Casa Pound

01Mar13

With Beppe Grillo‘s MS5 riding high, it is time to review their allies in Casa Pound, covered here before. The most comprehensive account is from Struggles in Italy. Here are some extracts.

Who they are

CasaPound Italia (CPI) is an Italian far-right political movement, officially established as a “Social Promotion Association” in 2008. Founder and leading figure of CPI is rock singer Gianluca Iannone, who defines himself as a “fascist of the third millennium” and ran for elections with neofascist party Movimento Sociale Fiamma Tricolore before he was expelled from it in 2008.

The name of CPI derives from that which was given to the house squatted by far-right activists led by Iannone in 2003 in Rome, and is a homage to poet Ezra Pound. Pound’s daughter, Mary de Rachewiltz, complained about this and «has accelerated her effort» (1) after far-right extremist Gianluca Casseri, linked to CPI, shot five Senegalese stallholders, killing two of them, in Firenze on December, the 13th 2011 (2).

(Rome, Italie) Le mouvement de droite radicale...

(Rome, Italie) Le mouvement de droite radicale Casa Pound se positionne contre Equitalia (Photo credit: Novopress)

Their ideas

CPI’s manifesto, called “A Nation”, states the political programme of the movement. It claims a “social and national Italy”, which should take the form of an “ethical State” seen as a “moral and spiritual fact”, as a “guide and spiritual landmark for the national community” in order to “reaffirm and retake its national sovereignty and autonomy”. The manifesto also roots CPI’s cultural and political inspiration in right-wing leading figures like Benito Mussolini, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Alessandro Pavolini, Giovanni Gentile and the Futurist movement.

Even if CPI tries to avoid both the explicitly racist boasts against the Jews and the immigrants and the devotion to so called “Tradition”, which are rather usual among political parties and movements of the same area, this programme is clearly rooted in the far-right “social” tradition. CPI’s economic views recall fascist “corporatism”, a concept based on the hypothetical harmony between different classes and sectors of production in the name of national interest and unity. Social views range from the so called “mutuo sociale” (litt. social mortgage), a sort of little private ownership financing formula based on monetary sovereignty, to the block of people’s migrations across national borders. For these reasons, they usually are very critical with banks and financial system in general, along with austerity measures, being in this way close to some traditional left-wing struggles.

Ambiguity, indeed, is one of CPI’s most important features, specially if we look at the cultural background they want to show. More than once, CPI organized conferences and events about personalities like Che Guevara, Jack Kerouac, and Rino Gaetano (a no-doubts left-wing Italian singer), and Peppino Impastato (who struggled against the mafia, also a militant of the communist party Democrazia Proletaria).

Controversies and violence

CPI’s youth movement, called Blocco Studentesco, was established in 2006. Its logo – a lightning inside a circle – was taken from Oswald Mosley’s “British Union of Fascists”, but also hints at symbols used by left-wing squatting movements. Members of Blocco Studentesco took part to urban fighting which occurred in november 2008 in Piazza Navona, Rome, during the protests of students and teachers against Minister Gelmini’s reform of School and University. Some CP militants began by beating other very young students with their belts – a practice they proudly call “cinghiamattanza”, which means more or less “mayhem by the belts”. The fight which followed ended with the destruction of a bar and the intervention of Police officers – some of whom were later seen while speaking confidentially with the young leader of CP students.

Notes

(1) [en] Ezra Pound’s daughter fights to wrest the renegade poet’s legacy from fascists
(2) Even if Casseri was not officially a member of CPI, he was a regular visitor of CPI’s venue in Tuscany, sometimes taking public talks in there. Also he wrote several articles for CPI’s website “Ideodromo” (litterally: Ideas-drome), promptly removed after the 13th of December (source [it])

Other Sources

- text [en] Florence Killings
– text [en] Italy fascists true Mussolini ideology?
– text [en] Far-right thugs menace Rome’s tourist spots in wave of violence
– text [en] A bit of background and analysis on the so-called “Narratives of Victimhood” of the “old” Italian extreme-right (70s), available on Goolge books.
– video [en] Short documentary about the fights in Piazza Navona
– text [it] Dossier CPI Naples with general introduction
– text [it] On 25 april 2004

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