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Thread: The Torch of the Mediterranean: A Socialist Republic of Italy Kaiserreich AAR

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    First Lieutenant MercZ's Avatar
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    The Torch of the Mediterranean: A Socialist Republic of Italy Kaiserreich AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonio Gramsci
    "Only two social forces are essentially national and bearers of the future: The proletariat and the peasants…"


    This is an AAR (and my first, no less) of the Socialist Republic of Italy (formerly the Republic of the Two Sicilies in earlier versions) in Kaiserreich for Darkest Hour. I will be playing on normal difficulty and normal aggressiveness, with no IC or tech team takeovers. This will be played to the end and I will write up on progression there, though I will try and mix in commentary about Syndicalist Italy, the Kaiserreich world, and important characters- so it is not just about the syndicalists in Italy, but of the events in other parts of the world. There will be a “prologue” of sorts- of which this bit is the first, to set up the Kaiserreich world in 1936.

    The image above is done by Milities from his excellent skins package for Darkest Hour.

    Torch of the Mediterranean
    Table of Contents

    Prologue
    -Chapter I: The New Order
    -Chapter II: Fire on the Mountain
    -Chapter III: The March in to the Future

    Part I: Watching a Train Wreck in Slow Motion
    -Chapter I: The last days of the Third Congress
    -Chapter II: The Fourth Congress of the Greater Italian Union
    -Chapter III: The First Congress of the Third International
    -Chapter IV: The Anzio Crisis
    -Chapter V: The Fall of a Giant
    -Chapter VI: The Battle of New York City
    -Chapter VII: Is it almost that Time of Year Again?
    -Chapter VIII: The Second Congress of the Third International
    -Chapter IX: The Collision
    -Chapter X: The Second Risorgimento

    Part II: The Road to War
    -Chapter I: A New Face for a New Italy
    -Chapter II: Challenges
    -Chapter III: The Third Congress
    -Chapter IV: Victories and Losses
    -Chapter V: Relativity
    -Chapter VI: The Chicago Congress
    -Chapter VII: The Gathering Storm
    -Chapter VIII: And So It Begins

    Part III: The Second World War
    -Chapter I: Opening Moves
    -Chapter II: A Red Winter
    -Chapter III: The Fifth Congress of the Greater Italian Union
    -Chapter IV: The Clock Ticks
    -Chapter V: The Balkans Campaign
    -Chapter VI: At the Gates of Vienna
    -Chapter VII: The Red Danube
    -Chapter VIII: Debout, les damnés de la terre!
    -Chapter IX: The Frankfurt Conference
    -Chapter X: The Middle-Eastern Campaign
    -Chapter XI: America Awakens
    -Chapter XII: The Damascus Conference
    -Chapter XIII: Bloody Riga
    -Chapter XIV: The Riga Conference
    -Chapter XV: The 25th Anniversary of the Republic

    Part IV: 50 Years Later
    -Chapter I: America
    -Chapter II: Keeping the house in order
    -Chapter III: The Congo Crisis
    Last edited by MercZ; 06-02-2013 at 08:54.
    Torch of the Mediterranean, a Kaiserreich-DH AAR, Weekly AAR Winner 6/19/11, Character Writer of the Week 2/26/12
    A SHADOWY CABAL OF EVIL.

    This is where I put some quotes

  2. #2
    First Lieutenant MercZ's Avatar
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    The New Order


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiser Wilhelm II, in a speech to the German people after the surrender of France
    “A new era of peace is upon us with this victory. The people of Europe can now progress into the future safely, put back on the right track of progress and away from the dangerous ideologies which has plagued this continent for the past century. The nightmare the Jacobins started in France has finally been put to rest. It is now time to rebuild Europe...”
    The Great War was a tumultuous event for Europe, and indeed the whole world. Out of the ruins and hardships of the war, the German Empire rebuilt a Europe in her own image, a new world order where Berlin became the capital of the world. From his throne in Berlin, the Kaiser claimed victory over his foes and heralded the triumph of old ideals over the new, those of the enlightened monarchy over those of Republicanism and Socialism.


    Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire


    The peoples of Europe watched as the clock seemingly turned back to the days of the Ancien Régime as more authoritarian monarchies became the norm in Europe. However, France, the former continental power, was engulfed in chaos after its humiliating defeat. Revolutionary Trade Unionists, acting on the discontent of the masses with the defeat and the large toll it took on the working class, rose up in arms against the Third Republic. A Civil War broke out in France, and while Germany aided the forces of the government against the rebellion, it was more occupied with its intervention in the Russian Civil War. Unlike 1871 and the Paris Commune, the forces of revolution proclaimed victory and on 1920, the Commune of France was established. The German Empire had succeeded in squashing the Bolsheviks in Russia, but had to now deal with a socialist state on its western borders.


    The flag of the newly declared Commune of France


    Like the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire sought to create a Europe where its interests could be secured, and the major target of that was the young Kingdom of Italy. Austria-Hungary was bitter over the loss of Lombardy and later Venice to the upstart House of Savoy and the eventual creation of the Kingdom of Italy. Italy’s opportunistic behavior in entering the Triple Alliance [1] only to turn on it later was on Germany’s mind as well, and both saw this as an opportunity to get revenge on the kingdom for its insolence.

    The front with Austria-Hungary in World War I was a disaster for the young Kingdom of Italy. It had sought to claim “Italia Irredenta”, or what it proclaimed to be the rightful lands of Italy still living under the subjugation of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The front turned against Italy with a defeat at the Battle of Caporetto in November of 1917, which led to a direct invasion of Italian soil by the forces of Austria-Hungary. Despite an admirable defense (including a brave stand by an Australian division , Italy was unable to hold the forces of Austria-Hungary at the Battle of Piave River in early 1918, and thus the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was able to occupy Venice a few weeks later in the summer. Nearly 60% of Italy's army was encircled in the process, and with the demoralization resulting from these events, Italy began to collapse quickly.


    Forces of Austria-Hungary moving across the Piave River


    France and Britain, dealing with a massive drive by the Germans on their front in France, were unable to help Italy. Soon, in a marked contrast with the trench warfare that had dominated the Great War until that point, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria advanced through Italy with remarkable speed. On August 1st of 1918, the Central Powers captured Rome. Five days later on the August 6th, Italy surrendered to Germany in hopes of avoiding harsh conditions that Austria would impose on them.

    With France’s surrender in October of that year, the Great War on the continent ended in the Central Powers’ favor. While the war continued in the Middle-East and on the seas with the United Kingdom until the final peace was signed in November of 1921, the continent was theirs to rebuild, as such and they set out to reshape Europe in their image.

    For Austria-Hungary, Italy was at the center of their plans. Despite Italy’s hopes of avoiding harsh conditions by surrendering to the German Empire, Germany allowed for its good ally to finally get the revenge it desired. To that end, Austria-Hungary recreated the scenario of the Italian peninsula before its unification- a chaotic assortment of kingdoms, principalities, duchies, and so much more while Austria-Hungary took direct control of Venice. Certain territories of France- such as Corsica and Nice, were also transferred to the new order. The states were “united” in a loose confederation that was headed up by the Vatican with the Pope at the head of state, with powers to appoint the nobility in Italy to the various ministries, as well as act as a mediator in disputes between the nobility. In reality though, the system was rather weak and more or less a puppet of Austria. The House of Savoy was of course excluded, and King Vittorio Emmanuel III and his house entered into an internal exile, stripped of their nobility.

    One of the states recreated in this plan was the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which had been annexed by Sardinia-Piedmont during the course of the Risorgimento [2]. The resurrected Kingdom was brought back in its entirety and became a member of the confederation. Austria-Hungary was content with this arrangement- it had secured loyal partners on the peninsula that owed their newly found powers to them. For the people of Italy though, this was an embarrassment. More over for the peasant masses of the South, it was an affirmation that the oppressive, feudal conditions of the latifundia [3] were there to stay, and the prospects for land reform were absolutely out of the question with the return of the King of the Two Sicilies. With the toll the catastrophic war had taken on the peasants, this amounted to no more than kicking them while they were still down. Discontent was brewing while Austria-Hungary was drunk with its victory...

