Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Manifesto of Verona (1943)


In announcing its own program of action, the Republican Fascist Party salutes you, Duce, the man who can save the Fatherland, realizing the Fascio of Italian energies for the second time.

In your arduous liberation it sees the providential auspices of what will be the liberation of all Italy. In your thought, and in your more than twenty years of historical work in Italy and in the world, it today finds the certainty and the very current of inspiration for the social ascent of the Italian people, now that the monarchy can finally be swept away from Italian life, together with all those dark, reactionary, compromising forces and their allies.

Under your guidance, through sacrifice and combat, it will bring back honour to Italy, its independence and its greatness.

In its first national assembly, the Republican Fascist Party:

Lifts its thoughts to those who have sacrificed their lives for Fascism on the battlefronts, in the piazzas of the cities and villages, in the limestone pits of Istria and Dalmatia, and who should be added to the ranks of the martyrs of our Revolution, and to the phalanx of all those men who have died for Italy.

It regards continuation of the war alongside Germany and Japan until final victory, and the speedy reconstruction of our Armed Forces which will serve alongside the valorous soldiers of the Fuhrer, as goals that tower above everything else in importance and urgency.

It takes note of the decrees instituting the Extraordinary Tribunals, whereby Party members will carry out their unbending determination to administer exemplary justice; and, inspired by Mussolini's stimulus and accomplishments, it enunciates the following programmatic directives for Party actions:

As concerns internal constitutional issues, we propose:

1. That a Constituent Assembly, whose sovereign power is popularly derived, be convened in order to declare the abolition of the monarchy, solemnly condemn the last treasonous and fugitive king, proclaim the Italian Social Republic, and appoint its Head.

2. That this Constituent Assembly be made up of representatives from all syndical associations and administrative districts and also include representatives from the occupied provinces in the form of delegations of evacuees and refugees residing in liberated territories.

This Constituent Assembly must also include representatives of servicemen, war prisoners (represented by those sent back due to disabilities), Italians abroad, the judiciary, universities, and any other body or institution whose participation contributes to designating this Constituent Assembly as a synthesis of the nation's values.

3. That this republican Constituent grant to citizens, be they soldiers, workers, or taxpayers, the right to audit and criticize the public administration's actions, so long as this right is exercised in a responsible manner.

Every fifth year citizens will be called upon to nominate the Head of the Republic.

No citizen will be held beyond seven days without a warrant from the judicial authorities irrespective of whether he was arrested in the act or detained for preventive reasons. A judicial warrant will also be required to carry out searches of homes, except in cases of flagrant delicto.

The judicial branch of government will operate with complete independence while carrying out its functions.

4. That an intermediate solution be adopted in the electoral domain given Italy's prior negative experiences with elections and its partially negative experiences with too rigidly hierarchical methods of appointment. A mixed system seems the most advisable—one, for example, that would combine popular election of deputies with appointments of ministers made by the Head of the Republic and government. Within the Party, it would probably be best for elections to be held on the Fascio level, with approvals for appointments to the National Directorate being made by the Duce.

5. That the organization responsible for politically educating the people be one. The Party, an order of fighters and believers, must become an organism of absolute political purity, worthy of being the guardian of a revolutionary idea.

Party membership will not be required for any job or position.

6. That the Republic's religion be the Roman Catholic Apostolic religion. Respect is assured for other cults so long as they do not oppose the law.

7. That those belonging to the Jewish race be considered foreigners. During this war they belong to an enemy nation.

As concerns foreign policy issues, we propose:

8. That the main goal of the Republic's foreign policy be the unity, independence, and territorial integrity of the Fatherland. The territory in question comprises the maritime and alpine borders marked in nature, as well as the borders consecrated by sacrifice of blood and by history. Both boundaries are now threatened by the invading enemy and by their promises to the governments that have sought refuge in London. A second essential goal will be to achieve recognition of the fact that a population of 45 million, living in an area insufficient to sustain it, has certain indispensable needs for vital space.

This foreign policy will also strive for the creation of a "European community" made up of all those nations that accept the following fundamental principles:
a) elimination from our continent the century-long British intrigues;
b) abolition of the internal capitalist system and combat against world plutocracies;
c) valourisation of Africa's natural resources for the benefit of Europeans as well as natives, with full respect for those peoples, particularly Muslim ones, who have already shaped themselves into civilized nations, such as Egypt.

