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January 14, 2021 103 mins
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Speaker 1 (00:03):
What's overthrowing my democratically elected state. I'm Robert Evans. This
is Behind the Bastards, a podcast about the worst people
in all of history. And we are, of course recording
in the immediate wake of what I think can fairly
be called an insurrection by fascist dominated right wing militants um.

And in the immediate wake of that, I sat down
with my producer Sophie. Sophie say, hi, Now, not literally
sit down together because of the plague, but we we
got on a text chat and I was like, you know,
this fascist insurrection against the democratically elected government has a
lot of similarities with other fascist insurrections against democratically elected governments.

Perhaps we should talk about the history of fascist insurrections
against democratically elected governments in order to better prepare people
for what needs to be done in the wake of
this to stop them from succeeding the next time. And
of course, once we had that idea, the only person
we could possibly bring on was our good friend Jason Petty,
a k A PROP. What what the LICKU read? What's
up with that failed nation state? How y'all feeling like? Literally?

I think I text PROP and I was like, hey,
I want to do this, and like it was like, yes, yeah,
no brainer. It's like they're so like you know, Robert myself,
anybody else who has like a seventh grade level understanding
of history has been like kind of flaring their arms
like the crazy scientists in every movie. That's like, y'all,

the aliens are coming. Guys, I don't understand how come
nobody is seeing us telling y'all, we're standing on our
heads yelling at you like this is point for point,
like bar for bar, point for point. We've seen this before,
and I don't understand what you don't understand. Yeah, how

did this? Because I've been warning about this for quite
a while and uh that it could happen here, and
people continuously are like, I can't believe you predicted this,
and it's like nobody predicted this. Everyone who was paying
attention was like, oh, this is obviously going to happen

because thousands of people are promising to do this. Yes,
it's like the dog. My favorite one, my favorite meme
going around was one with Ron Burgundy. He was like, wow,
that estalated slowly over the past ten years, like yeah,
I know, I can't believe these people did exactly what

they said they was gonna do. This is crazy, Yeah,
it's it's very frustrating. Um. And so you know, the
reason we decided to do the special mini series Behind
the Insurrections is that I think historically that's what this
is called. That you're listening to the insurrection, Yeah, you

and I did a similar thing last year when the
uprising against the police started, where we kind of talked
about the history of the police, and I thought that
was useful to inform people both the context of why
folks were angry for a lot of folks who maybe
had never really thought that much about the police and
didn't understand all the hatred. UM. And I also thought
it was useful because understanding, you know, the history of
something that you want to fight, is useful in fighting it. Um,

whether it's the police state or a fascist insurrection. And
understanding what other fascists have done throughout history and where
they've succeeded and failed, and how the people opposing those
fascists have succeeded or failed is important both for us
to know what's coming next and to avoid making the
same mistakes that other people made in the past that
led to them being ruled by fascists, which I'd like

to avoid. So naturally we're gonna start with Rome, right yeah, yeah, yeah,
we're we're gonna be starting with my old friend Benito,
m Um big Benny as no one has any move
Yeah yeah. The thing that I like, I mean, we're

gonna get into this, but like off jump the in
in my hopes to like, you know, help people figure
out ways in roads too, you know, their family members
who have been cooked by this, Like fascist movement is
like is dig inside of you and understand what it

feels like to be disenfranchised and what it feels like
to feel like you've been left behind by those that
are supposed to take care of you. And if you
can understand that, you know, coupled with a person having
really non powerful antennas to know that they're being fed bullshit,

you know what I'm saying. Um, then I feel like
you're you're like you're you're starting to get on. There's
manual asked to like how to not let yourself and
you trying to stop a fascist regime not incensing and
creating martyrs out of them and confirming their feelings that uh,
you know, Airby against them. You know what I'm saying.

It's just it's a matter of like getting behind that
and being like, Okay, if this election was stolen, that
would suck. You're right, that would suck if that was true.
It's yeah, not though it's not. Yeah, it's not, it's not.
It's like, yeah, I mean, if a bunch of Satan
worshiping pedophile wizards were eating all of our children, that

would be a problem. We should fight that. But that's
not happening. It's just not true. Bro. Yeah, the real
pedophiles in power are more like the guy you think
is the second Coming. Um. But yeah, yeah, so let's
let's let's talk about old old Benito Mussolini. Um moves.

I started thinking about Benito as I was watching live
stream footage of people breaking through the capital barricades and
into offices with zip ties and weapons. Um. And I
know that while this was happening, in the immediate wake
of it, a lot of people started bringing up historical comparisons,
and unfortunately, I think a ton of those historic comparisons
were bad. We're the wrong ones. To make a good

example of this would be a ton of people who
compared the events of the sixth to Krystal knocked the
Night of Broken Glass. UM, and I think everyone here
knows what that is. For those that don't listening, it
was a pegram, which is a racial amass, racial assault
like on members of a specific race basically, UM, that

was instituted by the Nazi government against Jewish people in Germany.
Hundreds of synagogues and Jewish owned businesses were burnt down
on the space of a night. UM. Hundreds of people
were killed. Um. And it was a nationwide racial attack
carried out at the government's behest right. UM, that's not
what we saw on the set. It's not this. Yeah

and yeah, probably the most prominent person to make that
comparison was our current governor or former governor of California
and current Arnold Schwartzenegger. Arnold Schwarzenegger UM, whose video otherwise
had some really good stuff in it about Yeah, I
was gonna say, I kind of dig it in the
sense of, like the way he was talking about the
remorse of people that was a part of it. I
think if he was gonna pull the Austria card like

it would have been a better although miss Leny's a
better parallel. But yeah, when UM when they burned the
parliament right before. Yeah, that's a more better comparison, you
know what I'm saying. Then? Yeah, absolutely, Yeah, has a
great TikTok content. He's got like a pet donkey that

follows him around. I'm sure he does. I do. He's
definitely like the like the meme of like, you know,
when it's heartbreaking that the worst person you know, it's
an excellent point, makes a really good point. Yeah, great point, bro,
And I think his best point was just like how
you know the victims of fascism continued long after the war,

including the children of Nazis who you know were abused
by parents and stuff. Great point to make, wrong about
Christal Knoch. We we're talking about actually good historic comparisons
and valuable ones to what happened on the sixth in
d C. There are a few. One of them, as
you noted, was the burning of the Austrian Parliament, which
I think we're going to talk about a bit later
in this series. Um. But and other folks have kind

of much more aptly I think, compared what happened in
the sixth to uh the Munich beer Hall push, which
was Adolf Hitler's first attempt to seize power, and there's
a lot of good reasons to compare that to the sixth.
It's not really a perfect comparison. None of them are
um in part because when Hitler tried to overthrow the
government starting in Munich, he was a political rabble rouser
with no power who was trying to spark a mass revolution.

And on January six it was like tens of thousands
of the president's fans, including a lot of police officers,
active duty soldiers, and elected leaders, who tried to take
over the capital. It's a bit different. So if we're
looking for a better historic parallel to January six, I
think we might be better served by going back a
year before the nineteen Beer Hall putch, when a completely

different fascist, Benito Mussolini lad what came to be known
as the March on rome Um. A lot of really
good comparisons to what's happened, a lot of good lessons
in the March of rome Um. So most people, good
before you start is just if you could. It's you
never really want to like reach into the past and
draw like direct lines, if you will, but if you

could think to yourself just as a general grid, if
in the story. You own the side of Mussolini, you
probably own the wrong side of history. I think we
can say that completely. So now as you continue think
about your position in this and you that might be
able to tell you which side of history you should

be all right now anyway going and if you're if
you're rightfully on the side of history that's like, well,
I don't want to stand with Mussolini, which I think
the vast I think the vast majority of people listening
to this are already there. I think one of the
things this teaches is why the people who didn't want
Mussolini to wind up and charge failed, you know, and
and it's important to know that as well. Right, Um, So,

most people are probably broadly familiar of Benito Mussolini, but
because of how history went down, he tends to be
remembered mostly as like Hitler's ridiculous and kind of sad sidekick,
like the least threatening dictator on the axis side. Um,
Mussolini doesn't wind up as like the frightening villain in
a lot of movies, right, you know, Yeah, that's good.

I ever thought of it like that, but yeah, yeah,
because it's like you're just like, oh, you. Oh yeah,
you Hitler light unless you was in unless you was
in it, unless you was in Italy. Yeah, I mean
even then Italy would have been it would have been
better to be, you know, a Jewish person in Italy
than in Germany. Not a high bar, you know, the
lowest bar in history, actually minimal. Yeah, but yes, he

he gets this kind of reputation of just being like
incompetent and the junior partner to Hitler and not very frightening.
And that really misses a lot of the history and
what what people at the time when Mussolini rose to
power thought, because Hitler actually in some ways idolized Mussolini
UM and he patterned his career off of Mussolini's career.

The Munich Beer Hall Putsch was inspired directly by the
March on Rome. Mussolini was not just the first um
like Mussolini was the first fascist dictator. He was the
man who created fascism as a political ideology that actually
took power. Right. We talked about Gabrielle de Nunzio, who

kind of invented a lot of the ideas that became
fascism as a and who was a contemporary of Mussolini's.
But Mussolini is the guy who made fascism work for
the first time. And when I say work, I mean
actually seized power, not that is a good government or anything. Um.
He was the first fascist who seized power from a
functional democracy. So he's he is not an incompetent buffoon

and you kind of you it behooves you to understand
how he succeeded in the way that he did. Um.
We're gonna do a full set episodes on his life
at some point on Behind the Bastards, but since we're
just focused on the March on Rome today, I'm gonna
give a little cliffs notes of Benito's life prior to
him coming to power. So Benito aml car Andrea Mussolini,
which is quite a name. That is a mafia boss

right there, except for the Andrea, right, except for that Andrea.
When he got baptizes Christening, they gave him Andrea. Yeah,
either that or it's like a boy named Sue situation,
and it turns out that's actually a bad idea. Yeah. Uh.
So he was born on July three in a small
Italian town that I'm not going to try to pronounce

right now. His father Alessandro was a blacksmith and a socialist.
He named Benito after Mexican President Benito Warez, who's the
name sake of Juarez and who was the first indigenous
president of Mexico. Um and was a famous liberal. You know. Um,
I thought that was interesting. I had super interest. Yeah yeah,
uh yeah in nineteen o two. So that's like his background.

He goes a very left wing, right, like, your parents
are naming you after the liberal indigenous president of Mexico.
Like that's that's quite a thing. That's a flex right there. Yeah,
what a pivot. Yeah, this guy is one of the
great all time historic pivots, you know. Um. In nineteen
o two, Benito fled to Switzerland to avoid compulsory military service.

He became active in the Italian socialist movement from Afar,
and he grew obsessed with the writing of syndicalist Georges Morel,
who believed that capitalist democracy needed to be overthrown by
a combination of general strikes and violent direct action. So
he's he's a socialist, he's a leftist, but he's a
fan of these guys who are like, we need a
revolution and violence is okay in that revolution. Right, that's
like a big, big chunk of his early ideological upbringing.

In nineteen o or, Benito returned to Italy under a
general amnesty for draft dodgers in exchange for which he's
he had to serve in the military for two years.
He did his time, he got out, and he became
a left wing journalist and a firebrand, participating in a
nineteen eleven riot protesting Italy's imperialist war in Libya. He
did night or five months in prison for this. So

not just like a talker, like he puts his skin
in the game and he does time protesting and imperialist war.
Dang all right, okay, yeah, yeah he was. He was.
He was not like wishy washy about this stuff. I
guess it's the point I'm making. So as a hardcore leftist,
Mussolini hated the monarchy, which in Italy at the time
was similar in its kind of power to the British monarchy.

Italy is a constitutional monarchy at this point, so more
or less a democracy. But they've got a king and
he has some power. Um. In nineteen twelve, Mussolini stated
the king is nothing more than a useless citizen, and
the Italian flag is fit only for a dung heap. Yeah,
burn it all down, burn it all down kind of guy. Yeah, yeah, yeah,

very much, very much. Now, it may seem odd that
the first fascist dictator was a committed left wing activist
in his youth, but it's really not that strange. This
is a pattern that we see repeating itself over and
over throughout the history of fascism. In more recent times,
just to talk about stuff that's happened in the last
like four years, Jason Kessler, who's the fascist who planned
and organized the first Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville,

got his starting political activism and occupy in New York.
You can find in Unicorn Rights discord jets him talking
about being very indu occupy at the time. Um Andrew Arenheimer,
we've who's a neo Nazi hacker and a prominent member
of the fascist movement in this country, claims to have
been an organizer at Occupy Wall Street. I found discussions
in Unicorn Riots archive where we've debates with other Nazis

who were there about how Occupied could have been handled
differently and been more successful. And for a lot of
these Nazis, the failure of the occupy movement to garner
any real change, and the ease with which the police
swept it aside were major factors in radicalizing these guys
to the far right. One fascists that I found in
a discord conversation said quote, I was at Occupy Wall
Street in two thousand eleven. It was black pilling as fuck,

by which he means the experience was so disheartening that
it pushed him towards fascism. Um. And that's really what
we see with Mussolini. Um. He's very involved in left
wing politics. He gets arrested for them, and he sees
them continue to fail. Right. They don't succeed in overthrowing
the government, they don't succeed in pushing the changes that
he believes are necessary, and it starts to embitter him.

I I often think that like some of that happens
in the black community with just also like like still
trying to wrap my brain around Like I saw a
video Crips for Trump on the on the UH at
the at the at the at the insurrection earlier. It's
like Chris for Chump west Side something something in and

I could not wrap my brain around, Like how does
will work? But I think it's it. I think a
lot of it does have to do with the fact that, like,
you know, we've tried so hard, we put our flag
in the sand with this particular way of approaching, you know,
political change, and it's not working, that you're like, well

forget it, you know, and then like, well, maybe this
will work, Maybe this going this direction speaks more to like,
since the Empire the machine just met us with might
and just overpowered us with might because they're just they're
just more powerful, you'll only recourse is to be like,
well I need to be more powerful than that. I

don't know, yes, yes, that's exactly when you when you're
I think you're really onto something like when you're when
you're getting your ass kicked. And I think some of
this is that I think it's probably more common with
males who are kind of activism, like and you get
your pride is harm by getting the ship kicked out
of you repeatedly, by the repeated failure to win, to

advance by the sheer strength of your opponent. I do
think that that can have the effect of pushing people
in that kind of more violent authoritarian direction where you're like, well,
I just want to win, Like, yeah, I wouldn't be
surprised if that has if that's a part of what's
going on, And I think it is for Mussolini, because
the switch for him really happens as a result of

World War One. Um. So basically what you've got with
World War one, Archduke friends Ferdinand get shot Dad along
with his wife, and it starts this this series of
events right um, where Austria is going to invade Serbia
and Russia is going to come in on the side
of and like it starts this whole domino effect. And
so there's months between his assassination and the actual outbreak

of the war where everyone knows that Europe is gearing
up for a war. And prior to that happening, the
international left, the communist international, largely had been very anti war,
very united across national boundaries. But as soon as a
mass European war becomes a reality, ship starts to splinter.
And there are a lot of folks who had been
socialist leftist like workers who instead of kind of siding

with workers Solidarity or like, well, I'm gonna side with
my country on this um. And you know that's not
the only thing that's happening. There's also like this, the
Second International tries to organize like some sort of workers
strike or something like. There's a couple of ideas about
how they might stop the war by organizing workers, and
all of these ideas fail. Um. And you know, all

of these ideas fail, and Europe lurches towards war. And
it's kind of like this moment where this big international
left wing movement shows it that it's toothless in the
eyes of at least of the eyes of a guy
like Mussolini. Like we said like this, we weren't going
to let this kind of thing happen, and now it's happening. Um.
So that that for one thing as a source of

frustration to a lot of people. Um. Mussolini is more
directly enraged by something that happens earlier in nineteen fourteen, UM,
something called Red Week, which was when a bunch of
workers there's a big mass workers revolt in Italy that
was brutally put down by Italian police and the Royal army. UM.
And this had kind of convinced him that the bourgeoisie

leaders of left wing political parties, the actual like liberals
and socialists and government didn't really support revolution and he did,
so all of this stuff is kind of in the mix,
leading to him getting kind of black pilled, to use
the words of that other Nazi. Um And Benito doesn't
come out as against the war as a result of this. Instead,
he decides to become incredibly pro war because he thinks

it's going to accelerate the collapse of the Italian state
and lead to a revolution, right. Um So, in mid September,
after Italy announced her neutrality in the war, Benito tells
the staff of the newspaper he worked at, Avanti, which
was a socialist paper, that he'd become convinced that war
alone could bring revolution to Italy. Um So, yeah, he's
kind of like an acceleration is we need to go

to war because that's going to force a revolution, is
the only way? Yeah, yeah, I I yeah. When you
it's it's a always at least in my head, like
I've I've kind of let go of the like linear
swing of like you know, far right far left in
my brain. I know, we use that because that's how
we understand the world right now, but like it seems

much more like circular to where it's like, uh, they
ended authoritarianism. At the end of the day, they end
with a with a strong dude like so so it
was crazy like yeah, so like the further left you go,
You're still gonna end that a dude overpowering. I think, yeah,

I I which I was gonna say, which which why
like I'm now leaning more towards thinking in anarchist ways
of being, Like, you gotta get off this loop. It's
just this the whole it's there. We're gonna land in
the same place at some point, somebody's going to get oppressed,

you know. Yeah, and what you're so, there's a couple
of things, a couple of terms that are used a
lot for the kind of thought process that you just explained.
One of them is horseshoe theory, which is this idea
that the left and the right, when you go far enough,
come around to the same place. And I I don't
subscribe to that because I don't think that left wing
ideals and far right ideals are super similar. But I

do think that what you see that looks like that.
The reason why the far left and say Soviet Russia
under Stalin and the totalitarianism of Hitler have a lot
of similarities and similar body counts. Is because authoritarians always
trying to say exactly exactly it's the authoritarian left, authoritarian right.
And Mussolini is always an authoritarian leftist. So it's easy

to go authoritarian right. If you're anti authoritarian, it's a
lot harder to wind up at that. We should have
a dictator place. Sometimes get off the loop, because if
it ends at authoritarianism, then this is not where I
need to be. Yeah, exactly, if it ends with like
all of the we're being in one dude or a
tiny number of people's hands, yeah, no, that's not what

I want. It's like somewhere on this horse too, I
knew that that wasn't a good idea. You know what
I'm saying, We need to get off the ride. And
and Mussolini is very much just a guy who's he's
of that, he's he's always been kind of an authoritarian
um in part because he is very in love with
his own ideas and thinking. And that's the same when

he's on the left as when he's on the right.
And you know, it's not a clean process of him
going from socialist to fascist, but it happens over the
course of not just World War One, but ramping up
to getting Italy involved in World War One. So Italy had,
prior to the outbreak of hostilities been allied with the
Central Powers, so they should have come in the war

on Germany's side. But they, very intelligently, We're like, no, no,
we're not We're not doing this. This does seems like
a good idea, but and that's why. So they say
we're not getting involved in the war. And Mussolini becomes
a pro war activist, trying to force Italy to come
into the war on the side of the Allies, so
fighting against the people they've been allied with before. And

I'm gonna quote now from a write up in nineteen
fourteen to nineteen eighteen online, which is a World War
One encyclopedia. It's a very good resource. And all this
after his late October editorial demanded Italian intervention. Socialist outrage
prompted Mussolini's resignation. So he's forced to resign from the
party he had been a member of. When his pro
interventionalist newspaper will Popolo, the Italia, the Italia, the the

Italian people. I think it is what it stands for. Yeah,
not appeared in mid November, the party expelled him. Mussolini
concealed its funding by industrialists, the French, his wealthy lover
Margharita Saffrati, and possibly Russian agents. For six months, through
editorials and demonstrations, he promoted the interventionalist movement, Collaborating with
syndicalist Filippo Corradoni, Mussolini demanded war against Italy's allies Germany

and Austria Hungary to demolish bulwarks against European Revolution of
victorious war would forge a national mass movement demanding political change.
If the government rejected war, Mussolini threatened revolution most Italian's
favorite piece. But Vittorio Emmanuel, the third King of Italy,
forced a war declaration on twenty four of May nineteen fifteen.
So there's a lot of interesting stuff that's happening there.

