Everything Is Just Dandy!

Franco “Bifo” Berardi: From futurist fascism to geriatric fascism

Autonomies
Julius Gavroche
2022-08-31
https://autonomies.org/2022/08/franco-bifo-berardi-from-futurist-fascism-to-geriatric-fascism/

There are weeks to go until the 100th anniversary of Benito Mussolini’s Blackshirt March on Rome.

With less than 30 days before the elections that could put a woman in power for the first time, and a fascist, the philosopher and militant Franco “Bifo” Berardi analyses the old and the new face of the brown beast. (PuroChamuyo 26/08/2022)

ONE: one hundred years later

As if enchanted, with the soon to be centenary of the March on Rome, the direct descendants of Benito Mussolini are preparing to take power in Italy.

A victory for the right-wing coalition in the elections scheduled for September 25 is considered certain, and the Fratelli d’Italia could be the most voted party among the three that make up the coalition. Giorgia Meloni, secretary of the Fratelli d’Italia, has a very good chance of being the first female Presidente del Consiglio/President of the Council of Ministers, in Italian history.

Fascism can be found in every corner of Italy and Europe: it is in the return of nationalist fury, in the exaltation of war as the only hygiene in the world, in anti-worker and anti-union violence, in contempt for culture and science, in the demographic-racist obsession that wants to convince women to have white-skinned children to avoid the great ethnic replacement, and because if the cradles are empty the nation ages and declines, as He said.

All that rubbish has returned.

So is fascism coming back? Not quite. That of Mussolini was a futuristic fascism, exalting youth, conquest, expansion.

But a hundred years later, the expansion is over, the conquering impetus was replaced by the fear of being invaded by foreign migrants. And instead of a glorious future, we now have on the horizon the imminent extinction of human civilization.

Sole che sorgi libero e giocondo,
sul Colle nostro i tuoi cavalli doma:
tu non vedrai nessuna cosa al mondo
maggior di Roma.

Sun that arises free and joyful,
brake your horses on our Hill.
You will see nothing in the world
greater than Rome![1]

This was the nationalist rhetoric of the last century.

Now the sun causes fear because the rivers are dry and the forests are burning.

What is advancing is Geriatric Fascism: fascism from a senile age, fascism as a rabid reaction to the aging of the white race.

I also know that many young people will vote for Meloni, but the spirit of this right is trapped in a kind of senile dementia, forgetting past catastrophes, as if it had been provoked by Alzheimer’s.

Geriatric fascism, the death throes of Western civilization, will not last long. But in the brief period that it is in power it could produce remarkably destructive effects. More than we can imagine.

Giorgia Meloni

What was historical fascism?

A short Italian history lesson is needed.

Italy is a female name. In the Renaissance, the hundred cities of the peninsula lived their history not thinking of themselves as a nation, but, above all, as places of passage, of residence, of exchange.

The beauty of the places, the sensuality of the bodies: the self-perception of the inhabitants of the peninsula of a hundred communes was feminine until the austere fanfare of the nation arrived. In the centuries after the Renaissance, the peninsula was a land of conquest by foreign armies, but the towns managed themselves.

“Let it be France or Spain, as long as one can eat”, said the refrain that in the language of the time rhymed with the phrase “France or Spain, they are great enough.”

The country declines, but some cities prosper, and others do what they can.

Then the Ottocento arrives,  a rhetorical century that believes in the nation, a mysterious word that means nothing. Is it the place of birth, or perhaps the identity founded on the territory we have in common?

National identity is a superstition in which the inhabitants of the city never believed, but which was imposed on them by a minority, influenced by the most reactionary Romanticism.

The Piedmontese, presumptuous mountaineers held hostage by France, want the Neapolitans and Venetians to agree to submit to their command. Thus, the South was conquered and colonised by the bourgeoisie of the North, and so began its decline: between 1870 and 1915, twenty million Italians emigrated from the South and Veneto. In Sicily the mafia is formed, which at first was an expression of the local communities to defend themselves against the conquerors, later becoming a criminal structure for control of the territory.

