by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
The latest news from the political movement seeking a sort of Orange Revolution in Italy, is that they have expelled from their movement a certain Silvano Mariotti. The news was announced last night by none other than General Pappalardo, the President of the Gilet Arancioni (Orange Vests), in the above video. The General says this was done because he had displayed the symbol of the movement alongside that of the Littoria Fascista. The general also warned about the danger of infiltration into the Gilet Arancioni by Frange Fasciste, that is, Fascists, admirers of the political program of Benito Mussolini, who came to power under the last King of Italy and who led the Kingdom of Italy into the Second World War on the side of Nazi Germany.
For those unfamiliar with Italian History, some explanation is required.
The Littoria Fascista is a term referring to the Fascist Movement which supported Mussolini’s rise to power. In the United States of America, we are wont to often refer to both German, Italian and Spanish political movements of the far right, as Fascists, but this is incorrect.
In Germany, the Nazi party was a political party which grew out of the left. They were socialists but die hard nationalists. They proposed the economic and cultural development of Germany while rejecting the Christian heritage of the nation in favor of a mythical, romanticist notion of the pagan origins of the German people (folk). The Naionalist Socialist movement therefore was a form of historical revisionism. And Adolf Hitler, who became its leader was not even a German citizen. He was an Austrian of Jewish lineage on both sides of his family.
In Spain, the efforts of the hard Left who seized power in the Spanish Parliament caused a violent reaction among those elements of the Spanish Military who wanted to protect Spain and her religious and cultural institutions from the fate of a Soviet like dictatorship. The Spanish Military in Morocco rebelled and soon the leader of the rebellion was a general by the name of Franco. The resulting civil war ended with the victory of Franco’s forces, who both during the war and thereafter were known for repressive actions. Franco, however, was neither a Nazi nor a Fascist. He was a devout Catholic and always defended the Christian heritage of Spain, even if he was in favor of a modern system of government, rather than in restoring a strict monarchy.
Fascism, properly speaking, however, was a political movement and ideology created by Giovanni Gentile and Benito Mussolini in 1915. It wanted to restore the greatness of Italy in the times of the Roman Empire, thus rejecting the Christian heritage of the nation and trying to appropriate the grandeur of what was Rome in the name of Italian nationalism. Fascism, therefore, like National Socialism was a form of historical revisionism and was in truth a leftist ideology, even though its approach to the Christian Heritage of Italy was more like that of General Franco and entirely unlike that of Adolf Hitler.
So, what are the Lttoria Fascista of which General Papplardo speaks? This was the political symbol of Mussolini’s Fascist Party. In ancient Rome, the praetors of the people, who judged criminal cases, were proceeded in processions and in the execution of their duties by servants who carred Fasces lictoriae, bundles of sticks bound by straps around the wooden handle of a double headed axe. Those who carried these bundles were know as lictors. And hence the modern Italian word, Littoria, which refers to that which they carried. While I cannot be sure of which form of the Littoria Fascista Silvano Moretti is accused of displaying, the image to the right shows what one historical form of the Fascist Littoria, which differed from the historical Roman form, in that it had an axe bound on the outside. For the Romans the axe symbolized the power and jurisdiction of a Roman magistrate.
General Pappalardo, elsewhere, makes much mention of the heroic deeds of his own father, who after the fall of the Italian Government in 1943, when the King of Italy dismissed Mussolini from power, fought on the side of the Italian resistance against the Germans and the Fascists still operating in Northern Italy. The Germans, after an amazing rescue of Mussolini from a mountain top prison, deep behind Allied lines, set him up as the head of a puppet state in the north of the country. A violent civil war broke out in the north, and I gather that Pappalardo senior saw action there. The Italian Resistance was mostly composed of Marxists, and so it is understandable why the General takes such strong exception to the presence of any admirers of Fascism in the Gilet Arancioni.
In modern Italy, one of the enduring characteristics of politics is the inability of Italians to break free from the historical categories in which politics has expressed itself. Many Italians to this day, especially in Southern Italy, admire what Mussolini did or tried to do, overlooking all his deceits, frauds and villanies. The Gilet Arancioni, themselves, are a group which imitates the protest movements in France in recent years, movements which are themselves sponsored by French Marxists. General Pappalardo, however, professes himself a strong believer in the Christian Faith, even though he has on occasion publicly praised the Argentine in the Vatican, who is clearly a Marxist himself.
Silvano Mariotti, who identified himself a coordinator of the Gilet Arancioni in the region of Lazio, in this video, is the man wearing the New York Yankees hat.
Mr. Mariotti, or at least a man with exactly the same name, explains who he is in a very long personal comment on a page featuring news about the Gilet Arancioni on April 20, 2020, at the site of the S.U.P.U, the Union for Uniformed Service men. Pappalardo, himself, once was a union rep, and this is perhaps why the Union ran a story about the Gilet Arancioni.
