g h is e a r ly a d vis e r s th er e w e r e n o e d u ca to r s; th e P N F d id n o t r o u t in e ly d eb a te e d u ca tio n a l is s u e s a t it s p a r ty co n g r e s s e s a s d id th e S o cia lis t s o r th e P o p o la r i. T h e p a r ty d id m a k e a n a ttem p t t o o r g a n ize yo u n g p e o p le b e fo r e d ie M a r ch o n R o m e , b u t th e se a ttem p ts d id n o t in vo lve a ct iv e p a r ticip a tio n in th e life o f th e s ch o o ls . In stea d th e P N F s e t u p yo u th gr o u p s th a t se r ve d t o d ive r t th e a tten tio n o f d ie stu d en ts fr o m th e ir s ch o la s t ic d u t ie s a n d t h e ir e d u ca tio n . T h e co n flict b e tw e e n th e s ch o o ls an d th e r e gim e ’s p o lit ica l o r ga n iza t io n s fo r yo u t h , w h ich w a s t o p la gu e th e P N F th r o u gh o u t its h isto r y, w a s b o m h e r e . S t ill, th e p r in cip le s o f F a scis t e d u ca tio n w e r e r o u g h ly la id o u t: th e a tm o sp h er e w a s o n e o f e xa gge r a t e d p a tr io tism an d m ilita r ism . H ie J u n e 19 19 p r o gr a m o f th e F a sci d i Co m b a ttim e n to r e fe r r e d to e d u ca tio n o n ly in p a s s in g , a s o n e o f th e p r o b le m s th a t w o u ld b e co n s id ­ e r e d a ft e r th e r e vo lu t io n . Affir m in g th e p r eem in en t r o le o f fo r ce a n d “ r e vo lu t io n a r y w a r,’’ th e p r o gr a m a ve r r e d , a lm o st a s a n a s id e , “T h e o t h e r p r o b le m s— b u r e a u cr a cy, a d m in istr a tio n , ju d icia r y, s ch o o l s ys t e m , c o lo ­ n ie s , e t c .— w e sh a ll co n s id e r a ft e r w e h a ve cr e a te d a n e w r u lin g c la s s .” 26 T h e su b je ct w a s b r o a ch ed va g u e ly a t th e th ir d p a r ty co n g r e s s o f th e P N F h e ld in R o m e in N o ve m b e r 19 2 1. A ft e r a r itu a l p r o m ise t o e r a d ica t e illit e r a cy a n d e xte n d e le m e n ta r y e d u ca t io n , th e se ctio n o n e d u ca tio n a l p o lic y in th e p a r ty p la tfo r m p le d ge d t o “ in tr o d u ce a r igo r o u s ly n a tio n a l ch a r a cte r in to th e s ch o o ls " a n d “ r igid sta te co n t r o l” o v e r cu r r icu la r a n d h ir in g d e cis io n s . F o r th e m id d le s ch o o ls a n d th e u n ive r s it ie s th e p a r ty p r o p o sed fr e e o p e r a tio n “e xce p t fo r sta te co n t r o l o ve r p r o gr a m s a n d th e s p ir it o f in str u ctio n , a n d th e s t a t e ’s d u t y t o p r o vid e p r e m ilit a r y in str u c­ tio n fo r th e p u r p o se o f tr a in in g o ffice r s .” 27 T h e s e w e r e v e r y cr u cia l e xce p t io n s , a s it tu rn ed o u t.

I d e a lis m a n d F a s c is m W ith Be n e d e tto C r o c e , G io va n n i G e n t ile w a s th e p r in cip a l sp o k esm a n fo r th e n e o -id e a lis t cu r r en t in tw en tie th -cen tu r y Ita lia n th o u gh t. T h e str a in o f a u th o r ita r ia n ism a n d e lit is m th a t ra n th r o u gh G e n t ile ’s w o r k

b e ca m e th e d o m in a n t ch a r a ct e r is t ic o f th e r e fo r m th a t b o r e h is n a m e. H is

45

s u cce s s o r s r e fo r m e d h is r e fo r m b y a d d in g h e a vy d o s e s o f m ilita r ism a n d e xt r a va ga n t r o m a n ità , b u t t h e y h a d n o t in h e r ite d h is co n ce r n w it h th e “ T h e in d ivid u a l stu d en t o r th e in t e lle ct u a l d e ve lo p m e n t o f th e cr e a t ive p er so n ­

M ost

a lit y. G e n t ile s a w th e s ch o o l a s a n in str u m en t o f m o r a l in d o ctr in a tio n ;

F a s cis t

la t e r m in iste r s u se d it a s a n in str u m en t o f p o lit ica l in d o ctr in a tio n w it h

R e fo r m ”

lit t le o r n o r e ga r d fo r th e in d ivid u a l ch a r a cte r o f th e stu d en t o r th e s a n ct it y o f th e co n s cie n ce . G e n t ile d id n o t sh r in k fr o m th e u se o f p o lit i­ c a l p r o p a ga n d a , b u t h e b e lie ve d th a t th e g o a l o f e d u ca tio n a n d p r o p a ­ ga n d a w a s t o cr e a t e a tr u e m o r a l co m m u n ity b a se d o n ge n u in e b e lie f r a th e r th a n s u p e r ficia l a cq u ie s ce n ce . A s th e ye a r s p a s s e d , h e r e a lize d th a t th e F a s cis t r e gim e h a d fa ile d in th is t a s k a n d th a t th e n a tio n a l co n s e n s u s , i f b r o a d , w a s a ls o s u p e r ficia l— m o tiva te d b y o p p o r tu n ism a n d n o t fa it h . T h e 19 2 3 s ch o o l r e fo r m r e fle ct e d th e p h ilo s o p h ica l a n d p e d a go g ica l co n ce r n s o f th e Ita lia n n e o -id e a lis t s . T h e r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n th e G e n t ilia n w in g o f th e n e o -id e a lis t s ch o o l a n d fa s cis m is a n im p o r ta n t o n e ; t h e s e th in k e r s p r o vid e d M u s s o lin i w it h th e t h e o r e t ica l ju s t ifica t io n fo r t h e n o tio n o f a h ie r a r ch ica lly o r ga n ize d s o cie t y in w h ich a ll va lu e s w e r e t o fin d e xp r e s s io n in th e s t a t e .28 In G e n t ile ’s v ie w . W or ld W a r I h a d r e ve a le d th e m o r a l b a n k r u p tcy o f t h e lib e r a l sta te th a t h a d fa ile d t o r esp o n d to th e c r is is b y cr e a t in g a t r u ly u n ite d n a tio n . T h o u gh h e a d h er ed t o th e P N F o n ly in 19 2 3 , G e n t ile s a w fa s cis m a s th e n e ce s sa r y p r e co n d itio n fo r th e r e sto r a tio n a n d r e vit a liza ­ t io n o f Ita ly, th e w a y to r e a lize o n ce a n d fo r a ll th e p r o m ise o f th e R iso r gim e n to : a n a tio n a l co m m u n ity th a t co u ld tr a n scen d p a r t icu la r in te r e sts fo r th e co m m o n g o o d . In h is vie w , I t a ly ’s w e a k in ter n a tio n a l sta n d in g w a s d u e t o a la ck o f m o r a l a n d p o lit ica l e d u ca tio n in th e lib e r a l s t a t e . T h e so lu t io n w a s th e m e r gin g o f tire m a ss w ith th e sta te: th e cr e a t io n o f a str o n g sta te th a t w o u ld a r ticu la te a n d e xp r e s s th e n a tio n a l w ill. T h e b a s ic a ssu m p tio n o f G e n t ile ’s “ a ctu a l id e a lism ” w a s th a t o n ly th o u gh t e x is t s : m in d w a s ce n t r a l t o u n d er sta n d in g th e w o r ld , a n d r e a lit y w a s th e a c t iv it y o f th e m in d t r yin g t o co m p r eh en d th e w o r ld . G e n t ile e ch o e d th e M a zzin ia n d ictu m o f p e n s ie r o e d a z io n e in h is co n te n tio n th a t a ll h u m a n a ct iv it ie s w e r e r e a lly d is gu is e d o r in co m p le te fo r m s o f th o u gh t; th o u gh t a n d a ct io n w e r e , th e r e fo r e , o n e . A ll in d ivid u a l m in d s w e r e en co m p a ssed in th e a b so lu te m in d ; th e r e a lit y o f th e in d ivid u a l w a s su b su m ed in to th e e ve r -p r e s e n t a n d e te r n a l r e a lit y, th e S p ir it . A ll s o c i­ e t ie s , in d ivid u a ls , a n d n a tio n s h a d m e a n in g o n ly a s e xp r e ssio n s o f th e S p ir it . Acco r d in g t o G e n t ile , th e in d ivid u a l m an w a s fr e e o n ly i f h e r e co g n ize d h is n e ce s sa r y r e la tio n s h ip w it h th e w h o le o f r e a lit y, th e S p ir it ; h e w a s , o t h e r w is e , a s la v e . In d ivid u a l in ter ests h a d to b e sa cr i-

46 ____ B e lie v e , O b e y, F ig h t

fice d t o th e u n ive r sa l w ill. T h is w a s th e b a s is fo r G e n t ile ’s t h e o r y o f th e “ e t h ica l sta te ” a n d fo r h is n o tio n o f th e r e la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n lib e r t y a n d a u th o r ity.29 G e n t ile p o stu la ted a b a s ic id e n tifica tio n b e tw e e n th e in d ivid u a l a n d th e n a tio n . F o r h im th e sta te w a s a m o r a l, r e lig io u s , a n d s o cia l e n t it y th a t h a d e xis t e d b e fo r e it s cit ize n s a n d w o u ld s u r vive th e m . H e sa w th e sta te a s th e su m o f th e in d ivid u a l w ills , th e em b o d im en t o f th e u n ive r sa l w ill— th e ve h icle th r o u gh w h ich u n ive r sa l la w b e ca m e p o s it ive la w . T h e sta te w a s a n e t h ica l sta te b e ca u s e it a llo w e d th e r e a liza t io n o f h u m an va lu e s ; th e t r u ly e t h ica l sta te w a s th e sta te th a t w a s b a se d o n a r e lig io u s o r sp ir itu a l co n ce p t io n o f life a n d th a t sa tisfie d th e h u m an n e e d fo r s e lfr e a liza t io n b y p r o vid in g th e fu lle s t m e r gin g o f th e in d ivid u a l w ith th e co m m u n ity. T h e p er so n w h o p u t h im - o r h e r s e lf o u tsid e th is u n ive r sa l w ill a s e m b o d ie d in th e sta te w a s o u tsid e th e la w .30 B e ca u s e u n ive r sa l va lu e s w e r e id e n tifie d w it h th e st a t e , th e r e sto r a tio n o f th e a u th o r ity o f tire sta te w a s a m ea n s o f h u m an lib e r a tio n . In G e n t ile ’s v ie w , h o w e ve r , lib e r t y w a s t o b e u n d er sto o d n o t in t h e E n ligh ten m en t se n s e o f in d ivid u a l fr e ed o m a n d r igh ts b u t a s “ th a t w h ich r e a lize s it s e lf in th e u n ive r sa l sp ir it . . . th e lib e r t y o r ga n ize d in th e sta te .” 31 In a ve r y r e a l s e n s e , t h e r e fo r e , lib e r t y w a s syn o n ym o u s w ith a u th o r ity. T h is G e n t ilia n co n ce p tio n o f m a n a n d s o cie t y w a s u se d a s d ie p h ilo ­ s o p h ica l ju s t ifica t io n fo r th e h ie r a r ch ica l a n d a u th o r ita r ia n s yst e m e r e ct e d b y th e F a scis ts a ft e r 19 2 2 a n d fo r t h e ir a sp ir a tio n s fo r a “ to ta lita r ­ ia n ” s o cie t y. G e n t ile h im s e lf w a s n e ve r t o t a lly co m fo r t a b le w it h th e e n d le ss p a r a d e s , th e n a tio n -in -u n ifo r m , o r th e S p e cia l T r ib u n a l; h is id e a s , h o w e ve r , w e r e co n ge n ia l to M u s so lin i— a n e le ga n t r a tio n a liza t io n o f h is o w n p e r so n a l p o w er . B u t i f G e n t ile ’s th e o r y o f th e e t h ica l sta te w a s b a se d o n th e n a tio n , it a ls o str e sse d th e im p o r ta n ce o f in d ivid u a l s e lf­ d e ve lo p m e n t, a co n ce p t th a t w a s q u ick ly p u sh ed t o th e b a ck gr o u n d a s th e p r o p a ga n d a a g e n cie s o f th e n e w go ve r n m e n t b e ga n t h e ir d r ive t o p r o d u ce th e “ n e w F a scis t m a n " w h o se c r it ica l fa cu lt ie s w e r e t o b e s a cr ifice d t o th e n a tio n , n o w co n ce ive d o f n o t a s a tr u e co m m u n ity o f fa it h b u t a s a p o lit ica l r e a lit y d em a n d in g to ta l a n d b lin d o b e d ie n ce . F a scis m w a s p o r tr a yed a s th e e xp r e ssio n o f th e u n ive r sa l w ill, th e su ­ p r em e e xa m p le o f G e n t ile ’s e t h ica l sta te . Acco r d in g t o p a r ty p r o p a ga n ­ d is t s , o n ly in th e F a s cis t sta te co u ld tr u e co m m u n ity b e a ch ie ve d ; o n ly in fa s cis m co u ld th e in d ivid u a l r e a lize h is o r h er tr u e p o t e n t ia l, w h ich w a s s o cia l a n d n o t in d ivid u a l. T h e m ea n s fo r b u ild in g th is G e n t ilia n n a tio n a l co m m u n ity w a s th e to ta lita r ia n sta te . P a r ticu la r ly a p p e a lin g t o M u s s o lin i w a s G e n t ile ’s n o tio n th a t th e u n i­ ve r s a l w ill co u ld b e in ca r n a ted in ce r ta in e xtr a o r d in a r y le a d e r s w h o p o ss e sse d th e “ p r ivile g e o f ge n iu s .” 32 G e n t ile r e fe r r e d t o M u s s o lin i a s th e “p o w e r fu l co n d o ttie r e ” o f w h o m M a ch ia ve lli h a d d r ea m e d . In a 19 2 3 le tte r t o th e D u ce r e q u estin g p a r ty m em b er sh ip , h e r e fe r r e d t o

