Luther Blissett on Thu, 17 Sep 1998 16:47:40 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> The exposure of Mussolini's corpse

Timothy K. Gallaher wrote:

>And then in
>>the 20th century Mussolini urged the Italian people to reconnect with
>>their ancient conquering glories under the banner and label of
>>"fascism", which they did until the bitter end when it became necessary
>>to hang Mussolini upside down from a lamppost and cut him in half with
>>machine-gun fire.

Rinaldo Rasa replied:
>The exposure of the corpse of Benito
>Mussolini and Claretta Petacci (her lover) was an inhuman event,
>i agree.

My point of view is different.

The allied forces were about to reach Northern Italy, and many cowards who
had supported Mussolini for more than twenty years suddenly switched to
antifascism. A few days after the Liberation, a lot of long-time members of
the National Fascist Party subscribed to clandestine antifascist parties
and claimed to have fought in the Resistance. Although nobody had seen them
in action, why split hairs? 

According to some witnesses, many of those who beat il Duce's corpse to a
bloody pulp were far from being political opposers or former victims of
fascist persecution - indeed, some of them had enthusiastically applauded
Mussolini's last speech in Milan, just one month before his death. 
The exposure of those smashed corpses became one of the many great alibis
and spectacular moves staged to cover the substantial coherence between the
defeated regime and the victorious one. Togliatti (general secretary of the
Communist Party) granted amnesty to every fascist psychopath imprisoned by
the Allies. The fascist Penal Code wasn't changed. The high bureaucracy of
the state remained exactly the same: the judges who had inflicted centuries
of prison to antifascists simply swore their loyalty to the new Republic,
and kept the power in their filthy hands. Even the 1948 Constitution, one
of the most advanced in the world as far as civil and human rights are
concerned (although none of those principles was ever put into practice),
referred to the Concordat between Italy and the Vatican, which on the
initiative of Mussolini had acknowledged Catholicism as "the only religion
of the Italian state".

Despite this, I don't feel like blaming those men and women who honestly
hated their former dictator, and couldn't help but going berserkr in
Piazzale Loreto when they were able to lay their hands (and feet) on his
body. Remember that Mussolini had been one of the most untouchable scumbags
on earth: those people had been seeing the son of a bitch in the distance,
a small bald head waving fists like a demented spastic, speaking from
platforms and balconies surrounded by armed soldiers. 
Those people had been hearing his voice on the radio, full of ostentation,
announcing that he was going to send them and their husbands/sons/brothers
to the bloodiest war in modern history. 
They had been bumping into unbelievably ugly Mussolini statues and busts in
every street of their town. They knew that was the guy they had to thank
for the death of their beloved ones. Maybe some of them thought: 'Sure I'm
gonna thank him someday!'
What would've you done? Me, I would have kicked the shit out of the
cankerous bastard, even if he was already dead. Human beings aren't saints.
Human beings aren't robots.

Sorry, I reckon this has little to do with net-culture.

The Luther Blissett Mythopoetic On-line Guide:
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