One of them is that Mussolini has an ideological reason
for wanting war, because he thinks it's going to lead
to revolution. Another is that he's very likely getting paid
by foreign powers in order to incite Italy to come
in on their side. Um, kind of like our ad
sponsors who pay us, you know, who does come in
sponsored violence against trying to accelerate our wallets. Yeah yeah, yeah,

accelerate your wallets, accelerate our wallets. There we go. We
can't we had we landed on it. Here's products. Uh,
we're back. Um. So yeah, we're talking about Mussolini becomes

this very much like interventionalist figure, and there's a mix
of ideology and foreign backing that kind of pushes him
towards it. And I could talk about websites like the
Gray Zone and they're weird Russian funding and how they're
ostensibly left wing but also pro imperialist intervention when some
countries do it, but I won't because we need to

move on to the story of Benito Mussolini. But we've
seen these patterns happen recently as well. So Mussolini was
obviously just one very prominent voice in favor of war.
He was a major pro war figure, but he was
probably was not the only one, and he was probably
less influential than Gabrielle de Nunzio, who again we covered
in a two party that I'd recommend people listen to,
and to his minimal credit, after helping to monger his

nation into war, Mussolini joined the army and fought as
a burstiglieri uh, which is like a marksman. It's almost
like a special forces unit, right, like it's an elite
military unit. Um, kind of like the Army Rangers, it seems. Um.
And he was wounded at the front by an exploding
mortar in one of Italy's many bloody stalemates with Austria.
Since he'd become a very public face of the pro

war movement, the king came to visit him twice while
he was in the hospital. Benito became a bona fide
celebrity and when the war ended this provided him with
a great deal of political capital. He moved further and
further right, pulled in by the spell of Gabrielle de
Nunzio's proto fascist rhetoric when Italy was screwed over by
her allies with the spoils of war, because like, Italy
had come in on the side of the allies, but

they didn't really get ship at the end of it,
Like they wanted a lot more territory, more of Austria,
and they kind of got sucked out of it. Um.
And that pisss off the Italian right who feel like
we fought and bled and lost our comrades for this
and we didn't get anything. And it's because of our
lay mass left wing government. Um, that's how a lot
of folks feel. Um And yeah, Mussolini becomes is basically

by the time the war ins Is is pretty entrenched
in the growing far right in Italy and he supports
Gabrielle Benunzio when Denunzio leads an army of Italian Special
Forces veterans to occupy the city of fume Um and
this is we again. We talk about this in our
episodes on de Nunzio. But fume is this city that
was part of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia gets created at wor World
War One ends and they get this city that Italy

thought should be theirs. So Donunzio leads an army of
retired Special Forces veterans to take it and they turn
it into this weird it's like this melting pot because
in you know, nineteen eighteen, nineteen nineteen, you've got all
these ideologies that are like still kind of forming. Anarchism
and communism and fascism are popular in a lot of
like similar circles of people. There's a lot of interplay

between them at this period because they're all kind of
new ideologies being developed and the same kinds of people
who are interested in radical politics are all hanging out together.
Um yeah, so Fume is like a big melting pot
for all these kinds of things and it winds up
being the place where a lot of what becomes fascism
gets cooked up. It's like, that's that's the ententy you say,

because like I do picture it as like this, like yeah,
like planets for like nebulous balls of gas where it's
like it's all the same elements and like you know,
you're it's still like, yeah, all this stuff is still
kind of coalescing and stuff like that. And but I
also think this particular moment in history for me is

is it's it should be very anchoring or or calibrating
for all of us, because what it tells you is
that borders are bullshit, like like it's not real. Borders
aren't real, Like you know what I'm saying, Like somebody
just decided that fumes in Yugoslavia, Like Yugoslavia came out
of this plot of land has been here the whole time.

On sometime I drew a line around, you know what
I'm saying, So like a large chunk of the city's
population are Italian, Like yes, yeah, all of a sudden,
they just woke up in another country, you know what
I'm saying. So like that to me, like I need
everybody remember that when we're talking about our modern politics,
like the sick came from here and it's made up well,

and when we're talking about why so many people Because
one of the things you see in this period is
a lot of people who were anarchists become fascists, and
a lot of fascists become anarchists. And it's because, in
part because when you when you live through a thing
where suddenly tens of millions of people wake up one
day in a completely different country than they went to
sleep in, everything is more malleable, right, Everything is more malleable.

And it's not obviously like fascism of an anarchism are
not similar ideologies, but people who are into both may
be drawn to certain similar things. For example, a major
aspect of fascism is the cult of action for action's sake,
the beauty of violence and physical exertion and speed, and
a lot of anarchists were also into direct action, physical violence,

fighting like and so if you've got communities that are
kind of embracing this idea of action for action sake,
some of them are anarchists, some of them are fascists,
but a lot of times they're gonna wind up in
the same fucking places, you know, which is kind of you. Also,
if you look at Germany prior to Hitler's Rice to Power,
there were times when the communists and the fascists fought
alongside each other against the cops. It happened. It's a

thing that occurred, just this understanding that like, whatever we
have right now isn't working exactly, like you know what
I'm saying, like, and so you're all gonna be in
the same space. Yeah, And a lot of people in
Fume they're not. They maybe have called themselves a fascist
and anarchist at the time, where a communist it wasn't
really settled in their minds. They just knew that what

they had grown up with was wrong, you know. Um,
And yeah, So Fume is one of the things that
comes out of this experiment in Fume is the Italian
fascist movement gets like solidified in a lot of ways,
But it starts before like there's thinkers pushing it before then,
and while do Nunzio is off on his adventure and

fume um, Benito Mussolini forms a fascist party in March
twenty three of nineteen nineteen. Now, a lot of the
impetus behind the early fascists in Italy were demilitarized army
veterans and particularly special forces guys. UM. Most of the
fighters who accompanied Nuncio to Fume were members of the

r d T, which is like the Italian equivalent of
like Special Forces guys. Like. They were very elite soldiers.
Mussolini had served in an elite unit of Marksman. Um.
There were a bunch of like the the guys who
followed de Nunzio, the RDD were like trench like stormers.
They would do like what the German stormtroopers would do, um,
and they were terrifying people. They would go into battle

with like knives in their teeth and grenades in both hands,
like running directly ahead of artillery barrages and like this
is where like a lot of that cult of action
for actions saying these are adrenaline junkies. That's a huge
part of early fascists in Italy. And Germany. These are
guys who became addicted to adrenaline during the war and
can't stop fighting when they get back home. And it's
a thing that is a factor in our modern fascist movements, right,

A lot of a lot of vets and cops and
stuff wind up in that. UM. I'm also interested in
just the whenever somebody says I started a political party,
I'm like, logistically, what does that look? Was there like paperwork?
You file? Like, how do you style? Like? I still
think like, yeah, we'll start a party. We'll talk about
that in just a second. I want to talk a

little bit more about some of these demilitarized vets. Yeah,
there's a form online somewhere. Yeah. Yeah. The r d
D had been formed in June of nineteen seventeen UM
as a special forces unit in Italy. UM and they
were like when they were like sort of um like new.
One of their commanding officers address the unit, these very
young men, most of whom came from a peasant background,

who had gotten to be very good at fighting, extremely
experienced veterans, and he tells the soldiers, you are the first,
the best, the future owners of Italy, the new Italian generation.
Fearless and brilliant. You will prepare the great future of
Italy the smile of the beautiful Italian woman as your reward.
You can't tell, you can't tell, no, little like young hungry,
violent dude. That no, exactly right, Like you see the

seeds of this, like why so many any of these
guys become fascists? And as an aside, one of the
emblems on their uniform that they wore in their hats
was a skull and crossbones, which is the same basic
emblem that the Nazi s s, which started as like
Nazi street fighters before they were a military. And you
know what they wore, right, Like a lot of the
same ships happening. These guys. The r d D are

famous for giving the stiff armed Roman salute the sig
hile as most people know it. Um like, so a
lot of this stuff again, you see it all cooking
up in World War One, And by the time the
war came to an end, the liberal biblical elite in
Italy knew that these young guys were terrifying that like,
oh shit, we trained up an entire generation of incredibly
violent and competent at violence young men, and now we

have nothing for them to do, like and um that
they realized this as a problem, they disbanded the r
d D like immediately after the war ends. It takes
less than a month. But these guys are still all
out there and they have no plan for demilitarizing them.
And again I could again make some comments about what
happened in Iraq after we dissolved the entire Iraqi army. Yes,

now it's never a good idea. You have to take
care of these people afterwards, otherwise they murder people in
the streets sometime or become the nexus of a fascist
political party. Um so again. Four months after the armistice
ended World War One, three months after the r d
D are disbanded, on March twenty, nineteen nineteen, Benito Mussolini

puts together a group of one hundred angry young men,
a mix of Italian war veterans, a lot of them
special forces type guys, former socialist elected leaders and journalists.
They meet in Milan and they declare the formation of
the Fascist Party. So that's how it happens. You get
a hundred dudes together and you're like, we're a fucking
political party. Now, start recruiting, and one of Benito's first

moves is to start recruiting from the disaffected ranks of
former soldiers. He brings in hundreds of these guys and
he reorganizes them into paramilitary squads uniformed in black shirts
and red Fez caps. Mussolini's Black Shirts start going after
their political opponents in the street now in night. Yeah,
it's just like the formula doc. Find somebody angry and

give him a uniform, Give him a uniform, tell him
it's okay to go out and beat the ship out
of people they already don't like. And I'm already angry,
I'm already pissy. And you say, those dudes are your problem.
And there's in any society that has just gone through
a war and is dealing with economic inequality, which Italy

is at this period, in economic collapse and incompetent political leadership,
you will be able to find tents, sorry, you will
be able to find tens of thousands of those whom
in her are like, yeah, I'll make this my whole life. Absolutely,
Oh where whatever, Fred Perry shirts, fuck it, let's do it.
I'll storm the capital. Yes, it's very easy. Yeah, um yes,

uh so, Mussolini forms the Fascist Party. He starts organizing
all these squads of black shirts, and for an idea
of how fast this gets out of hand, in nineteen nineteen,
Mussolini starts the Fascist Party with a hundred men. By
nineteen twenty one, there were three hundred thousand members. Yeah,
so I'm gonna pause here for another little rant about

modern anti fascism, because this is something that's also relevant
to us. Over the last four years, since antifa became
a household name after the first Unite the Right rally
in Charlottesville, liberal celebrities and politicians have repeatedly urged people
not to confront fascists in the streets. Some of even
complained about doxing, which is the public naming and shaming
a fascist activist who are caught in the wild doing
Nazi stuff. Now, the general argument tended to go something

like this, people showing up to fight them just emboldens
them and brings more of them out. Ignore them, and
they'll go away. This was more or less the attitude
of most, but not all, American liberals throughout much of
the Trump administration. Antifa tended to be condemned as often
as groups like the Proud Boys, Police were given a
free hand to use violence on anti fascists, while fascist
street movements were ignored or directly enabled by law enforcement

and by political parties. Well a political party. These organizations,
as a result, grew steadily in power and reach for
several years now. On January two, liberal activist Amy Siskin tweeted,
if you live in d C, stay off the streets.
On January six, let the DC police take care of
the white supremacists like they did in Oregon yesterday. I
actually think it will be fun to watch L O L. Yeah.

Not a take that aged. Well ah yeah. Now, when
anti fascists say fascist movements have to be confronted immediately
and often with physical force, they're not always at least
using bluster or bravado. There's certainly adrenaline junkies within the

ranks of man. I've met a few of those people. Absolutely,
But that's not entirely even mostly what that is. It is,
in fact, a calculation based on a century of documented history.
Um again, from a hundred to three hundred thousand in
about two and a half year. Yeah wow, because ain't
nobody say nothing? Yeah, because they were not enough with

set You're not enough with set. It's it's yeah, it's
crazy when you're dealing with like when you, like I said,
you're already angry. You're already like all you understand is might,
and it's like you can't reason with somebody that only
understand might. Yes, but then if I go meet you

with might and I don't beat you, then we all
wasted our time and you you feel vindicated because I
wasn't able to stop you. It's just yeah, this the
the whole the whole concept just puts everybody in a pickle.
It's not an easy thing to solve. Yeah, you can't

solve it, you know what I'm saying, Yeah, I like,
I mean, the best solution is to oppose them with
overwhelming numbers, because that actually drastically diminishes the amount of
violence that there will be because none, none of these
guys want to get into a fight. If they're out
number three hundred to one, that's not when the violence happens.
It's when they have the numbers, or there's parody of numbers,

you know. Yeah, And that's why people were saying, like,
what if tens of thousands of people have showed up
in the streets of DC to protests. I don't think
they would have made it through the capital barricades. Now
it's a pandemic. None of this is a simple situation,
and it wasn't simple in Italy. And we'll talk. We're
gonna talk now about the anti fascist resistance in Italy

because in Italian, like Italian fascism did face substantial resistance
from anarchists and other anti fascists, um, and we're to
talk about why that didn't wind up working out. Much
of the anti fascist resistance in Italy also came from
members of the r d D, from other like uh
elite soldiers who just like weren't Nazis right, hadn't or
fascists who hadn't been pushed right who had gotten left instead,

or who just didn't still believed in the idea of democracy.
Because again, anti fascists in Italy there's a mix of
like the hard but also just like people who are
republican right and then like the sense of I support
a republican form of government, not like not like a
modern republicans totally different. So the inciting incident for the
violence between anti fascists and fascists in Italy is generally

seen to as having been an attack Mussolini ordered on
April fifteenth, nineteen nineteen, against the newspaper he used to
write for Avanti, which was the Socialist party in newspaper Um. Now,
Italian fascists were courageous and often well organized, but they
had to contend with not just fascists but the police
in the army. This meant that the deck was stacked
against them from the beginning. Meanwhile, events and Fume caused

Mussolini to realize that he had an advantage in the
fact that the police and the army were inherently sympathetic
to fascists. So again we talked about Donunzio's occupation of
Fume Um in another episode, but a brief refresher here's worthwhile.
In short, Uh, he occupies Fume for about fifteen months. Um,
there's all sorts of art and weird sex and political churning. Yeah,

things go a little wild, and eventually the King of
Italy like is forced to do something. So King Victor
Emmanuel the Third, whose nickname was little Sword because he's
a tiny guy. Um, at least he all things to
be called sword. Yeah, yeah, you know, I mean they're Italians,

you know, what they're saying. Yeah, that's called it. You
can't be the king and called little sword. You like,
he's not a very good king. So um, he's very
sympathetic to what do Nunzio is doing. He wants Italy
to control Fume, right, so he thinks that de Nunzio
and his proto fascists are in the right. But also
Fume went to Yugoslavia by international treaty and he's not

about to go to war with the rest of Europe
over a city of sixty thou people. So he has
to send in the army and navy to clear Denuncio
out in December of nineteen. Now, after this do Nunzio
spell over the r d D and the other really
hardened war veterans who had like gone to him and
us like they're his spell over them is broken and
they switched their allegiance to Mussolini. So these guys, the

best fighters, like Mussolini's early guys, aren't really as competent.
The people who had taken Fume, who were like really
actually hard and dedicated, um to fucking shut up, Like
those people start swarming over to Mussolini in mass after
December of nineteen twenty and they expand the ranks of
the black Shirts significantly. Um And Mussolini doesn't just benefit

in that way, he also takes a really important lesson
away from what happens in Fume. And I'm going to
read a quote from the Warfare History Network, who did
a great rite up on all of this. This is
them describing what Mussolini learns from this occupation. The police
would often overlook fascist depredations in favor of attacking their
traditional leftist enemies, the socialists. The police would also fire
on opponents of the monarchy more importantly, the Duce Observed,

which is Mussolini's nickname, So would the military. Therefore, he
realized he had to win over the king, the police,
and the armed forces by a clever mix of both
public bluss and behind the scenes old fashioned political maneuvering
to attain appointed or elective office by legal means. In
other words, do Nunzio. He realizes Denuncio was able to

get this far and occupy the city because the army
wasn't willing to fight him. The police weren't willing to
stop him while he was marching there because they're sympathetic
but when do Nunzio put himself in opposition to the
Italian crown and the will of the government, the police
in the army cracked down. They did their duty because
they're loyal to the state inherently. So if he's going

to win, he can't be fighting them, and he can
make use of the fact that they're sympathetic if he
just becomes part of the government. That's the way Mussolini realizes.
Fascism is not going to win by a revolution. Fascism
is going to win by democratic means, because the deck
is stacked in our favor. If we try it that way.
If we try to lead a violent revolution, they'll murder

us like they would anyone trying to lead a violent revolution.
If we become part of the government, they'll help us
crush our enemies and will gain power. Dude, that yeah,
the finesse because it's yeah, it's when you lay it out,
it's pretty logical, you know, Like, yeah, a monarch will
talk about something that's lasted thousands, it's in their d

n a dog, Like you can't you know what I'm saying, Like,
just it's too it's like it's too much to ask. Yeah,
you know what I'm saying, it's too much to ask
these people to try to like go against their very
nature to be like, but if you if you include
the crown, you keep you're king. We're just gonna get
rid of the left. Yeah like them anyway, do you
help us kill him? Like yeah, now, yeah, exactly. Yeah,

it's very saving. And this is again why I think
people need to have more of the kind of like
respect for Mussolini is opposed to seeing him as this
buffoon is He's the first he he figures it out.
He figures out how fascists are going to win anyway.
So Mussolini decides, Okay, I have to um, I can't
do what the anarchists and the communists and the left
to do and try to like overthrow the government. That's

not going to work. My path to victory is going
to be finding a way into the government. And this
was not hard for him to do. He runs for
office and in May of nineteen one, he's elected to
the Chamber of Deputies in Rome along with thirty four
other Fascist Party members. Quick, very quick, and they're kind
of in the middle of the pack in terms of
how many elected leaders they have. UM, but they're they're

in the government now. And Mussolini barely ever showed up
in chamber because he thought any governing body based around
him compromising was dumb and not worth listening to. But
he liked the legitimacy that elected office gave him and
his party. And it's not a coincidence that nineteen one
is also the year when the Royal Italian Army joined
the police and cracking down on anti fascists, because now

the fascists are part of the government, right, so we
can yeah now. Becoming an elected leader also gave Mussolini
immunity from prosecution while he was in office. This was
helpful because while the Fascist Party gained electoral power, Mussolini's
black shirts were increasingly committing murder. And I'm a quote
now from a study in the Journal of Values Based Leadership.

Fascists agitated against the left and streets and neighborhoods across Italy.
Socialist offices, institutions, and party newspaper headquarters were attacked and burned,
militias organized throughout the country, and anti Bolshevik crusades breaking
up strikes and fighting labor unions and farmer co ops.
The Fascist squads dressed in black shirts and uniforms, were
supported by the local police, landowners, merchants, and industrialists. They

used violence to destroy any organization they felt could be
an opposition to the doctrine of fascism. Thousands of people
were beaten, killed, or forced to drink castor oil and
run out of town. Hundreds of union offices, employment centers
and party newspapers were looted or burnt down. In October
of nineteen twenty, after the election of a left administration
in Bologna, fascists invaded the council chamber, causing mayhem and

nine deaths. The council was suspended by the government. Later,
so again, a left wing administration is elected in this city.
Fascists invade the council and kill nine people and it's
suspended by the government. Later, socialists and Catholic deputies were
run out of parliament or had their houses destroyed. The
two Black Years nineteen two destroyed opposition to the fascists.

Union organizations were crushed. The Fedya Farmers co Op shrank
from some one million members to less than six thousand
in less than five years, Unable to defend basic democratic
rights or prevent the criminal activities of a private militia
that operated openly in nationwide the state had lost all credibility. Yo,
gang banging. Any of that sounds familiar, Yes it does.

It's yes, it's like, uh, god dug like you. It's something.
It's something that fascinated me as you was reading. Is
is like really helping you get into the brain of
like a fascist to where it's like the government's not

the head but an appendage. Yeah, like you're just You're
a You're a You're a tool that I wield, just
like the population, the labor unions, the military, the street guys.
They're all just they're all just appendages. These are arms,
their tentacles, but your means to an end. So I'm

getting into the government not because I feel like that
means I made it. It's just no, I just need
to wield the government for my and that like, to me,
that's like a you just like oh, it's like your
relationship is transactional, Like it's a functional This isn't the goal.

I just need that. You're my sword And I'm like, yes, yes, exactly,
government just a sword. Yeah, this is my weapon that
I use on you. It's it's not a list of
as I think a lot of liberal seat It's not
a series of obligations. It's not a social contract. It's
a gun. It's a gun. It's a gun. And when

you get that's crazy, they listen. These Everything we just
read that the Black Shirts did has been the goal
for years of the American fascist movement, not just of
groups like the Proud Boys, but of more extreme and
explicitly Nazi organizations. Um. You can see evidence of this

in attempted actions of men like Coastguard Lieutenant Christopher Hassan,
who was caught with an arsenal and a list of
Democratic lawmakers he planned to murder. UM. This is very
much what groups like the Proud Boys wanted to do
to left wing organizations nationwide. It's why you saw so
many groups of right wing counter protesters and malicious show
up at blm rallies, right. It's why before they were

showing up at left wing anti fascist events. It's what
you saw during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville,
leftists surrounded and assaulted and mass for standing against fascists.
One of the great successes of the anti fascist movement
in the United States that was not Uh. Something that
we saw in Italy has been the fact that they
actually did succeed in the widespread disruption of particularly the

leadership cast of different fascist organizations. Basically everyone involved in
planning Unite the Right had their life ruined, and most
of them are no longer relevant on the streets. Nobody
talks about Jason Kesler anymore. Nobody talks all that much
about Richard Spencer anymore. Um, some of them are in jail, like,
uh funk, what's that guy's name? The crying not Chris

can't Well, that's how that was all med I got
kicked off a tender. Yeah, yeah, that I think that
happened to him too. Um. And you know a lot
of them, like Richard Spencer's drowning in legal fees from
lawsuits from people and and um. Yeah. In two thousand eighteen,
not just angry at court cases, but angry at the
fact that his speeches were continuously disrupted by anti fascist activists.

