The relationship between Italy's intellectuals and fascism is a most controversial issue, which has generated waves of differing views and many forms of polemic. Once the dictatorship and the war were over, Italians had to rebuild their identity and relearn the principles of freedom of speech and tolerant cohabitation of different cultures. This article tackles the central issues related to fascism and culture while trying to add a sense of chronological development over the twenty years of dictatorship. The 1990s witnessed a resurgence of interest in Italy's fascist past, not all of it free from political reverberations. It could be said that, if the early post-war years saw a process of excessive marginalization of the nation's fascist past, in recent times the prominent presence of a former neo-fascist party within the coalition of three Berlusconi governments has caused a momentum towards a more lenient revision of those years.
This essay compares the experience of workers and workplace politics under communism in the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, China, and Vietnam. State–labour relations in these contexts were fraught with tension from the start. Workers’ experience varied widely over time and space. Nevertheless, all workers were subject to state-imposed forms of domination at the workplace and in society at large. This domination was the effect of a powerful ideology, dense organizations, and social hierarchies that were mutually reinforcing. Many workers actively supported communist goals and were rewarded, but the system failed to motivate enough workers to make it work in the long term. Against the background of stagnant or declining living standards, propaganda failed to enlighten most workers while coercion could not produce disciplined and efficient ones. Socialist workers were disempowered but not powerless to manipulate and resist the system.