20 February 2010

Trend: In Italy, Mussolini makes comeback

United Press International yesterday published a special report by Stefan Nicola (UPI Europe Correspondent) headlined "In Italy, Mussolini makes comeback":


Excerpts: "Italy's Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini is making an unexpected popularity comeback in Italy, a phenomenon nurtured by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over the past 15 years. [...] [T]he Duce, as Mussolini's admirers call him, is becoming increasingly popular [...] even with the younger crowd. In January, the iPhone application iMussolini became the most popular in Italy. The program [...] allowed users to read and listen to speeches of the Fascist leader. Up to 1,000 people downloaded the app each day, before Apple pulled it from its Italian store earlier this month. [...] Streets are being renamed after 'regime heroes,' 'good Fascists' are the stars of movies and politicians from all major parties are belittling the Fascist horrors. In 2008, the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, a member of the National Alliance, Mussolini's political descendants and key allies of Berlusconi, defended the Fascist dictatorship during a tour of Israel. Last June, Michela Brambilla, the Italian minister of tourism and a possible successor to Berlusconi, did what many interpreted as the Fascist salute [...]. She remains in power, despite the fact that doing the salute is against the law. [...] Berlusconi [...] himself has spoken warmly of the Duce many times".

The UPI report is based on a book by Aram Mattioli (Professor of 19th and 20th Century History at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland) that has just been published in German. It is titled "'Viva Mussolini': Die Aufwertung des Faschismus im Italien Berlusconis" (translated by UPI as "An Appreciation of Fascism in Berlusconi's Italy"; Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, February 2010):


Says Mattioli (quoted from UPI): "I see a close connection between the revisionist tendencies and the inner state of today's Italy, were political culture has reached a low-point, Italy has entered a state of post-democracy. Democracy is still formally existent but policies are increasingly illiberal."

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