The question of the South as a colony never ended, and even today it continues to deepen, although cities like Palermo or Naples live an extra-Italian, cosmopolitan life.

During the war for independence, a young man named Goffredo Mameli wrote the words of Fratelli d’Italia, which ended up being the national anthem.[2] It is in no way a beautiful anthem. It is a heap of rhetorical, warmongering and slavish phrases. Mameli died very young, and he did not deserve to be continually exposed to the mockery of those who listen to this little music that tries to be virile, and instead provokes laughter.

The warmongering postures end in a resounding failure because the inhabitants of Italian cities were always too intelligent to allow themselves to be treated as Italians. They are Venetians, Neapolitans, Sicilians, Romans, Genoese, Bolognese. What else? Only the Piedmontese bourgeoisie, which, if I may say so, were never too bright, could believe in this white, red and green fiction.

And then the great challenges of the new century arrived, the century of industry and war. You had to be competitive, aggressive, with no more faggots.

In 1914, as Serbia and Austria go to war, the controversy between interventionists and non-interventionists rages. The Futurists, minor intellectuals, agitate themselves: contempt for women, war is the only proper hygiene for the world, shouts the lousy poet Marinetti in his Manifesto of 1909. Down with Italieta! [Little Italy!] The interventionist students shout to convince the Sicilians and Neapolitans to go and have themselves assassinated at the border with the Austro-Hungarian Empire … which for Neapolitans and Sicilians means nothing. The history of the Italian nation is the history of systematic betrayal.

When war breaks out in Europe in 1914, Italy is an ally of Austria and Germany, but the Italian government decides not to go to war and waits to see how the situation evolves. In 1915 the interventionists prevail and then Italy enters the war on the side of France and England, against those who were their allies. The result of the war is catastrophic. Fifteen thousand dead in Caporetto.[3]

The twenty somethings sent to die sing:

O Gorizia, tu sei maledetta
per ogni cuore che sente coscienza;
dolorosa ci fu la partenza
e il ritorno per molti non fu.

Alas! Curse be upon you, Gorizia,
by all hearts feeling a conscience!
We left filled with pain and with sorrow
and many of us have never come back.[4]

After the war, the victorious powers, Great Britain, France and the United States, which entered European affairs for the first time, convened the Congress of Versailles to give a new order to Europe, and perhaps to the world.

The French and English victors want to punish Germany, but in a book entitled The Economic Consequences of Peace, John Maynard Keynes advises them not to exaggerate, because with the Germans, even defeated, one does not play.

The American president, a certain Woodrow Wilson, ignorant of History and Anthropology, thinks to tidy things up and proclaims the Self-Determination of Peoples. But Wilson forgets to explain what “people” means, while in fact the word means nothing, along with the other word, “Nation”. Two words deprived of any logical meaning but that transform the history of the Novecento into an inferno of endless wars.

At the Versailles Congress, the Italians want to be treated as victors, claiming for themselves Dalmatia, Albania, and some parts of Africa. But the real winners, the established imperialist powers, treat the Italians as lackeys and traitors, and do not take their petulant claims into consideration. Sidney Sonnino, extravagant minister of the Kingdom of Italy, leaves with his handkerchief wet with tears.

The humiliation is overwhelming for those who had fought, the veterans, they who had believed that being on the side of the victors would bring them glory, wealth and colonies.

A Romagnolo named Benito, who had left the Socialist party in 1914 to join the interventionists, takes over the leadership of the veterans, who realize that they have fought for nothing and shout “vendetta” against plutocratic England. Benito has a rhetorical and provincial culture, but a good memory, and he embodies the virtues of the Latin macho: arrogance, boastfulness, opportunism. His voice sounds powerful with electrical amplification, and his poses are perfect for cinema, the new medium that accompanies the creation of mass regimes in the early part of the 20th century. In 1919, the workers of the industrial north occupy the factories and the peasants of Emilia-Romagna go on strike against the landowners for better working conditions. Benito Mussolini guides the pride of the nation against the petty interests of the workers. He is “the fatherland” against the organisations of the real society. And so, in October 1922, after having achieved a relative majority in the elections, he leads the March on Rome, and fascism is born: a single man in command, violence against unions, persecution of intellectuals, assassination of leftist leaders. Antonio Gramsci writes his Notebooks in prison where he explains what was – and still is -, the central core of fascism: the bosses’ violence against the working class.

