It is also often presented as a purer, more honest period and thus contrasted with the corruption of contemporary politics. At the same time, it also extended to a rehabilitation of the regime and Mussolini. Viewing the present through the past also appealed to Mussolini, who assumed the title of Il Duce. The Roman salute alone thus would not be a crime. Consensus for the regime is, in fact, one of the great historical debates about Italian Fascism. Most alarmingly he states:. While I admire the way he built his power, I am fascinated by the way he wielded it and consolidated it. Mussolini was convinced that he had to save the country from others.
To him, the stakes were immense, there was a higher end which justified his means […] He deceived people, his actions were often vile or calculated. But all this was motivated by a higher purpose. At stake was the fate of the nation. He sacrificed individuals for what he thought was the greater good.
And he did do a lot of good, from introducing national pensions, from modernizing the railways to restoring pride to an entire people. Di Canio, It is pure populism at best, fake history at worst, albeit one that has growing support in Italy where expressing esteem for Fascism and its deeds is no longer unusual. It is indicative of how there is still a sense in Italy that the football stadium operates in a separate sphere, detached from the norms and laws that govern everyday life.
The Anne Frank stickers are the most recent example of this, but a comparable incident almost twenty years earlier reveals a further reason for the existence and growth of extremism in Italian football: the inability or lack of desire by the authorities to tackle the problem. The answer connects contemporary football with that of the Fascist regime, via the municipal authorities who have built and still own the stadiums.
The relationship of disloyalty and mistrust between the people and the state has created a malaise which manifests itself in low electoral turnout, worrying levels of tax evasion and avoidance, corruption, and the predominance of organised crime. Incapable of carrying out its functions, the inefficient state turns to external resources and parallel organisations to strengthen it. Frequently unaccountable, inefficient and corrupt, they only weaken it further.
Cassese did not discuss Italian sport, but his argument is easily applicable and evident in how calcio has been developing. Having spent heavily to promote his brand through football, AC Milan would have been a major beneficiary, along with the likes of Lazio and Parma. With clubs made accountable for the behavior and welfare of their consumers, police activity is restricted to public order roles away from stadium. By contrast, various branches of the Italian state and military police forces employ traditional patterns and methods of control to maintain order within Italian stadiums, which is presuming they are able to enter in the first place.
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In the UK, in addition to the huge amounts of wealth generated by television rights for coverage of the Premier League, clubs receive financial support from central government initiatives and funded agencies to modernise their stadiums, most notably after the Hillsborough disaster. Thus, the government regulations that have been introduced have tended to focus on those who attend matches rather than the game and its infrastructure, which has augmented the sense of persecution and anger among fans.
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As Doige has argued:. The communal nature of Italian stadiums is clearly reductive. At the current time, no one is considering the experience of fans […] By permitting clubs to own their own ground, they will be inclined to consider the experiences of their own fans. If the clubs can invest in the facilities then they can begin to capitalize on these investments and begin to compete with other leagues. They can also attract a wider range of fans, rather than the predominantly masculine fans that frequent the stadium nowadays.
In terms of modernising calcio , only Juventus has shown any initiative with its construction of the Juventus Stadium 37 that opened in , although it must also be noted that the club has almost unrivalled access to private capital. Elsewhere, stadiums built in the s and s have fallen into disrepair with little renovation since the works undertaken for the World Cup.
Thus, the modernisation of Italian football is dependent upon both the money and will to implement and enforce necessary changes. With both of these severely lacking, they can be seen to have contributed to many of the extremist incidents discussed, which includes the representation and growth of Fascism and racism within Italian stadiums, a phenomenon that continues to go unchecked.
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Fascism was not, however, rooted deeply enough in Italian society for its postwar survival and positive memory to be seen as inevitable. The consequence has been a divided memory of the past that has been further fuelled by ignorance, periods of extreme political violence, and an inefficient state apparatus that rewards connections over talent and, in the early postwar years, provided a welcome refuge for those with nostalgic memories of the past.
The absent state has frequently shown itself as both incapable of creating law and enforcing what legislation already exists. Evident cases in point, the stadiums became vacuums of authority that accommodated the politics of the Italian piazzas. Ranging from the production of a more palatable version of history to the direct rehabilitation of Fascism, the link from Mussolini to the Anne Frank stickers at the Stadio Olimpico is clear. Bonini, Francesco , Le istituzioni sportive Italiane. Storia e politica. Torino: Giappichelli. Accessed on Bromberger, Christian , La partita di calcio. Etnologia di una passione.
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London: Bloomsbury. Cassese, Sabino , Governare gli Italiani. Storia dello Stato. Bologna: il Mulino. Chiappaventi, Guy , Pistole e palloni. Milano: Limina. Di Canio, Paolo , The Autobiography. London: CollinsWillow. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Melia my 'The Italian feste of Western Australia and the myth of the universal church'. Romano eds , La politica estera italiana, , Il Mulino, Bologna, , including my 'Mito e linguaggio nella politica estera italiana'.
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