April 25th and May 1st

April 25th and May 1st

Two “typically leftist” bank holidays have just passed on April 25th and May 1st and as usual between controversies, clandestine demonstrations and statements of singers who are elected in the new image of the left, the important questions passed in silence.

I state that this does not want to be a polemic article, but I would like for once to think again, to try to understand.

On April 25th we celebrate the Liberation of our country from fascism thanks to the Resistance and never like this year I wonder what these two words actually mean: fascism and resistance.

I wonder if we can really celebrate the Liberation, as if it were a thing of the past, a thing now established.

It seems to me that we have defeated the regime, but that fascist thought is still well present in Italy. But why? Should it not be granted that it is unfair to persecute women, immigrants or rebels? Should it not be a certainty that taking away freedom of expression or of thought is a horrible thing? Yet, it is not so. Why?

Maybe we should start inquiring what compromise our grandparents made and which we have tacitly accepted.

Could it be that we have been able to oppose the material fascism, that dull and violent in its actions, but not to fascist thought?

That thought that says a man must be strong and insensitive, that (to quote the Cure) boys don’t cry, that girls must be beautiful, but they cannot be intelligent and above all they cannot decide for themselves what to become. The thought that still proposes that women and men should get married and have children, otherwise they are useless.

But is it not that fascism is in all those little phrases that seem harmless, that are heard every day from parents, teachers, friends? “You are too sensitive”, “Men are all the same”, “You are always intolerant, you’re never happy with anything”. As if being sensitive was a problem or being pissed off at the violence that other people show was wrong.

Above all, is it not that fascism is in looking at and badly staring at and not seeing who, despite being our opposite, we can understand?

So we come to the second word of these days: resistance. In the last year this word has been used and abused, but no one in the newspapers and on television has stopped for a moment to wonder what it really means to resist. Is it to stand still and wait for everything to pass? Is it to harden and lose sensitivity in an attempt not to get scratched? Is it to make every little needle disappear, every “harmless phrase” that hurts us? Maybe not.

For me to resist should mean to keep eyes wide open, not in order to not get hurt, but to feel the needles and have the courage to immediately answer: “No!”. It’s not easy, I think it takes a lifetime to learn.

Maybe that’s why there are fascists, because rebelling is tiring. Because to say no takes you far away, but sometimes it also takes you away from the people you care about. Maybe you are fascist when you stop fighting? When you make compromises like it’s your only chance? I think you become a fascist when you lose hope of living falling in love.

Gioia Piazzi

Thanks to Chiara Fanasca for the translation of this article

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April 25th and May 1st