Pax Romana, a Fascist Peace

July 09, 2021

During World War I, Benito Mussolini ultimately became a strong interventionist, which caused his split from Italy’s Socialist Party. He believed that only participating in a war would trigger a successful revolution at home and create the “new man.” War, however, should also establish a new...

Fascism and Peace: Incompatible or Inseparable?

February 25, 2021

For Benito Mussolini, life was an eternal struggle. Shaped by a social Darwinist worldview and following Georges Sorel’s philosophy of the virtue of violence, Il Duce (the leader), as Mussolini was known, regarded war as men’s essential purpose in life. It was through war that he intended to...

Gone With the Wind: On the Pitfalls of Symbolic Politics

June 19, 2020

A few days ago, Quaker Oats announced it would retire its 130-year-old brand of pancake syrup and breakfast foods, Aunt Jemima. The company acknowledged that the Aunt Jemima character was based on a racial stereotype. In the aftermath of the decision, other companies, among them Mars Food,...

Have We Seen the Eternal Return of Fascism?

December 23, 2019

Björn Höcke is public enemy number one in present-day Germany. At least that’s what German media suggest. Höcke is a leading exponent of the “völkisch” wing of Alternative for Germany (AfD), the country’s radical right-wing populist party. And Höcke is a fascist....

When Angry Words Become Violent Actions

November 14, 2019

In February 1909, a strange new manifesto appeared, first in the Bologna-based Italian- language newspaper Gazzetta dell’ Emiliana, and then in French in Le Figaro. Readers of the declaration might have struggled to work out whether the manifesto was political or aesthetic in character. In the...

The Legacy of Italian Fascism: Not Coming to Terms with the Past

March 30, 2018

Italy's myths about fascism are not just widespread, but dangerously wrong. Forlì is an ordinary kind of town, well off the tourist track, in the Emilia-Romagna region of northeast Italy. Its streets are quiet, and it boasts few of the architectural gems that characterize Italian cities. It is...

Ezra Pound: Modernist Politics and Fascist Propaganda

November 02, 2013

The famous poet’s years at the service of fascism. Perhaps modernism’s most recognizable American poet, Ezra Pound, became a leading propagandist for fascism – both during WWII and since. Given the shining poetic achievements of Robert Frost, H.D., William Carlos Williams,...