Editorial by Valeria Barbagallo
Suddenly I find myself in front of a page of the newspaper “Il Popolo d’Italia”, framed and hung in the office of a lawyer, with the headline on the front page “Badoglio is appointed Head of the Government” and in the bolt it says
“A proclaims to the Italians of the King Emperor who has assumed command of all the Armed Forces: Italy will find the way to rescue ”.
It is certainly suggestive to read these news especially if we place them in the historical period of great ideological, moral and dictatorial rigor.
Fascism is a political and military phenomenon that on the one hand frightens because of the innocent victims it has sown, because of social hatred and mental paralysis, on the other hand it has fascinated and exploited social consciences through the most invasive and most lethal and invasive means of weapons: The power of communication and information.
Keep thinking at bay, letting out only what was convenient to tame the subjective and collective rationality.
Mussolini knew this. He was a journalist and he understood the strength of this power.
For this he decided to found the only national newspaper, naming it after his “victims”: Il Popolo d’Italia.
It did not end well for those few philosophers and writers who tried to distance themselves from that anomalous dictatorship, which on the one hand offered security and work, order and a sense of belonging, including religious beliefs, and on the other deprived the freedom of thought and word.
The only tool to implement such a vast dictatorial organization was communication.
From the speeches from the balcony of Piazza Venezia in Rome, to the founding of the Giornale Il Popolo d’Italia, the strategic activity of the Duce was “to convince”, “to persuade”, strengthening it with the deterrent of fear and punishment.
The thing that makes you think is when we read: fascism managed to “defeat” the Cosa Nostra in Sicily.
Mussolini sent the prefect Cesare Mori to Trapani and advised him: “I hope you will be as hard on the mafia as you have been on my squadristi”.
His hardness and inflexibility was what was needed to counter the mafia phenomenon.
Mussolini also sent the magistrate Luigi Giampietro, famous for his exemplary sentences, to the Court of Appeal of Palermo.
The fight against the Mafia, however, had implications that mirror the Mafia methods.
Even non-legal systems were used, such as torture, blackmail, kidnapping of civilians, also hitting women and children.
A repression at the limit of humanity, striking the mafia on their sense of honor and family.
“Mafia has been defeated”
was propagated, and as usual the method of winning communication was leveraged, too bad that before saying it it had to get to the white-collar workers, close to the Duce: Antonio Di Giorgio, general of the army and former minister, and Alfredo Cucco member of the Grand Council of Fascism.
Indeed, some schools of thought maintain that Mussolini had to dismiss Mori from his post by placing him “at rest”, precisely because The Iron Prefect did not stop at any political etiquette.
And when he began to track down mafia members of the National Fascist Pary, it was magically time for him to retire.
Well, maybe the mafia was never defeated. Perhaps it was necessary to make him believe.
The borderline is that it was not clear whether the mafia had borrowed the method of fear, repression and social control from fascism or perhaps the opposite.
Or perhaps the fight to “win the best” ended with a tacit agreement … silent.
There are many food for thought and gaps to fill. Or they are simply two sides of the same coin.