Italy became masculine, and masculine Italy wants an empire, but neither the English nor the French, consolidated nations that already have an empire, like this.

The young nations, Italy, Germany, Japan, claim the right to have their place in the sun, and seal the alliance. The Rome-Berlin-Tokyo axis (RoBerTo) is born

Mussolini sends troops to Libya, Ethiopia, Abyssinia: that is where the young Italians are sent to fight, guided by war criminals like General Graziani. They slaughter entire villages. They drop mustard gas bombs on villages in the Horn of Africa.

From his Roman balcony Mussolini proclaims to an oceanic crowd that the Empire of Rome has been reborn. It is 1936, and from Spain comes the noise of a new war. Hitler sends the Luftwaffe to bomb Guernica, Mussolini sends 5,000 soldiers to fight on the side of the fascist Francisco Franco against the Republicans.

German power has increased, as Keynes had predicted. Humiliation breeds monsters, and monsters want revenge. And the revenge of the humiliated Germans is unleashed in 1939 with the invasion of the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia), then Poland, and finally France. Millions of Jews who live in Germany, Poland and other European countries are accused of being enemies to be exterminated. Also in Italy, where they had lived peacefully in cities like Rome, Venice, Livorno, they were isolated, fired from their jobs. The racial laws prepare the deportations, the delivery of the Italian Jews to their Nazi ally.

In 1939, one hundred and twenty thousand Jews escaped from Germany by sea. They want to reach England, but the English reject them, as today we reject Africans who want to land on our shores.

Mussolini is an ally of Hitler but he does not trust him, and even fears that he wants to invade the north-eastern region of Italy where German is spoken. When Hitler launches the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 to conquer access to the Baltic Sea, the war quickly precipitates, involving one world power after another. But Mussolini hesitates.

Just like when World War I began, the Italian government waits a little before deciding to go to war. Mussolini calls it “No belligerence”, he who liked difficult words.

However, by 1941, it was clear that Hitler was winning the war. Germany had occupied almost all of Europe, and only then Mussolini decides to intervene on the side of the victorious Nazism, after having pronounced the phrase that, perhaps, best defines the soul of fascism: “I only need a few thousand dead to be able to sit at the table of negotiation”.[5]

The dead numbered far more than a few thousand, and as for the negotiating table, Mussolini found it four years later in Milan’s Piazzale Loreto, where he was hanged upside down.

In June 1941 Italian troops entered France, which was already occupied by the Germans!, and someone commented, repeating Francesco Ferrucci’s words spoken in 1530 to his executioner: “Vile Maramaldo, you murder a dead man”

Mussolini believed that the victory of the Nazis was guaranteed and that the end of the war was imminent. But the infamous man was wrong: he had not taken into account the fact that the Soviet people had resisted, that they had paid the price of 20,000,000 dead – much more than the few thousand dead… and that the negotiating table was blown up, at which the heinous one would have liked to sit. He had not considered that the United States was going to enter the conflict with all of the weight of its weapons.

The Italian war, once again, was a disaster. While the Germans occupied the entire European territory, Mussolini sent the unfortunate Italian soldiers, poorly dressed and less well equipped, to fight in Africa, Russia and Greece. He had threatened to break Greece’s back, but the Italian offensives were setbacks.

