Racism and fascism stalk Italy

FRFI 206 December 2008 / January 2009

As economic crisis descends upon the imperialist economies of the US and Europe, bourgeois economists have turned to the financial crash of 1929 and the depression of the 1930s to explain the current chaos. What they fail to mention is the means by which the capitalist class in certain countries attempted to solve the worst economic and social crisis of the last century: fascism. Across Western Europe recent events provide a grim reminder of the depths to which the ruling elites of Europe, and Italy in particular, can sink. With one of the weakest economies in Europe, the country is set to plunge into possibly the continent’s worst depression. Italian capital, perhaps more than any other European economy, desperately needs to increase the exploitation of immigrant workers and the working class as a whole; in doing so, it faces renewed levels of class struggle.

The anti-immigrant and anti-Roma legislation and violence implemented and encouraged by Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition of xenophobes, ‘post-fascists’ and big business is increasingly being turned against the growing working class movement which has shaken Italy since October 2008. The crescendo of racist violence and terror, police brutality, anti-working class legislation and hysterical cries for the crushing of increasingly militant social movements is reminiscent of the fascist terror which the barons of finance capital unleashed across Europe 70 years ago.

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