If we also take a superficial look at the topics that are at the center not only of the political debate (think of the recent election campaign) but also of the street demonstrations organized, of many “background” newspaper articles and even of numerous debates held in university venues, we find that among them stands out one that in one way or another ends up overcoming all the others at the level of “visibility” and to gather around it both the intellectual efforts and the passions of those who are committed to facing it: it is antifascism.
The widespread presence of this theme in all of the mentioned venues has gone well beyond the period of April 25th, which certainly justifies the historical memory of the liberation from dictatorship, but which perhaps should be remembered as the foundation of the Democratic Republic and only secondarily as the cessation of the authoritarian regime. Just as the Risorgimento is celebrated as the realization of the unity of Italy and only secondarily as the cessation of Habsburg, Bourbon or Papal rule.
This “antagonistic” approach to the debate, so to speak, is not in favor of (“thread”) something that is believed in and approved (democracy, individual rights, social justice, etc.). But against (“anti”) something that is condemned and hated, fascism, often ends up taking on such abstract and changing connotations in the statements of those who speak of the subject in different places, that it is difficult to recognize in most of them the description of a reality corresponding to the historical reality of the regime that was led by Benito Mussolini.
A regime whose condemnation should be part of the fundamental baggage of values of every democratic and liberal (thread) person, but whose evaluation should be correctly limited to the twenty years and its direct consequences.
So everything is fascism: racism that has unfortunately been present in humanity since time immemorial, homophobia (from Lévy-Strauss to Freud), being against all issues of civilization (gay, euthanasia, abortion,), equal dignity among religions, among associations. In contrast to the positions of abstract content that are fashionable today, fascism takes on almost transcendental characters and ends up coinciding with absolute evil.
One wonders why these positions, fully respectable as personal beliefs of individuals but questionable because of their social overexposure, are so successful in the world of media, politics and culture, bearing in mind that they leave the majority of the population almost indifferent, struggling with economic stagnation and the crisis of values and institutions, and end up becoming elite opinions.
Of course, not only in Italy today is civil and political culture increasingly dominated by extreme positions often unreasonably critical of the values on which Western civilization is based in the name of the dogmas of “political correctness”, but only in Italy does the debate assume these metaphysical and almost “fideistic” contents (such as “you have to live an anti-fascist daily life” or “look at the landscape with anti-fascist eyes”: this has also been written), which unfortunately is not only about collective phenomena but also individual (think of the homicidal madness of fathers, mothers, against innocent beings such as children who are full of chronicles).
However, this peculiarity should not come as a surprise, since it is fully part of the tradition of our country. For centuries, in fact, in the Peninsula there has been a political and civil culture based on compromises, on the variable application of laws, on the objective of maintaining social peace without displeasing too much the parties in conflict of interest (and especially the stronger ones) that has always developed in the shadow of a contrast between values as high as abstract, as absolute and “non negotiable” in theory as adaptable to different practical situations.
So the Guelphs and the Ghibellines not infrequently divided the zones of influence in the communal period (with frequent passages of field); the Inquisition decided which scientists to condemn and which to tolerate or to favor; the Italian Jacobins chose whether or not to welcome in their ranks the scions of the nobility of the ancien régime.
Last but not least, fascism itself, which demonized “plutocratic” liberal societies, discretionally decided which individual, entrepreneurial and scientific initiatives to promote and which to repress. In short, the absolute opposition “without ifs and buts” to abstract concepts has always been married in our country to compromises, only these compromises have very often been concluded “from above” by the potentates on duty, in fact stifling the legitimate confrontation between those directly concerned.
Something similar happens today, when debates on the limits to be placed on illegal immigration are contemptuously defined “racist” (meaning racism as a form of “fascism” of course), or when those on possible changes to the powers of the technocratic structures of the European Union are equally contemptuously defined “sovereign” (meaning “sovereignty” in the same way), and the examples could continue.