There is a beautiful film by Gabriele Salvatores, Mediterráneo,[6] which tells the story of a group of Italian soldiers sent to break Greece’s back, and who are on a small island in the Aegean where they stay for years, without any contact with the rest of the world.[7]

The Italians, who for the most part had believed in the Duce’s boasts, even when there seemed to be no danger of being immersed in something as horrible as war, were now beginning to realise what fascism was, the abyss of horror that was hidden behind meaningless words like Nation, Fatherland, Honour, Flag, Fratelli d’Italia and many more.

On July 25, 1943, the Great Council of Fascism, that is, the parliament of the wicked who had supported him when he seemed victorious, dismissed him and imprisoned him.[8] The Germans released him shortly after, so that he could constitute the Social Republic of Salò, which partially controlled northern Italy for almost two years: the residual groups of fascists that were part of it helped the Nazis to perpetrate massacres that marked the last years of the war, such as the massacre of Marzabotto and that of Santa Anna di Stazzema.[9]

On September 8 of that year, the Italian army was disbanded, many became partisans and fought on the side of the Anglo-American troops that crossed the peninsula from South to North, and in April 1945, they liberated the northern cities from the Nazi presence and residual fascists.

Among those partisans was my father, who told me this story since he was a child. My father was lucky enough to die before seeing what is happening today. I think it would hurt him.

But what is happening today in Italy? What is happening in Europe?

Let us see.

TWO: Only one man in command, that is, a woman

The government headed by Draghi has fallen. Draghi, a former Goldman Sachs official, later director of the European Central Bank, has absolute confidence in the automatic pilot that governs everything. In the name of the autopilot, he contributed in 2015 to destroying democracy in Greece, and consequently in Europe: the European financial system had to bend the Greek people who, with 62% of the votes, had decided to reject the memorandum ordering a general privatisation and the reduction of salaries and pensions. Draghi was head of that European Central Bank and he did his part to impose on the Greek people a brutal humiliation and impoverishment. It was his task; it was the will of the autopilot.

Mario Draghi is a cultured person, unlike the vast majority of Italian politicians who, in general, are embarrassingly ignorant, as is the case of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi di Maio, a rag doll of a figure who does not know any foreign language, and who he is convinced that Pinochet was the dictator of Venezuela.

The Draghi government was born at the beginning of 2021, after a palace conspiracy hatched by a professional killer, a friend of Mohammad bin Salman, named Matteo Renzi. The European financial system wanted to change Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the leader of the Cinque Stelle movement, who seemed too prone to social demands to entrust him with all the money that the European Union invests in supporting the Italian economy, the country that suffered the most from the effects of the pandemic.

A way was found to get Conte out of the way, and Draghi was called in to save the country and transform it, finally, into a serious country, that is, respectful of the laws of profit and the rules established by the financial system.

The baroque chaos of Italian politics had to bow to the Protestant rigor of German finance, and the calm Draghi was just the person for this.

All prostrated themselves at the feet of the financier Duce, all praised his leadership, all declared their readiness to support his program, his methods and his goals.

Everyone, that is, except her.

Except Giorgia Meloni, a true Roman, self-proclaimed feminist, founder of a party. For the first time in Italian history, a woman founds a party, and she calls it, a brilliant paradox, Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy).

Giorgia feminism explains it this way: “On the left they talk a lot about the parity of women, but deep down they think that the female presence should be, in any case, a male concession. Wherever you are, whether you are a woman or a man, you must manage by capacity and not by co-option. And if women succeed, when they do so, it is not by a concession from a man”. (Page 58 of the autobiographical book Io sono Giorgia/I am Giorgia)

Meloni likes to compete with men as if she were a man. And she wins. “Perhaps it is due to the inferiority complex that leads many women to compete with each other, but I have more fun competing with men” (page 70)

Feminism and competition: an oxymoron that works. What other message could be more convincing to the female electorate, when the dominant ideology has put competition at the centre, and the hypocritical adulation of women is one of the recurring motifs of commercial advertising and liberal propaganda?

Fratelli d’Italia is the only party that was not part of the Draghi government. At least formally it has been an opponent, although not on social issues.

Nor was it opposed to sending weapons to the Ukrainian army to infinitely prolong the war and with it the agony of the population of that country.

