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Thoughts for today

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment

In trying to understand, and teach others about understanding fascism, I am pondering the main points I would want to get across. Certainly the difference between its self-representation and the actual acts involved would be paramount, but also trying to convey the difference between intent and reception would be pretty important as well.

It seems like the exceptional state (versus the rule of law) would be a good way to talk about this, particularly in introducing difficult concepts like potestas and auctoritas to undergrads. Giorgio Agamben suggests that viewing the relationship of the individual and the state is less about “right and left” orthodoxies and more about understanding sovereignty. And in fact, much more useful for understanding our flirtations with fascism today (see Chris Hedges).

I also really like the idea of posing Marinetti against D’Annunzio for the soul of Fascism, in perhaps a clash of the Arditi, to expose the lines of tension. This also would help show that A. James Gregor’s view of Mussolini is fundamentally incorrect, he is not the ideological father of fascism, just a power-hungry con man. His true belief was in revolution for its own sake. The real battle over the future of fascism and Italy was taking place between Marinetti & D’Annunzio in the fall of 1919.

Of course, most people aren’t reading Gregor, but Jonah Goldberg.  Saints perserve us!

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