As concerns social issues, we propose:

9. That the foundation and the main goal of the Italian Social Republic be work—manual, technical, intellectual—in all its manifestations;

10. That the State guarantee private property, which is the fruit of individual labour and savings as well as an extension of the human personality. Private property, however, must not be permitted to have a disintegrative effect on the physical and moral personality of other individuals by way of the exploitation of their labour.

11. That in the domain of the national economy, the State's sphere of action encompass everything that extends beyond the individual interests or within the domain of collective interests, whether due to scale or function.

Public services and, in most cases, armament industries, must be managed by the State through parastatal agencies.

12. That in every factory (whether industrial, private, government-controlled, or state-owned) representatives of technicians and workers must collaborate closely—to the point of having direct knowledge of the factory's management—in setting fair wages and in equitably distributing profits between reserve funds, stockholder dividends, and worker profit shares.

In some factories this measure will be implemented by expanding the powers of the existing factory commissions. In others, the current management will be substituted by a managing council made up of technicians, workers, and a state representative. In others still, a parasyndical cooperative will be set up.

13. That in the domain of agricultural production, landowner's private initiative shall be curbed whenever and wherever initiative itself is lacking.

Expropriations of uncultivated lands may lead to their being parceled out among farm workers (who thereby become farmer-landowners). Similarly, badly managed businesses may be transformed into parasyndical or parastatal cooperatives, depending upon the needs of the agricultural economy.

Since current laws already provide for these sorts of measures, the Party and various syndical organizations are now hard at work on their implementation.

14. That farmers, craftsmen, professionals, and artists be fully entitled to pursue their vocations individually, for their families or other nucleus. However, they are subject to legal obligations to deliver to the masses those quantities of produce that are set forth by the law and to regulation of fees for services.

15. That home ownership be treated not just as an extension of property rights but also as a right. The Party's platform proposes the creation of a national agency for popular housing that will absorb the existing institute and greatly enhance its effectiveness. Its aim will be to make home ownership available to families of all categories of workers via the construction of new homes or the gradual repurchase of existing ones. To this end, the general principle that rent payments ought to go towards purchase of a home, once capital has been paid off in full, must be adopted.

The first duty of this agency will be to address the war's detrimental effects on housing by expropriating and distributing empty buildings and by erecting temporary structures.

16. That workers automatically become members of the syndicate regulating the category to which they belong, but that this membership must not preclude transfer to another syndicate if all requirements are met. All the trade syndicates are gathered together under the umbrella of a single confederation comprising all workers, technicians, and professionals (but excluding landlords, who are neither managers nor technicians). This umbrella organization will be named the General Confederation of Labour, Technology, and Arts.

Like other workers, employees of state-controlled industries or public services are integrated into syndicates as a function of their category.

The imposing complex of social welfare institutions created by the Fascist regime over the past twenty years remains intact. Consecrated by the 1927 Charter of Labour, its spirit will inform all future developments.

17. That the Party considers a salary adjustment for all workers an urgent necessity. This can be effected by adopting a nationwide minimum wage (with prompt regional adjustments). The need is particularly great among lower-echelon and middle-echelon workers, both in the public and private sectors. Part of the salary should be paid in foodstuffs (at official prices) so that this measure not prove ineffective or harmful for all parties concerned. This can be accomplished by means of cooperatives and factory stores, by expanding the "Provvida's" responsibilities, and by expropriating stores that have broken the law and placing them under state or cooperative management. This is the best way to contribute to the stabilization of prices and the lira's value as well as to the market's recovery. As concerns the black market, speculators must be placed under the authority of special courts and made subject to the death penalty, just like traitors and defeatists.

18. That with this preamble to the Constituent Assembly, the Party offers proof that it is not only reaching out toward the people but also is one with the people.

On the other hand, the Italian people must realize that it only has one way to defend its past, present, and future achievements: to reject the enslaving invasion of the Anglo-American plutocracies whose sole aim, confirmed by a thousand precise signs, is to make the lives of Italians more cramped and miserable.

There is only one way for us to accomplish all our social goals: to fight, to work, to triumph.