For a fair and balanced coverage, I offer here an English translation of Mariotti’s comment about himself:
Good morning, General Pappalardo. Who writes to you is a Simple Citizen of 48 years old who lives in the Municipality of Fiumicino.Father of 2 fantastic Children and Husband of an house Wife. Great worker, 26 years of contributions spent on articulated trucks, and similar, for about 6 years I have been working for a company that deals with waste disposal and I deal with the disposal that from the neighboring municipalities of Rome are precisely disposed of in storage facilities scattered throughout the Italian territory. I would like to take this opportunity to give you a summary of my life by telling you that: as a boy, having been born in a Malfamata area of Rome, I found myself only because of the divorce of my parents I had taken a path that I will never recommend neither to my children nor to the children of any human being. I was arrested back in 1994, believe me only for having indicated to two plainclothes policemen who were dealing drugs. And for me it was over, my young age, not having a father present at the time, which warned me of the danger that I could not have even confessed to declaring my knowledge of a drug dealer. I was just Mr General. I was sentenced, 7 months locked up in a house arrest and then freedom. A new life. In those 7 long, infernal months I understood something very simple. That life was not and could not be an integral part of my journey. My mother was a nurse at St. Camillus, my father a trade unionist Provincial of the U.I.L. and in the factotum house also for his past as a carpenter. Thanks to my parents, uncles and grandparents, I was raised since I was a child with the right values. The Family, respect for the greatest, for the weakest, but above all the concrete basis of my Values is based on the belief of God, Jesus Christ Crucified and Risen, of the Mother of Mothers who watches over all of us and Saint Rita of Cascia. And on the respect of the Rules, the Justice and the Respect for the Divisa, indiscriminately what is its Color. My life hasn’t been an easy life, falling into the trap mentioned above which has got me a heavy weight weighty train because as you know once you are on the Black List of Justice, there is always the risk that those skeletons in the closet will suddenly pop up again to bring you back into the world of Darkness, Well, those skeletons have tried more than once to destroy what I was trying with all the Forces in the years to build, with the sacrifices of Work, the detachment from old friendships for the fear of being pointed out again for what they really are not. And in fact, so much is my strength, so much is the love that my Mother, Woman of character but of a sensibility out of the ordinary, so much was my will to undertake a life based on the legality of the spirit, that I managed to win this Battle that now, to tell the truth for years I can say, to have become what destiny had already set me. A real man, who crashes nothing and nobody. Now, after years, I realize that I have taken the most difficult and difficult road that a man could choose. But at the same time I realize that this is the road that pays you back most in spirit. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Gospel according to John: 8,3. Sorry for my presentation, but I had to introduce myself so that I undressed before you Mr. General, you can understand that to you is presented a humble, sincere and ready to give all of himself for this Campaign that you will have to face side by side for the Fatherland, and to leave a better inheritance to my Sons and to all the Sons of Our Italy. Mr. General, if you allow me, I would like to accompany you, helping you with all my strength on June 2. Millions of people will have to reside in the Square, not 1 million as you rightly cautiously said. I would like to point out that thanks to a friend in the Municipality I have arrived to you, this friend is called Roberto Gianfelici. I met him in a group on FaceBook so by chance while I was trying to unite as many ordinary people as possible for a peaceful Mass Demonstration. The moment is serious Mr. General my motto is “SUB LEX LIBERTAS- MEMENTO AUDERE SEMPER” you know what I am talking about. I have been working for more than a month to organize a peaceful mass demonstration to give a shoulder to this illegitimate and wretched government, I was also chosen by a group that will soon become a Civic Movement, a group of honest men without crickets ready for the weaving machine has done a painstaking job starting from the Territory then from the People to seek as much support as possible, but in the long term. The next elections are too far away for me, this government will soon crush us and in 2 years it will be too late in my opinion. I’m ready to leave him if welcomed in his Campaign. Watching your video last night “Orange vest election campaign”, excuse me Mr. General but I’m not ashamed to say it, I was moved. I saw in you, a Father. That Father who will save our beloved Italy and Our Generation to come. I am ready, if you will give me the right Directives, the means to involve as many citizens as possible and you will explain to me how it is possible today with the laws that have been made in favor of the Powerful of this Europe that does not belong to us, I can assure you that you have found in me a valiant People’s Officer, able to gather a Battalion, composed of Family Fathers, Grandparents and young people with clear ideas. The composure and respect of the Forces of Order will be the priority, it will be more important than the purpose that pushed us in the Square. In the future I have already been a Leader. It was just a MotoClub, certainly another branch, but the Men are always the same. Holding back hundreds of motorcyclists around Italy is not easy for everyone and modestly, when people read in your eyes that belief, the words are superfluous, I’m sure you Mr. General knows what I’m talking about. I hope that after this small summary of My Person, you will contact me soon for a cognitive interview. Roberto Gianfelici left me the number of Comm. Giuseppe Pino, but I would like to be summoned directly by you, because I am sure that you, having read this letter, already know which person is in front of you. A serious man, loyal, with the right ideals and ready to give his life for the good of his children and his wife, for a better future, for an Italy finally great economic power, great beacon for the whole humanity. Honesty. Religious beliefs. Family. Homeland. Good day Mr. General Pappalardo and Long live Italy.
Most of the admirers of Fascism, whom I have met in Italy in the last 15 years, are what I would call political nostalgists. I do not think any of them are capable of violence. They just have a political vision which looks to the past, and seeks to find a point of reference, in a history of Italy which does not have any real modern points of reference. This is not to deny that Fascism as a movement exploited the Church for godless motives and ends, and represents one of the great stains and enduring wounds in the Italian nation and body politic. And I think if the comment from Mariotti is to be taken on its face value, it is clear that he is not a Fascist in the proper sense, rather, he is a devout Catholic.
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