Jacopo Pili
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'The racial inferiority of Anglo-Saxons'
Britain in the Nordicist/Mediterraneanist debate
in Anglophobia in Fascist Italy

Chapter 4 deals with the largely neglected issue of the racial image of the British people in the later years of the Fascist regime, as it adopted an openly racist ideology and legislation. The chapter looks at the development of Fascist racism and the establishment of various ‘factions’ or ‘schools’ within it. In particular it focuses on the ‘Mediterraneanists’, who supported the view of an Italian people belonging to a unified Mediterranean race, and the ‘Nordicists’, or biological racists who were close to German racist doctrines. The chapter examines the racist analysis of the British people in magazines like La Difesa della Razza within the context of the fierce ideological and ‘academic’ struggle among various racist schools of thought. in doing so, it follows the methodology of Aaron Gillette in his book Racial Theories in Fascist Italy. If the ‘spiritual’ Mediterraneanist racists tended to use Anglophobic racial rhetoric as a tool to attack the notion of a ‘nordic’ Italy, at times using Britain as a roundabout way to attack Germany, the Nazi-inspired, Nordicist biological racists found themselves in an embarrassing position, surprisingly being among the last Anglophiles in Fascist cultural discourse. The chapter also underlines the intersection of the racist debate with other themes like feminism, colonial rule, demography and sexuality.

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