Centro Studi Repubblica Sociale Italiana
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mercoledý 28 luglio 2021

Black-shirted Italy

Right from its constitution as a party in 1921, the Fascist Party reserved special attention to mobilising or regimenting the younger generations. After coming to power, Mussolini was obsessed with one objective: setting an anthropological revolution into motion that would regenerate the Italians’ character, deemed to have been corrupted by centuries of indolence and servility. The natural corollary to this was the need to generate a stifling consensus that invested every facet of everyday life. Thus, for example, fascism even scripted a liturgy of its own, a fundamental part of the Duce's totalitarian project. The name of the national paramilitary youth movement «Balilla» was universally adopted: from the school to the countryside, from furniture to cars while fascist liturgy became a fixed part of the commemorative national calendar. The regime also attempted to repurpose some religious holidays. Altogether, these rites were aimed at the young in order to engender a sense of belonging to the new fascist faith. Parading in uniform was viewed as a march towards the future, and the marches themselves marked stages in a "continuous revolution" aimed at laying the foundations for a "new civilization". But, naturally, the exaltation of fascist rituals and symbols went hand-in-hand with the regime’s determination to stamp out foreign habits and expressions that were extraneous to the supposed "Latin tradition".

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