January 28, 2013

"Thus, the racial laws are the worst fault of Mussolini, who, in so many other aspects, did good."

"It is difficult now to put oneself in the shoes of who was making decisions back then.... Certainly the (Italian) government then, fearing that German power would turn into a general victory, preferred to be allied with Hitler's Germany rather than oppose it."

Berlusconi on Mussolini.

Later he said he "regretted" not conditioning his remarks on the "condemnation of dictatorships."

41 comments:

edutcher said...

Benny wasn't the guy with a chip on his shoulder Dolf was, but the Italians were very happy to see him go.

Berlusconi should have known better.

McTriumph said...

Hitler made the trains run on time, don't forget VW.

McTriumph said...

Hitler liked dogs.

ricpic said...

Berlusconi praises Mussolini but Obama goes him one better and emulates Mussolini.

tiger said...

Plus he made the trains run on time.

Yeah, Mussolini did so much good a mob killed him and hung him by his feet from a lamp post.

furious_a said...

Plus he made the trains run on time.

If you've ever taken passenger trains through Italy you know what a big deal that really is.

Craig said...

Imagine the Prussian Navy with hotels on both Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues. When I visited Potsdam in 2002 I walked for about a mile along the fence of a mothballed East German navy base on the Spree to get to the Schloss Sansoucci. The Schloss had been in mothballs under the communists, but it was bursting into bloom when I was there. I especially liked the Roman baths that still have coins on display engraved with the image of Minerva. If it were my choice, I'd put a world class golf course there.

edutcher said...
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edutcher said...
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Oso Negro said...

Mussolini was quite the socialist fop in his day. No surprise that a certain sentiment lingers in Italy. Goodness knows they have seen worse.

Pogo said...

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

edutcher said...

Sorry about that. Blogger's acting weird.

tiger said...

Plus he made the trains run on time.

Yeah, Mussolini did so much good a mob killed him and hung him by his feet from a lamp post.


Doesn't count, they were Communists.

McTriumph said...

Hitler made the trains run on time, don't forget VW.

According to DayByDay, he made the ovens run on time.

wyo sis said...

What we now think of as "good" is horrifying.

rcocean said...

That's giving Musso took much credit. Musso was afraid if he stood by in June 1940 he wouldn't get any spoils from the soon to be held (he thought) German-UK peace talks. Once the tide turned, he should have bailed out on Hitler, but stayed too late.

Given how many Italians died in his unnecessary war, I don't blame them for shooting Musso and hanging his corpse out for abuse.

McTriumph said...

Europe's fascist axis leaders had great tailoring, till they made the ovens run on time.

Maguro said...

Not only did he make the trains run on time, he also kicked Ethiopia's ass. So there's that.

Lydia said...

Mussolini has gotten something of a pass, at least in part, because he seemed a comical character.

According to his mistress's diaries, though, he boasted of his racism and hatred of Jews. And he began their systematic disenfranchisement as early as 1938.

In the end, though, he was able to give Hitler only about 8,000 Jews.

Eustace Chilke said...

In the thirties Mussolini was all the rage in lefty circles. Later it was found necessary to fix fascists and nazis on the right end of the political spectrum in official mythology which cost the left two or three poster boys in the late twentieth century.

This is nothing like as inconvenient for them as actually ceasing to emulate Mussolini would be. There may be one or two around today whom future lefties will find it necessary to pretend not to recognize as their forebearers. Who knows?

Howard said...

Ft Eustace Virginia

Them Nazis killed millions and millions red commies bastards, way more than your heros tail-gunner Joe and Ronny Reagan combined!

rcocean said...

"Them Nazis killed millions and millions red commies bastards, way more than your heros tail-gunner Joe and Ronny Reagan combined!"

Wow, talk about a desperate troll screech for attention. Don't ignore Howard folks, he REALLY WANTS IT. PAY ATTENTION TO HOWARD.

William said...

I understand that Mussolini's mistress was Jewish. He probably had more than one, but she was the one who ghost wrote his autobiography....I've never read much about Mussolini, but his early regime was not particularly hostile to Jews and he had a number of Jewish supporters. Later, he was certainly willing to go along with Hitler's anti-semitism. In a way, I suppose that makes him even more venal and evil than Hitler. Hitler's anti-semitism was sincere; Mussolini's was a tactic.....I don't know Berlusconi's politics, but he looks a little like Mussolini so it would be easy to tar him as a fascist. That might be unfair. Like the alleged socialist, DSK, I don't think politics ever got in the way of his real pursuit in life.

YoungHegelian said...

I won't go so far as to say that without Mussolini there wouldn't have been a Hitler, but it's close.

We remember Mussolini as being somehow the Curly Joe DeRita of Fascism, but that's not the truth.

