Italy gives fascism a whirl (again)

*Sigh*. How's that old saying go? Something about history repeating? The good and tragically misguided citizens of Rome have elected Gianni Alemanno as their new Mayor. Alemanno was once a neo-fascist youth leader, and his victory parade was chock-a-block with straight-arm Nazi salutes and cries of "Duce! Duce". 'Duce', you'll recall, was the official title of Benito Mussolini, loyal ally of Hitler and coiner of the term 'fascism'. A touching tribute, especially for a man that the citizens of Rome killed and hung on a meat hook. Also, if you say 'Duce' with a vague Italian accent, it sounds kind of like 'Douche'.

And the far-right fun doesn't stop there. Celebrating his countries dramatic shift to the right, newly re-elected Italian PM and epic slimeball Silvio Berlusconi called his compatriots "the new Falange". The Falange was the name of the Spanish fascist party, the same one that unleashed 34 years of dictatorship on Spain. That's certainly not something I'd like to be associated with, but it looks like Berlusconi has chosen his side.

Italy is also bringing back some good ol' fashioned brown shirt thuggery. Umberto Bossi, Berlusconi's closest political ally, claimed that if the Centre-Leftists didn't go along with his political plans, "I have 300,000 men always on hand." Oh yeah. Government by intimidation. That takes me back.

All of this raise one question: Italy, what is it you think you're doing, exactly? You, more than (almost) everyone should know the dangers of opening the doors to these anti-democratic thugs.