As I always like to point out, especially on the anniversary of the Georgian BDSM master’s death, life in Fascist Italy was nicer, more predictable, and several orders of magnitude safer than in the 1930s USSR.
Even for Communists. And Jews.
Just nine people executed for political crimes from 1922-43 under Mussolini. That’s a rounding error by the NKVD’s standards.
Back this Jan/Feb, I was surprised to learn, thanks to liberal journalists and Navalny, that Vladimir Solovyov (nee Shapiro) – Russia’s most well-known conservative/Putinist TV talk show host, who loves fast, expensive cars and has eight children – also appears to be a fan of Il Duce.
Back in 2013, Solovyov made a documentary film about the last days of Mussolini (“Zakat”), where he expressed some powerful thoughts on the Italian leader:
Who is Benito Mussolini. A coward? No. Very brave person. A scoundrel? Murderer? Anti-Semite? Sadist? No. From what has been written about him, he was a man who was deeply disrespectful to women, but so far as clearly expressed failings go, that was the last of them.
More recently, Solovyov re-posted his friend Igor Molotov’s positive review of his own film on his Telegram channel, creating a small furore amongst the liberal pro-Western opposition:
Vladimir Solovyov made a very necessary film. Foremost, because amongst us, the Duce is considered a maniac, and people don’t understand that fascism and bastard Nazism are two different things.
Mussolini was a brilliant character, who gave the world a third path, which Russia, partially, is treading along today.
Solovyov, too, was evidently reading my blog – even time traveling six years into the future just to do so.
Anyhow, in an obvious response to the mini-scandal, RT’s Russian language website published an article by Dmitry Petrovsky, under the wonderfully trollish title “The Duche Scared the Liberals“:
The facts outlaid [in Solovyov’s film] are well-known; until 1941, there really were no concentration camps, Mussolini was not an anti-Semite, treated Hitler with contempt, did not execute his political opponents…
But we are not the neoliberal sect, which doesn’t tolerance dissident. We are honest conservatives, and since we are being called to discussion – let’s have it. Let’s remember Benito Mussolini, who he really was and what legacy he left behind. And let’s begin with the main mistake we inherited from Stalinist propaganda – calling both the Italian, and the German dictators “Germano-fascist invaders.”
Mussolini really was a fascist. Fascism is an Italian word, coming from fascio – a bundle, a fagot… the symbol of imperial power in Ancient Rome, and of the high magistrates during the Republic. Mussolini used this word as a symbol of unity for the recently divided and up until then still weak Italy. Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler never called himself a fascist. He was a National Socialist, his party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, and there were no Roman bundles in either its symbology or its lexicon.
And our military propagandists were well aware of that – the problem is that, had they called a spade a spade, it would have emerges that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was fighting those same socialists – just slightly different ones. “Fascism” struck more of a contrast, it fit better, and under wartime conditions, this rhetorical ploy was entirely justified.
It is very nice to discover that such a prominent media figure in the putative PutlerReich is so based, and to read the anguished wailing of sovoks and liberals under this article, and in response to Navalny’s video. Indeed, so triggered were the Navalnyites, they sent an official complaint to the Investigations Committee to check Solovyov’s comments for extremism and rehabilitation of fascism.
Incidentally, what makes this entire spectacle of a Mussolini-loving Russian Jewish journalist even funnier is that RT English pretends that Navalny is a fascist and/or nationalist, which leftist Western Russophiles eagerly lap up.