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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #301 - Culture, Read: When Berneri deciphered the "actor" Mussoloni(fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 5 Feb 2020 08:27:00 +0200

The publication of Camillo Berneri's previously unpublished writings in French is very good news, both because the work of this philosopher and militant Italian libertarian communist is little known, and because his analyzes question the current era as much as the years of Mussolinian fascism. ---- It is from a factual angle that Berner's observations provide the most insight. On reading these writings, many similarities appear between facts, characters, media processes past and present. Berneri saw in "Mussolini[...]a great politician in so far as he is a great actor" . He acutely described the theatrical and gestural mechanisms which the duke used and abused. Mussolini somehow assumed this role of clerk, charged with incensing and disseminating the attributes of power. He played this role and identified himself with it during solemn ceremonies meticulously orchestrated by him. Before the war, Italy had known "openpicks, adventurers, vulgar opportunists.""Mussolini, however, managed to rise to the national level, where others had confined themselves to the local. This change of scale signified fascism: "there were grand spectacle ceremonies[but]they did not have the frequency and staging of post-war ones" . Berneri described very well this mechanism which irrigated both the great ceremonies and the daily life of the duce, offering a sanctifying coherence of the chief. This movement was certainly not possible without the support of Italian capitalism.

With this reissue by Miguel Chueca, this book subjects an uncompromising criticism to an anthology of postures and writings to the glory of Mussolini. All the great rhetorical figures are analyzed: the cult of man, the glorification of work, of the fatherland and above all the omnipresent image of the chief. It was D'Annunzio who built the embryonic and demiurgic forms of the spectacular future of fascism. The grandiloquence and splendor offered to the eyes in fact concealed the poverty of the content. Everything is served with persuasiveness as the arguments are so poor. Oratory art was to fascinate by resting on postures and decorum. "In March 1919, Mussolini had no program to present at the first beam congress." Mussolini began"At the head of his small army, but he soon led him to deny his origins[...], He led him to pay the industrial and agrarian plutocracy."

Berneri considered that "thewhole Italian situation led to the dictatorship, determined the different phases of fascism.[...]To believe that all this was the product of the will and the intelligence of only one man is childish." Mussolini "was only the main author of a whole policy of crushing the working forces." Let us beware that history repeats itself! Nowadays too, there is no shortage of "open-minded, adventurous and vulgar opportunists" .

Let Camillo Berneri leave the honor of the conclusion: "Comedy is always dramatized. What will be the disaster?"

D. Sureau (UCL Angers)

Camillo Berneri, Against Fascism , Selected Texts (1923-1937), edition established by Miguel Chueca, Agone, August 2019, 384 pages, 22 euros.

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