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Me Ne Frego ( I don't give a damn ) was the motto of the fascist militia during the 1930's. Nothing ideological here, I hasten to say: it's just for the fun of playing with graphic symbols.

Anyway, unlike the swastika and nazism, Roman fasces - the origin for the word fascist, of course - aren't considered as specfically refering to fascism in countries with a Latin culture and background and their representation isn't actually forbiden by European laws. If you can find them here and there as ornaments on the facades of buildings and monuments in Paris and other European cities, it's true though, that they haven't been used for such purpose after WWII.

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Comment by lord_k on January 21, 2012 at 3:21pm

To Larry:

Pragmatic or not, but the main principle of totalitarianism was coined in Italy and in Italian: Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato (“Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State”).

Love your (famous) last words. That's exactly the point.

Comment by Larry on January 21, 2012 at 12:46pm

I think there can be a fine line between "authoritarian" and "totalitarian." Fascism can be either, which can make it difficult to define. My understanding (which I will admit is limited) is that the German variation involved a redesigning of ALL aspects of society, including religion, into their world view. The Nazis called it "Gleichschaltung."  Whereas for the Italians it was less of an emphasis and more pragmatic as was seen with Mussolini's relations with the Vatican. So German Fascism might be called totalitarian while Italian authoritarian.

Regardless of which, I find either variation repugnant. Like comparing cow dung to horse dung. They both stink.

Comment by lord_k on January 21, 2012 at 5:42am

Leviathan:

I can only subscribe to your point of view. And use the opportunity to remind our honored colleagues that a transition from "conventional" parliamentary democracy to totalitarian corporate state in Italy didn't happen overnight - formally, it took 17 years, from 1922 to 1939.

Comment by Leviathan on January 21, 2012 at 2:25am

Fasces are obviously a much older symbol than their use during the Ventennio. It had stronger connotation in European culture than Swastika had, therefore their damnatio memoriae was both unfeasible and unnecessary. PNF wasn't the first Italian party to identify with the fasces, Fasci Siciliani being the most famous.

Anyway, while the term "totalitarianism" was created to define Fascism, in political science Fascism is considered an authoritarianism. This is mostly because the Army and, to a lesser extent the church and the King kept a share of power outside fascist control.

BTW, the Italian for "Militia" is "Milizia", like in MVSN (Milizia Volontaria di Sicurezza Nazionale, Volunteer National Security Militia).

Comment by lord_k on January 18, 2012 at 4:43am

No, it was banned in Soviet Russia, of course.

Comment by Larry on January 17, 2012 at 8:21pm

Lord K, I don't understand when you wrote, "Banned in 1923, soon after Mussolini's rise to power in Italy, as an emblem of an anticommunist party." Are you saying that Mussolini banned the use of the fasces in Italy during his reign?

Comment by lord_k on January 17, 2012 at 3:38pm

Well, a pair of fasces, probably unexpected - on the cover of Soviet Russia's first constitution, 1918:

Quite a popular symbol during Russian Civil War, just as any other symbol of the Great French Revolution ("liberty cap", etc.). Banned in 1923, soon after Mussolini's rise to power in Italy, as an "emblem of an anticommunist party. "

Comment by Larry on January 17, 2012 at 10:33am

If I may be a spoiler on something here. No one should be surprised that an Italian radio from the early 1930s should have the fasces on it. Or Italian trains from that time either. Neither example help the position of separating fasces from Fascism since the Fascists of Italy during that time were using the symbol and in fact it was their usage that associated the term with that form of totalitarianism. One would expect to find fasces on Italian artifacts from the Diesel Era just as one would expect the swastika on German items from the 1930s.

Comment by lord_k on January 17, 2012 at 8:56am

To Dr. Zarkov:

Not to mention Italian steam locos and diesel trainsets of the era.

Comment by Dr. Zarkov on January 17, 2012 at 8:09am

Even this beautyful italian TV-Set from the early 1930s used this fasces:

 

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