M u s s o lin i a s th e in ca r n a tio n o f lib e r a lis m , b u t th e “ lib e r a lis m o f lib e r t y

47

in th e la w a n d t h e r e fo r e in th e str o n g sta te co n ce ive d o f a s a n e t h ica l r e a lity.” 33 T h is p e r so n a l b e lie f in M u s s o lin i’s h is t o r ic m issio n w a s th e cr u x o f

Th e M ost

G e n t ile ’s co n tin u ed su p p o r t o f fa s cis m . H e co u ld , a n d d id , r em a in tied

F a scis t

t o th e le a d e r w h ile r e co g n izin g th e fa u lt s o f h is m o ve m e n t. T h e g o a l o f

R e fo r m ”

p o lit ics u n d er su ch a h is t o r ic le a d e r w a s t o cr e a t e a n e w c it ize n a n d a n e w n a tio n . T h e e t h ica l sta te w a s t o b e r e a lize d n o t o n ly b y p r o m u lga tin g n e w la w s o r b y cr e a t in g n e w in stitu tio n s b u t a b o ve a ll b y fo s t e r in g a n e w s p ir it , l b a cco m p lis h th is g o a l, fa s cis m h a d t o m a k e u se o f a ll th e a g e n cie s o f th e s t a t e , m o st e s p e cia lly th e s ch o o ls . F a scis m w a s n o t a d o gm a b u t a “co n tin u in g r e vo lu t io n o f th e sp ir it o f th e n a tio n ,” a n d e d u ca tio n h a d a cr u cia l r o le t o p la y in th a t r e vo lu t io n .34 T h e a p p lica t io n o f G e n t ilia n n o tio n s t o e d u ca tio n co n s is t e d fir s t o f a ll in a r e je ct io n o f th e p r e va ilin g p o s it ivis t tr en d s in Ita lia n p e d a go g y th a t e m p h a s ize d th e n eed fo r a la y s ch o o l (a n “ a gn o s t ic” s ch o o l, a cco r d in g to G e n t ile ) a n d th e d e ve lo p m e n t o f s cie n t ific in str u ctio n . M o s t o b s e r ve r s a gr e e th a t th e Ita lia n s ch o o l o f th e e a r ly tw en tieth ce n tu r y w a s lit t le m o r e th a n a d ip lo m a m ill. T h e cu r r icu lu m o f th e e le m e n ta r y s ch o o ls w a s e n cyclo p e d ic in co n t e n t , a n d th e te a ch er s w e r e b o u n d b y m in u te d ir e c­ t io n s t o a ce r ta in tim e t a b le th a t e m p h a s ize d m eth o d s fo r d e a lin g w it h fa c t s , n o t ch ild r e n . In th e v ie w o f th e id e a lis t s , th e p o s it ivis t s h a d str e sse d th e in t e lle ct u a l a sp e cts o f e d u ca tio n a t th e e xp e n s e o f th e h u ­ m a n e , a e s t h e t ic, a n d e t h ica l a sp e cts o f h u m an d e ve lo p m e n t. G e n t ile a n d th e id e a lis t e d u ca to r s s a w te a ch in g a s a sp ir itu a l m o m en t in w h ich th e s o u ls a n d m in d s o f te a ch e r a n d stu d en t m et in co m m u n io n . T h e y d e cr ie d th e p o s it ivis t sep a r a ti« » b e tw e e n m in d a n d r e a lit y th a t m a d e o f e d u ca tio n a p s e u d o s cie n ce , a m e ch a n ica l p r o ce s s o f fillin g m in d s w it h fa ct s a n d in fo r m a t io n . R ig h t ly c o n ce ive d , e d u ca tio n sh o u ld b e a p r o ce s s o f in itia tio n in to th e life o f th e S p ir it , a fo r m a t ive r a th er th a n a n in fo r m a t ive e xch a n ge th a t w o u ld str e ss th e d e ve lo p m e n t n o t o n ly o f th e in t e lle ct b u t a ls o o f th e ch a r a cter . T h e ta sk o f th e te a ch e r w a s t o b r in g th e stu d en t in to th e sp h er e o f h is o r h e r o w n th o u gh t a n d t o a llo w th e stu d en t t o sh a r e in t h e life o f th e S p ir it . T h e em p h a sis in th e cla s s r o o m w a s t o ch a n ge fr o m “ liste n a n d r e p e a t” t o th e m or e cr e a t ive “o b s e r ve , d e s cr ib e , a n d d is cu s s .” I d e a lly th e te a ch e r w a s t o b u ild u p on th e ch ild ’s e a r ly e xp e r ie n ce s — r e lig io u s u p b r in gin g, fo lk lo r e o f th e r e g io n , th e d ia ­ le ct sp o k en — a n d t o p r o vid e o p p o r tu n ities fo r e n r ich e d e xp e r ie n ce s , k e e p in g in m in d th e in n er w o r ld a n d th e e m o tio n a l life o f th e c h ild .39 H ie s u cce s s o f t h is typ e o f e d u ca tio n c le a r ly d ep en d ed o n th e a b ilit y o f in d ivid u a l te a ch er s w h o w e r e , e s p e c ia lly a ft e r th e esta b lish m en t o f th e O p e r a N a zio n a le B a lilla in 19 2 6 , u n d er h e a vy p r essu r e t o co n fo r m a n d w h o se t e a ch in g w a s m o r e a n d m or e co n t r o lle d b y th e u se o f sta te t e xt ­ b o o k s a n d cir cu la r s fr o m m in iste r ia l in sp e cto r s d em a n d in g scr u p u lo u s

48 ____

a d h e r en ce t o th e p o lit ica l d ir e ct ive s o f th e r e gim e . T h e th e o r y o f com * m u n ion b e tw e e n te a ch e r a n d stu d en t w a s cr u cia l in th e G e n b lia n s ys t e m ,

B e lie v e ,

b u t o v e r th e ye a r s it b e ca m e a n illu s io n , cr u sh ed b y th e w e igh t o f p a t

O b e y,

p h r a ses a n d p o lit ica l p r o p a ga n d a . M u ch t o th e d is tr e ss o f sin ce r e id e a lis t

F ig h t

ed u ca to r s it b e ca m e “ a p io u s w is h , an a lib i, a fr a u d .” 36 T h e id e a lis t s p a r t icu la r ly str e sse d th e im p o r ta n ce o f p h ilo s o p h y, r e li­ g io n , a n d a r t in th e s ch o o l cu r r icu la ; in t h e ir vie w , th e se s u b je ct s illu s ­ tr a ted th e life o f d ie S p ir it a s e m b o d ie d in th e life o f th e n a tio n a l co m m u n ity w ith gr e a t e r c la r it y th a n d id th e s cie n ce s . In p r a ct ice , th e ir e ffo r t s p er p etu a ted a d is t in ct io n b e tw e e n vo ca t io n a l a n d c la s s ic a l e d u ca ­ t io n a n d d e em p h a sized th e t e ch n ica l a n d s cie n t ific e d u ca tio n th a t th e d e ve lo p in g n a tio n m o st n e e d e d . G e n t ile e s p e c ia lly str e sse d r e lig io u s e d u ca tio n in th e lo w e r s ch o o ls . In h is vie w , th e n a tio n ’s s p ir it w a s e xp r e sse d in p a r t in it s r e lig io u s b e lie fs an d p r a ct ice s ; h e s a w r e lig io n a s “o n e o f th e e s s e n t ia l m o m en ts o f th e sp ir it.” 37 R e lig io u s in str u ctio n a t th e e le m en ta r y le v e l w a s t o co n s is t m a in ly in r e la tin g th e tr a d itio n a l r e lig io n o f th e p e o p le , in clu d in g th e ir m yth s an d p o p u la r su p er stitio n s. L a t e r , a s cr it ica l fa cu lt ie s d e ve lo p e d , th e stu d en t w o u ld b e gin t o stu d y p h ilo s o p h y, w h ich w o u ld su p er sed e r e lig io n in th e life o f th e m a tu r e c it ize n . M o s t Ita lia n stu d e n ts, h o w e ve r , d id n o t g o o n to se co n d a r y s ch o o ls w h e r e t h e y co u ld p u r su e p h ilo s o p h ica l s t u d ie s. G e n t ile w a s u s in g r e lig io u s in str u ctio n in a co n s e r va t ive w a y, fa vo r in g th e s t a b ilizin g e ffe c t R om a n C a t h o licis m co u ld h a ve o n th e yo u n g b y te a ch in g o b e d i­ e n ce an d r e sp e ct fo r tr a d itio n an d a u th o r ity. In d ie G e n t ilia n sch em e o f t h in gs , th e s ch o o l co u ld o b vio u s ly n o t b e in d iffe r e n t t o n a tio n a l co n ce r n s . B e ca u s e tr u e m o r a l fr e ed o m w a s a n in n e r sh a r in g in th e cu ltu r e an d tr a d itio n a l life o f th e n a tio n , th e s ch o o l h a d t o b e in sp ir e d b y tr u e b e lie f in th e d e s t in y a n d u n iq u en ess o f th e n a tion — n o lo n ge r a s ch o o l o f s k e p t ics b u t a s ch o o l o f b e lie v e r s .38 G e n t ile d is tin gu is h e d b e tw e e n “ ge n e r a l cu ltu r e ,” w h ich w a s th e “ s p ir i­ tu a l life d iffu s e d in th e n a tio n a l b o d y” an d “ h igh e r cu ltu r e ,” w h ich “ is n o t, an d d o e s n o t h a ve t o b e , fo r a ll.” H e c a lle d fo r a n in t e lle ct u a l d ivis io n o f la b o r : “ W e a ll h a ve n eed o f s h o e s , b u t is it th e r e fo r e n e ce s­ s a r y th a t w e a ll b e sh o em a k e r s?” T h e d u ty o f th e sta te in th e r e a lm o f e d u ca tio n w a s t o “o p en th e d o o r t o h igh e r cu lt u r e , b u t a n a r r o w r a th er th a n a w id e r d o o r , s o th a t th e cr o w d w ill n o t r u sh in .” In G e n t ile ’s vie w , th e se co n d a r y s ch o o ls in I t a ly w e r e o ve r p o p u la te d w ith u n su it­ a b le p u p ils ; in 19 14 , h e e stim a te d , so m e fo u r -fift h s o f th e stu d en ts in th e se s ch o o ls w e r e “ d ea d w e igh t ” ( z a v o r r a ) w h o sh o u ld b e m o ve d o u t o f se co n d a r y h u m a n ist e d u ca tio n a n d in to t e ch n ica l a n d p r o fe s s io n a l s ch o o ls m or e in lin e w ith t h e ir n e e d s. “ S e co n d a r y e d u ca tio n ,” h e m a in ­ t a in e d , “ is b y its n a tu r e a r is t o cr a t ic, m a d e fo r th e fe w a n d t o b e g iv e n t o th e fe w .” 39 In e s s e n ce , G e n t ile r e ca p itu la te d a co n ce p t d e a r t o th e Ita lia n r u lin g e lit e : th e str ict se p a r a tio n b e tw e e n th e cla s s e s o n th e b a s is o f

“ cu lt u r e ” th a t cu t o ff n o t o n ly th e p o o r a n d m a n u a l w o r k e r s b u t a ls o a ll

49

t h o s e w h o h a d b e tter e d t h e ir e co n o m ic situ a tio n b u t d id n o t k n o w L a t in . G e n t ile ’s v ie w s o n th e p la ce o f w o m en in th e s ch o o l s yste m h a d a ls o b e e n e la b o r a te d b e fo r e 19 2 2 a n d w e r e w r itte n in to la w in 19 2 3 . F o r G e n t ile , fe m a le s w e r e in fe r io r b o th p h ys ica lly a n d s p ir it u a lly t o m a le s; h e co n d em n ed fe m in is m a s a n “e ga lit a r ia n illu s io n , a fa ls e a n d r id icu ­ lo u s id e a l o f th e w o m a n -m a n .” H e b e lie ve d th a t o n e o f th e se r io u s p r o b le m s in th e e d u ca tio n a l syste m w a s th e in flu x o f fe m a le t e a ch e r s in to se co n d a r y s ch o o ls a n d u n ive r s it ie s . Alt h o u g h w o m en co u ld b e e le m e n ta r y s ch o o l te a ch e r s “ b e ca u s e o f t h e ir o b vio u s m a ter n a l q u a li­ t ie s ,” t h e y w e r e t o b e d is co u r a ge d fr o m t e a ch in g a t th e u p p er le v e ls , w h e r e te a ch e r s sh o u ld p o s s e s s “ w e ll-m a r k e d ch a r a ct e r is t ics o f vir ilit y.” W o m en , cla im e d G e n t ile , d id n o t p o s s e s s th e “ o r ig in a lit y o f th o u gh t o r th a t ir o n sp ir itu a l vig o r ” th e n e w s ch o o l d e m a n d e d .40 T h e e d u ca tio n a l s yste m h a d c le a r o b je ct iv e s in h is vie w : t o b o ls t e r tr a d itio n a l c la s s str a tifica tio n a n d t o m a in ta in tr a d itio n a l s e x a n d s o cia l r o le s . T h e s e w e r e th e fo u n d a tio n sto n e s u p o n w h ich G e n t ile w o u ld a ttem p t t o co n str u ct a n e w e d u ca tio n a l str u ctu r e fo r I t a ly, a str u ctu r e th a t w a s in so m e ve r y fu n d a m en ta l w a ys b u ilt a cco r d in g t o s p e cifica t io n s o f a n o th er tim e a n d o n e th a t, th o u gh “ b u ilt fo r th e a g e s ,” w a s so o n t o u n d e r go d r a s t ic r e m o d e lin g.

