Eternal Fascism is an essay on which a lecture at a symposium at the University of Colombia was based. The lecture was organized by the departments of Italian and French language for an event celebrating Europe's liberation from the fascist rule. Eternal Fascism is an essay on which a lecture at a symposium at the University of Colombia was based. The lecture was organized by the Italian and French language departments for an event celebrating Europe's liberation from the fascist rule. In this essay, Eco states that the Italian fascism was „fuzzy“ and not completely totalitarian and wonders where did that „fuzzy fascism“ illusion come from. First of all, tradition and the multiculturality of the Italian society must be taken into consideration. Italian society was multicultural, not in the ethnic sense, but in the sense of the pluralism of intertwining cultural traditions which were directly opposed to single-mindness spread by the fascists. The fascist ideology was actually an „anti-ideology“, pragmatical set of ideas and principles, deeply anti-materialistic, anti-individualistic, anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-communist and anti-capitalistic (only on paper) – but also contradictory in its performance, since it formally co-existed with the monarchy and the Catholic church (but managed to be their ally). In the second part of this essay, Eco manages to summarize parts of every type of fascism in fourteen characteristics, using its archetype he calls „ur-fascism“. According to Eco, presence of either one of those fourteen characteristics in any of the fascism's incarnations is enough to call it fascism. Of course, the more characteristics there are, the more articulate the type of fascism is. In the final word Eco points out that the ur-fascism is still around, often camouflaged in humble ultra-conservative movements, clerical organizations, populist parties and movements.
„Fascism today, as an ideology and as a movement, reincarnates in hundreds of shapes: in the shape of skinheads (naziskins), in the shape of football-crazed-hooligans hiding behind patriotic banners and hyper-patriotic euphoria, in shape of homophobic Christian fundamentalists, war veterans who want to arbitrate in the society instead of the legal institutions, evocators of the defeated forces from the World War II, performers of nauseating fascist songs, promoters of violence and intolerance, xenophobia, nationalism, war militarism – all of those forms have something in common. Behind all these new forms of fascism, of that eternal fascism, many crises stand.
In those cracks a „bitter herb“ of eternal fascism grows and it is Eco's unmistakable merit to have shown us its elements. All we have to do, as a society, is to notice them and develop anti-bodies with which we will recognize, identify and cure the society from this sort of political pathology, not post festum, as it happened with fascism, naziism, ustaštvo and their other versions, but as a prevention – so those things never happen again.“
- ISBN: 978-953-8075-57-5
- Dimensions: 125X200 mm
- Number of pages: 60
- Cover: paperback
- Year of the edition: 2019
- Original title: Eternal fascism
- Original language: Italian
- Translation: Damir Grubiša