Piero Gobetti

Last updated

Piero Gobetti, c. 1920 Piero gobetti.JPG
Piero Gobetti, c. 1920

Piero Gobetti (Italian:  [ˈpjɛːro ɡoˈbetti] ; June 19, 1901, Turin – February 15, 1926, Neuilly-sur-Seine) was an Italian journalist, intellectual and radical liberal and anti-fascist. He was an exceptionally active campaigner and critic in the crisis years in Italy after the First World War and into the early years of Fascist rule.

Turin Comune in Piedmont, Italy

Turin is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy. It is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Turin and of the Piedmont region, and was the first capital city of Italy from 1861 to 1865. The city is located mainly on the western bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley, and is surrounded by the western Alpine arch and Superga Hill. The population of the city proper is 878,074 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million.

Neuilly-sur-Seine Commune in Île-de-France, France

Neuilly-sur-Seine is a French commune just west of Paris, in the department of Hauts-de-Seine. A suburb of Paris, Neuilly is immediately adjacent to the city and directly extends it. The area is composed of mostly wealthy, select residential neighbourhoods, and many corporate headquarters are located there. It is the wealthiest and most expensive suburb of Paris.

Intellectual people who primarily use intelligence in either a professional or an individual capacity

An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking, research, and reflection about society, proposes solutions for its normative problems and gains authority as a public figure. Coming from the world of culture, either as a creator or as a mediator, the intellectual participates in politics either to defend a concrete proposition or to denounce an injustice, usually by rejecting, producing or extending an ideology, or by defending a system of values.

Contents

Biography

A student of law at the University of Turin, he set up his own review Energie Nove ('New Energies') in 1918. There he promoted the cause of radical cultural and political renewal, aligning himself with the many critics of liberal parliamentary politics. Drawing upon the idealist philosophy of Benedetto Croce, Gobetti identified cultural change with a spiritual transformation that would unite public and private life. He also attached himself to causes such as educational reform and votes for women led by the independent deputy, Gaetano Salvemini.

Law System of rules and guidelines, generally backed by governmental authority

Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

University of Turin university in Turin, Italy

The University of Turin is a university in the city of Turin in the Piedmont region of north-western Italy. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe, and continues to play an important role in research and training. It is steadily ranked among the top 5 Italian universities and it is ranked third for research activities in Italy, according to the latest data by ANVUR.

Benedetto Croce Italian writer, philosopher, politician

Benedetto Croce was an Italian idealist philosopher, historian and politician, who wrote on numerous topics, including philosophy, history, historiography and aesthetics. In most regards, Croce was a liberal, although he opposed laissez-faire free trade and had considerable influence on other Italian intellectuals, including both Marxist Antonio Gramsci and fascist Giovanni Gentile. Croce was President of PEN International, the worldwide writers' association, from 1949 until 1952. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature sixteen times.

In 1920 Gobetti was influenced by Antonio Gramsci, fellow ex-student and Communist editor of the L'Ordine Nuovo ('New Order'). Gramsci was the leading intellectual during the proletarian unrest in Turin in 1919-1920 which led to the factory occupations in September, 1920. Inspired by the workers' movement and Gramsci's argument that they constituted a new revolutionary subject, Gobetti gave up editing Energie Nove in order to rethink his commitments.

Antonio Gramsci Italian writer, politician, theorist, sociologist and linguist

Antonio Francesco Gramsci was an Italian Marxist philosopher and communist politician. He wrote on political theory, sociology and linguistics. He attempted to break from the economic determinism of traditional Marxist thought and so is considered a key neo-Marxist. He was a founding member and one-time leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime.

Communist Party of Italy communist political party in Italy (1921–1943)

The Communist Party of Italy was a communist political party in Italy which existed from 1921 to 1926 when it was outlawed by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime.

<i>LOrdine Nuovo</i>

L'Ordine Nuovo was a weekly newspaper established on May 1, 1919, in Turin, Italy, by a group, including Antonio Gramsci, Angelo Tasca and Palmiro Togliatti, within the Italian Socialist Party. The paper was the successor of La Città futura, a broadsheet newspaper. The founders of L'Ordine Nuovo were admirers of the Russian Revolution and strongly supported the immediate creation of soviets in Italy. They believed that existing factory councils of workers could be strengthened so that they could become the basis of a communist revolution. However, Amadeo Bordiga, who would become the founder of the Communist Party of Italy, criticised the plan as syndicalism, saying that soviets should only be created after Italy had come under communist control.

In 1922, he began publishing a new review, La Rivoluzione Liberale ("Liberal Revolution"). Here he expounded a distinctive version of liberalism, conceived as a philosophy of liberation rather than a party doctrine. Deeply moved by the Russian revolution, which he understood as a liberal event, Gobetti conceived the working class as the leading subject of a liberal revolution. In seeking to take over the factories and govern themselves, he argued, the workers expressed a desire for autonomy and collective freedom that could renew Italy. Liberals, Gobetti argued, should understand the term 'liberal' as adaptable to different classes and institutional arrangements other than the bourgeoisie and parliamentary democracy.

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support limited government, individual rights, capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.

Working class those employed in lower tier jobs

The working class comprises those engaged in waged or salaried labour, especially in manual-labour occupations and industrial work. Working-class occupations include blue-collar jobs, some white-collar jobs, and most pink-collar jobs. Members of the working class rely for their income exclusively upon their earnings from wage labour; thus, according to the more inclusive definitions, the category can include almost all of the working population of industrialized economies, as well as those employed in the urban areas of non-industrialized economies or in the rural workforce.

Resistance leader Ada Gobetti was his wife and contributed to La Rivoluzione Liberale as well as other magazines.

Ada Gobetti Italian journalist

Ada Gobetti (1902–1968) was an Italian teacher, journalist and anti-fascist leader. She was born Ada Prospero and later remarried to become Ada Marchesini.

Gobetti was also highly attentive to the dangers of Benito Mussolini's Fascist Party, which entered government in October, 1922. Whilst conservative liberals hoped to make temporary use of Mussolini's popularity in order to restore parliament, Gobetti recognised the tyrannical orientation of fascism. He claimed fascism represented the 'autobiography of the nation', an accretion of all the ills of Italian society. In particular, fascism continued a political tradition of compromise, absorbing political opponents rather than allowing conflict to express itself openly. Liberalism, he argued, was anti-fascist insofar as, on his account, it recognised that liberty was achieved through struggle and conflict.

In late 1924 Gobetti also began to edit a journal of European literary culture entitled Il Baretti. He used the journal to put into practice his idea of liberal anti-fascism and his conviction that the Italian people could learn to reject the insular nature of fascist culture by means of an education in European culture.

For his rigid opposition to Fascism, Gobetti's review was closed down and he himself was assaulted by fascist thugs. He was beaten up in 1925 and escaped to Paris early the next year. He died there in February, 1926. He is buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Following his death, and despite his relatively few writings, Gobetti became a symbol of liberal anti-fascism, inspiring intellectuals such as Carlo Levi and Norberto Bobbio.

Related Research Articles

Fascism Form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism

Fascism is a form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

Seward Collins American publisher

Seward Bishop Collins was an American New York socialite and publisher. By the end of the 1920s, he was a self-described "fascist".

Palmiro Togliatti Italian politician

Palmiro Togliatti was an Italian politician and leader of the Italian Communist Party from 1927 until his death. He was nicknamed by his supporters Il Migliore. In 1930 he became a citizen of the Soviet Union and later he had a city in the country named after him: Tolyatti.

Norberto Bobbio Italian legal scholar

Norberto Bobbio was an Italian philosopher of law and political sciences and a historian of political thought. He also wrote regularly for the Turin-based daily La Stampa. Bobbio was a liberal socialist in the tradition of Piero Gobetti, Carlo Rosselli, Guido Calogero, and Aldo Capitini. He was also strongly influenced by Hans Kelsen and Vilfredo Pareto.

Renzo De Felice Italian historian

Renzo De Felice was an Italian historian, who specialized in the Fascist era, writing, among other works, a 6000-page biography of Mussolini. He argued that Mussolini was a revolutionary modernizer in domestic issues but a pragmatist in foreign policy who continued the Realpolitik policies of Italy from 1861 to 1922. Historian of Italy Philip Morgan has called De Felice's biography of Mussolini, "a very controversial, influential and at the same time problematic re-reading of Mussolini and Fascism," and, furthermore, rejected the contention that his work rose above politics to "scientific objectivity" as claimed by the author and his defenders.

The history of Fascist ideology is long and involves many sources. Fascists took inspiration from sources as ancient as the Spartans for their focus on racial purity and their emphasis on rule by an elite minority. Fascism has also been connected to the ideals of Plato, though there are key differences between the two. Fascism styled itself as the ideological successor to Rome, particularly the Roman Empire. The Enlightenment-era concept of a "high and noble" Aryan culture as opposed to a "parasitic" Semitic culture was core to Nazi racial views. From the same era, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's view on the absolute authority of the state also strongly influenced Fascist thinking. The French Revolution was a major influence insofar as the Nazis saw themselves as fighting back against many of the ideas which it brought to prominence, especially liberalism, liberal democracy and racial equality, whereas on the other hand Fascism drew heavily on the revolutionary ideal of nationalism. Common themes among fascist movements include; nationalism, hierarchy and elitism, militarism, quasi-religion, masculinity and voluntarism. Other aspects of fascism such as its "myth of decadence", anti‐egalitarianism and totalitarianism can be seen to originate from these ideas. These fundamental aspects however, can be attributed to a concept known as "Palingenetic ultranationalism", a theory proposed by Roger Griffin, that fascism is essentially populist ultranationalism sacralized through the myth of national rebirth and regeneration.