T h e G e n t ile R e fo r m T h e F a scis t go ve r n m e n t w a s g ive n fu ll p o w er s in e d u ca tio n b y th e la w o f 3 D e ce m b e r 19 2 2 (n o . 16 0 1). F r o m F e b r u a r y t o D e ce m b e r 19 2 3 th e s ch o o l s yste m w a s th e o b je ct o f a d o ze n r o ya l d e cr e e s th a t a r e k n o w n c o lle c t iv e ly a s th e G e n t ile r e fo r m . T h e r e fo r m ca n b e se e n a s a n a ttem p t t o fu lfill th e F a scis t o b je c t iv e o f r e e s t a b lis h in g “o r d er , d is cip lin e , a n d h ie r a r ch y in s o cie t y, in p la ce s o f w o r k , in a ll in stitu tio n s.“ 41 l b a cco m ­ p lis h t h e s e g o a ls , th e r e fo r m s m a d e a fu n d a m en ta l d is t in ct io n b e tw e e n va r io u s le v e ls o f e d u ca tio n : e le m e n ta r y e d u ca tio n w a s t o b e a va ila b le fo r a ll a n d to p r o vid e th e b a s ic t o o ls o f k n o w le d ge ; se co n d a r y e d u ca tio n w a s r ig id ly str e a m e d , a llo w in g a cce s s t o h igh e r stu d ie s fo r so m e a n d d e n yin g it t o o th e r s; th e u n ive r s it ie s w e r e r e se r ve d fo r th e ve r y fe w w h o s e cu lt u r e , b a ck gr o u n d , a n d in ter e sts p er m itted th em t o d e ve lo p th e life o f th e S p ir it . T h e r e fo r m p r o vid e d fo r o b lig a t o r y s ch o o l a tten d a n ce t o th e a g e o f fo u r t e e n , b u t th is g o a l r em a in ed m o r e a h o p e th a n a r e a lit y.42 P a ssa ge fr o m o n e le v e l t o th e n e xt w a s co n t r o lle d b y a s e r ie s o f e xa m in a ­ tio n s d e sign e d t o w e e d o u t th o se u n fit fo r h igh e r e d u ca tio n a l p u r su its. C u r r icu la a t th e g in n a s i, th e lic e i, a n d th e is t it u t i m a g is tr a li w e r e b a se d o n c la s s ic a l stu d ie s a n d th u s cu lt u r a lly b ia s e d in fa v o r o f th e m o r e p r ivile g e d stu d en ts. T h e sys t e m w a s d ivid e d in to th e th r ee le v e ls a lr e a d y

“Th e M ost F a scis t R e fo r m ”

50

n oted — e le m en ta r y, se co n d a r y, a n d u n ive r s it y— a n d th e m o st im p o r ta n t ch a n ge s in th e str u ctu r e o f th e sys t e m o ccu r r e d a t th e se co n d a r y le v e l.

B e lie v e ,

Acco r d in g t o th e R o ya l D e cr e e o f i O ct o b e r 19 2 3 (n o . 2 18 3 ) , th e o ld

O b e y,

c o r s o p o p o la r e w a s su p p r e sse d , a n d e le m e n ta r y e d u ca tio n w a s t o la s t

F ig h t

fiv e ye a r s: th r e e in th e g r a d o in fe r io r e a n d t w o in th e g r a d o s u p e r io r e . S ch o o ls w e r e d ivid e d in to r u r a l an d u r b a n a n d , i f n u m b er s p e r m itted , in to s ch o o ls fo r m a le s a n d fe m a le s . T h e r e fo r m p er p etu a ted a n d a cce n tu ­ a ted th e d is tin ct io n b e tw e e n r u r a l a n d u r b a n s o cie t y b y p r o vid in g th a t o n ly th o se s ch o o ls in im p o r ta n t ce n te r s— s c u o le c la s s ific a t e — w e r e t o b e in stitu te d a n d m a in ta in ed b y th e sta te fo r t h e fu ll fiv e ye a r s . T h e s m a ll« ' lo ca lit ie s o ft e n h a d n o s ch o o l b e yo n d th e th ir d o r fo u r th gr a d e s ; th e le a st-a d va n ta ge d a r e a s h a d o n ly s c u o le p r o v v is o r ie m a n a ged b y p r iva te a g e n cie s w ith so m e t o t a lly in a d eq u a te sta te s u b s id ie s . A th r e e -ye a r p r e ­ p r im a r y s ch o o l w a s th e fir st le v e l o f e le m en ta r y e d u ca t io n , fo r ch ild r e n fr o m th r ee t o s ix ye a r s o f a g e ; th is s ch o o l, c a lle d th e s c u o la m a ter n a , w a s n e ith e r o b lig a t o r y n o r fr e e a n d s im p ly d id n o t e x is t in m o st o f th e p o o r e r co m m u n itie s. D e s p it e h is la t e r p r o m ise s t o “ g o t o th e p e o p le ” a n d t h e P N F ca m p a ign t o e x t o l th e vir t u e s o f r u r a l fo lk , a ll th is g ib e d w e ll w it h M u s s o lin i’s b a s ic v ie w o f th e m a sses: “ B y n o w it h a s b e en d em o n ­ str a ted ,” h e s a id in 19 2 2 , “ th a t th e m a sses a s su ch ca n n o t b e p r o ta go n ists o f h isto r y,” a n d s o t h e ir e d u ca tio n is n o t a “ sin e q u a n o n o f p r o gr e s s.” 43 L o w e r -le ve l se co n d a r y e d u ca tio n w a s p r o vid e d in fiv e t yp e s o f s ch o o ls in d ie G e n t ile r e fo r m . T h e gr e a te st in n o va tio n , a n d p er h a p s th e gr e a te st fa ilu r e , w a s th e e sta b lish m en t o f t w o n e w t yp e s o f s ch o o ls a t th e p o stp r im a r y le v e l a im ed a t th o se stu d en ts w h o w a n ted t o “co m p le t e ” t h e ir e le m e n ta r y stu d ie s b u t d id n o t (o r co u ld n o t) g o o n to u p p e r -le ve l se co n d a r y sch o o ls : th e c o r s o in te g r a tiv o d i a v v ia m en to p r o fe s s io n a le (su p p le m e n ta r y co u r s e s fo r vo ca t io n a l tr a in in g) a n d th e s c u o la co m p le ­ m en ta r e (a k in d o f tr a d e o r ju n io r h igh s ch o o l). T h e s e s ch o o ls w e r e th e

o n ly ch o ice s fo r th o se stu d en ts w h o fa ile d t o p a ss se co n d a r y s ch o o l e n tr a n ce e xa m in a tio n s a t th e a g e o f e le ve n . T h e co m m u n e s w e r e n o t r e q u ir e d b y la w t o e s t a b lis h th e se s ch o o ls , a n d in co m m u n es w h e r e t h e y d id n o t e x is t , ch ild r e n w h o fa ile d t h e ir e xa m s w e r e r e q u ir e d t o r e p e a t t h e la s t ye a r o f th e s ch o o l n ea r est t o th em (o ft e n th e th ir d gr a d e in r u r a l a r e a s ). T h e s c u o la co m p lem en ta r e w a s su p p o se d t o r e p la ce th e o ld s c u o la t e c n ic a , w h ich h a d b e en th e m o st p o p u la r o f a ll Ita lia n s ch o o ls

a m o n g th e lo w e r b o u r ge o is ie a n d th e m or e s o c ia lly m o b ile m em b er s o f th e w o r k in g c la s s . T h e 19 2 3 r e fo r m s r e d u ce d th is s ch o o l t o a p o st­ p r im a r y s ch o o l b y d e p r ivin g it o f a n y o u t le t in th e h igh e r s ch o o ls . T h e s c u o la co m p lem en ta r e w a s a b lin d a lle y, a k in d o f d u m p in g gr o u n d fo r

th o se w h o w e r e b y a ttit u d e s, in co m e , a n d tr a d itio n d e stin e d t o r e m a in , in G e n t ile ’s w o r d s, “ m o d est cit ize n s .” 44 T h e s e p o stp r im a r y s ch o o ls w e r e clo s e d o ff b eh in d h igh w a lls b y th e cu r r icu la p r e scr ib e d fo r th em : L a t in , w h ich n o t o n ly p r o vid e d m en ta l

e x e r c is e b u t a ls o str en gth en ed n a tio n a l fe e lin g , w a s ta u gh t in a ll s ch o o ls

51

th a t p r o vid e d a cce s s t o h igh e r stu d ie s. T h e s cie n ce s w e r e g iv e n sh o r t s h r ift , a r e fle ct io n o f th e a n t ip o s it ivis t o u t lo o k o f th e r e fo r m er s b u t a ls o a

Th e

c le a r in d ica tio n o f G e n t ile ’s n o tio n th a t e d u ca tio n sh o u ld s e r ve “cu lt u r e

M ost F a scis t

n o t e c o n o m ic s ” T h e n e w te a ch er -tr a in in g s ch o o ls , th e is t it u t i m a g is tr a li th a t r e p la ce d th e o ld s c u o le n o r m a li, w e r e d ivid e d in to a lo w e r a n d a n u p p er co u r s e a n d t h e ir n u m b er r e d u ce d . T h e s ch o o ls d id n o t t e a ch p e d a go g y a n d d id n o t p r o vid e p r a ct ice t e a ch in g (t e a ch in g b e in g a co m m u n io n o f sp ir its a n d n o t a s k ill t o b e le a n e d ) . T h e cu r r icu lu m , in k e e p in g w it h G e n t ile ’s id e a s a b o u t th e fu n ctio n o f se co n d a r y e d u ca t io n , w a s c la s s ic a l.43 T h e r e fo r m s e st a b lish e d a n e w in stitu tio n c a lle d d ie lic e o s c ie n t ific o th a t r e p la ce d th e o ld lic e o m o d e r n o , e st a b lish e d in 19 11, w h ich h a d e m p h a s ize d th e s cie n ce s a n d m o d em la n gu a ge s in p la ce o f c la s s ic a l st u d ie s. A stu d en t co u ld e n t e r t h is s e m ivo ca t io n a l fo u r -ye a r s ch o o l fr o m a n y o t h e r se co n d a r y s ch o o l, a ft e r p a ss in g fo u r gr a d e s . A n en tr a n ce e xa m in a tio n w a s r e q u ir e d , a n d th e d ip lo m a d i m a tu r ità a w a r d ed a t th e e n d o f th e co u r s e d id g iv e a cce s s t o so m e s cie n ce fa cu lt ie s a t th e u n ive r s it ie s . T h e R o ya l D e cr e e o f 6 M a y 19 2 3 s e t u p s t ill a n o th er se co n d a r y s ch o o l: th e t h r e e -ye a r lic e o fe m m in ile , a so r t o f fin is h in g s ch o o l fo r g ir ls o f g o o d fa m ily, a im ed a t d ive r t in g th em fr o m th e te a ch er -tr a in in g s ch o o ls . O n e stu d y h a s s t yle d th is th e m o st “ g r a cio u s a n d a b su r d " cr e a tio n o f th e G e n t ile r e fo r m . It ce r t a in ly d id r e fle ct th e r e fo r m e r s’ r e fu s a l t o co n s id e r fe m a le stu d en ts a s a p a r t o f th e la b o r m a r ket a lo n g w it h m a le s , a n d t h e ir co n vict io n th a t fe m a le s h a d n e ith e r th e n a tu r a l in t e lle ct u a l q u a lit ie s n o r th e s o cia l fu n ctio n t o m a k e u se o f h igh e r e d u ca ­ t io n . St u d ie s a t th e lic e o fe m m in ile w e r e b a se d o n th e e d u ca tio n o f “ w o m a n a s w om a n ” : in p la ce o f L a t in , G r e e k , a n d p h ilo s o p h y, stu d en ts w e r e ta u gh t s in g in g , e m b r o id e r y, d a n ce , an d “ w o m a n ’s w o r k .” 46 G e n t ile le ft th e g in n a s io c la s s ic o a n d th e lic e o c la s s ic o a lm o st in ta ct. T h e s e s ch o o ls , th e a r is t o cr a t ic in stitu tio n s fo r th e in t e lle ct u a l e lit e , w e r e u n d o u b te d ly th e b e st o r ga n ize d a n d th e m o st e ffic ie n t in I t a ly, a n d t h e y e m b o d ie d a lo n g cu lt u r a l tr a d itio n . T h e p r o gr a m in b o th s ch o o ls w a s r ig id ly c la s s ic a l: a d m issio n w a s r e gu la te d b y a s t iff en tr a n ce e xa m in a ­ t io n . T h e d ip lo m a d i m a tu r ità a w a r d ed a t th e e n d o f d ie p r o gr a m g a ve stu d en ts ca r t e b la n ch e a t th e u n ive r s it ie s , w h e r e a ll fa cu lt ie s w e r e o p e n t o th em . O n e o f th e m a jo r in n o va tio n s o f th e G e n t ile r e fo r m s w a s th e in tr o d u c­ tio n o f th e esa m e d i S t a t o , th e sta te e xa m in a tio n , r e q u ir e d a t th e en d o f e a ch th r ee- o r fo u r -ye a r co u r s e in o r d e r t o a llo w stu d en ts t o p a ss fr o m th e lo w e r t o th e h igh e r le v e ls o f th e se co n d a r y s ch o o ls . S u ch a p r o p o sa l h a d b een p r e se n te d t o th e Ch a m b e r b y C r o ce in 19 2 1, b u t it w a s p u t in to e ffe c t o n ly w it h th e R o ya l D e cr e e o f 6 M a y 19 2 3 ( 0 0 .10 5 4 ) . T h e g o a l o f

R e fo r m ”

