The Rise of Fascism in Italy

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryNo, this is not a history lesson. It is about the rise of the neo-fascist movement in Italy today. And it is rising very quickly. News footage of ordinary Italians giving the fascist salute and listening to World War II fascist songs in restaurants was for me blood chilling. Portraits of Benito Mussolini, Italy’s former Fascist dictator (1922-1943) being displayed in a growing number of public places is frightening. A growing number of Italian young people joining and being part of neo-fascist organizations is mind blowing. Why is this happening now? Part of the reason has to do with the Italian education system really not touching on the Fascist era. Unlike Germany, Italy has really not dealt with in-depth the things done by former dictator Mussolini, and his crimes against humanity when he ran Italy. Sadly, almost no one is left alive to remember that time period. Hence, the young people are more persuaded by the rhetoric of the extreme right than by anything else.

For so many Italians and Italian young people, they are seeing their current politicians fail their country. They see growing unemployment, poverty, and a barely stable political system. Many Italians especially do not like to see African migrants come to their country, and this alone has proven to be an ideal recruiting tool for the extreme right. With the corona virus, many on the extreme right are blaming these same African migrants for the virus spreading in Italy. None of this is true, but it is all still a powerful recruiting tool for the political right. If anything, the corona virus epidemic has accelerated the extremist tendency becoming more a part of the mainstream political process. One of these is making it harder for immigrants to settle in Italy, even if they are legal. While in many parts of the world the political left has been gaining ground, Italy has in so many ways become a notable exception. But like the extreme left, the rise of the extreme right has, in my view, never been a good thing. It is only symptomatic of a national crisis.

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