Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Patricia Chiantera-Stutte | Università di Bari | Italy 


September 15th 2022 | 16.30 – 18.15
Panel #4 | “Italian Historical Narratives
Room G.126 | Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Milan, Largo Gemelli 1

Narratives about “missed revolutions” during Italian Fascism: from Delio Cantimori to Camillo Pellizzi

My article will reconstruct the relevance of allo-history in the historiographical and sociological debate, showing two issues. Firstly, that allo-history has always been genre-blurring, as Moylan and Baccolini suggest and that allo-hiustorical narratives exist beyond fiction and literature. In so doing, I will implicitly cast doubts on the interpretation according to which only postmodern history is overlapping with allo-history (Linda Hutscheon), and suggest that some historiographical narratives can contain elements of allo-history also before postmodernism. Secondly, I will show that a allo-historical perspective may be used as a tool to understand the different positions of authors towards politics and political ideals, showing concretely that the various ways to “be fascist” during Mussolini’s regime can be detected analysing their allo-historical reconstructions.
In this article I will consider and analyse one example of allo-history developed in the historiographical discourse and in particular the literature about the so-called missed revolutions during the Italian Fascism. In so doing I will discover some common origins and motifs of the political revolt of some exponents of the young generation living during Mussolini’s regime and reconstruct their idea of unfulfilled revolution. I will deal in particular with the interpretations of “rivoluzione mancata” given by Camillo Pellizzi and Delio Cantimori and in particular consider their representation of Europe and, in relation to it, of Italy. Concerning this issue, much has been written on Gobetti’s and Gramsci’s idea of missed revolution, less on the interaction between fascist and anti-fascist exponents and even less on the interpretation of missed revolution in the fascist literature. 
In spite of that lack of interest by the contemporary historiographical literature, Cantimori’s and Pellizzi’s reflections have to be seen in their reference to Gramsci and Gobetti, as counterpoints to their conception, which, at its turn, clearly refers to the interpretation given by Oriani and Missiroli and many others about the interrupted development of Riformation in Italy. In their perspective, whereas Europe has developed politically and socially following the impulse given by the Reformation and by what Weber called the “capitalist mentality”, Italy stayed behind, as it did not participate to the spiritual and social renewal brought by Luther’s religious movement.
I will show the overlapping themes between the antifascist and the fascist authors, as well as their differences, considering also their personal contacts and their position and interpretations towards Italian Fascism. In particular, by analysing their different interpretations of the failures of Fascism and of the “missed revolution” in the interpretations given by Fascist authors, I will deepen the different roots of their political beliefs – the mazzinan and social interpretation of the “fascist Revolution” given by Cantimori and the technocratic vein showed by Pellizzi. I will then consider their interpretation in the context of the political development of Fascism, which is torn inside itself between a reformistic and a revolutionary current. In particular I will consider Camillo Pellizzi’s idea of technocratic revolution in his 1948 “La rivoluzione mancata” and show how this interpretation works like a bridge between the fascist reformistic ideas – developed by Bottai – and the elitist theory of democracy elaborated in America – for example the technocratic idea of social and political progress supported by some theories of modernization by Rostow and Almond.

Patricia Chiantera-Stutte is professor of History of Political Thought at the University of Bari. Her research interests are: History of historiography, populism, theorty of civilization, geopolitics, biopolitics. She published on many international reviews - Storia del pensiero Politico, Tocqueville Studies, Journal of Social Theory- and with Maria Pia Paternò she edited the issue on dystopia and Europe for the review Storia del pensiero politico (1, 2022). Some of ther works are: Von der Avantgarde zum Traditionalismus (Campus 2002), Delio Cantimori (Carocci 2011), Il pensiero geopolitico (Carocci 2014), Denken Im Raum (with U. Jureit, Nomos 2021).