52 ____ B e lie v e , O b e y, F ig h t

th e esa m e d i S t a t o w a s t o a ssu r e p a r it y b e tw e e n stu d en ts fr o m p u b lic a n d p r iva t e s ch o o ls a n d t o e xp a n d p r iva t e in it ia t ive a n d r a is e e d u ca d o n a i sta n d a r d s b y in tr o d u cin g a n u m er u s c la u s u s in th e sta te se co n d a r y s ch o o ls . E xa m in a tio n b o a r d s w e r e co m p o se d o f te a ch e r s fr o m sta te se co n d a r y s ch o o ls a n d u n ive r s it ie s , b u t th e la w a ls o p r o vid e d th a t e a ch b o a r d h a d to in clu d e a r e p r ese n ta tive fr o m p r iva t e s ch o o ls . T h e esa m e d i S ta to d id n ot p r o vid e to ta l e q u a lit y fo r p r iva t e s ch o o l stu d en ts: th e b o a r d s w e r e s t ill d o m in a ted b y sta te t e a ch e r s , a n d th e p r iva t e s ch o o l r e p r e se n ta tive w a s to b e ch o se n b y th e m in ister . B u t it w a s in so m e ve r y r e a l se n se a vict o r y fo r p r iva t e s ch o o l in ter ests b e ca u s e it r e co g n ize d th e d ip lo m a s a w a r d ed in p r iva t e s ch o o ls a n d a lte r ed th e o ld syste m u n d er w h ich p u b lic s ch o o l stu d en ts co u ld b e e xa m in e d b y t h e ir o w n te a ch e r s . O n e o f th e s id e e ffe c t s o f th e sta te e xa m s w a s b e tte r r e la tio n s b e tw e e n stu d en ts a n d t e a ch e r s , w h o w e r e n o lo n ge r fe a r e d a s a w e so m e e xa m in e r s b u t se e n a s a llie s in d ie stu d en ts’ a ttem p t t o p a ss th e sta te t e s t s . B u t th e r e fo r m a ls o h a d n e ga t ive e ffe c t s . It b r o u gh t th e sta te in to e v e r y Ita lia n cla s s r o o m a n d h a d a d e a d e n in g e ffe c t o n th e fr e e e xch a n ge o f id e a s th a t G e n t ile h a d tr ied t o e n co u r a ge . Ifea ch er s a n d stu d en ts b e ca m e p r im a r ily co n ce r n e d w it h co ve r in g th e a ss ign e d m a te r ia l o n th e sta te s ylla b i; th er e w a s lit t le o r n o r o o m fo r th e c r e a t ivit y a n d sp o n ta n eity th e id e a lis t r e fo r m er s h a d str e sse d . T h e esa m e d i S ta to w a s a ls o o n e ve r y co n ve n ie n t w a y o f co n t r o llin g e x a c t ly w h a t w a s ta u gh t in e ve r y cla s s r o o m in I t a ly.47 In a d d it io n , b e ca u se fe w p r iva te in ter ests b e s id e s th e ch u r ch w e r e p r e­ p a r ed t o ta k e th e in it ia t ive in p r o vid in g e d u ca t io n , th e in tr o d u ctio n o f th e sta te e xa m in a tio n in cr ea se d th e r o le p la ye d b y th e ch u r ch a n d r e lig io u s o r d er s in Ita lia n e d u ca t io n .48 P r iva te s ch o o ls w e r e th u s p e r m itted , a n d e ve n e n co u r a ge d , u n d er th e G e n t ile r e fo r m , b u t a lw a ys u n d er th e s tr ict co n t r o l o f th e m in istr y. Su ch s ch o o ls co u ld b e s e t u p o n ly w it h th e p e r m issio n o f th e m in iste r a n d w e r e o p e n t o in sp e ctio n b y m in iste r ia l p r o v v e d it o r i. T h e s e p r e ca u tio n s n ot­ w ith sta n d in g, h o w e ve r , G e n t ile ’s in tr o d u ctio n o f th e esa m e d i S ta to e a r n ed h im th e e n m ity o f so m e o f th e m o r e a n t icle r ica l F a s cis t s , w h o w e r e h ig h ly s u s p icio u s o f th e en th u sia sm w ith w h ich C a t h o lic in ter e sts gr e e te d th e r e fo r m .

C e n t r a liz a t io n o f E d u c a t io n : G e n t ile ’s A d m in is t r a t iv e R e fo r m s T h e a d m in istr a tive p r o vis io n s o f th e G e n t ile r e fo r m s w e r e b a se d o n th e F a s cis t p r in cip le o f h ie r a r ch y in a syste m ch a r a cte r ize d b y b u r e a u cr a tic ce n tr a lis m . Ad m in istr a to r s a t a ll le v e ls w e r e p o lit ica l o ffic ia ls , ch a r ge d

n o t o n ly w it h m a n a gem en t d u tie s b u t a ls o w it h p o lit ica l o ve r s ig h t o f

53

t e a ch e r s , p r o fe s s o r s , a n d stu d e n ts.49

____

T h e p o w e r o f th e m in iste r w a s gr e a t e r th a n e v e r b e fo r e . H e h a d th e “ T h e r ig h t , fo r e x a m p le , t o a p p o in t s p e cia l in sp e cto r s w h o se jo b it w a s t o

M o st

e va lu a t e th e s ch o o ls a n d e ve n in d ivid u a l t e a ch e r s . T h e R o ya l D e cr e e o f

F a scis t

16 J u ly 19 2 3 (n o . 175 3 ) a ls o tu r n ed b a ck th e c lo c k b y r etu r n in g t o

R e fo r m ”

ce r t a in fe a tu r e s o f th e C a s a t i s ys t e m . T h e m in iste r w a s t o b e r e sp o n s ib le fo r p r o p o s in g t o d ie k in g th e n a m es o f a ll tw e n ty-o n e m em b er s o f th e c o n s ig lio s u p e r io r e , th e ce n tr a l a d vis o r y b o d y o f th e m in istr y. E d u ca ­

tio n a l le g is la t io n in th e lib e r a l p e r io d h a d in cr e a se d th e n u m b er o f th e se a d vis e r s t o t h ir t y-s ix , a n d h a d p r o vid e d th a t b o th p a r lia m en t a n d th e u n ive r s it y fa cu lt ie s sh o u ld h a ve a v o ic e in th e se a p p o in tm en ts. T h e sa m e la w a b o lis h e d a ll co n s u lt a t ive co m m it t e e s, th u s e lim in a t in g m o st o f th e in flu e n ce e xe r t e d b y te a ch e r s a n d p r o fe ss o r s a t th e m in iste r ia l le v e l.90 F o r a d m in is tr a tive p u r p o s e s , I t a ly w a s d ivid e d in to n in eteen r e gio n s , e a ch o n e o ve r s e e n b y a p r o v v e d it o r e , o r s u p e r vis o r o f stu d ie s. T h e s e m en w e r e n a m ed b y d ie m in iste r a n d a cte d a s lo c a l su p er in ten d en ts o f e d u ca t io n , se n d in g o u t d ir e ct ive s o n p e d a go g ica l q u e stio n s— a n d la t e r o n p o lit ica l q u e stio n s a s w e ll— t o te a ch e r s a n d p r in cip a ls in t h e ir r e ­ g io n s . M o s t a ls o p u b lish e d b u lle t in s th a t te a ch e r s r e ce ive d r e gu la r ly a n d ca m e t o r e ga r d a s th e v o ic e o f th e sta te in t h e ir s ch o o ls . T h e e n tir e s yste m w a s h ie r a r ch ica l: a s th e p o w er o f th e m in iste r in cr e a s e d , s o , t o o , d id th e p o w er s o f th e p r in cip a ls a n d h ea d m a ster s o v e r te a ch e r s a n d stu d en ts. T h e s ch o o l p r e s id i (p r in cip a ls) h a d t o b e m a le , a n d t h e y w e r e ch a r ge d w it h th e ta sk o f in s t illin g th e n e w sp ir it in th e ir s ch o o ls . In th is t a s k th e y w e r e d ir e ct ly r e sp o n s ib le t o th e p r o v v e d it o r i, w h o w e r e p o lit ica l a p p o in te e s. T h e s e p r o v v e d ito r i co u ld d is m iss p r e s id i o r te a ch e r s w h o d id n o t sh o w th e p r o p e r q u a lit ie s o f d is cip lin e , r e s p e ct , a n d en th u sia sm fo r th e p a r ty. T h e p r e s id e -c a p o w a s t o b e r e p la ce d , in G e n t ile ’s w o r d s, b y th e “ p r e s id e -d u ce ” 51 In th e fir st fe w ye a r s th e r e o r ga n iza tio n ca r r ie d o u t b y th e se su p e r vis o r s w a s u s u a lly m o tiva ted b y e d u ca tio n a l co n ce r n s ; in th e e a r ly ye a r s th e p h r a ses “ p o lit ica l u n r e li­ a b ilit y” o r “ u n -F a scist b e h a vio r ” d id n o t o ft e n a p p ea r a m o n g th e ca u s e s fo r d is m is s a l. P o lit ica l d is m is s a ls d id o ccu r in la t e r ye a r s , a n d b e ca m e m o r e a n d m o r e co m m o n a s th e r h yth m o f fa s c is t iz z a z io n e w a s a cce le r ­ a t e d . U n d e r th e G e n t ile r e fo r m — in d e e d , a ft e r 19 0 8 — te a ch e r s w e r e r e q u ir ed t o t a k e a n o a th o f a lle g ia n ce t o k in g a n d co u n tr y; b y 19 2 8 th e y w e r e a ls o r eq u ir ed t o sw e a r lo ya lt y t o th e r e gim e a n d th e F a scis t p a r ty.92 G e n t ile d id n o t ta m p er t o a n y gr e a t e xte n t w ith th e fu n ctio n in g o f th e u n ive r s it ie s . A n in ten se sp ir it o f lo ca l p r id e (a n d ce n tu r ie s o f tr a d itio n in so m e ca s e s ) p r e ve n te d h im fr o m d e cr e a s in g th e ir n u m b er , th o u gh th is ste p h a d b e e n r eco m m en d ed b y o t h e r s .93 G e n t ile d id d e vis e a r a th er o ve r -in t r ica t e syste m t o s u ffo ca t e fin a n cia lly so m e o f th e le s s r o b u st a n d

54

le s s p r e s t igio u s u n ive r s it ie s a n d t o b r in g th e r e st u n d er s t r ict e r sta te

____

co n t r o l. Acco r d in g t o th e la w o f 3 0 Se p te m b e r 19 2 3 (n o . 2 10 2 ), u n ive r -

B e lie v e ,

s it ie s w e r e d ivid e d in to th r ee ca t e g o r ie s d e p en d in g o n t h e ir im p o r ta n ce

O b e y,

a n d th e d e gr e e o f sta te fin a n cin g p r o vid e d t o th em . O n ly ca t e g o r y A

F ig h t

s ch o o ls w e r e t o t a lly m a in ta in ed b y th e st a t e . H o w e ve r , th e s yste m w a s d o o m ed fr o m d ie sta r t, a n d G e n t ile ’s s u cce s s o r s s a w t o it th a t th in gs w e r e ch a n ge d t o th e b e n e fit o f th e sta te . G e n t ile ’s p en ch a n t fo r h ie r a r ch y w a s e vid e n t in th e in ter n a l r e o r ga n i­ za t io n o f th e u n ive r s it ie s . P r o fe s s o r s lo s t th e r igh t t o e le c t t h e ir r e cto r s a n d d e a n s , w h o w e r e in stea d t o b e a p p o in ted b y th e k in g o n th e a d vice o f th e m in ister . T h e in flu e n ce o f th e se o ffic ia ls w a s n o ta b le b e ca u s e t h e y m a d e u p th e a ca d e m ic s e n a t e , w h ich b e ca m e m o r e a n d m o r e F a s cis t in co m p o sit io n a s n e w a p p o in tm en ts w e r e m a d e fr o m th e r a n k s o f th e P N E 54 A n y a u to n o m y le ft t o th e u n ive r s it ie s b y G e n t ile w a s s o o n e r o d e d a n d fin a lly d isa p p e a r ed e n t ir e ly u n d er C e s a r e M a r ia D e Ve cch i, w h o ca m e t o th e m in istr y in J a n u a r y 19 3 5 . D e Ve cch i d id n o t sh a r e G e n t ile ’s r e sp e ct fo r h igh cu lt u r e a n d w a s , in fa c t , le e r y o f a ll in t e lle ct u a ls , w h o m h e su sp e cte d e n m a sse o f a n ti-F a scist le a n in gs . T h e situ a tio n a t d ie u n ive r ­ s it y le v e l is illu s t r a t ive o f w h a t h a p p en ed th r o u gh o u t th e s ch o o l sys t e m . G e n t ile ’s r e fo r m s in th e u n ive r s it y w e r e a u th o r ita r ia n in n a tu r e , a n d t h e y d id e xte n d th e p o w e r o f th e s ta te . B u t G e n t ile ’s lo n g e xp e r ie n ce a s a p r o fe s s o r a n d h is b a s ic r e ga r d fo r in t e lle ct u a l cr e a t ivit y p r e ve n te d h im fr o m t o t a lly q u a sh in g a ca d e m ic a u to n o m y. L a t e r F a s cis t m in iste r s w e r e n o t s o in clin e d a n d so u gh t in a va r ie t y o f w a ys t o b r o a d en th e co n t r o l o f sta te a n d p a r ty o v e r th e u n ive r s it ie s .

