Disconcerting News

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Disconcerting News

Postby Dracofrost » Thu May 01, 2008 8:04 am

Link

The Guardian wrote:Italy's new parliament met for the first time yesterday with applause for Rome's mayor-elect, Gianni Alemanno, a day after followers celebrated his triumph with straight-arm salutes and fascist-era chants.

Alemanno, a former neo-fascist youth leader, took 54% of the vote in a run-off on Sunday and Monday, crushing his rival, Francesco Rutelli, a deputy prime minister in the last, centre-left government.

Silvio Berlusconi, who won a general election earlier this month, welcomed the latest evidence of Italy's leap to the right by declaring: "We are the new Falange." Although he took care to wrap his remark in a classical context, his choice of words appeared to be a nod and a wink to his most extreme supporters.

Link to this audio
John Hooper reports from Rome on the election as mayor of far right Gianni Alemanno

The original Falange - the word means "phalanx" - was the Spanish fascist party, founded in the 1930s, which supplied Francisco Franco's dictatorship with its ideological underpinning.

The prime minister-elect's closest ally, Umberto Bossi, the Northern League leader, kept up the intimidating rhetoric, arriving for the first session of Italy's parliament warning of violence if the centre-left did not go along with his plans for federalism.

"I don't know what the left wants [but] we are ready," he told reporters. "If they want conflicts, I have 300,000 men always on hand."

On Monday night, the area around Rome's city hall rang to chants of "Duce! Duce!", the term adopted by Italy's dictator, Benito Mussolini, equivalent to the German "Führer". Supporters of the new mayor gave the fascist Roman straight-arm salutes.

Alemanno, however, has promised to be the mayor of all Romans. He yesterday sent telegrams to both the Pope and the Chief Rabbi. Rome's Jewish community was shaken by the prospect of a mayor with Alemanno's record. During the campaign, there was a protest aimed at him in the city's old Jewish ghetto, where many of the city's Jews still live.


As if there weren't enough problems with the political right in America, now Italy joins the act and tries to one up us...
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Re: Disconcerting News

Postby Rapscallion » Thu May 01, 2008 4:32 pm

Were they seriously giving him fascist salutes? Not mocking him or anything??
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Re: Disconcerting News

Postby Dracofrost » Thu May 01, 2008 5:49 pm

Well, they did elect the guy, so I'm thinking it was serious. Though in historical context those are Roman salutes too, which we used as well until they became so strongly associated with Fascism.
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Re: Disconcerting News

Postby Rapscallion » Thu May 01, 2008 7:20 pm

I did not know that, although it would make sense that the Third Reich would run around with that.
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Re: Disconcerting News

Postby Dracofrost » Thu May 01, 2008 8:57 pm

Especially when you realize that by third 'reich' they meant third realm, as in the third iteration of the Roman Empire (the Holy Roman Empire being the second iteration, even though it was neither holy, nor roman, nor an empire). Thus the focus on ultra conservatism and backwards traditional values like racism and xenophobia.
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Re: Disconcerting News

Postby Rapscallion » Thu May 01, 2008 11:36 pm

I thought the Second Reich was PreWWI Germany.
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Re: Disconcerting News

Postby Dracofrost » Fri May 02, 2008 12:24 am

...Oops. Heh. Yeah, that... got that mixed up. The Holy Roman Empire was the 'First Reich', the German Empire of WWI era the Second...
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Re: Disconcerting News

Postby Rapscallion » Fri May 02, 2008 7:27 am

Yeah, I took a class in this senior year in High school. It was called "Germany/Soviet Union." It started with the czarships of Russia, then went into the second reich of Germany, then went over the communist revolution in Russia, then went into the third reich. It was a cool class, and the teacher was pretty knowledgeable about the topic.
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