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Benito Mussolini

Bordiga and the First World War

The concluding article on the political ideas of Amadeo Bordiga up to 1917

In an article in Avanti, the newspaper of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), in August 1914 Bordiga identified as a dangerous development 'a sympathetic feeling for the Triple Entente [the alliance between Britain, France and Russia], not only justifying, but praising the attitude of the French socialists, to support that Italian socialists should hasten to fight in defence of France’. This was to become the position of Mussolini, at that point editor of Avanti.

For Bordiga, the concept of ‘fatherland’ was by definition anti-socialist and a defensive war on its behalf inconceivable. In September, in an article in Il Socialista on ‘Avanti and the war’, he addressed Mussolini's attitude openly, criticising the ambiguity of the line he had taken on the war in the party’s newspaper.

Death of a "Superman"

That George Bernard Shaw succeeded in living to 94 years of age might be looked upon as a minor Shavian achievement. During that time he gained eminence as a playwright. As such he may rank with Marlowe, Ben Johnson or Moliere. As a writer of English he may challenge comparison with that master of supple and virile prose, Jonathan Swift. Be that as it may. Our purpose is to evaluate his claims to be a socialist (or, as he later called himself, a communist), and to be regarded by many as the accredited spokesman of socialism. Of all Shavian legends this is the most grotesque.

Shaw combined in his one person many creeds; anti-vivisectionist, anti-romanticist, non-smoker, alcoholic abstainer and vegetarian. Philosophically he subscribed to a belief in creative evolution. In politics he was first an anarchist then a Fabian and later a fascist.

Is Bernard Shaw a Judge of Socialism?

Commenting on Mr. W. J. Brown's broadcast "Is Hitler a Socialist," Mr. Emrys Hughes, editor of Forward (March 15th) takes Mr. Brown to task and warns him against underestimating Hitler. Mr. Hughes does not disagree with Mr. Brown's proof that Hitler is not Socialist: "Of course Hitler is no more a Socialist than is Winston Churchill, and Brown had no difficulty in disposing of that delusion." So far, so good, but Mr. Hughes backs up his opinion by calling in Bernard Shaw's recent opinion of Hitler. But is there any reason to suppose that either Hughes or Shaw is competent to recognise a Socialist when he sees one?

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