But it pretended to be the opposition by turning down ministerial posts that everyone else comfortably held.

According to the electoral polls for the elections at the end of September, Giorgia Meloni’s party will be the most voted and therefore, in principle (despite the fact that principles are worth little in this newly baroque country), Giorgia Meloni will be the President of the Council.

She will be the first female president of the Council of Ministers since the unification of Italy.

Interesting, right? One hundred years after Mussolini’s tomboyish daughter, it is a woman who wants to bring to the national government the cult of the fatherland, the traditional family, military heroism, respect for hierarchies, rejection of immigrants, a racial conception of citizenship.

In a word: Fascism.

But things are not so simple. Some features of fascism – nationalist, racist, repression of workers’ organizations, militarism – have resurfaced in the national culture and in political elections, but they are not exclusive to Giorgia Meloni’s party. They are shared by many other political forces that are participating in the elections. They are undoubtedly shared by the PD-Democratic Party (Social Democratic), just as responsible as the League (extreme right) for the systematic denial that the thousands of foreigners who drown in the Mediterranean are victims.

The architect of the hypocritical and cruel policy of rejecting and detaining migrants is, in fact, an exponent of the Democratic Party. His name is Marco Minniti, former Minister of the Interior for the past decade, and who runs a Foundation whose sponsor is the main Italian military agency, Leonardo.

Racism is the unofficial but substantial policy of the Italian Republic and the European Union. White-skinned refugees are welcomed with open arms, and those with slightly different skin colours are sent to drown in the sea.

From this point of view, Giorgia Meloni is no different from other parties that manage power on the continent.

As for the rest, fascism, as employer violence against workers, is already a style of power in Italy. In mid-July in Piacenza, the city where most of the Italian logistics distribution warehouses, including Amazon, are located, seven union activists were subjected to criminal proceedings accused of organising strikes and sabotaging production to force increased salaries. Four of these persecuted workers have non-Italian names.

And the war?

After February 24, the Draghi government has shown an adamantine loyalty to NATO policy and the warmongers in the White House.

While 73 percent of citizens are against participating in the war in Ukraine, Draghi and all his draghetti, starting with the ultra-militarist leader of the PD, Enrico Letta, have sent arms and ammunition to the Ukrainians so that the war never ends.

The question is whether the Italian right will be so loyal. Some remember that loyalty in alliances was never the strong point of Italian history, as we saw during the First World War, and also in the Second.

Now the Third is beginning, and there are no shortage of reasons to ask what game Italy will play, considering that the three right-wing leaders have close friends on the opposing front: the Hungarian Orban is Giorgia Meloni’s favourite, and Putin himself is an old friend of the three.

Those of the Atlantic alliance, united to fuel the fire on Europe’s eastern border, are worried about what the old capo Silvio Berlusconi, a good friend of Vladimir Putin, and the future Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, a madman who a few years ago signed an alliance pact between his party, the Northern League – Lega Nord, and United Russia, the party that governs Russia, might do.

Salvini

Meloni has a more ambiguous position. In the past, of course, she liked the Christian nationalism of Russian neo-tsarism, but when the war broke out in the Ukraine, when peaceful Europe was transformed into the Union of European Armed Nations, the leader of the neo-Mussolinian party hastened to pledge allegiance to their new homeland.

We will see.

This summer of 2022 is the hottest in human memory, forests are burning from Trieste to Livorno, rivers are dry, glaciers are melting, workers are dying under the sun on construction sites. Inflation cuts into already meagre wages, and the coming fall is scary.

But undaunted, the excellent President of the Republic has called for elections in the midst of the heat wave, and the vote will be held on September 25 … just in time to celebrate the Centenary of the March on Rome.

And what is talked about in the endless political conversations? Of the logistics warehouse workers who were arrested in Piacenza? Of the immigrants who drown in the Mediterranean Sea? Or perhaps, of the health care system personnel that were reduced to a minimum, of the doctors who died of Covid in the pandemic, of the twenty thousand nurses who resigned because they cannot take it anymore?

