Friday, December 09, 2016

Fascism, Light?

We are approaching the season when “Time’s Person of the Year” or “The 2016 World’s Number One  for ….. alright, Basket Weaving (name your endeavour),” etc. is announced. Selected words of the year reveal a rather ominous trend this year. The Oxford Dictionary has proposed “post-truth” (oh so close to post Trump!!!!). Xenophobia is the choice of a major online literary website and apparently “fascism” is currently outpacing other words as the word most often queried for its definition. I can help there. In recent consecutive years I have traveled to the region of Italy whose major city is Bologna. This area is known for its partisan politics. One of the worst atrocities of the Red Brigade era was perpetrated at the city’s train station in 1980. Other attacks took place here (all blamed on fascism) in 1974 and 1984. Bologna and its university are known for lefty politics and presumably this city was consequently an obvious target for opponents. But it was here too that Mussolini was born (in the nearby town of Predappio in Emilia-Romagna at any rate). In 1915 he founded the right wing Fasci d’azione rivoluzionaria, revolutionary cells party, giving birth to the reality of radical fascism in Europe, well before Hitler was on the scene. In 2016 we have Trump, Brexit, Marine LePen, Hungary, Renzi gone, fascism light? And now we must contend with “Fake News” to boot. Ah, progress, such a comforting evolution!