Richard Spencer complained that's giving these speeches, like having these
gatherings was no longer fun and quote Antifa is winning. Um. Now,
he wasn't precisely right about that, because January six showed
that the fight is very far from one. But Spencer
was eaten, and most of the original wave of fascist leaders,
the people who wanted to do what Mussolini did, whose

goal was to do what Mussolini did, guys like Spencer,
they've been fucking sidelined, which means that most of the
people who are prominent now have not been prominent in
in the position of leadership for all that long. So
while you have groups like the Proud Boys that have
been around this whole time, militias that go back quite
a while, and more extreme groups that go back quite
a while. UM, a lot of the leaders have been

disrupted one way or the other, have had their lives
bucked up, and it's stopped them from doing in some
ways what maybe they might have otherwise done. It stopped
them from gaining as much power, it stopped their organizations
from being as cohesive. UM. Some organizations have been shut down,
like Identity Europa. UM. So it's this has been if
we want to look at like successes of a modern

anti fascist movement, that's been one of them. And I
think we can credit that for the fact that the
attack on the Capitol on the sixth was not better
organized or more cohesive. Because there has been disruption of
these movements. I want to know what else would be
a disruption of our our movements right now, Robert Baku,

that is going to disrupt my train of thoughts significantly. Yeah,
I don't like that. I decided to do that. But America,
that happened. How manna eat a chip? That's a good call.
Everybody eat a chip. We're back. So prop I think

you had you had something on your mind before we Uh,
damn it. What the hell was I going to say? Break?
What was I going to say? Um? Oh um? There's
something that I think the these all school fascist did

oh school wow um that these new guys they haven't
done it. Yeah, I think that's why it's It's one
of those things. It's a fine it's a fine um distinction,
because I do think there's a lot of value in
showing these people as as absurd and as sad as
they are. Um, you have to do it without also
making them feel like they're not a threat, which is hard. Yeah,

that's a that's a and And thankfully, I think one
of the positives of how bad everything went on the
sixth is that as absurd as it is in. One
of the difficulties about talking about this movement to people
for a while has been that like, folks, um, we're like, okay, well,
these are just a bunch of of coops on the
internet wearing dumpach t shirts about Q, Like why should

I take this seriously? That's why you should take it
seriously because yes, you just yeah, it's something again like dangerous. Yes,
when you when you? When you? That's why I said earlier.
It's like somebody hungry and angry like you. If somebody
tell you they're willing to die, believe them. You know
what I'm saying, Like you, you should believe them. You

take you underestimated something you learned living in just the
inner city. You don't underestimate anybody, like if you know,
if they presented it to you, Like I just I
don't know how hungry you are. I might look like
your lunch now if I can overpower you, or there's
a whole other scenario, but you right, like, I'm not
gonna underestimate you. And I really feel like you know,
fast forwarding or yeah, bringing us back to now is

that I'm not sure you know, Oh, oh, Joe Biden
really understand how serious your situation is. And I don't
think he doesn't say they was gonna kill you, because like,
I don't think you understand they that man somebody come
into a Capitol building with a Viking horn, that man

don't care about his life. He gonna kill you, Yeah, exactly,
And I think I don't know that is Again one
of the problems is I think a lot more people
are taking it seriously. But I don't think Joe Biden is.
I don't think he's I don't think you. I don't
think you understand, bro, Like you know, don't you understand
the severity of situation not done on the twenty big

dog like, we're not We're not done. Yeah, there's a
bunch of people out there who if they had gotten
who if they get their hands on you, will do
great harm to you. And they almost did it once
in their heads at least. Uh you know. Yeah, So
let's let's talk about We go on a little bit
of a tangent there, but I want to talk about

the Italian anti fascists. So we just talked about kind
of what I see is one of the big successes
of the American anti fascist movement. I want to talk
about why the Italian anti fascist movement did not succeed. Um.
So the Italian anti fascists began to raise their own
proper army in July of ninete, because again, the fascists
had an army, The black Shirts were an army and

it was doing great damage to not just like anarchists,
but to all left wing movements around the country. So
they formed their own army, the r d T del Popolo,
like the People's urdd I think, um, so again they're
still using that norm. A lot of them are veterans,
and they were heterogeneous mix of anarchists, syndicalists, socialists, communists,
republicans and other non authoritarian ideologies. The r d T

del Populo were popular among the lower classes among poor
Italians because they had no party affiliations than they offered
protection from the fascists, who were basically a violent gang. Now,
there were other militias style groups that confronted fascists, including
the r d T Rossi, which was a communist organization,
but the local Communist party forbade them from allying with
the anarchists and the Republicans and the like, because like,

you guys aren't our fan friends either right. This is
again you see this happening in Germany. Now, there were
communists who were part of the r d T del Populo,
but they weren't like party communists, you know, there's a
difference between those two things. And communists in this era
is used a lot for people who were like very
anti authoritarian. Um, a lot of folks would consider them
basically anarchists today, and also for people who are like Stalinists,

you know, um, and that they weren't Stalinist yet because
it was you know, nineteen I was like, wait one,
but like they that's where they that's where they're they were,
they were headed. Um. Yeah. So on July the r
d T del Populo held their first national Congress. One
of their leaders, a guy named Argo Secondary, outlined the

organization's goals in a speech, and uh, this is Argo here.
The r d T del Populo's action has to be defensive,
but defense means above all, to prevent and to render
impossible any harm that can be caused by the adversary.
The r d D del Populo do not carry out
punitive expeditions, but perform acts of justice. They do not

carry terror into the population, but to fend the people
and organize their security. That is why the r d
T del Populo welcome members of various parties and contain
representatives of all political beliefs. They do not intend to
make politics, but leave this to the already existing parties
and economic organizations. The r d T del Populo must
act like a worker's army and give the proletariat defense

and protection. That's not gonna work. Yeah, yeah, they tried, um.
Now you want to guess why it didn't work. They
had no actual goals. They were just like, we're just
They're like, oh no, there's no platforms in my head.
I'm like, ain't no platform. You just said we're gonna
lead that to the government. Yeah, we're just gonna make
sure like no food of government's compromise. Anyway. Tell me

to answer. That is a great, That is a great.
You know, that didn't even a credit. You're you're right,
like these guys are saying, our only goal is to
defend you from the fascists, but that's not nearly as
popular as saying, hey, here's what we we're the fascist,
here's what we believe, here's our platform, here's what change,
and we have this army, right, that is that is
a very good point, Like, like you said, they're leaving

the platform up to the government who is not on
their side, and like you yeah, yeah, yeah, Now that's
not everybody, right. There's a lot of anarchists and stuff
who aren't saying like I think we should leave it
to the government, but they are saying like, I'm not
going to I think that fighting fascism with these other
people is more importan than you know, pushing my own

political beliefs in this necess in this area, which is
I think a respectable thing to take. But it was
a problem that there was not a concerted, organized, um
counter left wing movement that was like that, that had
like a solid platform and the to the extent that
the fascist did. Right, there were different left wing groups
that confronted them and had platforms, but it was not
like what it was, not on the side and the

same scale, you know, And that's a problem that anti
fascists still have today. Right, there's a strength in saying
like hey, if you're a communist, if you're an anarchist,
if you're just a libertarian who's not an authoritarian, if
you're a democrat, like come join us we're just trying
to fight the fascist. But there's a weakness in well.
But also we don't agree on anything other than that. Yeah,
and it's like okay, cool, so what if you win? Yeah,

what do we do? Or how do you win? If
they have a thing they believe that they're fighting for
and you're mainly fighting against them, that that is true.
There's a good point to that, um. And there's obviously
there's a lot of anti fascists who do who wrap
their anti fascism in um, this is part of the
struggle against capitalism, this is part of the struggle for
a better world. This is part of a revolutionary that's
a lot of it today. Um. And those people did

exist in Italy at the time. But this large organized
the r DD del Populo, isn't really doing that, um.
And it's it's part of their downfall, I guess, um,
because the government starts spying on them, as is always
the case whenever that is organized in any government. I've
been undefeated, boy. Yeah. And the in Italy's FBI equivalent
actually did confirm in a report to the government that

the r d T del Populo had quote only one
principal aim that is to react against fascism with the
same means that are employed against them, i e. Arm defense.
So the the Italy is like FBI equivalent is like
these guys are only there too for defensive purposes. But
despite this, the government orders a crackdown on the r
d T del Popular. They enforce anti paramilitary laws against them,

They dissolve local cells, they imprison many leaders and members,
and by October the organization is essentially defunct. Now no
actions were taken against the black Shirts, and as a result,
by the end of nineteen twenty one, the Mussolini's Fascist
Party had more than a quarter of a million members
or members something like that. Um, this is one of
those situations where like, yeah, your house is getting broken

into and you called a police and the police arrest you. Yeah, like, bam,
this is my house. Like I'm telling you, I'm not
the problem. I don't understand this. I'm telling you this
is the issue. And I were going to book them.
Dano It's like, oh, man, like I feel like I
don't know, That's what it sounded like to me. I'm like,
you're trading the wronghood right now. Yeah, the police cracked

down pretty in the army cracked down exclusively on the
anti fascists, and the fascists are allowed to continue to organize,
and they said, like they used the same laws against
them they could have used on the fascist for having
the black shirts. They just don't choose the shoes. And
the part that don't make sense and continues to not
make sense is like you said, the fascists are telling

you the platform, this is our plan. You've gonna overthrow
you and put all our guys in power. And that's
our dude, that's our plan. Oh you want our side, Okay, cool?
Like yeah, it's because they it's you know, it's it's
it's because hatred of the left unites the fascists and

the people who wouldn't necessarily be whole hog in on
fascism but are because they hate the left, which is
you know why this this keeps happening and why um, yeah,
it's it's it's frustrating we deal with versions of the
same problem today. And this is why I don't suggest
people who are talking about like, well, in the wake
of the sixth we need a new anti domestic terrorism statutes,

like that's only going to be used on the left,
Like they'll do. They'll use it once on a couple
of proud boys, and then it will be used against
leftists for decades. That's the way it's going to happen.
And Muslims, you know, anyone who's not a white conservative
a man. So as we know the problem is white people. Yeah,

white people. Basically everybody's white. So that's really pretty easy
to say. Now. Yeah, so I'm just kidding by the
bastards listeners. I'm just kidding. I'm much more nuanced than that.
I'm not kidding behind the bastards listeners. So uh d

early nineteen twenty two, the anti fascist resistance has been
heavily like, not completely eliminated, but very badly broken. Um,
the fascists are ASTs, and that they have hundreds of
thousands of members. They have elected leaders in government. Um.
Now again they're kind of middle rung when it came
to their actual number of elected leaders. They're not in
charge at all. But Benito didn't care about how many

actual elected deputies they said. He famously stated, I prefer
fifty thousand rifles to fifty votes. What mattered to him
was having a presence in the halls of power, which
would enable him to get those rifles on his side.
And of course the government's already shown that they're going
to let him a crew rifles while they stopped his
opponents from getting rivals. Yeah. Now, Mussolini starts in nineteen

twenty two sketching out the dimensions of an ambitious and
daring plan for a power grap He had spent the
last year so placing strategic groups of fascists around the country,
replacing shattered left wing trade unions with their fascist equivalent,
which allowed him to organize postal workers, cab drivers, and
other working communities. He expanded the black Shirts into a
force of tens of thousands, a veritable paramilitary army. On

