1930s: Mussolini’s Fascist Headquarters, Rome

15 Responses

  1. Brian Gonigal

    That’s just bad on every level, politically and aesthetically. It’s not even intimidating, it’s ridiculous. It looks like something out of a totalitarian Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.

  2. Ric

    Personally I find it kinda interesting aesthetically.

    @adam: yeah it’s blatant, and @Brian Gonigal, yeah it’s ridiculous… but you have to take into account that you’re looking at it after 80 years in which totalitarian ideologies have been completely denounced and their aesthetic has been mocked in every possible guise – it’s no wonder that it looks like the caricature of itself now.

    Also, that wasn’t the regular facade of the building, which would’ve been over the top even for Mussolini, that was a temporary election billboard for the 1934 Plebiscite – the fascist’s version of the elections, where the citizen were called to vote “yes” or “no” to a single fixed list of candidates proposed by the party. The recto of the “yes” ballot was painted with the colors of the italian flag, while the “no” ballot was completely white, so it was a bit hard to vote “no” without getting noticed…

  3. Christopher

    Excellent insight Ric. A lot of Americans at the time, not even including those that openly admired fascists governments in Europe, looked at early Italian and German totalitarian regimes as a good thing. They were putting people back to work and “making the trains run on time.” Here in the States we were still in the throes of the Great Depression which only WW II got us out of.

    The sad thing is, there will always be people who would give up a little bit of freedom to “gain” more “security.” It always a slippery slope.

  4. yoda

    @Ric @Christopher;
    Thanks for the insight.

    (Now back to the snark; where’s Crow T. Robot when you need him?)


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