Friday, 12 June 2009

The Eternal Tendency Towards Fascism

I've just finished reading Carlo Levi's Christ Stopped at Eboli and was taken by some of his comments towards the end of the book. Levi, a painter and writer, was exiled by the Italian fascist authorities to a village in the poverty-stricken south of the country in 1935. His book recounts the year he spent there.

This is what he has to say: (talking of his friends back home)
At bottom, as I now perceived, they were all unconscious worshippers of the State. Whether the State they worshipped was the Fascist State or the incarnation of quite another dream, they thought of it as something that transcended both its citizens and its lives.
And later,
We cannot foresee the political forms of the future, but in a middle-class country like Italy, where middle-class ideology has infected the masses of workers in the city, it is probable, alas, that the new institutions arising after Fascism, no matter how extreme and revolutionary they may be in appearance, will maintain the same ideology under different forms and create a new State equally far removed from real life, equally idolatrous and abstract, a perpetuation under new slogans and new flags of the worst features of the eternal tendency towards Fascism.

No comments: