You're the top!
You're the Great Houdini!
You're the top!
You are Mussolini!
The great Twitter troll of the day happened early this morning when Donald Trump retweeted a slogan used by Mussolini:
"@ilduce2016: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”
I say "used by" Mussolini because it wasn't original to him, but rather is an old Roman proverb. However, he used it in 1928 as one of many slogans for his Italian Fascist movement.
While I don't agree with everything Mussolini ever said or did, the man blazed a trail that was followed unashamedly by many other 1920s Progressives. Was there a similarity between FDR's economic measures - especially the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) of 1933 - and Italian Fascist economic policy? Mussolini, for one, thought so. The Progressive school of American historians also thought so at the time. Even FDR himself thought so, according to his letters. Case closed.
Lots of political and cultural figures just couldn't get enough of Mussolini back in his day. Winston Churchill and Sigmund Freud were two. He got a
shout-out in a 1934 London production of the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes.
More recently and more interestingly, President Bill Clinton championed "the Third Way" of social democratic politics, a neither-free-market-Capitalism-nor-state-Socialism fusion that originated - by that name - with Mussolini. Let me Google that for you. So did Clinton's buddy Tony Blair and many other figures and institutions on the political left.
Here's where the term and the political strategy originated:
In March 1919, Benito Mussolini reformed a Milan fascio (nationalist group) consisting of 200 men, into the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento (Italian Combat Squad). Mussolini created what we called fascism today, during this time. Fascism supported national unity, regardless of class, in the hopes that Italy would go up to the levels of its Roman past. He appeased the upper class, by promising to protect their existence, and the working class by advocating for the creation of a minimun wage and drastic improvements in transportation (like railroads) and infrastructure. Mussolini’s political ideology stimulated both the revolutionaries and traditionalists, and created what he called the ‘Third Way’. This way was neither socialism/communism, nor laissez-faire capitalism, but a combination of ideas from both of the extremes.
So Trump retweeted a slogan Mussolini used in the 1920s? The joke there is that he didn't recognize the slogan or the "Il Duce" name of the sender. So what?
I am much more concerned that so many contemporary leftist politicians consciously use the term and adopt the policy strategy that Mussolini created.
And what the hell is with that Mussolini chin pose that President Obama always strikes? That is just weird and annoying.