Italian Fascism was not racist

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Cromulent, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #1
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/04/di-canio-is-right-italian-fascism-was-not-racist/

    And after reading that read this:

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8854261/italys-new-duce/

    A rather interesting article about Mussolini and the Italian fascist movement. It reminds people that Mussolini started out in life as a radical left wing politician and only moved to his fascist ideas after World War 1 in 1919.

    Racism and fascism have long been held to be inseparable but history tells a different story. Also as pointed out in the article National Socialism and Fascism have become interchangeable terms even though they have quite different outlooks on the idea of race.

    Fascism is essentially portrayed as emerging from left wing politics. Both Mussolini and the new Italian Fascist were both heavily involved with radical left parties before they became Fascists. Something that many Communists and Socialists would rather forget (or just ignore).

    So, thoughts?
     
  2. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #2
    I seem to recall from a university course that anti-Semitism was not a large factor in Italian fascism. Late in WWII Mussolini began to deport some Jews to Nazi-occupied Europe, but by and large Italian Jews did better then Jews in other Axis nations.
     
  3. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #3
    Italian Fascism was very definitely racist.Although Mussolini at times spoke of contradictory views at different times (he talked a lot of bollocks about various things much of it making no sense at all).The difference between them and Nazism was that the Jews didn't feature prominently at least until near the end of the war.
    It was Slavs and Africans who bore the brunt of their racism.Just a Wiki stub but among the sources are some good books on this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Fascism_and_racism
     
  4. Peterkro, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015

    Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #4
    Yes Mussolini called himself a Socialist and worked with them as a younger man,he was that common sort of lefty,a careerist only interested in power for himself.After being tossed out he started dabbling in Nietzsche and made the jump to far right politics and Facsism. Interestingly his early politics was funded by Britain's MI5 (£100 a week a considerable amount of money at the time).If as the Spectator (a right wing rag if there ever was one) portrays Fascism has it's roots in left wing politics how come virtually all the resistance to Facsism (and Nazism for that matter) was by Communists,Socialists and Anarchists.
     
  5. decafjava macrumors 68000

    decafjava

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    #5
    Antisemitism is not the only form of racism.

    Italian fascism not racist? :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. juanm, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015

    juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #6
    Radical left, radical right, what's the difference? When both end up doing the same things, it doesn't matter what color was their logo in the beginning.

    It's also worth noting that racism as we understand it can only be considered once there's enough mix-up so that both skin colors are at least considered sufficiently equal to be comparable, and I'd venture to say there were probably few non-white people in Italy at that time, so the question cannot even be raised. Would Italian fascists have been racists in our modern days? Probably.
     
  7. Happybunny, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015

    Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Looking back at history with todays 20/20 vision is always risky.

    Mussolini’s Italy is today judged by the the other powers of the era, when judged by Hitler’s German, or Stalin’s Russia, it does not look so bad.
    Mussolini’s Italy was by todays standards racist, but of course so would have every other major power of the era.

    This leaflet was dropped all over Europe in 1944-45.


    [​IMG]

    My parents told me they didn’t believe it it was just propaganda.

    In the Netherlands town of Uden in 1944 two British Sikh soldiers were to be placed in a US military hospital, the whole US hospital shut and barricaded the doors, this was a WHITE only hospital.


    It was to say the least a wake up call.
     
  8. Cromulent thread starter macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #8
    Understood.

    I think the point that the article was making was that Italian Fascism was not abnormal at the time. Many people in Europe were racist and singling out Fascism as a racist political ideology at a time when everyone was at least a little bit racist in Europe seems somewhat disingenuous.

    Churchill seems to get let off the hook for his racism for some reason, yet Mussolini gets attacked for his. Vichy France was awful when it came to the holocaust yet most people tend to ignore the fact that the French were willing partners to the Nazis.

    It just smacks of bias to me. If you are anti-racism you should be against all forms of racism and not just single out Fascism.