R e lig io u s E d u c a t io n in t h e G e n t ile R e fo r m T h e G e n t ile r e fo r m s a ls o a b a n d o n ed th e p r in cip le o f la k is m in e le m e n ­ ta r y e d u ca tio n b y in tr o d u cin g r e lig io n a s a co m p u ls o r y s u b je ct — a r etu rn t o th e 18 5 9 C a s a t i la w a n d a d ep a r tu r e fr o m p o licie s a d o p ted b y lib e r a l go ve r n m e n ts in I t a ly s in ce th e 18 70 s. A r t ic le 3 o f th e R o ya l D e cr e e o f I O ct o b e r 19 2 3 (n o . 2 18 5 ) stip u la te d th a t “th e t e a ch in g o f Ch r is t ia n

d o ct r in e in a cco r d a n ce w ith th e C a t h o lic fa it h sh a ll fo r m th e fo u n d a tio n a n d ca p sto n e o f e le m e n ta r y e d u ca tio n in a ll gr a d e s .’’39 T h is p r o vis io n w a s e xten d e d t o th e se co n d a r y s ch o o ls in 19 3 0 , ca r r yin g o u t th e te r m s o f th e C o n co r d a t w it h th e ch u r ch .36 B e fo r e th e r e fo r m s , r e lig io n h a d b e a i ta u gh t, u p o n r e q u est o f th e fa m ily, in h o u r s n o t e m p lo ye d fo r r e gu la r in str u ctio n ; a ft e r 19 2 3 th o se p a r en ts w h o d id n o t w is h t o h a ve t h e ir ch ild r e n r e ce ive su ch in str u ctio n h a d t o p r esen t a w r itten r e q u est t o s ch o o l o ffic ia ls ju s t ify in g t h e ir d e ci­ s io n .37 T ea ch e r s fo r th e se r e lig io n co u r s e s w e r e t o b e a p p o in ted b y th e

s c h o o l c o u n c il, b u t a ll su ch a p p o in tm en ts w e r e s u b je ct t o th e a p p r o va l o f

55

lo c a l e c cle s ia s t ic a l a u t h o r it ie s, w h o a ls o h a d th e r igh t t o m a k e o n -site v is it s d u r in g r e lig io n c la s s e s .51

Th e

T h e is s u e o f r e lig io u s in str u ctio n w a s a p o lit ica l h o t p o ta to . G e n t ile was

n ot a

cle r ic a l o r a

C a t h o lic— in d e e d , h e ca lle d

h im s e lf a

n o n b e lie ve r — b u t p er h a p s b e ca u s e o f th a t fa c t h e fe lt h e co u ld m a k e co n ce s s io n s t o th e ch u r ch th a t th o s e su sp e cte d o f cle r ic a l le a n in gs co u ld n o t m a k e . A s w e h a ve s e e n , fo r G e n t ile r e lig io u s in str u ctio n d id s e r ve a v e r y s p e cific n a tio n a l a n d in t e lle ct u a l p u r p o se: th a t o f t e a ch in g d is ci­ p lin e , r e s p e ct fo r a u th o r ity, a n d tr a d itio n a l va lu e s . It p r o d u ced n a tio n a l co h e s io n b e ca u s e R o m a n C a t h o licis m w a s “ a p e cu lia r ly Ita lia n in stitu ­ t io n ” a n d a “ sto r e -h o u se o f n a tio n a l tr a d itio n .”59 R e lig io n in th e G e n t ile r e fo r m s w a s t o b e co m e n o t o n ly a p o w e r fu l s t a b ilizin g fo r ce fo r th e m a ss e s b u t a ls o a p o w e r fu l co m m u n ity b o n d .

R e a c t io n s a n d

R i t o c c h i

S o m e o f th e p r o vis io n s o f th e G e n t ile r e fo r m w e r e d e a d le tte r s fr o m th e b e gin n in g. E s p e c ia lly in th e r u r a l so u t h , th e r eq u ir em en t o f co m p u ls o r y s ch o o l a tten d a n ce w a s w id e ly flo u te d o r s im p ly co u ld n o t b e im p le ­ m en ted . Acco r d in g t o th e la w , u p p er s e ct io n s o f th e e le m e n ta r y s ch o o ls w e r e t o b e e st a b lish e d o n ly in m a jo r u r b a n o r r u r a l ce n t e r s . A s a r e s u lt , m a n y ch ild r e n in m o r e is o la t e d a r ea s h a d n o a cce s s t o s ch o o l b e yo n d th e fir s t th r ee ye a r s , a n d fo r m a n y th o se ye a r s w e r e sp en t in o n e -r o o m s ch o o ls w ith o n e p o o r ly tr a in ed t e a ch e r fo r a ll stu d en ts. T h e G e n t ile r e fo r m d id lit t le t o im p r o ve th e e x is t in g p r im a r y s ch o o l s yste m in m a n y r u r a l o r d is a d va n ta ge d a r e a s . A 19 2 3 s u r ve y in d ica te d th a t o f so m e e igh t y-t h r e e th o u sa n d cla s s r o o m s in I t a ly, o v e r t h ir ty-s e ve n th o u sa n d w e r e cla s s ifie d a s “ la ck in g ” o r “ u n fit” ; in th e so u th so m e 6 2 p e r cen t w e r e s o c la s s ifie d .60 T h e s la ck w a s so m e tim e s ta k e n u p b y p r iva te a g e n cie s th a t s e t u p s ch o o ls in th e le s s p o p u lo u s a r e a s , b u t th er e w e r e s im p ly n o t e n o u gh o f th e se a g e n cie s t o g o a r o u n d . In 19 2 8 th e p a r ty step p ed in d ir e ct ly a n d tu r n ed o v e r m a n a gem en t o f th e r u r a l s ch o o ls to th e O p e r a N a zio n a le B a lilla . It w a s a n im p o r ta n t ste p in th e r e gim e 's a ttem p t t o “ fa s c is t ize ” th e s ch o o ls a n d t o b r in g th e n e w F a s cis t s p ir it in to th e h in ter la n d s. T h e c o r s i in t e g r a tiv i d i a v v ia m en to p r o fe s s io n a le , a lw a ys so m e th in g o f a w h it e e le p h a n t , fa r e d n o b etter . T h e y h a d b e en se t u p t o k e e p ch ild r e n in s ch o o l u n til t h e y r e a ch ed th e a g e o f fo u r te e n , a n d in th is m a tter t h e y fa ile d . In m a n y co m m u n es t h e y w e r e n e ve r se t u p a t a ll, a n d th e m o n e y th a t sh o u ld h a ve b e e n sp en t o n th em w a s ch a n n e le d in to m o r e “ p r o d u ctive ” a r e a s . T h e s e s ch o o ls w e r e e lim in a te d in 19 2 9 . T h e a ttem p t t o p r o vid e so m e vo ca t io n a l tr a in in g t o th e lo w e r -cla s s ch ild r e n s u ffe r e d

M ost F a scis t R e fo r m ”

S6

a n o th er s e t b a ck w it h th e fa ilu r e o f th e s c u o t e co m p lem en ta r i, fr o m

____

w h ich stu d en ts sta ye d a w a y in d r o ve s . F o r m o st stu d en ts a n d th e ir

B e lie v e ,

p a r e n ts, th e se s ch o o ls s im p ly se r ve d n o p u r p o se b e ca u s e th e ch ild r e n

O b e y,

e n t e r in g, n o m a tter h o w g ift e d , w e r e d e n ie d th e p o s s ib ilit y o f co n tin u in g

F igh t

t h e ir stu d ie s. T h e d e fe ct io n o f Ita lia n ch ild r e n fr o m th e se s ch o o ls is a r a th er v iv id d em o n str a tio n th a t e d u ca tio n w a s in cr e a s in g ly se e n a s a ve h icle o f u p w a r d s o cia l m o b ilit y.61 T h e lic e o fe m m in ile w a s a ls o a d ism a l fa ilu r e . T h e p r ivile g e d p r e ­ fe r r e d t o sen d th e ir d a u gh te r s t o p r iva t e s ch o o ls in stea d o f d ea d -en d fin is h in g s ch o o ls , h o w e ve r e le ga n t . In th e Se n a te d e b a te s o n th e m in istr y b u d ge t in F e b r u a r y 19 2 5 , o n e sen a to r s ca t h in g ly r e fe r r e d t o th e se g ir ls ’ s ch o o ls a s “ m ise r a b le a b o r tio n s” ; th e lib e r a l P ie r o G o b e t t i d is m isse d th em a s “ se r va n t s ’ s ch o o ls .”62 In th e a ca d e m ic ye a r o f 19 2 6 - 2 7 th e se lic e i h a d a n en r o llm e n t o f o n ly 113 stu d en ts a n d , m e r cifu lly, t h e y d is a p ­

p ea r ed th e fo llo w in g yea r . R e a ctio n s t o th e r e fo r m w e r e n o t lo n g in co m in g. It w a s p r a ise d b y m a n y co n s e r va t ive s w h o sh a r ed G e n t ile 's v ie w o f e d u ca tio n a n d b y m a n y C a t h o lic sp o k esm e n p le a se d b y th e in tr o d u ctio n o f r e lig io u s in ­ str u ctio n a n d th e n e w sta tu s o f p r iva te s ch o o ls . C r o c e m a in ta in ed th a t th e r e fo r m w a s n o t r e a lly F a scis t b u t a r e fle ct io n o f d e ve lo p m e n ts in e d u ca tio n m u ch d e b a te d “ w h en fa s cis m h a d n o t ye t a p p ea r ed in th e d is ta n ce .” H e p r e d icte d th a t it w o u ld b e th e “ b e gin n in g o f a tr u e r e ge n ­ e r a tio n o f th e s c h o o l. . . a im ed a t t h e r e in vigo r a t io n o f t h o u g h t . . .a n d o f Ita lia n cu lt u r e .”63 T h e r e w e r e a ls o m a n y c r it ic s , h o w ever . T h e Acca d e m ia d e i L in ce i b e ga n a d e b a te o n th e r e fo r m in Se p te m b e r 19 2 3 ; m em b er s w e r e e s p e ­ c ia lly co n ce r n e d a b o u t th e n e g le ct o f s cie n ce in d ie s ch o o l cu r r icu la . D e b a te s in b o th h o u ses w e r e vig o r o u s , b u t th e Ch a m b er , r e d u ce d in n u m b er s b y th e Ave n tin e s e ce s s io n , a cce p t e d it m o te e a s ily th a n d id th e S e n a t e , w h e r e n o n -F a scists a tta ck ed it fo r a va r ie t y o f r e a so n s in d e b a te s in F e b r u a r y a n d M a r ch 19 2 3 . Am o n g o th e r t h in g s , sen a to r s d e p lo r ed sta te co n tr o l o v e r th e u n ive r s it ie s , m in iste r ia l n o m in a tio n o f p r o fe s ­ s o r s , vio la t io n s o f a ca d e m ic fr e e d o m , a n d th e e xt e n sio n o f r e lig io u s in str u ctio n . T h e d is se n t ca m e m a in ly fr o m r a d ica l le ft is t a n d r e p u b lica n e le m e n t s , th o u gh L a S ta m p a in th e sp r in g o f 19 2 3 cr it icize d th e r e fo r m fo r it s a r is t o cr a t ic s p ir it a n d it s fa ilu r e t o p r o vid e so u n d t e ch n ica l a n d vo c a ­ tio n a l in str u ctio n th a t w o u ld a d d r ess d ie n e e d s o f t h e la b o r m a r k et in a n in d u s t r ia lizin g s o cie t y. T h e V o ce r e p u b b lica n a a ccu s e d th e r e fo r m o f t a k in g a “ p o lice -s t a t e tu rn ” ; it a ls o d e p lo r e d th e r e fo r m ’s c la s s is i fla vo r a n d th e d a n ger o u s in cr e a se in th e p o w er o f th e ch u r ch .64 P ie r o G o b e t t i h a d a t fir st b e en fa vo r a b le t o G e n t ile ’s t h e s is o f p o c h e , m a b u o n e , b u t la t e r h e co n d em n ed th e r e fo r m a n d r e je ct e d th e n a tio n a l­

is t ic a n d a u th o r ita r ia n o ve r t o n e s o f G e n t ilia n th o u gh t. “T h e r e lig io n o f

a ct u a lis m ,” s a id G o b e t t i, “ is a lit t le s e ct th a t h a s r e je ct e d th e se r io u s n e ss

57

o f C r o ce a n t e a ch in g. G e n t ile h a s su gge st e d t o u s a n e xh a u s t ive d e fin i­ t io n o f h is t e a ch in g: th e p h ilo s o p h y o f M u s s o lin i."69 T h e S o cia lis t s o f “ T h e C r it ic a s o c ia le w e r e e s p e c ia lly veh em en t in t h e ir d e n u n cia tio n o f th e

M ost

e lit is t ch a r a cte r o f t h e r e fo r m . F ilip p o I h r a t i r e fe r r e d t o it a s th e "cu d g e l

F a s cis t

a p p lie d t o th e s ch o o l.”66 An t o n io G r a m s ci la t e r w r o te th a t th e G e n t ile

