In a recent piece for Chronicles Online, Pedro Gonzalez wrote in defense of the new Italian head of state. In his commentary, Pedro correctly notes the totalitarian nature of liberal democracy and the fact that the hysterical response of its propagandists to the victory of Giorgia Meloni and her Fratelli d’Italia (“Brothers of Italy”) party in the recent Italian election reflects the appalling intolerance of our ruling class. No exception at all to the left’s program of globalism, LGBT indoctrination, and open borders is permissible in any Western country. Indeed, those who step over the line and who, like Meloni, invoke “God, family and country” will have our media and scribbling class come down on them like a ton of bricks. Our self-appointed aristocracy may even raise that most damning charge in the liberal-democratic rhetorical arsenal, calling their hapless target a “fascist.” The Atlantic, a publication that unfailingly provides the official state- and media-approved formulation of Political Correctness, predictably titled its take-down of Meloni and her supporters as “The Return of Fascism in Italy.”
Some who are defending Meloni have assured us that the Italian political leader could not possibly be a fascist, because fascists are exactly like Democrats, namely statists. Meloni is supposedly more like a Republican and typifies the party fighting Democratic fascists, a group that, on alternate days of the week, are presented on the same channel as Democratic Marxists. Ben Domenech, of The Spectator, has defended Meloni as a moderate who supposedly wants nothing to do with extremists. Those extremists she’s avoiding, according to Domenech, are Viktor Orban and Marine Le Pen, although it is hard to find evidence that she is shunning either. Meloni has also emerged among Republican interpreters of reality as the Mediterranean counterpart of Kevin McCarthy. Like our Republicans, she is offering her equivalent of the Republican midterm agenda when she appeals to God, her native Italy, and what she understands as la famiglia (“the family”), which I imagine signifies to her something other in the Latinity than a gaggle of lesbians and transgenders.
Like Pedro, however, methinks Giorgia may show more of an affinity to Latin fascism than her self-interested and mostly historically ignorant defenders recognize. She has, in fact, defended Mussolini as someone who set out to serve his country but who eventually succumbed to disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany. But from his taking of power in October 1922 until he allowed himself to become a Nazi tool in 1936, Mussolini, it may be argued, brought his country generally decent economic management, international prestige, and a sense of internal unity. Before Nazi Germany took over the Italian government in the fall of 1943, Italian fascists had been responsible for the deaths of only about a dozen of their opponents, according to my research, and not all of those were killed on Mussolini’s orders. (This does not include, of course, those who were killed during Italian military engagements that took place under Mussolini: e.g., in Ethiopia, Yugoslavia, Greece, and Spain during the Italian intervention on the Nationalist side. But even these deaths were far fewer than those caused by the American blockade and later invasion of Iraq, which number about 200,000.) Moreover, the internal killing under Italian fascism prior to the Nazi takeover pales next to the killings incited by the Democratic Party during the Summer of Love in 2020, not to mention the crimes resulting from the decisions of Democratic politicians to put convicted murderers back on the streets, enabling them to slaughter more of the local inhabitants.
Lest anyone miss my drift (and I speak as the author of well-researched books on both fascism and antifascism), let me make myself unmistakably clear. The current woke left is more violent and more totalitarian than the movement it routinely condemns if we are equating fascism with the ideology that was preached during most of Mussolini’s rule. Mind you, I am not defending Italian fascist rule as a political ideal. It was more or less a dictatorship, and sometimes a repressive one, but one that was far less pernicious than the regime that has overtaken the “liberal democratic West” in recent years. Pardon me if I consider the weaponized Department of Justice under Merrick Garland far more dangerous and far more powerful than Mussolini’s Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism! The former has more resources at its disposal and enjoys the assistance of the world’s most effective media, which routinely covers up a multitude of iniquities.
Mussolini did not use an armed squad to invade the home of a Catholic father-of-seven and throw him into jail for 11 years because he was protesting in front of an abortion center. That, of course, was the real reason Mark Houck was jailed, not because he pushed away a youth who was hurling obscenities in his face while he was lawfully demonstrating against infanticide. In Canada parents might be sent to jail for failing to affirm their child’s homosexual or changed sexual identity. Meanwhile the new premier of New Zealand has called for a strict censorship in every Western “democracy” to be directed against those who oppose the leftist social agenda and the war against global warming.
It is astonishing that, in the face of the decline of Western countries into anarcho-tyranny, we would still be flogging a fascist dead horse and pretending that the ghost of Mussolini poses a danger to us freedom-loving Westerners. Attacking the hobgoblin of fascism has become a diversionary move from noticing the totalitarian, woke quagmire into which Western countries are sinking, albeit with notable exceptions such as Hungary, Poland, and Italy. About four years ago, a writer for Tablet accused me of whitewashing Italian fascists because I hoped to bring these mischief-makers to power, perhaps in the U.S. Let me therefore state that most Western liberal democracies would need much stronger medicine than Mussolinian theatrics to recover from their woke intoxication and to stop their slide into total servitude. At this point, Giorgia Meloni’s normality may be too much for American elites and their compliant followers to handle, or even to comprehend.