    Plus when does a leaders racism make an ideology explicitly racist? Churchill was racist. Does that make the Tory party a racist organisation? No. It just means Churchill was a racist.

    Stalin was a mass murderer, so was Mao and Polpot but somehow Communism has escaped any of the really negative connotations that Nazism has gained even though Stalin arguably killed more people than Hitler.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    I beg to differ.

    Italian fascism was abnormal at the time. That is why it became so widely admired and copied among those of an authoritarian, anti-democratic and racist - and what became known as a fascistic - cast of mind. It was a brand new type of political movement, one which gave identity and focus to disgruntled lower middle class types who felt left out by postwar, political, cultural, economic and societal changes.

    Now, Churchill may well have been racist, but, at the end of the day, he was also a democrat, and in a discussion of this sort that is a key distinction. At no stage in his life did he attempt to overthrow the state by force of arms as Mussolini and Hitler both did. And, when he lost office and power after the General Election of 1945, he merely drove away from Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, accepting the result, leaving the Labour Party's Clement Attlee (who had won the election) to serve as his successor as Prime Minister.

    Moreover, while Churchill was racist, he did not attempt to construct a system of Government predicated on a racist world view, as the systems of nazism and fascism ultimately both did.

    This is not the first time attempts have been made to whitewash Mussolini's time in office, or to attempt to slip him some sort of intellectual or philosophical pass from the charge of subscribing to many of the more egregious aspects of fascist philosophy; rightist apologetics have attempted to mask the more odious aspects of his regime at least once per decade since then, not least in Italy.

    Yes, he wasn't Hitler, but he was most certainly Hitler's mentor by dint of his actions in overthrowing a Government with his march on Rome, and Hitler, who greatly admired him, was, in effect, a sort of protégé of his and sought to emulate him and the lamentable example he had offered when, while and after, taking power.

    And the 'Mussolini was not Hitler' is no defence, excuse or justification for anything. To attempt to argue that he wasn't Hitler sets an extraordinarily low political bar. Indeed, it is not remotely a compliment to Mussolini to argue that 'he wasn't Hitler'; nobody was Hitler, except for Adolf himself, who falls into the category of something that might be regarded as 'sui generis'.
     
  10. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #10
    history is written by victors.

    What little I know Hitler and Mussolini where ideology quite different, but found major common goals so decided better to work together.
     
  11. Cromulent thread starter macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #11
    It really wasn't.

    Churchill once said of Mussolini:

    Churchill sounds pretty much in favour of fascism to me here and especially of Mussolini's movement.

    Controversial statement. How about we ask the people of India about whether Churchill was a democrat? Especially after he said the following:

    He may have been a democrat in the UK but he was also an imperialist in the same vein as most of the European powers including Italy and their territorial expansion into Northern Africa.

    True. He did leave number 10 after he was voted out of office. But you need to look at Churchill in the context of the British empire and he was a committed imperialist. Imperialism is could really be considered an early form of fascism.

    Again try saying that to British colonies.

    I think the whitewash here is in ignoring the political nature of Europe at the time. It was expansionist and took the view that European nations were somehow superior to other nations. Look at what the Belgians did in their colonies. Look at the Boers in South Africa. We all know how that played out with apartheid.

    Europe was a fundamentally racist place and singling out either Hitler or Mussolini as the only racists is just wrong.

    Anti-semitism was rife in pretty much all of Europe including Russia. It wasn't just Germany and atrocities were committed against the Jews in many European countries for hundreds of years before the Nazi party was even conceived.

    At the end of this I think you have been intellectually disingenuous by ignoring much of what was going on in Europe at the time. Churchill and much of Europe was actually in favour on fascism. Hungary had a fascist leader. Oswald Mosley led a successful fascist party in the UK.

    The big threat was seen as coming from the Communists who many in the UK despised and in fact many in mainland Europe itself.
     

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