Still frequent today in the Italian political-media arena, the use of the term 'fascist' as an epithet aimed at opponents who do not proclaim themselves to be such, in order to discredit them in the eyes of democratic public opinion, is a custom in the history of Italian Republic. 'Fascist' has thus become an inflated insult, since over the years it has been addressed to a multitude of different political subjects. At the same time, its meaning has become increasingly blurred, losing relevance to the historical phenomenon to which it refers. In recent times, a paradigmatic case was recorded between the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century, when the alarm over a flowering fascist threat was reiterated with regard to Silvio Berlusconi's government. After the end of the First Republic, the profound transformation of the political framework, and Berlusconi's entry onto the scene, the category of fascism was in fact relaunched in an attempt to delegitimise a right-wing coalition that in turn sometimes retracted the values of anti-fascism. By examining the political-media debate of the period between the birth of Forza Italia and the fall of the last Berlusconi's government, the aim of the essay is to highlight these tendencies to actualise the past, bending it to one's own needs, with effects that are still visible in today's scenario of political communication.

The ‘Fascist Threat’ in Berlusconi’s Italy / Matteo Pasetti. - In: JOURNAL OF MODERN ITALIAN STUDIES. - ISSN 1354-571X. - STAMPA. - 3:(2024), pp. 1-19.

The ‘Fascist Threat’ in Berlusconi’s Italy

Matteo Pasetti
2024

Abstract

Still frequent today in the Italian political-media arena, the use of the term 'fascist' as an epithet aimed at opponents who do not proclaim themselves to be such, in order to discredit them in the eyes of democratic public opinion, is a custom in the history of Italian Republic. 'Fascist' has thus become an inflated insult, since over the years it has been addressed to a multitude of different political subjects. At the same time, its meaning has become increasingly blurred, losing relevance to the historical phenomenon to which it refers. In recent times, a paradigmatic case was recorded between the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century, when the alarm over a flowering fascist threat was reiterated with regard to Silvio Berlusconi's government. After the end of the First Republic, the profound transformation of the political framework, and Berlusconi's entry onto the scene, the category of fascism was in fact relaunched in an attempt to delegitimise a right-wing coalition that in turn sometimes retracted the values of anti-fascism. By examining the political-media debate of the period between the birth of Forza Italia and the fall of the last Berlusconi's government, the aim of the essay is to highlight these tendencies to actualise the past, bending it to one's own needs, with effects that are still visible in today's scenario of political communication.
2024
The ‘Fascist Threat’ in Berlusconi’s Italy / Matteo Pasetti. - In: JOURNAL OF MODERN ITALIAN STUDIES. - ISSN 1354-571X. - STAMPA. - 3:(2024), pp. 1-19.
Matteo Pasetti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/969606
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