R e fo r m ”

r e fo r m w a s n o th in g b u t a r eh a sh o f th e C a s a t i la w , th o u gh in a p r o ­ fo u n d ly a lte r e d h is t o r ica l a n d cu ltu r a l clim a t e . H e ca s t iga t e d G e n t ile fo r h is “ cu lp a b le a b d ica tio n ” o f cu ltu r a l h e ge m o n y in tu r n in g e d u ca tio n o v e r t o th e C a t h o lic s , a n d m a in ta in ed th a t th e r e fo r m sa n ct ifie d a d a n ­ g e r o u s d iv is io n o f la b o r th e e d u ca tio n o f th e m a sses w a s le ft in th e h a n d s o f th e ch u r ch , b u t th e sta te w a s t o e d u ca te th e b o u r g e o is ie .67 In h is o w n d e fe n s e , G e n t ile cla im e d th a t th e r e fo r m w a s n o t th e fr u it m e r e ly o f h is o w n lu cu b r a tio n s o r p e r so n a l co n vict io n s b u t th e cu lm in a ­ t io n o f a lo n g tr a d itio n o f Ita lia n p e d a go g ica l th ou gh t: "I h a ve in ve n te d n o th in g,” h e s a id .68 H e s a w th e r e fo r m a s th e p r o d u ct o f d e b a te a m o n g m a n y p o lit ica l gr o u p s , a n e xp r e s s io n o f b o u r ge o is id e a s o n th e s ch o o l a s a sta te in stitu tio n th a t, r e n o va te d a n d in vigo r a t e d w ith a tr u e sp ir it o f n a tio n a l u n ity, co u ld fu lfill its ta sk a s th e cu sto d ia n a n d p r o t e ct o r o f a g lo r io u s cu ltu r a l p a tr im o n y. G e n t ile ’s r e fo r m lo o k e d n o t t o th e fu tu r e b u t t o th e p a st; it w a s in sp ir e d b y a v ie w o f th e s ch o o l’s e d u ca tio n a l m issio n b a se d o n a n in e­ te en th -cen t u r y co n ce p t io n o f th e p o lit ica l a n d s o cia l o r d er . T h e r e w a s a b a s ic co n tr a d ictio n in th e r efo r m : b e tw e e n fr e e d o m , in d ivid u a l gr o w t h , a n d cr e a t ivit y, o n th e o n e h a n d , a n d th e n e e d s o f a n a u th o r ita r ia n sta te a n d it s d e s ir e t o p r o d u ce p o lit ica l h o m o ge n e ity, o n th e o th er . H o w w a s it p o s s ib le w ith in th e co n t e xt o f th e G e n t il ia n syste m t o h a r m o n ize th e v ie w o f e d u ca tio n a s th e fo r m a tio n o f a fr e e , cr e a t ive p e r s o n a lit y w it h t h e v ie w o f e d u ca tio n a s p o lit ica l in d o ctr in a tio n ? M u s s o lin i h im s e lf w a ffle d o n th e is s u e . In h is a u to b io gr a p h y h e p r a ise d th e r e fo r m : "T h e p r o b le m o f th e s ch o o l,” h e s a id , "h a s fin a lly fo u n d it s s o lu tio n in th e G e n t ile r e fo r m .”69 B u t th e D u ce ’s a ctio n s o ft e n b e lie d h is w o r d s. G e n t ile h a d se r ve d a p u r p o se in 19 2 2 ; b y 19 2 4 h e h a d o u t live d h is u s e fu ln e s s . In J u ly 19 2 4 h e r e s ign e d , a ft e r h a vin g r e ce ive d a p r o m ise fr o m M u s s o lin i th a t th e r e fo r m w o u ld n o t b e a tta ck e d . G e n t ile w a s r e p la ce d b y Ale s s a n d r o C a s a t i. T h e n e w m in iste r , a d e scen d a n t o f G a b r io C a s a t i, w a s a lib e r a l s t ill v e r y m u ch tie d t o th e id e a lis t s ch o o l a n d a fr ie n d o f b o th G e n t ile ’s a n d C r o c e ’s . C a s a t i p r o m ­ ise d n o t to a b a n d on th e r e fo r m b u t t o p r o ce e d w it h it s "gr a d u a l m o d ifica ­ tio n .” B u t h is ten u r e a t th e m in istr y w a s s h o r t -live d ; o n 5 J a n u a r y 19 2 5 , a s th e r e gim e b e ga n its p r o ce s s o f co n so lid a t io n in th e w a k e o f th e M a tteo tti a ffa ir , th e m in iste r ia l p o r t fo lio p a sse d t o P ie t r o F e d e le , w h o se h o s t ilit y t o G e n t ile ’s h a n d iw o r k w a s n o s e cr e t . F e d e le r em a in ed in o ffic e u n til J u ly 19 2 8 ; h is stin t a s m in iste r w a s th e b e gin n in g o f th e p r o ce s s o f

58 ____ B e lie v e ,

co u n t cn e fo r m a t io o a n d fa s c is t iz z a z io n e o f th e s ch o o l th a t a cce le r a t e d in th e la te tw e n tie s a n d e a r ly t h ir t ie s .70 A lt e r d is cu ss io n o f th e m in istr y b u d ge t in F e b r u a r y 19 2 5 , th e S e n a t e ’s

O b e y,

o r d e r erf th e d a y, w h ile r e co g n izin g th e fu n d a m en ta l p r in cip le s o f th e

F ig h t

G e n t ile r e fo r m s , r eco m m en d ed th a t th e go ve r n m e n t “ u n d er ta k e t o b r in g t o th e r e fo r m th o se r e to u ch in gs w h ich e xp e r ie n ce h a ve sh o w n t o b e n ecessary.**71 T h is w a s th e o p e n in g sh o t in a n o n go in g b a t t le , w it h th e s ch o o l a s co n te ste d te r r a in . W ith G e n t ile o u t o f th e p u b lic e y e a n d F e d e le a t th e m in istr y, m a n y o f G e n t ile ’s d is illu s io n e d co lla b o r a t o r s a ls o r e tir e d fr o m th e s ce n e . T h e fie ld w a s le ft t o th o se w h o w e r e o ve r t ly h o s t ile t o th e fo r m e r m in iste r a n d h is v ie w o f e d u ca tio n . G e n t ile ’s r e fo r m w a s s im p ly t o o b o u r ge o is a n d t o o e lit is t in it s a p p r o a ch t o e d u ca tio n a n d cu lt u r e to b e co n ge n ia l t o m a n y o f th e n e w F a scis t le a d e r s , w h o w e r e m o r e co m ­ fo r t a b le in ja ck b o o t s o n a p a r a d e fie ld th a n in a cla s s r o o m . T h e y se t o u t t o r e fo r m G e n t ile ’s r e fo r m in th e in ter e sts o f a sta te th a t d e fin e d it s va lu e s n o t in ter m s o f th e n a tio n a l co m m u n ity n s ch o o l

2 1- 2 4 , 2 11; o f fa s cis m a s r e lig io n ,

t h e m e s , 8 4 - 8 3 ; a n d fo u n d in g o f

2 6 - 2 8 , 7 1, 1 3 4 ; o f s o cia l ju s t ic e .

t h e G I L , 9 1, 10 9 ; v ie w o f e a r ly

2 7 , 19 7 ; o f co n t in u in g r e vo lu t io n ,

yo u t h gr o u p s , 9 3 ; a n d R e n a lo

2 9 - 3 2 , 19 7 , 2 3 3 ; in s ch o o l t e xt ­

R ic c i, 9 3 ; a n d t h e d ya r ch y, 10 7 - 8 ;

b o o k s , 7 1 , 7 6 - 8 4 ; in s ch o o ls c o m ­

in co n flict b e t w e e n s ch o o ls a n d

p o s it io n s , 8 4 - 8 3 ; in yo u t h gr o u p s

yo u t h gr o u p s , 10 8 - 9 ; a n d fa ilu r e

m a n u a ls , 13 2 - 3 4 ; 0 0 t h e r a d io ,

o f P N F , 110 ; r e la t ion s w it h S t a ­

15 7 - 6 3 ; a n d t h e E t h io p ia n w a r , 2 3 3 - 3 6 ; a n d W o r ld W a r I I , 2 4 6 ;

r a ce , n o , 1 12 - 13 , 2 7 4 (n . 7 1) ; r e ­ o r ga n iza t io n o f yo u t h gr o u p s , 1 1 4 13 ; a n t icle r ica lis m o f, 116 - 18 , 13 6 ; o n r o le o f t h e ch u r ch , 119 - 2 0 ;

fa ilu r e o f a m o n g yo u t h , 2 3 0 . S ee a lso M u s s o lin i, Be n it o ; P r op a ­ ga n d a ; R h e t o r ic; R it u a l; R om anità

d is s o lu t io n o f p o lit ica l p a r t ie s , 12 1; co n flict o v e r Ca t h o lic Ac t io n ,

N a p o lit a n o , G io r g io , 2 3 1

12 2 - 4 0 p a s s im , 14 2 ; a n d La t e r a n

N a s t i, Ag o s t in o , 2 2 0

A c c o r d s , 12 8 - 3 0 ; a n d B o t t a i, 14 4 -

N a t io n a lis m , 8 , 3 4 , 4 4 , 7 6 ; in s t a le

4 6 ; p or t r a ye d in yo u t h gr o u p s

t e xt b o o k s , 7 6 - 8 4 ; in s ch o o l

m a n u a ls , 13 2 - 3 4 ; a n d t h e r a d io ,

t h e m e s a n d co m p o s it io n s , 8 4 - 8 3 ;

* 5 5 - 5 6 . 13 8 , 1 6 0 - 6 1 ; o n t h e r o le

a n d F a s cis t u n ive r s it y g r o u p s . 18 6 .

18 7 - 8 8 ; a n d t h e E t h io p ia n w a r ,

O p e r a U n ive r s it a r ia , 19 0

235-36

O r a n o , M o lo , 1 7 , 7 4

N a t o li, A ld o , 2 3 0 , 2 3 1

O r d in e N u o vo , 18 3

N a zi G e r m a n y, x ix , 3 1, 2 3 4 , 2 4 1;

O r la n d o , Vit t o r io E m a n u e le , 7 3 , 2 6 3

a llia n ce w it h , 116 , 16 8 , 2 3 0 , 2 3 6 , 2 4 0 ; a n d It a lia n r a cia l la w s , 13 9 , 14 0 ; a n d p r op a ga n d a o r ga n iza ­ t io n s , 15 9 ; in flu e n ce o n e d u ca t io n ,

(n . 37 )

Osserv a tore rom an o, 12 3 , 12 4 , 13 0 , 13 3 .13 4 .13 5

O VR A, 239

16 6 ; a t t a ck s o n b y st u d e n t s, 2 0 6 N e g a r v iile , C e le s t e , 2 0 9 ,2 3 1

ft j e t t a , G ia n ca r lo , 2 3 0

N e g r is o li, B o r t o lo , 6 7 , 2 6 5 (n . 3 7 )

P a lle t t a , G u id o , 19 3 , 19 6 , 2 10

N e o -id e a lis m : in e d u ca t io n , 3 3 , 4 0 -

F u m n zio , S e r g io , 74

4 1 . 4 5 . 4 7 - 4 * . 6 0 , 2 50 ; a n d fa s ­ c is m , 4 1- 4 2 ; a n d G e n t ile , 4 4 - 4 7 .

F u e t o , Vilfr e d o , 4 , 6 , 7 , 7 4 P a r t it o Co m u n is t a It a lia n o ( P C I ) .

S ee a lso Act u a l id e a lis m ; E t h ica l

2 0 2 , 2 0 4 , 2 0 6 , 2 14 , 2 13 ; a n d la ­

s t a le ; G e n t ile , G io va n n i “ N e w F a scis t M a n ,” x v ii, 3 4 , 4 2 , 4 6 ,

a m o n g t h e yo u n g, 2 3 0 - 3 1, 2 4 8 -

9 3 . 1 16 , 19 9 . 2 4 6 , 2 5 1 “ N e w Im p e r ia l C lim a t e ,” 14 3 - 8 3 p ir t im

v oro leg a le, 2 2 9 - 3 0 ; a n d w o r k 4 9 ; a n d Sp a n ish c iv il wa r , 2 3 9 . S ee

a lso An t ifa s cis m ; Co m m u n is t s t a r i l o N a zio n a le F a scis t a ( P N F ) ,

N ie t zs ch e , F r ie d r ich , 3 , 1 7

x ix , 1 3 , 1 4 , 1 7 . 2 0 , 2 7 , 3 1 , 3 2 ,

N it r i, F a u s t o , 2 2 4

4 1,4 2 ,4 3 . 5 0 .5 4 .5 9 .6 6 ,7 1,7 2 , 8 4 ,2 6 4 (n . 12 ) , 2 70 ( n . 13 ); a n d

N on m olla re, 6 4 , 2 2 3 N ostra lotta . L a , 2 15 , 2 2 9 N u cle i U n ive r s it a r i F a s cis t i, 18 8

cu lt o f t h e le a d e r , 13 , i n ; a n d e d u ca t io n , 4 4 ; ch a n ge s in le a d e r ­ s h ip , 6 1- 6 2 ; d e p o lit iciza r io n o f,

O je t r i, U g o , 18

6 1- 6 2 , 10 9 —n , 2 4 2 ; a n d yo u t h

O liv e lli, I b r e s io , 2 4 9

gr o u p s , 8 7 , 8 9 . 9 0 - 9 1 . 93 - 9 4 . 10 6 , 18 5 - 8 7 ; a n d t h e s t a t e , 9 0 - 9 1,

O ls c h k i, M a r ce lla , 16 2 O p e r a N a zio n a le B a lilla ( O N B ) , x v iii, 3 8 , 4 7 . 6 3 . 6 5 , 7 5 . 9 0 . 9 1 . 14 9 ,15 2 , 17 1, 18 9 , 2 2 7 ,2 3 7 ,

10 6 - 8 , 17 0 - 7 2 ; a n d sp o r t s fe d e r a ­ t io n s , 9 9 ; u n d e r St a r a ce , 11 0 - 1 1; co n flict w it h t h e ch u r ch o v e r e d u ­

*3 9 . *5 0 . * 7 * ( “ • 4 5 ) ; rural s c h o o ls , 3 $ , 10 3 - 3 , 14 * ; ch a p la in s

ca t io n , 1 1 5 . 1 3 1 , 2 8 0 (n . 7 2 ) ; a n t i-

in . 94 . 1 3 7 . *3 * . 2 71 (n . 2 0 ), 2 77 (n . 3 1) ; o r ga n iza t io n o f, 9 4 - 9 5 .

v ie w s o n Ca t h o lic Ac t io n , 13 0 - 3 1,

10 6 ; r e ligio u s in s t r u ct io n in , 9 4 ,

la t io n s b e t w e e n yo u t h gr o u p s a n d

12 4 - 2 3 ; p r essu r e t o b e lo n g , 9 3 -

t h e s ch o o l, 17 0 - 7 1; t ie s t o t h e

9 6 ; a ct ivit ie s fo r fe m a le s , 9 6 - 9 8 ;

G U F , 18 8 ; a n d le a d e r s h ip s ch o o ls ,

a n d s o cia l a ss is t a n ce p r o gr a m s , 9 6 ,

19 2 ,19 4 ; a n d t h e G U F p r e s s , 2 12 -

10 2 - 4 ; a n d m ilit a r y t r a in in g, 9 8 -

13 ; b a n kr u p t cy o f, 2 4 2 - 4 6 . S ee a lso M u s s o lin i, Be n it o ; Yo u t h

9 9 ; a n d sp o r t s t r a in in g, 10 0 - 10 1; s ch o la r s h ip p r o gr a m , 10 4 ; co n flict s o v e r t h e st a t u s o f, 10 8 - 9 , 2 73 ( n . 6 2 ) ; p o lice r ep or t s 0 0 , 114 ; a n d Ca t h o lic Act io n gr o u p s , 12 3 - 2 3 , 13 2 ; s t a t is t ics o n , 17 2 - 8 3 p a s s im .

