Friday, October 28, 2011

Mussolini, Tea Party, and the violence on Scott Olsen

On October 29th, 1922 Benito Mussolini and his Blackshirts/National Fascist Party marched on Rome and assumed power in the Kingdom of Italy as the Prime Minister.

As we all remember the interwar years were tough on most countries. The rolling opulent capitalism of the twenties had broken the banks and world economies were in shambles. Those feeling the worst of it were, as always, the poor. The world had not really invented a middle class yet, so there was rich and poor. In the twenties while the US and Northern European Economies were still rolling in fake money, Italy was not doing so good.

In 1919 Mussolini formed the Italian Combat league which eventually became the National Fascist Party which put Mussolini into the Parliament in 1921.

The Fascists were both revolutionary and traditionalist. They were calling Italy to look back and reclaim their great and proud heritage. They attacked those who called for a class struggle or rights for the disenfranchised. They confused the issue with patriotism and anger.

During the same period as the Fascists were growing in power another group was gaining strength. The trade unionists of Italy were gaining strength and developing an anarcho-syndicalist brand of socialist ideology (A branch of Anarchism in the Labor movement promoting trade unions and cooperative economic systems).

The trade unionists were able to enact a general strike which began in an Alfa Romeo factory in Milan. A general strike is when nobody goes to work. EVERYBODY stays home. It is a tremendous sign of strength from the working class to the ruling power.

Mussolini's Blackshirts broke the strike using incredibly violent means. Attacking crowds of non-violent protesters and beating people. This is the creation of the concept of Fascism.

So, Scott Olson...... An Iraqi war veteran and member of Iraq War Veteran's for Peace, was peacefully protesting at Occupy Oakland in his Marine uniform. He was seriously injured when the police threw a flash bang grenade at his head. A flash bang is like a little grenade which produces more light and sound. It is a less lethal, disorienting weapon. Unless you are within six feet of it. Then it is just a fucking grenade. Imagine it was thrown at your head. He is in critical condition and will have brain surgery.

What does Scott Olsen and the Occupy movement have to do with Mussolini? We are at a cross roads. The Tea Party on one side calling for a traditionalist revolution and on the other we have the Occupy movement looking to have a more egalitarian distribution of opportunity.

I am not suggesting that the Tea Party is a bunch of Fascists (I really don't think so) or that the Occupy people are anarcho-syndicalists. I have been watching the news and noticed the date. I was reminded how history repeats its self and I am concerned about the state of the Union.

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