    __________________________________________________ ____________________________________________

    [1] The Triple Alliance was an agreement signed between the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Kingdom of Italy in 1882. It envisioned a defensive pact between the nations, though from the beginning Italy's involvement was questionable due to its rivalry with Austria. When the Great War broke out in 1914, Italy had originally affirmed its support for the Central Powers but did not join reasoning that Germany and Austria-Hungary were on the offensive. However on May 1915, Italy entered into the war on the side of the Entente by declaring war on Austria-Hungary.

    [2] "Risorgimento", or "Resurgence" was the term used to refer to the unification of Italy under the House of Savoy in Sardinia-Piedmont in the mid-1800s.

    [3] Latifundia referred to large land estates owned by the nobility across much of the south of Italy and Sicily. It was a prominent feature in the political and economic structure of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and one of the few European entities that continued to have a feudal-type system into the 1800s. By all accounts, farmers that were tied onto the lands were overworked and abused by the nobility who were only interested in meeting their demands for luxury goods through the fields. Even into the early 1900s under a unified Italy, it continued to exist despite promises of land reform. As such the people in southern Italy had life conditions only matched by those in pre-war Ireland and in Russia, and contributed to a significant emigration of many southern Italians to the United States and Latin America. The term is derived from the latin word "Latifundium", which also referred to large plots of land.
    Last edited by MercZ; 17-05-2011 at 20:20.
    Torch of the Mediterranean, a Kaiserreich-DH AAR, Weekly AAR Winner 6/19/11, Character Writer of the Week 2/26/12
    A SHADOWY CABAL OF EVIL.

    This is where I put some quotes

  3. #3
    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
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    Avanti popolo!



    Wonderful to see more and more KR AARs pop up - and this one's got promise as well.

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    First Lieutenant MercZ's Avatar
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    Thank you milities. I hope it will be good to readers as well.

    Here is the next part:

    Fire on the Mountain


    Quote Originally Posted by Part of a claimed communiqué between the German Empire and Austria-Hungary during the unrest in Italy
    We are not bailing you out this time. You made this mess, you clean it up. Didn’t your mother teach you anything?”
    The confederation that Austria-Hungary created ran into problems very quickly. There was widespread discontent among workers in the industrial north, displeased with the sudden change in conditions as many of their few, but hard fought, victories were rolled back. Even among the nobility who owed much to Austria-Hungary for their sudden change in fortunes, were opposed to the Empire’s attempt to put up a member of the Austrian royal family to rule over the confederation. A period of disorder followed across the entirety of Italy. Nobility fought against one another and ignored decrees from Vienna. Workers rose up in Turin, Milan, and elsewhere and began occupying factories. Republican organizations sprouted up in a vain attempt to stem back the resurgence of the aristocracy. However, it was in the south that the most prominent show of resistance against Austria-Hungary was brewing.


    The Palace at Caserta in Naples: one of the four residences used by the royal family of the Two Sicilies


    “Southern Italy”, or the Mezzogiorno as was known [1], was a distinct place from “North” Italy. Culturally it was less cosmopolitan and still rooted in a rural society, and had a substantial landed gentry through which the economic and political power followed through. Latifundia dominated the affairs of the region as thousands of peasants toiled under the nobility that owned them. It had been derogatorily referred to by some intellgentisia in the North as a “ball and chain” on the rest of Italy, that the rest of Italy would have been better off without it. It would not come as a surprise then that not many people had been taking the unrest in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies seriously. Indeed much of the nobility’s attention, as was Austria-Hungary, was on the factory uprisings across the north, fearing a repeat of the Commune of France. The unrest was there- but would the peasants manage to do anything substantial?

    Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta, was installed as the king of the Two Sicilies on December 1918. He was the son of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies of the House of Bourbon, and half-brother to the last king of the Two Sicilies, Francis I. He had however been aloof of the developments in southern Italy and was unable to grasp the magnitude of the problems in the realm, choosing to rather take the words of the aristocrats in the region that all was well. The rebellion that eventually erupted came as a surprise most to Alfonso, who reportedly said “How could they be angry when their King has returned to them?”


    King Alfonso of the Two Sicilies


    The specifics of what prompted the revolt are not known, but a popular story is that of the poor farmer, one “Pietro”, who returned home from the war following Italy’s surrender. The following is our attempt to try and summarize the large number of versions of the story: Pietro had lost two sons during the siege of Venice, and another was unaccounted for. He had been detained in a POW camp for a number of months as Austria-Hungary was reorganizing Italy following the surrender. Upon his release he arrived home to his plot somewhere outside of Bari, he discovered that all was left of his home was a burned out shell. He had discovered from his neighbors that his wife had died the year before from a terminal illness. His daughter, finding it difficult to raise the remaining three children at home, opened herself up to the advances of a son of the landlord. Sometime after this occurred, the neighbors awoke to find that the small homestead was on fire. They put out the fire but discovered within the corpses of the young daughter and the children. They also found out the daughter was pregnant.

    Pietro could not take it. He had lost so much in the war- his sons, friends, and the trauma he had experienced personally from the fierce fighting. He declared to his neighbors that he was not going to stand for the old, corrupt system any longer. Pietro disappeared into his plot and returned with a rifle and a pitchfork and made his way to the direction of the landlord’s estate. As he made his way down the path he was joined by many people of the latifundia. Neighbors. War buddies. Church acquaintances. Some people he never saw before. He was not the only one with grievances against the landlord. So it was on an early spring evening in 1920 that a latifundia somewhere outside of Bari rose up into rebellion. The landlord and his family were reportedly left to burn in their estate, which was perched ontop of a hill. People from surrounding latifundia awoke to see a fire glowing on the hill, the “Fire on the Mountain” as they later called it. Eventually the peasants got word of what had occurred and they too rose up in rebellion. In a matter of hours it appeared the entire region around Bari exploded into uprisings as peasants rose up against their landlords. Soon fires lit up the night sky across the farmlands and the disorder reached into Bari and moved southwards into the port city of Taranto. Workers and artisans in the two cities went on strike, and the cities came to a standstill. Within a few days, all corners of the Two Sicilies was in open rebellion.

    We cannot be sure if the story of this “Pietro” is true. It has the theatrics of an Alexandre Dumas novel and even the government of the Socialist Republic of Italy does not seem to treat it any more than a popular legend. The populace however seem to take a liking to it, which prompted the creation of many novels, plays, radio dramas, and movies about the “Fire on the Mountain” [2]. What ever the case, it is largely agreed upon that the discontent existed and it only took a spark to blow the powder keg.

    Syndicalists had already established a significant base among the peasants in southern Italy before the Great War. Indeed it had been known that as an ideology, syndicalism in Italy was birthed from the oppressive conditions of the south and moved northward. As the revolt spread through the Two Sicilies, Syndicalists quickly leapt into action and sent out agents to agitate and organize the peasants, encouraging them to seize the latifundia and redistribute the farmland amongst themselves.

    The revolt was further emboldened by the ongoing Bolshevik revolution and the success of the syndicalists in France. The Italian Socialist Party, seeing that the revolutionary fervor in the factories of the north was fizzling out while in the South it was growing, chose to focus its efforts there. Eventually large numbers of cadres from the Italian Socialist Party began to make their way to the south, among them figures like Filippo Turati, Palmiro Togliatti, Amadeo Bordiga, GM Serrati, Umberto Terracini, Angelo Tasca, and Antonio Gramsci. Despite their differences, the more Marxist-oriented Socialist Party merged ranks with the revolutionary syndicalists and raised a united front against the monarchy. “Red Guards”, taking after the example of the French and Russian Revolutions, began to be formed to resist against the monarchy.


