By Joshua Arthurs, Michael Ebner, Kate Ferris
This booklet explores the complicated ways that humans lived and labored in the confines of Benito Mussolini’s regime in Italy, variously embracing, appropriating, accommodating and averting the regime’s incursions into daily life. The contributions spotlight the studies of standard Italians – midwives and schoolchildren, colonists and squaddies – over the process the Fascist period, in settings starting from the road to the farm, and from the kitchen to the police station. while, this quantity additionally presents a framework for realizing the Italian event with regards to different totalitarian dictatorships in twentieth-century Europe and beyond.
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Additional info for The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy: Outside the State?
67 Although violence was sometimes driven by private motivations, it always acquired a social and political meaning. Reaching a position of power— because it also meant support for the party—was deemed virtuous and not the result of mere ambition: greed, for example, in this way became a fair pretense and took on positive political value. 68 At other times, however, squadrista violence did not originate from personal vendettas but rather popped up suddenly for reasons that were, on the surface, banal and smacked of stunts and cruel tricks.
120 On the one hand, this convergence of views prevented many groups within the ruling classes, as well as within the bourgeoisie, from recognizing the seditious motives of Fascism and its eventual plan to take control of the state. On the other hand, without such support, we would be unable to explain the expansion and significant legitimization that Fascism enjoyed as it was seizing power. In many ways, squadrismo represented a response to a largely artificial democratization. 121 At the same time, Fascism—and its use of political violence—constituted a new ORIGINS 41 and disturbing phenomenon.
118 If Fascism was able to become a mass movement, it was in part because it knew how to respond—even if it was through the violence of squadrismo—to widespread fears, anxieties, and expectations that the war and the process of democratization had accentuated; it provided satisfying answers to the fears, as well as to the aspirations, of the bourgeoisie. 119 Through the radicalization of political and social conflict, squadrismo served as a kind of political and symbolic ritual, aimed at reinstating—even if in different forms—social order.