October sixteenth, nineteen twenty two, he convened a meeting in
Milan with his most trusted deputies, including the three commanders
of the Black Shirts and two retired Italian Army generals.
He announced that he was planning to organize a mass
march on Rome. He would gather a force of tens
of thousands of black Shirts and march to occupy the
capital and force a change of government. At this stage,

Mussolini did not think that he was going to be
the head of that government. Instead, his goal was to
force a coalition a liberal prime minister with five fascist
ministers basically like um cabinet secretaries kind of who would
be the real power behind the scenes. So he wanted
to have a liberal like in front and have it
all be run by fascists. Right, Okay. So the actual

inspiration for the March on Rome came not from Mussolini
but from the secretary of the National Fascist Party, Michelle Bianci.
Bianci wanted an armed fascist insurrection to force the liberal
ruling class to hand over power to Mussolini himself rather
than even paying lip service to the idea of liberal democracy,
and Bianci eventually like convinced everyone to go with his plan.

Now true to form, Mussolini took credit for it, later
claiming that the march. The plan for the March on
Rome had come to him after a rally in September
when his supporters had chanted to Rome to Rome. But
in any case, by October of nineteen two, he's ready
to do this. Ship. So Mussolini gives a speech to
about sixty his followers at a fascist congress Naples on

October and he tells them, our program is simple. We
want to rule Italy now. As he spoke on the
it's of his black shirts were fanning out to occupy
key locations around Italy in preparation for this march on Rome.
In all, some twenty six thousand fascist paramilitaries assembled with
illegal arms and ammunition from the Warfare History Network quote.

Illicit stores of arms and ammunition were received secretly from
sympathetic police stations and some army barracks, while armories and
even museums were raided for antique firearms. The overall array
of weaponry included shotguns, muskets, powdered loaded pistols, golf clubs, scythes,
garden hose, tree roots, table legs, dynamite sticks, dried salt, codfish,
and even an ox's jawbone. What just whatever they can

beat someone with. If they can't get a gun, it's
anything they can hit someone with. And imagine an antique
weapon already in that's an old gun. That's an old gun, boy. Yeah,
it's just whatever they can get your hands. So that
was you actually answered one of the questions I had.
I was like, so, if they're marching to Rome, where

are they coming from? Say, coming from everywhere? He's in
Naples right now. They coming from everywhere. They are coming
from everywhere, and they have horses and carts, trucks and wagons.
They even have a race car with the machine gun
mounted to it, and they have guys riding on trains
that style and finesse. There's some style in the machine
gun races. And a lot of people are just marching

on foot too. Now, obviously this is a cause for
concern for some people in the government. Two days after
the Naples speech, former Italian Prime Minister Antonio Cilandra becomes
aware of Mussolini's plans and he warns the current prime
minister that the Fascist leader was organizing an armed march
on the capitol. Cilandra's intelligence told him that Mussolini planned

to demand the prime minister's resignation and demand that he
be appointed head of the government instead, So the prime
minister obviously is also worried by this. He goes to
the King with this warning and he asks the King
for permission to use the police in military to suppress
the fascists. The King refuses. So the reason the King
says no is that he had just sat down with
his Minister of War, General Armando Diaz. Now, the general

who was not quite well, who was basically a fascist,
tells the king that if he asks the army to
stop Mussolini, quote, the army will do its duty, but
it would be better not to put it to the test. Basically,
he's like another the army likes these guys that you
really shouldn't you really shouldn't try it. So King Victor
Emmanuel the Third, the little Sword was not like an

ideological fascist. I know, it's very silly, oh man, what
if that was his like tender profile, a little little sword.
He's not a fascist in the sense that he doesn't
believe in fascism. He believes in a monarchy, and more specifically,
he believes in a monarchy where he's the monarch. Now
by nineteen twenty two, the Kingdom of Italy is in

bad financial straits. World War One had been a disaster
for the country. The great like not the Great Depression,
but like an economic collapse has hit Europe as a
result of the end of the war. It's horrible in Munich.
In this period of time, to write, political violence in
the streets had reached a fever pitch, largely thanks to
Mussolini's black Shirts, and the king was afraid there might
be a civil war. More than anything, he was worried

about the rising Italian left. The Socialist Party had a
hundred and forty six members in the Chamber of Deputies
and the Communists had eleven, giving them together nearly five
times as much elected representation as the fascists. Now, communists
and socialists aren't big fans of kings, and Victor Emmanuel
crudely calculated the fascists would let him continue to be

the king. He also, and this is important, calculated that
the middle class would back the fascists if it meants
crushing the left, and he was right on both counts.
Some of the king's generals did push back and demand
he signed orders to send the army out after the
black Shirts. The King threatened to abdicate at this, and
sinuating that this would put Italy in the same position

as Russia had been in when the Czar abdicated. Basically,
if you forced me to use the army on these fascists,
I will leave the throne. And you saw what happened
to Russia when you don't want those scary Bolsheviks being insurance. Yeah,
you it's like that's I see. That's why I like

at the end of the day, that's to me, that's
like the problem with like when you only understand the
world via like power broke, you're brokering in my you know,
um like in my mind, Like I take two weird comparison.
But if you take like Mike Pence is like position

right now like with the moment or president being impeached,
it's like he if for lack of better term, either way,
he's a bit because it's like, first of all, it's
not like it's not like Donald Trump has ever respected you,
because you do what the hell he tells you to do,
you know what I'm saying. So it's like this man,
this man was gonna let these they was yelling to

kill you, and he didn't stop it. And you ain't
do ship, Mike, you ain't do ship. You let this
man and you're still gonna back this man. You're a bitch,
what I'm saying. At the one time he publicly disagrees
with you, and then he calls for your head and
they want to take it, and then and if they
got the chance there whatever, and you didn't say nothing.

You're a bitch, you know what I'm saying. So it's like,
I mean, I'm saying that tonguey, you can understand what
we're trying to say. Yeah, so it's like you're okay.
So then so then Nancy Pelosi and and and with
it with the Democrats, with the impeachment being and so
it's almost like them saying, Yo, get your boy before
we do, right, so then so now and and then
if he doesn't, if he doesn't, if he doesn't stop

the impeachment, you're a bitch again, you know what I'm saying.
If you don't call for you're a bit, you feel me.
So it's just like, no matter what the moral of
the story is, you should have never signed up to
play with this man, you know what I'm saying. So
it shouldn't have got here in the first place because
all this, all these people understand it's power brokery. So

when you so, if you King low Sword, you feel me,
you set yourself up to a situation where these people
only understand power. Either way, You're a bit, you know
what I'm saying, Like, I just I don't I mean,
I'm I hate saying it like that. I just because
it's like I'm not trying to like throw shrapnel towards

you know what I'm saying a derogatory terms sword female,
you know what I'm saying. That's not what I'm trying
to say, but I am saying, just in street terms,
that's what we mean. There's you can't You've put yourself
in a position where you can't leave this unscathed. Yep. Yeah,
and it's yeah, that's kind of where we are here.

And so the king and also a lot of liberal
elected leaders are like, Okay, let's like let's let these
people in. Let's let them do it. They're not as
scary as these leftists. So let's left the fascists into
the government. Can you imagine being you imagine being a king?
Whereas like my bloodline go back to the fifteen hunt.

It's and I'm no one that's about to lose the
I'm not gonna lose this crown, you know what I'm saying.
So I get the calculation. It's just you're it's just
you're the you're the punk in this. Yeah, you're starting
the ball of fascism rolling in Europe because you want
to keep it thrown and because a lot of other
elected leaders so when his so his prime minister resigns

when it becomes clear that the King is not going
to stop the fascist and a bunch of former prime ministers,
many of them liberals, start petitioning the king to make
them the prime minister again so that they can make
Mussolini their vice minister to placate the fascists. So like again,
establishment politicians cannot wait to make a deal with the fascists,
like couldn't do it fast enough? Um, yeah. The King

says no though, because the King has decided that Mussolini's
going to be the new premier, right, that he's just
going to give him straight to the big job. And
while all this is going on, the black Shirts are marching.
So years later Mussolini would claim to have marched on
foot with his soldiers all the way to the capital.
The reality is that he stayed in Milan for the
first day. A few days of the march, he was
seen at the theater just yeah, he's not stay back here,

just in case. Well, it's like how Donald Trump tells
his crowd to like march on the capitol and then
goes back home. He's like, that's the problem, Like, do
y'all see this man behind bulletproof glass. They've got guns
over there. I'm not doing that, you know, So like
why you followed his man? Yeah? I feel like when
you might get shot anyway? Good luck? Yeah, yeah, I'm good.

Don't you see his glass? Yeah? So, uh yeah. He
stays in Milan. He keeps a getaway car gassed up
and ready prepared to flee to Switzerland. Actually more ready
to flee for Switzerland than he is to actually go
to Rome, because he's sure they're going to crack down
on this. He's just making a gamble. He doesn't think
it's gonna work. Plan B. Eventually, though, after several days,

he realizes that the king is not going to institute
martial law to stop the march, and that he'd won.
Like this is a dawning realization while he's in Milan
that like, oh shit, we're getting away with this. So
that has to be Donald Trump. He's very there's some
similarities where he was like wait wait, wait what wait
what kind of shocked that this had worked. Mussolini starts

scrambling to dress himself up as the revolutionary leader. It
now kind of seemed like he was and I'm gonna
quote now from the Warfare Historical Network. Mussolini's own Milan
newspaper office, where he was staying, was barricaded with huge
rolls of newsprint, paper and barbed wire, and guarded by
a curious mix of fascist police and army troops. His
second floor offices featured hand grenades and desk trays, and

the fluster Duca himself was seen brandishing a rifle. Melodramatically,
he wrote in his nineteen autobiography, there was a rapid
exchange of shots. I had my rifle loaded and went
down to defend the doors. Bullets whizzed around my ears.
This is all a lie. The reality is that the
Milan police chief refused to even arrest him. The mayor
and commander of the Royal Guard asked for a truce

with the fascists and withdrew their men from around his office. UM.
There was no real crackdown taken on Mussolini directly whatsoever. Now,
while his militia march, they took over telephone switchboards, telegraph offices,
water works, and other government buildings. UM very little resistance
to this. About seven black Shirts are shot dead by
the army in various skirmishes. UM During this period of time,

and about a dozen people die. Over the course of
the March on Rome. Mussolini gets increasingly confident. His phone
calls start coming in from the Royal Palace from the King,
but he refuses the first three calls from the King
because Mussolini does understand how power works, and he knows
that when you got him on the ropes, you want him,
you got to bring him a little bit closer, right, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
we want to make a call. I'm not gonna take
that first call. I'm gonna take that second of that.

Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah yeah. Get him close, get him close.
That's how you do it. So eventually he decided that
his men had occupied enough territory that he felt confident
that King was not going to turn around and shoot
him as a trader if he showed up in Rome.
So on the night of October twenty nine, Benito Mussolini
took a sleeper train from Milan to Rome for the
soon to be dictator. The march on Rome consisted of

a single fourteen hour train. Right, so he does no marching.
He takes a train right into the capitol while his
guys are marching and fighting. No I'm not marching to Rome.
Are you talking about marching? We got trains now. Benito
would later lie about every major aspect of the march

on Rome. The reality is that about seven Black Shirts
again were shot and a dozen people died. Once they
were in power, the fascists claimed that three thousand people
had been killed in vicious fighting for control of the capital,
just a lie to make it seem heroic. When he
finally met the King, Mussolini's first words were, your majesty,
will forgive my attire. I have come from the battlefield.

You came from Milan, dude, Yo, two points for style. Yeah, no,
it's a good line. It's a good just came from battle. Yeah.
The bluff a like fighting where I told the army
not to fight you. Yeah. So, Victor Emmanuel has to

have known Mussolini was lying about that, but he liked Mussolini.
He considered him a quote man of purpose, and he
appointed him his premier foreign minister and Interior Minister. On
October thirty one, the day after Mussolini's meeting with the King,
his Black Shirts finally arrived in Rome. He had them
turn around immediately and marched to the train station so
they could go home. As the fascist columns withdrew, the

king declared, Mussolini has saved the nation. That is hilarious. Yeah,
I recapt that buss set I sent y'all got what

I needed, Then I sent you back, did you saying?
I said, yeah, it's great. It's a great position to
be in if you're Mussolini. He's really right and high
right now, because a lot of Italians agreed that he'd
saved the nation. Because people are really fucking dumb. And
again you have to assume very little access to accurate
news about what was happening Antennas. Now, the Roman middle

class was overjoyed by the lack of violence and by
the fact that the dreaded anarchy and the threat of
a communist revolution had been avoided. The stock market rose
on news of of Mussolini's power grab, and I should
note here that on January six, the Russell two thousand
index of small capitalization stocks rose three point seven percent,
while the SMP five point six percent. Now this had

less to do with the stock market loving the fact
that there had been an attempt to take over the
capital and more to do with it loving stability, because
January six ended with everybody repudiating the president and the
certainty that there would be a transfer of power. And
but that's kind of the same reason why the stock
markets raised when Mussolini like took power. It's because someone
was in power, there was certainty. Yeah, that's that. I

love that. I love that you brought that up, because
like if you if you want to talk about you know,
big corporations, you know one percenter's high money, they are
still beholden to a stable government that will um like
affirm and support their contracts. Like if I got contracts

all over the place and you breeched this contract, I
want to be able to sue the crap out of you.
So I gotta take you to a course that means
I have to have a government stable enough that says
so so so yeah so so so. It has no
no moral value either way. I just need y'all to
chill and if and if and if there's somebody that
can stop at you now that y'all agree, cool. I

don't care what you agree with as long as y'all
agree so that my money can keep coming. So that's that.
That that that point about the stock market, that's dope, man,
that that's the was stuff that Like, you know, I
always always cringe any anytime any leader, I don't care
who you are saying, Well, the stock market rose, this
is like man like that guy I got not They
just want you all to you know what I'm saying

like that. That doesn't that's not the indicator that you
that you say it is. Yep, it's not um and
it's it's yeah, it's a sign. It's a sign that
the people who are rich are confident they're going to
continue to be rich. And that's that's that's where fascism's
power traditionally comes from, and not as much from the

rich as it does from the middle class. The middle
class of Italy backed Mussolini for the same reason he
meants stability. Right, Maybe they weren't all fascist. Most of
them weren't. Most of them had never really like, hadn't
supported the fascist prior to him coming into power. But
now that he was in power, it means the communists
aren't gonna met win. Means I'm not gonna lose my business.
I'm not gonna lose like whatever like that because I'm

in the middle clad got shipped to lose, right, Yeah,
that's what the middle classes, you're the ship to lose class. Um. Now, yeah,
the middle class was in Italy, as it has been
in every country that's been taken over by fascists, the
chief base of fascist support. UM. And this is true
again everywhere fascism gains political power. In March of two
thousand sixteen, and NBC survey found that only about a

third of Trump supporters in the primaries had a household
income at or below the national media and income of
fifty dollars a year UM and that stayed more or
less the same for the election. UM. And again you
can look at the same kind of things happened in Germany. Um.
He said it was the same class that supported him. That. Yeah,
like it's important. And again another thing I love you

just brought up. Brought this up too, because it's like,
when you're talking about somebody that lives below the poverty line,
you don't have time to be listening to whatever the
politicians are saying, Like I'm trying to secure my next meal,
So there's not a they don't. You don't have the

luxury to go lobby and in canvas and do all
the things that someone who has uh, you know, liquid capital,
like leisure capital, be able to do. So that's the
middle class, you know what I'm saying, So like so yeah,
it's just yeah, it's same thing like us critique in
our own silo to be like, man, don't you can't

just call this you can't just say it was all
these poor these poor was not him in power because
they hungry, they working, These poor people working, they got
time for audience anything. It's the fucking what the fascists
are saying to the middle class, to the comfortable. It
is saying like, you see that poor motherfucker who doesn't
have time to think about any of this because he's
living hand the mouth. The communists are gonna make that

be you. You know, that's the that's the fucking pitch um.
And it works every time, or it works well enough
that it becomes a problem every time. Maybe it's not
gonna work this time. We'll fucking see um because Trump
was leading middle class support in I don't know he
really was. Man, Yeah, so that's good. We owe that too.

Behind the bastards, thank you. Yeah, I take total credit
for Biden's victory, thank you. So um so yeah, Fascism
generally cloaks itself as a working class movement of laborers
and hard men doing hard jobs. It's always the image, right,
the imagery of like a guy working at a steel
miller some ship. But that's not where their support actually
comes from. The support of fascism comes from a lot

of like the middle class and the a lot of
the affluent, not all of the affluent, because a lot
of the very rich are more establishment people. They're not
gonna back. They'll back a fascist when they're in power
because again, they don't want to lose their ships needs
to build, like yeah, they're they're up until it becomes
clear the fascists are gonna win there, you know, they're
gonna back whatever the order was previously. The middle class

is scared and anxious and always being pushed from both directions,
so they're the ones who really will go with a fascist.
And the first person in history to really lay this
out was Luigi Salvatorelli. Now he was an editorial writer
for an anti fascist news paper named La Stampa. I'm
going to quote now from an article on the March
of Rome by scholar Emilio Gentile talking about Luigi Salvatarelli

and how he came to this conclusion quote a year
before the March on Rome, Salvatarelli understood that fascism was
a new revolutionary movement, and that it organized and mobilized
a new social class, the petit bourgeoisie, equally hostile to
the proletariat and the upper middle classes. Salvatarelli had labeled
fascism reactionary Bolshevism, a danger today infinitely more real than

communist Bolshevism. He had since that fascist ambitions went beyond
the bourgeoisie, anti proletarian reaction and the protection of the
middle class. The dictatorial ambition of fascism, Salvatarelli wrote in
December nineteen one, had already shown its face in parts
of Italy, where the Fascist Party was imposing its dictatorial
will by crushing opponents, to whom they denied any political

or civil right, including the right to live. In July nine,
when not even Mussolini had thought of out taking over power,
Salvatarelli denounced the ongoing anti state attack perpetrated by Fascism
that was endangering the very existence of the Italian state
in order to establish a regime of violence throughout the country.
Immediately after the march on Rome, Salvatarelli stated that the

fascist government was determined to establish a one sided dictatorship
because it did not want any political activity to be
carried out outside of fascism. Salvatarelli saw in fascism, as
he wrote on November first, nineteen, the true and proper
characteristic of a political movement, of a party organized for
its own ends of a specific social class and that

aimed at the conquest of power on its home was
determined to fling itself against the existing state in the
name of the presumed greater good of the nation. M hmm, Yeah,
it's a lot there, There's a lot there. He suggested
something that I need the thought in that that the

thought never crossed my mind that as there were so
many big wires, it is hard for me to nail
down exactly where I heard it. But he almost suggested
the possibility of a two party system in a fascist state.
When he was like this fascism impresses it was almost

like he's it sounded redundant, where he was kind of
like this one party power fascist state, as if it's
possible to have a two party system, because that at
the time. At the time, fascists were a part of
the government, right, and a lot of people, even a
lot of like liberals, were like, well, they're not that dangerous.