    “Red Guards” formed from peasants and the urban working class.


    The rest of 1920 was plagued by increasing disorder in the Two Sicilies. Eventually the monarchy had lost all influence outside of Naples as peasants rose up in the latifundia and redistributed land among themselves. In Sicily, even the Mafia was unable to hold back a resurgence of the Fasci Siciliani [3] as workers and peasants rose up in arms against the landed aristocracy. Rather, the mafia chose to enter into the background and wait out the storm, and in some cases chose to aid the rebellion along [4]. The monarchy attempted to form their own “volunteer” regiments utilizing the Church to rally peasants that had not joined in the uprising. There was also, though unspoken, the promise of the ability to loot and pillage the provinces in rebellion without any punishment from the kingdom.

    Benito Mussolini, a former associate of the Italian Socialist Party, gathered a reported 5,000 volunteers consisting of revolutionary trade unionists, socialists, anarchists, and disgruntled war veterans as he made his way from occupied the north of Italy down to the Two Sicilies to aid in the uprising. These 5,000 were formed into the elite backbone of the revolutionary army, divided up into various “Garibaldi” regiments. Despite his transgressions with socialists earlier over his support for the Great War, he was accepted back into the fold and given command over his own regiment.

    As 1921 opened, the revolutionary forces solidified their grasp on regions they controlled. Austria was unable to commit a significant intervention in the Two Sicilies, dealing with similar disorder in North Italy and even in the core territories of the Empire. The German Empire denied a request for help by the Austrians, informing them that they had enough to deal with in Eastern Europe and the Commune of France, and that they had to take responsibility for their miscalculations. The revolutionaries were also bolstered by well-needed aid from the Commune of France. By February, the leadership felt confident of a final push on Naples. March- or the “March Days” as it came to be known- was a month-long battle across the outskirts and eventually streets of Naples as the revolutionary army closed in on the palace at Caserta. King Alfonso remained stubbornly on the throne despite the appeals from his advisors, unable to accept that his reign was going to last barely a year and a half. By the beginning of April the palace was surrounded and much of Naples occupied by the revolutionary forces. It was only on April 20th that Alfonso and his court evacuated Caserta and fled to Rome, and by April 22nd the remaining forces of the Kingdom surrendered to the revolutionary forces. On April 25th, Amadeo Bordiga proclaimed the creation of the Socialist Republic of Italy [5], and now the daunting task of constructing socialism in southern Italy laid ahead of them.

    __________________________________________________ _________________

    [1] “Mezzorgiono”, or “Midday” was a term coined by Giuseppe Garibaldi referring to southern Italy- which included the southern parts of the peninsula, Sicily, and Sardinia. It was, at the time, a common colloquial term for the region.

    [2] Indeed, according to the last count, there are a total of ten movies, fifteen books, five plays, six radio dramas, and even a video game which in some way involved this event.

    [3] The Fasci Siciliani was a revolutionary group formed from disgruntled mine workers and farmers in the late 1880s and early 1890s that struggled against the oppressive conditions by the gentry in Sicily. It took inspiration from a rather odd mix of republican, democratic, socialist, traditional, and religious ideals in their struggle against the aristocracy. The disorder was put down, rather brutally, by government of Francesco Crispi.

    [4] Like with the Fasci Siciliani, the landlords also presumably used the mafia to try and protect their holdings. In some cases the landlords were the heads of families that owned land, so the mafia had an even greater reason to resist the rebellion. However some families, wise to the direction the revolution was turning, chose to retreat to the shadows and aid rebels in destroying rivals. Following the rebellion, the mafia would continue to plague the young republic with a large black market and human smuggling network.

    [5] While Bordiga had opposed the use of a national identifier, the majority of the revolutionaries beyond the leadership seemed to be aloof of the idea of internationalism at the time. The Socialist Republic of Italy was also, for a time, only recognized by the Commune of France.
    Last edited by MercZ; 20-05-2011 at 03:54.
    Torch of the Mediterranean, a Kaiserreich-DH AAR, Weekly AAR Winner 6/19/11, Character Writer of the Week 2/26/12
    A SHADOWY CABAL OF EVIL.

