Term “post-fascism”: Italian special way – taz.de

In the Italian elections, the word “post-fascism” was often used for the Fratelli d’Italia party, which prevailed. What does that mean?​

Giorgia Meloni wears a mask with the colors of the Italian mask

Italy, pioneer of right-wing populism in Europe: election winner Giorgia Meloni Photo: ap

It is well known that speech and language are mutually influencing negotiation processes that make it possible to communicate. New words in current dictionaries can be indicators of social change. Would you like an example? In 1929 the word fascism appeared in the dictionary for the first time. That is exactly seven years after the Italian Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF) under Benito Mussolini Involved in forming a government in Italy in 1922, and three after it became the dictatorial state party in 1926 until it was dissolved in 1943.

“Fascism” was a self-designation of the PNF and is derived from the Italian fascio, which means “covenant”. Today the term is used to describe a nationalist, anti-democratic, right-wing movement described.

Seven years is a long time before the word became established in the German-speaking world. It’s faster online these days. Since September 24, 2022, Wikipedia has a small entry for the word: post-fascism. Of course, it correlates with the parliamentary elections in Italy, in which the post-fascist party Fratelli d’Italia has prevailed.

Post-fascism, according to the entry, is intended to designate the political currents that have emerged from historical fascism and see their roots in this legacy without wanting to overthrow the existing democratic order. So democratic fascists. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Exactly. Because here in Germany, in the USA and other democracies we speak of this phenomenon as right-wing populism.

Apt description of the phenomenon

The reasons for the Italian special path in the formation of the term are that, unlike Germany, there was no hard break with fascism and the term became socially acceptable again in 1948 by the MSI, successor party to the PNF, with the slogan “Don’t deny, don’t restore”.

As the Right-wing populism in Europe also became popular in the media, the Italians had long since had their own term for it and therefore had no need to adapt it. Perhaps it would now be appropriate to adopt the Italian term in the rest of Europe as well. He describes the phenomenon more aptly and also makes the historical continuities more obvious.

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