S ee a lso You t h gr o u p s

cle r ica lis m in , 1 18 , 12 9 , 13 4 ; 13 5 - 3 6 . 14 1; J e w s in , 16 8 ; o n r e ­

gr o u p s t a r i l o S o cia lis t a It a lia n o ( P S I ) , 2 0 4 , 2 2 9 . S ee a lso An t ifa s cis m ; S o c ia l­ ist s t a r i l o S o cia lis t a It a lia n o d i U n it à P r ole t a r ia ( P S I U P ) , 2 2 9

339 In d ex

340

R u t ilo S o cia lis t a R ivo lu zio n a r ia (P SR ), 20 2

In d ex

R u o lin i, P ie r M o lo , 2 12

Patron ati sco la stici, 3 8 , 10 4 , 15 0

Popular party (P P I). 4 4 . 12 1. 12 7 . 13 0 ,13 1,13 3 .13 7 P o p u lism : in R a c is t p r o p a ga n d a , 7 8 7 9 . 15 9 - 6 0

fo u l V I , Rop e ( G io va n n i M o n t in i) ,

P o s it ivis m , 3 , 4 0 , 4 7

13 1 P a ve s e , C e s a r e , 2 2 4 t a o l i n i , Ale s s a n d r o , 2 0 3 ,2 0 5 , 28 $

Prim a to, 14 7 Prim o lib r o d el fa scista . II, 15 2 Problem a d ei g iov a n i, x i x , x x i , 19 6 ,

(n n . 5 3 . 5 4 ) t a l i z z i , C a m illo , 2 2 1- 2 2

P r o p a ga n d a , x v ii, x x , 8 , 1 2 , 8 2 , 9 9 ,

2 17 , 2 18 - 2 3

Penna d ei raga zzi. L a , 19 9 - 2 0 0

10 2 , 15 1, 2 0 6 ; d e ve lo p m e n t o f o r ­

R e t a cci, Cla r e t t a , 16 , 2 4 , 2 3 7

g a n iza t io n s , 13 9 ; r o le o f t h e G U F

P icc o le I t a lia n e , 9 7 , 1 4 9 . 1 7 3 , 1 7 5 .

in , 18 8 ,19 2 ; a n d t h e E t h io p ia n

17 9 , 18 3 .

S ee a lso You t h gr o u p s

P ig lia n i, An t o n io , 2 11

war, 2 3 5 -3 7 P r o s p e r i, G io r g io , 19 8

P in i, G io r g io , 19 , 8 4 P in t or , G ia im e , 2 0 6 ,2 4 1

R a cia l la w s , x ix , 11 6 , 1 8 7 , 1 9 2 ;

P ir a n d e llo , L u ig i, 235

ch u r ch r e a ct io n t o , 13 9 ; in t h e

P i u s X , P o p e , 12 2

s ch o o ls , 14 8 , 16 8 - 7 0 ; a n d C u r i c i ,

P iu s X I , Rop e ( Ac h ille R a t t i), 2 0 0 ;

2 15 ; r ea ct ion o f yo u t h t o , 2 4 1. S e e

a n d oa t h o f u n ive r s it y p r o fe s s o r s , 6 6 ; life a n d ca r e e r , 118 ; a n d Ca t h o ­ lic Ac t io n , 1 1 9 , 12 1- 2 2 , 12 3 , 14 2 ;

a lso An t i-Se m it is m ; J e w s ; R a c is m R a cis m : in st a t e t e xt b o o k s , 7 9 - 8 0 , 8 2 ,16 9 ; in yo u t h gr o u p m a n u a ls ,

o n r o le o f t h e ch u r ch in e d u ca t io n ,

15 3 , 16 9 ; in r a d io p r o gr a m s , 16 1-

1 1 9 , 1 2 9 , 1 3 2 , 1 3 5 ; a n d t h e P op u ­

6 2 ; in t h e s ch o o ls , 16 8 - 70 ; a n d t h e

la r p a r t y, 12 1, 12 8 ; p r o t es t s a ga in s t

G U F , 19 2 ,3 0 2 (n . 9 2 ) ; a n d t h e

F a s cis t vio le n c e , 12 3 , 12 4 , 13 2 ,

S c u o la d i M is t ica F a s cis t a , 19 4 ,

13 3 ; a n d co n flict o v e r you t h

19 5 ; a t t h e L it t o r ia li, 2 0 3 - 6 ; in

gr o u p s , 1 2 5 , 1 2 6 - 2 7 , 1 3 2 , 1 3 3 ,

G U F p a p e r s , 2 10 . S ee a lso An t i-

13 6 - 3 7 , 14 2 ; a n d F U C I , 13 1; e n ­ c yc lic a ls o f, 13 2 , 13 5 ; a n d lo ya lt y oa t h s in yo u t h gr o u p s , 13 5 , 13 7 ,

Se m it is m ; J e w s ; R a cia l la w s R a d io , 14 8 . 15 1 , 1 3 4 - 6 4 . 2 8 4 ( n . 4 1)

2 8 0 (n . 7 1) ; o n a n t i-S e m it is m , 13 9 ;

R a ggh ia t it i, C a r lo , 2 2 6

ga in s m a d e in 19 2 9 a cco r d s , 14 2 .

S ee a lso C a t h o lic Act io n ; Ch u r ch -

R a s, 1 3 . 1 4 . 2 3 , 6 1 , 1 0 9 , 1 4 5 . 2 11, 2 19 . S ee a lso F a r in a cci, R o b e r t o

s t a t e r e la t ion s ; Co n co r d a t ; La t e r a n

R a va s io , C a r lo , 2 13

Ac co r d s

R e ligio u s in s t r u ct ion , 2 3 0 ,2 6 2

P iu s X I I , Rop e ( E u ge n io t a c i l i ) ,

13 7.13 9 P o lit ica l s cie n ce : s ch o o ls o f, 73 - 74 » 2 6 7 (n . 6 5 ) P o lit ica l s o cia liza t io n , xv, x v i , x v i i i x ix , 9 0 , 2 3 0 - 5 2 R o lve r e lli, G a e t a n o , 13 9

(n . 5 5 ) , 2 6 7 (n . 6 0 ) ; in p r e - F u c is t s ch o o ls , 3 6 - 3 7 , 5 4 ; G e n t ile 's v ie w s o n , 4 8 ; in G e n t ile r e fo r m s , 3 4 - 5 5 ; in t h e s ch o o ls a ft e r G e n t ile , 7 2 , 12 8 ; in s t a le t e xt b o o k s , 7 7 - 7 8 ; in t h e O N B , 9 4 ; in t h e Co n co r d a t , 12 8 . S ee a lso C a t h o lic ch u r ch

P o m ilio , M a r io , 8 8 , 2 2 5

R e n d i, R e n zo , 2 2 7 - 2 8

Pop olo tT Ita lia , II , 8 , 1 3 , 1 9 , 2 2 , 2 7,

R e n d in a , M a s s im o , 2 13

3 2 , 8 0 ,9 9 , 1 17 , » 1 , 15 7 . 19 4 . 200

R e n zi, R e n zo . 2 1 1 , 2 1 2 , 2 13 . 2 2 6 , 227

R e p u b lic o f S a lò , 4 3 , 9 $ , 2 13

4 9 ; in G e n t ile r e fo r m s , 3 0 - 3 1 , 5 5 -

R e s is t a n ce , 14 0 , 14 2 , 18 4 . 213 . 2 14 . 2 38

3 6 , 2 6 3 (n . 6 1) ; p h ys ica l e d u ca t io n

R esto d el Ca r lin o, II, 2 2 7

a n d t h e Co n co r d a t , 12 8 ; a n d t h e r a ­

R h e t o r ic, 4 , 8 , 9 - 1 0 , 1 2 ; cla s h w it h

d io , 16 0 - 6 4 ; t a d i t S ch o o l Ch a r ­

r e a lit y, x x , 3 1 , 1 1 3 , 1 9 6 ; e ffe c t o n

in , 10 0 ; in r u r a l a r e a s , 10 2 - 4 , 14 8 ;

t er , 16 4 - 6 7 ; a n t i-Se m it is m in ,

yo u t h , 3 1- 3 2 , 19 6 , 2 19 , 2 3 3 . S ee

16 8 - 70 ; fa ilu r e o f fa s cis m in , 2 3 0 .

a lso M yt h ; P r o p a ga n d a ; R it u a l

S ee a lso E d u ca t io n ; G e n t ile , G io ­

R ic c i, B e ilo , 19 6 , 19 8 - 9 9 , 2 2 1 R ic c i, R e n a t o , 94 - 93 . 1 0 6 , 1 0 7 ,

va n n i; U n ive r s it y S c h o o l Ch a r t e r ( Ca r t a d e lla S cu o la ) ,

10 8 - 9 , 2 19 . 2 74 (n . 6 4 ) R igh e t t i, I gin o , 1 3 1, 13 4

x v iii, 3 4 , 5 9 , 7 5 , 8 7 , 17 2 , 18 8 ,

R ig h i, U m b e r t o , 2 13

o f, 16 4 - 6 3 , 17 0 ; t h e s ch o o l in ,

R is o r gim e n t o , 1 2 , 4 5 , 7 2 , 7 3 , 1 2 8 ,

16 3 - 6 7 ; m a n u a l la b o r in , 16 3 - 6 6 ;

2 14 . 2 2 4 , 2 2 8 , 2 70 (n . 15 )

2 3 0 ; ch u r ch ’s r e a ct io n t o , 13 9 ; b ia s

fe m a le s in , 16 6 ; r e a ct ion s t o , 16 6 -

R it u a l, i o , 2 6 - 2 8 . S ee a lso M yt h

6 7; e va lu a t io n o f, 16 7; yo u t h

R iv olta id ea le. L a , 7 3 , 18 7 , 2 0 9 R iv olu zion e, 19 9

gr o u p s in , 17 0 - 7 1. S ee a lso Bo t ­

R o a n a , G e n e r a l M a r io , 2 4 7 R o cca , M a s s im o , 18 6

t a i, G iu s e p p e Sch u s t e r , Ca r d in a l I ld e fo n s o , 13 3 ,

R o c c o , Alfr e d o , 3 , 4 , 7 , 2 3 , 2 6 , 7 3

13 *. 13 9 . 19 5 S c ia s c ia , Le o n a r d o , 2 3 9 - 4 0

R o d a n o , F r a n co , 2 3 1

S c o r za , C a r lo , 1 0 6 , 1 0 8 , 11 3 , 1 3 3 ,

Rom a fa scista , 2 0 9 R om anità, 19 , 2 1, 3 1 , 4 3 , 1 1 8 , 15 1. S ee a lso M yt h

13 4 . 13 7 . 1 9 6 , 2 4 4 S c u o la d i M is t ica F a s cis t a , 1 9 1 , 1 9 3 -

R o m a n Q u e s t io n , 1 1 6 , 1 1 8 , 12 1 , 1 2 7

S c u o la N o r m a le S u p e r io r e , 4 2 , 4 3 ,

R o s a , F a t h er E n r ico , 2 2 7

9 6 . 2 12 223

R o s s e lli, C a r io , 2 2 3 , 2 2 4 ,2 2 3 ,3 0 1

S econ d o lib r o d el fa scista , 13 3

(n . 76 ) R o s s e lli, N e llo , 2 3 8 , 3 10 ( n . 76 )

S elv a g g io, 2 2 1

R o s s o n i, E d m o n d o , 2 0 3

S e n is e , Ca r m in e , 2 4 2 , 2 4 6

R u ffìn i, F r a n ce s co , 6 4 , 2 6 3 (ir. 3 7)

Se r e n a , Ad e lc h i, 2 4 3 , 2 4 7

R u s s o , L u ig i, 2 2 3

S e lla , E s u le , 2 13 - 14

Se r e n i, E m ilio , 2 4 3 - 4 9 S e v e r i, F r a n ce s co , 18 7

Saba to fa scista , 112 Sa g g ia tore, II, 19 8 - 9 9 S a lva d o r i, M a x , 2 28 S a lve m in i, G a e t a n o , 6 4 , 18 7 , 2 2 4 , 2 2 7 .2 9 8 (n . 3 3 ) S a n gu in e d , B r u n o , 2 3 1

S o c ia lis t s , 3 , 6 . 2 6 , 3 9 , 4 4 . 57 . 18 3 . 18 7, 2 2 4 . S ee a lso An t ifa s cis m ; fe r r ilo S o cia lis t a It a lia n o S o cie t à It a lia n a S e r vizi R a d io t e le ­ g r a fici e R a d io t e le fo n ici ( S I S E R T ) ,

Sa n t a r e lli, E n zo , 2 3 6

i 3 S . 2 8 4 ( n . 44 ) S o la r i, L u ig i, 15 7 , 2 8 4 (n . 4 4 )