They're just one other party. They have their view. This
is that that's it's that old thing of like, well
they have an opinion, and everybody gets to have their
appew and like we have to listen to them. They
have they get the freedom to speak their peace, And
what Salvatrelli is saying is their peace. What they're saying
they believe is that only their opinion matters, and they'll
kill you if you have a different one, got it.
So he let them in the government. So he's trying

to say, are y'all hearing what he's saying? Yeah? Yeah, really,
did you hear what he just said? This is not
just said yeah, yeah, if we let them, they will
be the only party, right um. And he's and he's
also saying, like they are their strength comes from a class,
right And because the a lot of the communist at
the time had been like had written off the fascists

as any kind of real movement, and it even written
off the March on Rome. We'll talk about that later
in the series. We're gonna do a big episode at
the end on sort of what we can learn from
all this. But there was a big failure among a
lot of people in the left and even anti fascists
to see fascists as the threat that they really were,
because number one, they were so darn silly, but number
two like, well, you know, I'm looking at this from

this Marxist analysis, and it tells me that all these
classes like it forms it. I don't. I don't see
this as a legitimate political movement that is speaking to
a class that has a large body of the populace
behind it. Okay, that was the peace I was missing
when you add the Marxists like glasses on there and

you go, oh, yeah, well who's where where do they fit? Like,
where's the cause? Can't be real because they don't fit him,
none of these Yeah, And there's there's this attitude again
we'll talk about us later among a lot of Marxists
that like, well, fascism is just the inevitable in the
state of capitalism. And one of the things Salvatorelli saying,
and a lot of things will say, is like that's
not exactly true. Fascism is pro capitalism a lot of
the time. It's also anti capitalism a decent chunk of

the time. And that's how it gets a lot of
people on board with it. Um it's it's it is
speaking to a specific class in the country who feels
edged out by both sides, who feels oppressed by the rich,
and who feels that the left is coming for what
little they do have. Right, that still gets on board
with this ship. And you have to see that they

are looking out for their own that that that they
have legit like interests that they see being threatened like
that there this is not just some sort of plot
by the bankers to take power for themselves. Right. The
fascists are speaking to legitimate um, you know, even if
they're wrong, legitimately felt exactly like those are legitimate. Yeah,

those are legitimate emotions that that you are actually in
your body experiencing, whether that's the reality like I say
that about like, um, there's this this you know, this
discussion about like well, you know, race is a social construct,
therefore it's not real. Therefore racism is not real. And
I'm like, okay, yes, you're right, race is a social construct,
but what I'm experiencing in my body is real. It's

you know what I'm saying. So I love that. I
love that because it's like, that's that's what you can't
dismiss about these people that are so riled up that
they would storm a capital. Is it's that what they're
experiencing in their bodies exct. What you said is being
is you're pressed on both sides, and yeah, you feel
that way. At least you feel it. At least this

person is saying. These group of people are saying, I
feel you, and I have an answer for you. Yeah,
And I have an answer for you, and it's let's
kill the left and take over the government. You know.
He's like, yeah, easy, um, yeah, and that's why you
know the six happened. Um So. Mussolini UH takes office

um two weeks after the March on Rome on November
UH November sixteenth, nineteen twenty two. He stands before the
Chamber of Deputies to present his new list of ministers.
So he picks out all the people who are going
to run the government, all fascists, um. Now the new
Prime Minister. Mussolini begins his speech to the Chamber of

Deputies by attacking the nation's elected leaders, calling them old
and deaf and incompetent, and he even threatened them with violence, stating,
with three hundred thousand armed men determined to carry out
my orders, I could have punished those who have vilified
and tarnished fascism. I could make this deaf and gray
hall filled exclusively with fascists. I could, but I have not,
at least not for now. Shut up, Shut up, gramps,

I'll slapped the ship out of you now. He promised
his as symboled deputies that his new fascist Italy would
ensure law and order, strengthen the military, and crushed the left.
The next day, the Chamber of Deputies conducted a vote
of confidence, which Mussolini won three hundred and six two
hundred and sixteen. So again he three's like I can
fucking kill you if I want to, and they're like, yeah,

come up, I'll put it, Yes, I voting I for you,
now your life. Yeah, I'm going to read a quote
from an article by Emilio Gentile about um anti fascism
in Italy and about the March on Rome. Quote. Benito
Mussolini could now claim that power was bestowed on him
by democratic means, even though it was claimed that many

votes were cast out of terror and intimidation from the fascists,
which he had literally threatened the entire chamber. Bonito Benita
was the man of the hour. He was, in fact,
imminently a product of a particular crisis World War One
and a special social class, the petty bourgeoisie. Mussolini's capture
of power was classic. He was the right national leader

at the right moment. By nineteen twenty three, Mussolini's consolidation
of power was complete. Italy was a fascist state, and
any resistance to the regime from then on would take
the form of mere insurgency. In total, between nineteen eighteen
and nineteen twenty three, Italian anti fascists killed some four
hundred and twenty eight fascists. Meanwhile, Mussolini's Black Shirts murdered

at least three thousand people in the same period. Most
of those people were not anti fascists. There were members
of trade unions, journalists, local politicians, anyone who stood in
the way between fascists and ultimate power. And again we've
talked a bit about why the Italian anti fascist didn't succeed,
and that's a longer conversation than we can have today.
I think you're right that a lack of a a

lack of something with momentum to oppose fascism, true momentum,
was a part of it. Um A lack of UH
state support is another part of it. There's a thing
that some folks on the kind of who are are UM,
anti fascist and anarchist activists in particular, we'll talk about
called the three way fight, which is the idea that

we're not just fighting against the fascist, we're fighting against
the state, and we're fighting against the fascist because the
state is also deeply harmful and deeply injurious to life
and used. That was particularly very strongly felt by people
during the blm UH risings. Right like, we have these fascists,
these proud boys and stuff, coming in the street to
do violence to us, we also have the cops doing it.
We're in a three way fight, right, very valid way

to look at things. It's also an almost impossible situation
to win because the fascists aren't in a three way
fight the fascist if they're smart, they're not dumb. Fascists
sometimes are UM and maybe our fascists have taken a
turn for the dumb. Let's hope. But the smart fascists
get to power with some degree of legitimacy and legality

and then use the state to crush the or enemies
because they don't want a three way fight. Right, that's
a problem. Yeah, because yeah, because yeah, because the government
is just a weapon. It's not because the end goal.
It's just a weapon. Yeah. Wow, she'sh man, I need
a shower. Yeah, oh god, please tell me you're done. Yeah, No,

I'm done. That's the end of episode. Doc. It's like
the it's just the party that feels like these people
give you this when you're trying to to stop, when
you're the ones trying to stop an insurrection. It's like,

these people give you no you have no safe aaiby,
they give you no breaks like that. You can never
stop and take a breath because they're gonna read that
as weakness. And then next thing, you know, somebody tying
up Nancy Pelosi. And it's not that I'm a Nancy
Pelosi fan, it's just you shouldn't be able to tie
Nancy Pelosi get up, and how that should happen. That's

not as should happen. You feel me like, I just
this and it's not that I'm a fan of the
US government. However, however, there are worse things to yes.
So it's just like there's yeah, like you said, like
you feel like you're in a three way fight, and
my fight is especially as someone who would say organizationally

and factually, my black life matters, right is that That's
all I'm trying to say is NIGGD. Can I live?
Like God damn it, man? Can I live? You know?
And so you you my goals. I feel like in
a lot of ways if it comes to like how

do I say this, Like, I'm not looking for as
a as a black person, if you will, I'm not.
I'm just looking for my rights to be honored. That's
all I'm trying to say. Just honor my right like
I have. No there's no platform of a read construction
of the government short of just stop sing killing, like,

let me be a citizen like you dog, like that's
all tries he Just let me a citizen like you, bro,
That's That's all I'm saying. So so when you when
you try to when you pit me against a fascist movement,
that's saying, well, no, our goal is to overthrow this
whole thing and be in charge, and no, you don't
get rights somehow the government choosing you. It's like it's hard.

It's almost like all all I get to do now
is I got homeboys that live in Atlanta, and what
they saying is they finda just grabbed a popcorn and
watch the civil war between these fascists and the and
the police. Like I'm just because it's like I don't
I want to be on the side of the government,
but the government on the side of me either, you
know what I'm saying. So it's just you just in

this weird predicament. But I know who I don't want
to win. Yeah, this is where we get to the
problem of the side opposing the fascists has done a
lot of good, uh, And it is important to oppose fascists.
What's actually needed to beat them. Opposing in this one
thing and it can slow them down. What's needed to

beat them is to provide something else that is not
the state as it exists, because that's um, but that
you can also get people on enough. People on board
with the fascists don't have oxygen anymore. Right, the fascist
it's like a fire right where you've got a bunch
of dry fucking brush and trees and ship and oxygen.

And as long as you have those things, the fire
is going to spread. And the way to counter that
is to fucking pour some fucking water on it. You know. Um,
that's good analogy, man. You need to reduce the area
in which it can spread, and it's human terrain, right,
So by the only way to reduce the human terrain

the ship can spread in is to give people something else. Yes, yes,
because they don't have anything right. Yes, that's what I
was going back to when you was asking me, like,
why did this fails? Like they didn't give them nothing else. Yeah,
it just said don't do this. Well, then what do
we do because we got now ain't working? Yes, So
it's either the government that led us into World War
One or some people who are saying we should do

what they're doing in Russia right now. And that doesn't
look great. Um, And you know, most of the liberals
are like on the side of like, well, we'll just
we'll just keep tweaking the system that got us into
World War One, and a lot of people are like
that doesn't seem good. Yeah, I need I needed, I
need an option, deed, Jake, Yeah, I'm poor, my government,

I have no hope for the future. So Jake, this
guy is saying it'll be different. Dr Jacob, let's see
if it's different. Yes, exactly. Uh, It's like it's like
when you're watching a basketball game and it's your two
least favorite teams playing and you want both of them
to lose, but there isn't a way for one of them,
not like somebody has to win, so that there has

to be some sort of interference that makes it so
that the game can't even happen. Otherwise you're going to
just pick your your Joe Biden. You get stuck with
Joe Biden, so you guys, otherwise you get Joe Biden.
Nobody wants that either, you know. That's man, That's what
I'm like, look like, do do not say I'm glad

nobody has suggested that, Like Joe Biden is just a
left wing of Trump to some people know, he is
a consolation pride of the consolation price we settle for
Joe Biden, Like this thing ain't to come in Messiah.
He he to Disciple bartholomewle at best conscious even he's

not even Peter John Like, so that's a deep cut
Boyle's not even Paul because like you, Timothy, you ain't
even write no book in the New test I'm cheering
up in my whole face, is right, this is so funny.

That's a that's a that's a that's a that's an
evangelical joke. So that's the first part of this behind
the direction part motherfucking one. Prop Where can people follow you?
Oh Lord, please follow me at prop hip hop on
all them things? Um yeah, all the all of the
twitters and instagrams. Um, you could my website prop dot

com backslize coffee. Yeah, that is my website and we
do coffee stuff there. Um. Got some pods. Uh, politics
were prop which is um political analysis just from like,
you know, if you survived eighth grade, you could you
understand your politics? You know, I just kind of giving

you political analysis. Yeah. That's that's that's my that's my
thangs and uh, well we'll be back soon, Robert, We
will be back soon. We'll be back to talk about
the Munich beer Hall pusch um next week, um, and
then we'll talk about some other ship and then we're
going to end this talking in broad about why fascists

win when they win, And why fascists lose when they lose.
Your gift to the world, Robert h like like like socks,
a nice pair of socks. Robert doesn't know how to
take compliments as you can. I'm just going to run
away from my computer now, goodbye. That's the episode.

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