To sort of start the story, the reason why we see fascism as a thing of the right is because fascism was originally a form of right-wing socialism. Mussolini was born a socialist, he died a socialist, he never abandoned his love of socialism, he was one of the most important socialist intellectuals in Europe and was one of the most important socialist activists in Italy, and the only reason he got dubbed a fascist and therefore a right-winger is because he supported World War I. [emphasis mine]
Yeah. He really did write that. You can tell this one's a winner, eh?
You can probably see how Goldberg's getting teed up even before you read it:
You've talked about Mussolini remaining on the left and remaining a socialist, and in your book you've got a lot of quotes from the 1920s about that, but I'm wondering -- how does that fit in with what he wrote and said later, especially "The Doctrine of Fascism" in 1932?
I'd need to know specifically what he wrote in "The Doctrine of Fascism." It's been about three years since I've read it.
He says, for example, "Granted that the 19th century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the 20th century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the 'right ', a Fascist century."
That's the moment where, in an academic conference, the grad students wince and the other presenters blanch. Goldberg just got served.