Sap ien za, L a , 19 8 - 9 9

S oia r ia , 2 3

S a ifa t t i, M a r gh e r it a , 16 , 8 4

S o r ci, G e o r g e s , 4 - 7

S c e ib a , M a r io , 14 0

Sp a n ish c iv il w a r , x i x , 13 8 , 2 3 0 ,

S ch o o l: r o le in F a s cis t s o cie t y, 3 4 ; in

234 . 2 3 7 - 4 0 S p e cia l Tr ib u n a l fo r t h e D e fe n s e o f

Ca s a r i r e fo r m s , 3 3 - 3 9 ; co n flict w it h yo u t h gr o u p s , 4 4 , 6 3 , 10 8 - 9 ,

t h e St a t e , 4 6 , 6 1 , 1 0 8 , 2 1 7 , 2 2 6 ,

17 0 - 7 2 ; G e n t ile ’s v ie w o f, 4 3 , 4 7 -

2 2 8 , 2 3 1, 2 3 9 , 2 48

341 In d ex

342

Sp in e t t i, G a s t o n e S ilv a n o , 19 $ , 19 8 ,

Spirito, U g o , 2 0 3 , 2 9 1 (n . 45 )

53 . 6 5 . 6 6 - 6 7 . 2 6 5 ( o n . 3 5 , 3 7 ) ; o p p o s it io n t o fa s cis m , 6 4 - 6 5 ; a n d

Sp or t s : in t h e O N B , 9 9 - 10 1; r a le in

yo u t h gr o u p s , 6 3 , 9 3 - 9 6 ; r e a ct io n

2 9 1 (n . 45 )

In d e x

e s a m e d i S ta to, 5 2 ; lo ya lt y o a t h o f ,

R a c is t s o cie t y, 9 9 ; in p r e -F s s cis t

t o fa s cis t iza t io n , 8 6 - 8 7 ; e va lu a t io n

It a ly, 10 0 ; in t h e G I L , 14 9 ; a n d r a ­

o f d u r in g F a s cis t p e r io d , 8 8 ; o f

d io p r o gr a m s , 15 8 ; in t h e G U F ,

p h ys ica l e d u ca t io n , 10 0 - 10 1; in

i *9 S p r ia n o , P io lo , 2 15 , 2 4 1

Squ ad rism oiSqu od risti, n ix , 12 , 6 2 , 79 . 9 4 . 95 . 1 4 4 . 1 4 5 . 1 4 6 . 1 9 5 . 2 0 9 ,2 19 , 2 2 0 , 2 2 1; a n d a n d iti, 2 2 2 3 ; s p ir it o f in fa s cis m , 4 2 ; in s t a le t e xt b o o k s , 7 9 , 8 4 ; in s ch o o l t h e m e s a n d co m p o s it io n s , 8 3 ; a ga in s t Ca t h o lic yo u t h gr o u p s , 13 1, 13 4 . S e e lis o A rd iti!A rd itism o St a r a ce , A c h ille , x i x , 16 , 2 0 , 6 6 , 9 7 ,

r u r a l s ch o o ls , 10 3 - 4 ; r e a ct ion s t o S ch o o l Ch a r t e r , 16 7; a n d t h e G I L , 17 1- 7 2 , 2 7 2 (n . 4 3 ) ; e ffe c t o f fa s ­ c is m o n , 2 3 0 - 3 1. S e e a lso E d u c a ­ t ion ; S ch o o l I b xt b o o k s : in e le m e n t a r y s ch o o ls , 7 4 - 8 3 ; in s e co n d a r y s ch o o ls , 8 3 8 4 ; v ie w o f w o m e n in , 8 1; p ost F s s cis t r e vis io n o f, 2 6 9 ( n . 9 4 ) . S e e a ls o L ib r o u n ico I b g lia t t i, P a lm ir o , 2 0 4 ,2 2 9 , 2 4 4

9 8 ,9 9 ,10 8 ,114 ,14 3 ,14 7 ,14 8 ,

7U ban o, 13 4

16 3 , 18 9 , 2 0 6 , 2 0 9 , 2 14 . 2 19 .

T r ip o d i, N in o , 2 0 7 ,2 9 3 (n . 7 5 )

2 2 3 , 2 3 6 ,2 4 0 , 2 4 3 , 2 4 6 ,2 7 4

Tko m b a d or i, A n t o a e llo , 2 0 4 ,2 3 1

(n . 7 1) , 2 73 (n . 8 1) ; a n d “ a n t i- t o ”

T ir a t i, Au g u s t o , 6 1- 6 2 , 9 9 , 2 1 9 , 2 6 4

ca m p a ign , 11, h i ; v ie w o f t h e

(n . 9 ) T i n t i , F ilip p o , 3 7 , 2 2 4 , 2 2 3

p a r t y, 6 2 , n o - 1 1 ; a n d t e a ch e r s , 6 8 ; a n d fe m in is m , 9 7; a n d st a t u s o f t h e yo u t h gr o u p s , 10 8 - 9 ; a n d c u lt

U n ga r e t t i, G iu s e p p e , 2 0 3

o f t h e D u c e , 10 9 - 13 ; a n d “r e fo r m

U n io n e G o lia r d ic a It a lia n a p e r la

o f cu s t o m ,” 1 1 1 - 1 2 , 16 3 ; d a m a ge t o im a ge o f t h e P N F , 112 ; r e m o va l o f, 1 12 - 13 ; r e o r ga n iza t io n o f you t h

Lib e r t à , 18 7 U n io n e R a d io fo n ica It a lia n a ( U R I ) . 15 6 - 5 7

p a ig n , 17 0 ,3 0 2 (n . 9 2 ) ; d is lik e d

U n ità, L , 2 0 7, 2 14 , 2 15 U n iv ersa le, L , 19 8 - 9 9 U n iv ersd ftu rism o, 19 8

b y t h e st u d en t s , 2 0 2 ,2 0 3 , 2 7 3

U n ive r s it y: in Ca s a t i r e fo r m s , 3 6 ; r e ­

gr o u p s , 1 14 - 13 ; a n d t h e r a d io , 16 0 ; a n d t h e a n t i-Se m it ic ca m ­

(n . 8 0 ). S ee a lso C u lt o f t h e D u c e

Sta to op era io. L o , 2 0 9 , 2 2 9 ,2 3 6 S t im o , D o n L u ig i, 1 2 1 , 1 2 2 , 1 3 7 , 227

lig io u s in st r u ct ion in , 3 6 ; in t h e G e n t ile r e fo r m s , 5 3 - 3 4 , 2 6 2 (n . 5 3 ) ; oa t h o f t h e p r o fe s s o r s , 6 6 6 7; D e Ve c ch i’s r e fo r m s in , 70 ; r e ­ fo r m s o f cu r r icu lu m in , 7 3 - 7 4 ; r a ­

T icch i- Ve n t u r i, F a t h e r P ie t r o , 12 6 ,

d io in , 16 2 ; a n t i-Se m it is m in ,

1 2 7 . 13 6 , 13 7 Th n n en b a u m , E d w a r d R . , 4 0 , 9 8 ,

1 , 18 4 - 8 5 ; a n t ifa s cis m in , 18 8 ; fo r ­

2 0 4 ,2 7 3 (n . 6 2 )

16 9 - 7 0 ; t u r m oil in a ft e r W or ld W v e ig n st u d en t s in , 19 0 - 9 1. S ee a lso

Tfcr ch ian i, Alb e r t o , 2 2 3 , 2 2 4 , 2 2 3

D e Ve cch i, Ce s a r e M a r ia ; E d u ca ­

Ifea cb er s: p r e -F a s cis t o r ga n iza t io n s ,

t ion ; G e n t ile , G io va n n i; S ch o o l

3 9 , 6 7 - 6 8 , 2 6 6 (n . 4 1) ; r e gim e n t a ­ t ion o f, 4 7 - 4 8 , 6 3 . 6 7 - 6 8 ; a n d

U n ive r s it y stu d en t s: im p or t a n ce o f, 13 1; B o t t a i’s v ie w o f, 14 7 ; s p e cia l

st a t u s o f, 18 4 , 19 7 , 3 0 7 - 8 ; r o le in

o f; You t h gr o u p s ; U n ive r s it y st u ­

e a r ly F r e i s t m o ve m e n t , 18 4 - 8 7 ,

d en t s

2 70 (n . 6 ) , 2 8 9 (n . 4 ) ; fa ilu r e o f

Yo u t h , p o lit ica l e vo lu t io n o f, x x ,

fa s cis m a m o n g, 19 6 ; d is lik e o f

2 13 - 3 0 p a ss im ; gr o w t h o f d is s e n t ,

St a r a ce , 2 0 5 , 2 4 2 , 2 75 (n . 8 0 ); p o ­

1 13 , 19 8 ; g r o w in g d is illu s io n m e n t ,

lic e r ep o r t s 0 0 , 2 2 1, 2 3 4 , 2 4 0 ,

19 6 - 9 8 ,2 0 7 ,2 0 9 ; e va lu a t io n o f b y

2 4 7 ,2 9 9 (n . 3 6 ); a n t i-H it le r fe e l­

I fe llizzi, 2 2 1- 2 2 ; o ve r vie w o f,

in g a m o n g, 2 4 0 ; a n d W o r ld W s r I I ,

2 3 1- 3 3 . S ee a lso An t ifa s cis m ;

2 4 7; a n d U g o Sp ir it o , 2 9 1 (n . 4 3 ) .

Co m m u n is t s ; D is s e n t : a m o n g t h e

S ee a lso An t ifa s cis m ; G r o p p i U n i­

yo u n g; P ar t it o Co m u n is t a It a lia n o;

ve r s it a r i F a scis t i ( G U F )

S o cia lis t s You t h gr o u p s , x v - x v i , 8 7 , 8 9 , 9 0 ,

Ve c c h i, F e r r u ccio , 9 2

2 3 2 , 2 3 1; m ilit a r y t r a in in g a n d

V e r ta m i, 19 3 , 2 0 9 - 10

sp o r t s in , 9 0 , 9 7 , 9 8 - 10 1; e a r ly

Ve n t u r i, F r a n co , 4

h is t o r y o f, 9 1- 9 4 ; p r e ssu r e t o b e ­

Ve n t u r in i, G io r g io , 19 1

lo n g , 9 3 - 9 6 ; fe m a le s in , 9 6 - 9 8 ,

Vic t o r E m m a n u e l I I I , K in g , 12 , 13 0 ,

14 9 . 13 0 , 17 2 - 8 3 p a s s im , 18 8 - 8 9 ; d is s e n s io n o v e r t h e st a t u s o f, 10 6 -

137 Vid u s s o n i, A ld o , 2 4 3 - 4 4

7 ; a n d t h e s ch o o ls , 10 8 - 9 , 14 8 ,

Vin cigu e r r a , M a r io , 2 2 7 - 2 8

17 0 - 7 2 ; a la r m o ve r t h e fa ilu r e o f,

Vita n ov a, 13 1, 18 8

1 13 - 15 ; p o lice r ep o r t s o n , 114 - 13 ;

Vit t o r in i, E lio , 2 3 - 2 4

a n d N a zi gr o u p s , 13 1; o b liga t o r y

Vo lp ic e li!, L u ig i, 2 0 3

m e m b e r sh ip in , 1 6 3 , 1 7 2 , 1 7 4 , 18 8 ; a n d a n t i-S e m it ic ca m p a ign ,

W o r ld W a r 1, 8 , 2 2 - 2 3 , 3 8 , 4 5 , 7 7 , 8 0 , 9 1 , 19 5

World W u I I . xix, 14 .8 6 ,8 7 .8 9 . 16 3 , 2 0 8 , 2 19 . 2 4 6 - 3 0

170 ; v ie w o f in t h e S ch o o l Ch a r t e r , 17 0 - 7 1; s t a t is t ics o n , 17 2 - 8 3 . S ee a lso F a s ci G io va n ili d i Co m b a t t i­ m e n t o; G io ve n t ù It a lia n a d e l L it ­ t o r io ( G I L ) ; G r u p p i U n ive r s it a r i

Yo u t h : m ys t iq u e o f, x v i, 2 18 - 19 ; a n d t h e F a s cis t r e vo lu t io n , 9 1; a n d t h e

F a s cis t i ( G U F ) ; O p e r a N a zio n a le B a lilla ( O N B )

m yt h o f t h e D u c e , 113 ; st a t e o f m in d o f , 11 3 , 19 6 - 9 7 , 2 17 - 18 ,

Za n gr a n d i, R u g ge r o , x x , 19 3 , 19 7 ,

2 3 1- 3 3 ; B o t t a i’s v ie w s o n , 14 6 -

19 8 . 19 9 . 2 0 3 , 2 13 . 2 3 1, 2 3 2 .

4 7 ; d iffe r e n ce s o f op in io n o n d ie r o le o f, 19 3 ; la ck o f p o lit ica l fa it h

234 . 2 3 7 . 2 3 8 . 2 4 1, 2 4 7 ,2 6 9 (n . 10 7); fr ie n d s h ip w it h Vit t o r io

o f, 19 6 ; p r ivile g e d st a t u s o f, 19 7;

M u s s o lin i, 19 9 - 2 0 0 ,3 0 0 (n . 6 1) ;

Sp in e t t i’s vie w s o n , 19 8 ; a n d t h e

a n d N o vis m , 2 0 0 - 2 0 1; d ou b t s

E t h io p ia n wa r , 2 3 3 - 3 7 ; a n d t h e

a b ou t fa s cis m , 2 0 1; a n d t a ct ic o f

Sp a n is h c iv il w a r , 2 3 8 - 4 0 ; r e a c­

t h e d o p p io bin a rio, 2 0 1- 2 ; a n t i­

t io n t o r a cia l la w s , 2 4 1; a n d W o r ld W a r I I , 2 4 6 - 3 0 ; fa ilu r e o f fa s cis m a m o n g, 2 3 0 - 3 2 . S ee a lso An t i­ fa s cis m ; Yo u t h , p o lit ica l e vo lu t io n

fa s c is t a ct ivit ie s o f, 2 0 1- 2 Za n gr a n d i g r o u p , 2 0 1- 2 , 2 0 3 , 2 13 14 , 2 3 1, 2 3 2 Z e v i, B r a n o , 2 0 0 ,2 0 3 , 2 0 6 ,2 3 1

343 In d ex