Those must be trifles. There is talk of alliances of coalitions, of new parties that are born with funny names like Azione, Coraggio Italia, Italia Viva. I would say dying Italy. In the name of democracy, the celebration of the funeral of democracy is being prepared. Whoever will vote on September 25, it is very likely that they will vote for Giorgia Meloni, who swears allegiance to NATO, which in her heart means fidelity to fascism, racism, war. But it is also likely that more than half of the voters will not vote.

Abstentionism, in fact, is the first party in Italy.

I don’t know what I should do. They tell me “if you don’t vote you help Giorgia Meloni win”. And, so what? I see no difference between the programmes of Giorgia’s fascist party and Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party. When the elections were held in the United States two years ago, everyone thought that it was impossible for anyone to be worse than Donald Trump. Joe Biden has shown that this is not true, that it is possible to be worse than Trump, to expel more migrants than Trump, to legitimise the strangling Arab prince – as Donald Trump would have done -, and above all, to provoke a world war, which Trump  probably would not have done.

Why should we continue to believe in representative democracy if representative democracy has proven to be a hoax against workers?

At the same time, I realise that with the right in government, the living conditions of Italian society are going to worsen dramatically. In the first place, they want to eliminate the Ingreso de Ciudadanía, a universal basic income, launched in 2019 and which has allowed millions of unemployed young people who are on the verge of absolute poverty to survive. The right says that the “reddito di cittadinanza” allows young people to refuse a job when they don’t like it. They prefer slaves, ready to accept any exploitation in exchange for any salary so as not to starve!

The right will unleash racism against immigrants who are forced to agree to work twice as hard for half, under the sun, in clandestine conditions.

What else does the right intend to do when it is in government?

A declared objective of Giorgia Meloni is a change in the nature of the presidency of the Republic, which the anti-fascist Constitution of 1948 wanted to make parliamentary: it wants a person, a man, in command, although now that “man” is a woman.

Finally, Meloni intends to “re-launch the birth rate”, with extensive programmes. As in the entire Northern Hemisphere, also in Italy, thanks to feminism and the various contraceptives, women have decided to no longer be reproductive animals, and want to live their lives without having to obey the orders of either their husband or the Nation.

On the other hand, the new generations are increasingly aware that having children today is an irresponsible gesture, because it means handing over innocent people to the hell of an intolerable climate, in a world that is regressing towards inhumane ways of life, with ever-decreasing salaries and worsening living conditions that look too much like slavery.

Meloni wants children for the wars to come; she wants slaves for the economy of total exploitation.

And above all, Meloni, like the Lega Nord‘s Salvini, wants Italian women to have children to prevent migrants from distant lands coming to Italy to replace the shrinking population.

This is the most important point of the new fascism in Italy, as in the whole “white world”: the panic of the “great replacement”. The Ukrainian war has transformed the European Union into a racial state, in which white-skinned refugees enjoy privileges that are denied to the “dark”. In all countries, the white identity character of migration and social policies is accentuated.

This is the deep character of Geriatric-Fascism: a population of old people who for five centuries have plundered, violated and exploited the peoples of the Southern hemisphere, and now they are afraid of an invasion. This is precisely the point on which geriatric-fascism is destined to lose: women will not start making children for the oven of the future.

THREE: And now …

Italy is not fascist by God’s will, and Italian democracy was not always a hypocritical ritual. In the years after Mussolini’s infamous war, thanks to the Resistance, Italians were able to write a Constitution with many interesting things, for example, in its Article 11, it states that Italy repudiates war.

Do we repudiate war? Really? Then why today are we helping the Russians massacre civilians by arming a resistance that has the swastika tattooed on its forearm?

And the Constitution, which was never fully applied, is now in danger because its enemies are in the majority. They are those impoverished by neoliberal capitalism and financial policies, they are those who were bombarded for forty years by Berlusconian television, who no longer remember that the Constitution proclaims that we are all equal, regardless of differences in income, race and religion, and that private property is only legitimate when it does not go against the interests of the majority.