Mussolini was an amazing combo of politician & ideological theoretician, and his rise to power proceeded Hitler's by quite a few years. As a theoretician, Mussolini in his socialist years was admired by Lenin, and as a Fascist, he was the leading theoretician of those (including the young Hitler) who sought to build a modern Europe under the sway of neither Bolshevism nor capitalism.

But he has a lot more to answer for than just the race laws of the war years, such as leading the Italian people into a disastrous war that ended in 1945 with the Germans & Allies still fighting each other on Italian soil with the Italians taking the brunt of it.

YoungHegelian said...

My father was stationed in Italy with the 1st Armor Div during WWII. Our family has a photo taken by him at the very scene of Mussolini & his mistress hanging by their heels in the square with the crowd around them.

Lem said...
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Indigo Red said...

McTriumph said...
Hitler made the trains run on time, don't forget VW.
...
Hitler liked dogs.


Yes, yes. But no one ever remembers Hitler's biggest contribution to the world - Project Heidi
.

McTriumph said...

Indigo
Unfortunately, Hitler lost sight of his humanitarian goal of providing love for the lonely.

rastajenk said...

It's Marge Schott Redux!

rastajenk said...

It's Marge Schott Redux!

Bob_R said...

Statists of various stripes have gravitated toward totalitarian collectivists for a century of so. Berlusconi's statement is much more benign than Thomas Friedman's slurping of the Chicoms.

Of course, Jonah Goldberg filled his daughter's college fund by putting lots of these stories in his book Liberal Fascism. The best parts of are about the first half of the 20th century. He included the line from Cole Porter's "You're the Top" (inserted by P.G. Whoodhouse for the UK version of the musical Anything Goes) You're the top/You're Mussolini. That was considered, at worst, a backhanded compliment at the time. (It was paired with You're Mrs. Sweeney - referring to Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, who was, uhhh, the Paris Hilton of her day.)

Jose_K said...

But american academics can praise Lenin and Stalin without consecuences

Jose_K said...

But american academics can praise Lenin and Stalin without consecuences

EMD said...

Berlusconi? Is he relevant?

Larry J said...

Hitler liked dogs.

And children, too, so long as they weren't Jewish, mentally retarded, Jehovah's Witness, Gypsy or gay.

Yeah, Mussolini did so much good a mob killed him and hung him by his feet from a lamp post.

One of America's problems is our underutilization of lamp posts.

Rich Hill said...

He was no Francisco Franco, that's for sure.

traditionalguy said...

The spirit in the air in the EU and Italy is a whiff of the glories of Rome. And all the EU lacks is a new Caesar like Mussolini claimed to be.

Caesar Benito was only the forerunner for the real Pontifex Maximus who arose from The Bertesgarden Region on the Austrian side of the Alps.

Paul said...

"Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again."

Bertolt Brecht

And so it beings.. Europe one day will want another dictator to fix their problems, with the same sad results.

EMD said...

Mussolini no love lamp.

Crimso said...

"He was no Francisco Franco, that's for sure."

Perhaps, but I heard on the news that they're both still dead.

Crunchy Frog said...

Not only did he make the trains run on time, he also kicked Ethiopia's ass. So there's that.

And in turn got his ass kicked by Greece and Albania. Hitler had to divert troops from the Eastern Front to deal with the fact that the Italians couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

Steve Koch said...

Bidenesque gaffe by Berlusconi.

The wikipedia bio of Mussolini is very interesting. Turns out that Mussolini, the son of a hardcore socialist, was also a hardcore socialist. At the start of WWI, Mussolini wanted Italy to intervene on the side of the UK, primarily because he thought that the war would accelerate socialist change in various countries. The bulk of Italian socialists vehemently disagreed with Mussolini. This led him to give up on Italian socialism, invent national socialism (NAZI) and appropriate and reconfigure fascism.

Mussolini wrote:
"The nation has not disappeared. We used to believe that the concept was totally without substance. Instead we see the nation arise as a palpitating reality before us! ... Class cannot destroy the nation. Class reveals itself as a collection of interests—but the nation is a history of sentiments, traditions, language, culture, and race. Class can become an integral part of the nation, but the one cannot eclipse the other.
The class struggle is a vain formula, without effect and consequence wherever one finds a people that has not integrated itself into its proper linguistic and racial confines—where the national problem has not been definitely resolved. In such circumstances the class movement finds itself impaired by an inauspicious historic climate."

Mussolini realized that class warfare was not going to work in Italy but thought that appeals to nationalism and racism would be more effective in mobilizing the revolution that he thought was essential to fixing Italy.

It is interesting that fasci, prior to Mussolini glomming onto them, were not particularly ideological but rather were bundles (which is what fascio means) of people with different political beliefs who collected together in a fascio to accomplish one thing that they happened to agree on (which seemed to be revolution).

EMD said...

I didn't realize Berlusconi joined the apologentsia.