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T. A. Jackson @TAJackson20
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Well, now that I've ranted on for way longer than I should, It's time for books.

A James Gregor's "Mussolini's Intellectuals"
Camillo Pellizzi, Carlo Costamagna, and the Final Issues
(This chapter's title is a filthy lie; we have two chapters after this.)

Anyway, last time: Panunzio was good with technicalities, but not quite good enough to reconcile Gentile's non-transcendental idealism (read: pantheism) with the Catholic Church.
In the mean time, everyone from Mussolini down got overconfident given how comparatively nonsensical the ideology of their enemies was, and this led to some very questionable foreign policy decisions.
(Reminder: Italy repudiated its alliance with Great Britain. I appreciate the principle, but never bet against the Anglo.)
Remember earlier how I alluded to doubts that any state dedicated to the general will as an organising principle rather than absolutism with subsidiarity and delegation would turn into a bureaucratic clusterfuck?

I need a laughingMaxWeber.gif
The replacement is this guy, He's in the chapter title, so let's see what he does.
Well, that's interesting. Panunzio spent years trying and failing to resolve the contradictions here. How does Pellizi do it?
Reminder of what, exactly, the problem was:
Journey with me back to a magical time before Vatican II when the church just said "fuck you" to anyone who wanted to be 'reasonable' about compromising.

Guess what? It worked.
Ah, so that's how be managed to be both: by not really believing in either.
Also: Gentile is right, there's a massive problem of conflicting authorities that Catholic Europe had that dates back to at least the Investiture Controversy. Or at least there was until the nation-state decisively won. You live in the results. Therefore:
But let's not get sidetracked by me advocating for literal Papal Supremacy, this is about Pellizzi and his role in fascist doctrinal development.

Or not, I suppose, because he seems a relatively conservative figure so far.
Remember when this ideology was supposed to be about concretising the general will by fusing the population of Italy into an unbroken continuum of corporative worker-capitalists?

Well, it failed like every Rousseauian project ever. If they'd won, it'd be "not real fascism."
Don't misunderstand, this is actually good; the problem is the systemic deception and word games played to justify it all.
Like this, for instance. It leaves a foul taste in my mouth, even with the wonderful Anglo-bashing.
Another salient characteristic of fascism that hasn't really been focused on before now: the much-maligned militarism was the result of a Darwinian take on the First World War.
See, this is the sort of informalism that would've really caused problems down the road if the fascist regime had lasted.
I wish Gregor had gone into more detail about this; the reproduction of elites is one of the most crucial questions for any political order.

Oh well, it's probably in one of the other books he wrote in the last 50+ years of writing about fascism.
Again, this is all a fine example of delegation and practical ruling, but they keep insisting that this is "representative" and "democratic" somehow. It's farcical.
Hey, remember when all the libs laughed at Moldbug saying that fascism's problems were caused by its demotic foundation?

They were wrong, like always.
But, disregarding the theory, in practice the fascists did a great deal better than any other modern system.

(The exception is Ugo Spirito, who you may remember from Chapter 6. He gets to test out his alternative in the Italian Social Republic, which we'll discuss later.)
In the end, it worked excellently at everything that wasn't "winning major wars." Unfortunately, that's probably the worst single thing to be incompetent at.

Second, @neoabsolutism was right; "democracy" really is a nonsense word.
How did we go 176 pages in a book about Italian nationalists without Rome LARPing? Glad that's rectified.
If you wondered why Mussolini said that "National pride has no need of the delirium of race.," that's because these guys were aiming much higher than the Nazis ever dreamed.

Also: weird reading about nations having a SURPLUS population problem in the current year.
(How did we go from "what will we do with all these kids?" to "oh God, there's no one left to pay the Social Security besides immigrants," you ask? Well, feminism is a hell of a Drug. Thanks, McGeorge Bundy.)
Back to the book.
As much fun as it is to laugh at the ridiculous overconfidence of the intellectuals, do try to remember that Mussolini had very practical reasons for doing what he did. It was a do or die situation.
"Okay, but why not just cooperate and trade with the existing imperial powers," you might ask?

Because that had a very poor track record, so "get rich or die trying" was the plan, and we all know what happened then.
Amusingly, Italy is influenced into this extremely poor decision by the most LUCID of the Nazis.
Not that Schmitt was received entirely uncritically by pre-war Fascism, you understand. If you've been following so far, you can probably guess what the '35 objections were.
First, Schmitt basically makes distinction between hard-power and soft-power empires.
>mfw I realise that the Nazis were just LARPing as burgers. 😰
Strange how the exact opposite happened, but he was still kinda right.
Schmitt's ideas are worth noting to the Italians, but not worth practical concern. But, if they had so little influence, why spend multiple pages mentioning them? Let's find out.
The purpose of mentioning Schmitt was to contrast Italian with German geopolitical ideology.
(A grim side note on the last paragraph: Italian Nationalism started as Anglo-LARPing, and I guess that never really went away)
"The word 'racism' was invented by communists! It's always been a snarl-word!"
t. whigger nationalists.
But, as an interesting detour, Giovanni Gentile wasn't cool with this at all, and it was really only done out of utilitarian concerns.
So, what, exactly, was the Fascist complaint about Schmitt specifically and National Socialism in general?

They noticed that Nazi racism was crypto-egalitarian. Try explaining THAT to normies.
Of course, whatever the German deficiencies in theoretical matters were, they were much better at Italy in the martial arts so, being that this was a world war, by '41 the Italians just had to hold their tongue and deal with it.
Predictably, this allows Nazi racist liberalism to ooze in, although it has to qualify itself to the Catholic Church because they STILL aren't taking any of this shit.

I miss those days.
Just consider how ridiculous this is. The very concept of civil war refutes it!
At least Costamagna wasn't deliberately dissembling on the religious issues. He genuinely thought that Nazi-style racism was compatible with Catholicism, and it's understandable that he was turned off by Gentile's heresy.
Said heretic being vehemently against biological racism (because philosophical idealism is the exact OPPOSITE of biological determinism) didn't help matters.
It was somewhat similar to Evola's objections to Nazi-style racism, actually.
Not-so-coincidentally, that's what we're covering next week. Don't miss it!
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