But the Italian people were not always so forgetful, so bitter, so sad, nervous, angry, and therefore racist and even a bit silly. There was a time when the bosses could not lightly fire workers who joined a union, because there was solidarity among the workers, and because it was easy to make friends, not like today when no one smiles on the street and we are ready to destroy ourselves, because precariousness has transformed workers into miserable competitors who are afraid of losing their jobs, and so they are willing to work twelve hours a day like slaves. A shitty life that is no longer worth living!

A people of angry depressives who are going to vote for someone who promises to recover a lost honour that never existed, and who promises to increase the number of Africans drowned at sea so that they do not come to land on our sacred shores, and who promises them war, and more war, and more war.

And meanwhile, it’s hot, we are dying of heat, and the rivers are trickles of water, while water begins to be scarce, gasoline costs five times more, the price of gas increases every day, if you get sick you can’t find a doctor because health care was privatised, and if you finished in what promised to be a professional career, the only job you can get is not enough to pay the rent. And you know what I tell you?

Let us desert. Let us close everything. Let us boycott the war that destroys resources and forces the reopening of coal-fired plants, waiting for someone to trigger a nuclear attack.

Let us occupy all the schools, all the faculties in all the universities. Let us do as the young people of End Fossil suggest: Let’s occupy! Occupy!

Let us create spaces of friendship, spaces to project a possible future, where knowledge is at the service of collective well-being, and not of war.


[1] Text from the Hymn to Rome, with music by Puccini. Work of Fausto Salvatori, inspired by the Carmen saeculare, by Horace (Fifth Orazio Flacco), poet of the 1st century B.C.

[2] The Song of the Italians, known as Fratelli d’Italia or Mameli’s Hymn, was written by the then student and patriot Goffredo Mameli in 1847. In that same year he sent the text to Turin to be set to music by the Genoese master Michele Novaro, who immediately liked it. The Anthem was publicly premiered on December 10, 1847 in Genoa, presented to the population in the square of the sanctuary of Our Lady of Loreto, in the Oregina neighbourhood, during the commemoration of the revolt of the Genoese neighbourhood of Portoria, against the Augsburg occupants. On that occasion it was performed by the Sestrese Philharmonic.

[3] The Battle of Caporetto, known in Italy and abroad also as the ‘defeat’ or ‘debacle of Caporetto’, was a confrontation fought on the Italian front of World War I, between the joint forces of the Austro-Hungarian and German armies , against the Italian Regio Esercito. The attack led to the most serious defeat in the history of the Italian Army, the collapse of entire battalions and the complete withdrawal to the Piave River. The defeat led to almost 300,000 prisoners and 350,000 who fled, to the point that in Italian the term Caporetto is used to describe a capitulation, a defeat or a debacle.

[4] O Gorizia tu sei maledetta, is an antimilitarist and anarchist song composed during the First World War. Gorizia is a city in the Italian Northeast, on the border with Slovenia.

[5] Faced with the displeasure and complaints of some important military collaborators (among them Pietro Badoglio, Dino Grandi, Galeazzo Ciano and General Enrico Caviglia) the Duce replied: “I only need a few thousand dead to be able to sit at the negotiating table.”

[6] https://youtu.be/4PLCjiekvYc

[7] https://it.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mediterraneo_%28film%29

[8] The last session of the Grand Council of Fascism, which led to the fall of the fascist regime, lasted ten hours, from 5:00 p.m. on July 24, 1943 to 2:00 a.m. on July 25, and ended with the approval of the order of the day proposed by Dino Grandi, who urged to return of the king to the “effective command” of the armed forces, giving Victor Emmanuel III the constitutional basis for the dismissal and arrest of Mussolini. The official record of this historic meeting does not exist because, by express will of Mussolini, no record of the speeches was kept.

[9] https://www.maremagnum.com/libri-antichi/salo-vita-e-morte-della-repubblica-sociale-italiana/163095594