What constitutes a definition of fascism and fascist governments has been a complicated and highly disputed subject concerning the exact nature of fascism and its core tenets debated amongst historians, political scientists, and other scholars since Benito Mussolini first used the term in 1915.

Giustizia e Libertà

Giustizia e Libertà was an Italian anti-fascist resistance movement, active from 1929 to 1945. The movement was founded by Carlo Rosselli. Ferruccio Parri – who later became Prime Minister of Italy, and Sandro Pertini – who later became President of Italy were among the movement's leaders.

Carlo Rosselli Italian political leader, journalist, historian and activist

Carlo Rosselli was an Italian political leader, journalist, historian and anti-fascist activist, first in Italy and then abroad. He developed a theory of reformist, non-Marxist socialism inspired by the British Labour movement that he described as "liberal socialism". Rosselli founded the anti-fascist militant movement Giustizia e Libertà. Rosselli personally took part in combat in the Spanish Civil War where he served on the Republican side.

Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals

The Manifesto of Fascist Intellectuals, by the actualist philosopher Giovanni Gentile, formally establishes the political and ideologic foundations of Italian Fascism. It justifies the political violence of the Blackshirt paramilitaries of the National Fascist Party, in the revolutionary realisation of Italian Fascism as the authoritarian and totalitarian rėgime of Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, who ruled Italy as Il Duce, from 1922 to 1943.

Fascist and anti-Fascist violence in Italy (1919–1926)

Kingdom of Italy witnessed significant widespread civil unrest and political strife in the aftermath of World War I and the rise of the Fascist movement led by Benito Mussolini which opposed the rise of the international left, especially the far-left along with others who opposed Fascism.

The 1922 Turin massacre refers to the attack by Italian Fascists against members of a local labour movement in Turin, Italy, during a three-day terror campaign from 18–20 December 1922, to break the resistance of the labour movement and working class to Fascism.

Liberal socialism is a socialist political philosophy that incorporates liberal principles. Liberal socialism does not have the goal of completely abolishing capitalism and replacing it with socialism, but it instead supports a mixed economy that includes both private property and social ownership in capital goods. Although liberal socialism unequivocally favors a market-based economy, it identifies legalistic and artificial monopolies to be the fault of capitalism and opposes an entirely unregulated economy. It considers both liberty and equality to be compatible and mutually dependent on each other.

Anti-fascism opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals

Anti-fascism is opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals. The anti-fascist movement began in a few European countries in the 1920s, and eventually spread to other countries around the world. It was at its most significant shortly before and during World War II, where the fascist Axis powers were opposed by many countries forming the Allies of World War II and dozens of resistance movements worldwide. Anti-fascism has been an element of movements holding many different political positions, including social democratic, nationalist, liberal, conservative, communist, Marxist, trade unionist, anarchist, socialist, and centrist viewpoints.

Pact of Pacification was a peace agreement officially signed by Mussolini and other leaders of the Fasci with the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) and the General Confederation of Labor (CGL) in Rome on August 2 or 3, 1921. The Pact called for “immediate action to put an end to the threats, assaults, reprisals, acts of vengeance, and personal violence of any description,” by either side for the “mutual respect” of “all economic organizations.” The Italian Futurists, Syndicalists and others favored Mussolini’s peace pact as an attempt at “reconciliation with the Socialists.” Others saw it as a means to form a “grand coalition of new mass parties” to “overthrow the liberal systems,” via parliament or civil society.

Fascist syndicalism was a trade syndicate movement that rose out of the pre-World War II provenance of the revolutionary syndicalism movement led mostly by Edmondo Rossoni, Sergio Panunzio, A. O. Olivetti, Michele Bianchi, Alceste De Ambris, Paolo Orano, Massimo Rocca, and Guido Pighetti, under the influence of Georges Sorel, who was considered the “‘metaphysician’ of syndicalism.” The Fascist Syndicalists differed from other branches of syndicalism in that they generally favored class struggle, worker-controlled factories and hostility to industrialists, which lead historians to portray them as “leftist fascist idealists” who “differed radically from right fascists.” Generally considered one of the more radical Fascist syndicalists in Italy, Rossoni was the “leading exponent of fascist syndicalism.”, and sought to infuse nationalism with “class struggle.”

Tommaso Fiore was an Italian Meridionalist writer and a socialist intellectual and politician. He is known for his attention and his descriptions and studies on the inhumane conditions of South Italy's and Apulian peasants at that time. He's also known for his Viareggio Prize-winning book Un popolo di formiche. In the 1920s, he was appointed as mayor of his hometown Altamura. During the twenty-year period of Italy's fascist era, he strenuously opposed the regime before being sent into internal exile in 1942 and then being jailed in 1943.

References