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T. A. Jackson @TAJackson20
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Forgive my tardiness, but this has been one of the worst months in my life.
I'm sure you've had enough time by now to catch up, so let's just read

A. James Gregor's "Mussolini's Intellectuals"
Doctrinal Continuity and the Fascist Social Republic
We begin with things going poorly.
It turned out that philosophical Idealism had a few downsides.
Mussolini did have his priorities in order though: he wanted to end the Eastern Front to focus on defeating the Anglos. Unfortunately, Hitler wasn't good at strategy.
Mussolni's foreign policy was pathetic and Hitler was delusional about his chances. The King decides that he's had enough of this.
The army refused this, as they were disgusted by the idea of surrendering to Anglos and switched allegiance to Germany. Principled, but stupid.
Mussolini is ready to quit, but Hitler just isn't accepting reality, so il Duce has to find a way to land this plane crash.
The solution was to double down and create the Italian Social Republic. Why was it called a "social" republic? Because it was socialist, duh.
Granted, circumstances forced it to be *racist* socialism, but you take what you can get.
Most people don't really believes in this, but institutional inertia is a powerful force, even when your institution is losing a world war.
The whole RSI was a clown show from the start. There were liberals in the government, for fuck's sake.
Faced with this, Mussolini runs out of fucks to give and goes FULLCOMMUNISM, even against the wishes of his Germanic overlords.
Knowing that you're going to fail is liberating because you don't have to worry about pragmatic considerations and can be as fanatical as you like. Mussolini certainly takes advantage of this.
And it's here where Gregor takes time to reiterate to us, now that we see the final result, that fascism was from the very beginning conceived of as a means to socialism.
The policy, as I've said earlier, is a weird kind of socialism that reminds me of some bizarro-universe My Posting Career: petite-bourgeoisie can be tolerated as de-facto government functionaries, but anything too large-scale gets nationalised.
To emphasise this point, Gregor describes here what the RSI's plans were if, by some miracle, they survived the war.
Of course, most people would laugh at this notion, even before Dinesh D'Souza ruined everything by being an idiot, so Gregor provides an exhaustive list of evidence.
(seriously, I have to stitch together so many pages here to excise all the lines of footnotes)
Anyway, let's skip ahead for a bit to the end of this lecture and resume with what happened next.
Mussolini's decision seems pretty good in hindsight: Italy still has neo-fascist parties to this day.
In fact, Italy still has the Mussolini family in politics. ( @Ale_Mussolini_ )
It gets overshadowed by his controversies with the Catholic Church (and being murdered by anti-fascists after advocating for their speech rights, lol) but Giovanni Gentile also thought this way.
As were most of the others.
Many such cases.
More tracing of the intellectual currents that led to the RSI. In this case, we find an eminently sensible policy for any polity that only the mad could object to. Alas, there are many of them, and they do.
Being that it's been half the book since then, Gentile reminds us of what Spirito's plan was and why Italy didn't follow through on it right away.
Man, why don't we ever see stuff like this in alternate history? Why is it all just Nazis and Confederates?
Anyway, skipping several pages that were already covered in previous chapters (I think this book is written to be read in any order, which sadly entails a fair bit of repetition) we get this absolute gem.

Sorry, #NazBol gang, but that's actually just regular Fascism.
Pellizzi wasn't a black sheep either.
This, my friends, is what we in the arts call "dramatic irony."
Again, a lot of mature fascist doctrine was formed around the problem of the Great Depression.
All that is just a long way to explain how the RSI established explicit socialism and why it made sense.
Of course, this socialism didn't work, in no small part because radically reorganising your country in the middle of a total war is a stupid idea and the Germans recognised this.
But, of course, we all know what happened in the end: Anglos ruined everything. Again.
Next time: "What did we learn from this?"
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