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The Manifesto of Fascist Intellectuals (Italian: Manifesto degli Intellettuali del Fascismo, Italian pronunciation: [ˈfɛ.sto ˈde.ʎiˈ del fa.ˈʃi.zmo]) was written by Giovanni Gentile during the course of the Conference of Fascist Culture, held in Bologna, Italy, on March 29 and 30, 1925. [1]

The text of the manifesto is based on a lecture [2] delivered by Gentile during the session on Freedom and Liberalism, which official reports say was attended by over 400 intellectuals, whereas, in fact, about 250 are signatories to the document. The text aims to sketch the political and ideological foundations of fascism[3] , while attempting to justify, from a liberal point of view, the largely belligerant and illegal tactics of the fascist movement and its embodiment in the 1922 Mussolini government.[4][5]

The manifesto was published first by Fascist party newspaper Il Mondo and then by nearly all Italian newspapers on April 21, when the anniversary of the founding of Rome was being celebrated nationwide. The symbolism in the choice of such date was compounded by the fact that, in 1925 for the first time, the celebration of the Natale di Roma replaced International Workers' Day, which had been made a working day by royal decree earlier that year.[6]

Many influential personalities signed the manifesto, including:

Pirandello, though not present at the conference, announced his support of the manifesto by letter. Support for the manifesto by Neopolitan poet Di Giacomo resulted in a falling out with Benedetto Croce[7], who, shortly afterwards, responded to the Fascist proclamation with his own Manifesto of the Anti-Fascist Intellectuals.[8]

The original text and a translation can be found in the boxes below.


  1. ^ Philip V. Cannistraro (1972). Mussolini's Cultural Revolution: Fascist or Nationalist? Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 7, No. 3/4 (Jul. - Oct., 1972), pp. 115-139, accessed 04 Feb. 2009.

    This gathering of the most prominent cultural figures who supported Mussolini's government was the first deliberate effort to define fascist cultural aspirations. Under the chairmanship of the neo-idealist philosopher Giovanni Gentile, the conference proudly proclaimed the alliance between culture and fascism, thus challenging those critics who had questioned the cultural respectability of the regime. The so-called 'Manifesto of Fascist Intellectuals', published by Gentile shortly after the close of the congress, affirmed that the fascist revolution was based on the co-operation of culture and politics.

  2. ^ Giovanni Gentile (1928). Fascismo e cultura. Milan, 1928.
  3. ^ Jeffrey T. Schnapp (1996). Fascinating Fascism. Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 31, No. 2, Special Issue: The Aesthetics of Fascism (Apr., 1996), pp. 235-244, accessed 04 Feb. 2009.
  4. ^ Giovanni Gentile (1929). Origini e dottrina del fascismo). Rome, 1929, 69 pages, revised 1934, 105 pages.
  5. ^ Giovanni Gentile (1928). Philosophic Basis of Fascism. Foreign Affairs, vol. 6 (January/February) 1928, pages 290-304.
  6. ^ Emiliana P. Noether (1971). Italian Intellectuals under Fascism. The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Dec., 1971), pp. 630-648, accessed 04 Feb. 2009.
  7. ^ Alessandra Tarquini (2005). The Anti-Gentilians during the Fascist Regime. Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Oct., 2005), pp. 637-662, accessed 04 Febr. 2009.
  8. ^ Jared M. Becker (1983). "What We Are Not": Montale's Anti-Fascism Revisited. Italica, Vol. 60, No. 4 (Winter, 1983), pp. 331-339, accessed 04 Febr. 2009.
  9. ^ The text (public domain) can also be found in Stanislao G. Pugliese. Italian fascism and antifascism: a critical anthology, Manchester University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-719-05639-X, ISBN 978-0-719-05639-0, pages 117 -22 (of 250).
  10. ^ Also see J. T. Schnapp, O. E. Sears, & M. G. Stampino (transl.). A Primer of Italian Fascism, U of Nebraska Press, 2000, ISBN 0-803-29268-6, ISBN 978-0-803-29268-0, pages 297-307 (of 325)

See also



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