    This is where I put some quotes

  5. #5
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    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
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    Ah, dear Benito playing Garibaldi with his volunteers. It'll be interesting to see whether or not the new revolutionary government will hand out just as stern an assault on the Mafia of the south as OTL's fascists did.

  9. #9
    First Lieutenant MercZ's Avatar
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    @Davis: Oh, what a surprise.

    @Kroisistan: Lol, that must've been in my head when I thought of the name. I had honestly not intended that.

    @Milites: The mafia question is an issue all the factions will take positions over. It goes from the less violent ideas of the Social-Reformists to the outstraight war of Mussolini's National-Syndicalists.

    Here's the last part of the prologue. The next parts will be in the game itself. My only regret is not making a proper sized version of the RSI's flag. If I had any graphic skills I'd just stick the Syndicalist logo in the middle of the Roman Republic's flag, though I'm lacking in those as you may guess

    The March into the Future


    Quote Originally Posted by A letter from Gramsci to his mother in the Principality of Sardegna-Piemonte, intercepted by the government
    I never wanted to change my views, for which I would be willing to give my life… I would like to console you in this sorrow I gave you, but I could not do otherwise. Life is so very hard, and sons sometimes have to give great pain to their mothers if they want to preserve the honor and dignity of mankind.
    With the declaration of the Socialist Republic of Italy, Austria-Hungary found its plans in Italy fast falling apart. A last ditch invasion of the Socialist Republic of Italy took place in mid-May, consisting of a force combined from the various states within the Italian Confederation and two elite Austro-Hungarian divisions. The invasion was a total disaster for the Austro-Hungarians, more due to the lack of coordination and morale from the invasion force than the skill of the revolutionaries.

    The Commune of France quickly established relations with the new nation, sending advisors to help the Italians in their attempt to build a socialist order and the groundwork for a military to defend its borders. They certainly had their work cut out for them- aside from a few entrepreneurial landlords, the agricultural methods were by and large antiquated. Little agricultural machinery existed. Infrastructure in the region was pitiful aside from a few railroads leading to the ports. The vast majority of the populace, particularly among the peasantry, was illiterate. And of course, with the departure or deaths of most of the nobility in the region, some peasants attempted to take the place of the gentry and took control of the latifundia themselves, forcing the others to work under them in much the same way the nobles had done.

    Through the course of much of the summer, a temporary collective leadership was set up while a Constituent Assembly was held in the Palace of Caserta at Naples. The palace was also open for the first time to the people to observe and participate in the debates to make their demands heard in the new government. A republican style of government was decided upon, with a unicameral parliament- the House of Commons. A President would be chosen as the Head of State, while the Chairman of the House of Commons would function as the head of government. However, going in line with the stance against notions of “bourgeois” democracy, the delegations to the House of Commons were to be derived from the workers’ and farmers councils- syndicates- across the nation, as opposed to campaigns by political parties.

    A flag was created to indicate a new Italy, free of its monarchical past and forward looking. To that end the controversial choice was made to abandon the Italian tricolor in favor of an older Republican tricolor. The flag of the short-lived Roman Republic of 1798 was chosen as the inspiration due to it being first “Republican” government of modern times. The color scheme was black-white-red, as opposed to the green-white-red of the old Italian flag. The flag was touched up with the syndicalist designs- a cogwheel with a crossed torch and hammer.


    The flag of the Roman Republic of 1798. The Socialist Republic of Italy in turn added the syndicalist symbols to the middle of the flag.


    The flag of the Socialist Republic of Italy



    A contentious issue during the constitutional debates was currency. Some of the more radical syndicalists and socialists felt that money should be abolished, while others felt that would have been unfeasible at that point in time. Eventually a motion to enter such a provision in the constitution was defeated and the lira was retained as the currency, for the time being.

    In November, a final draft of the constitution was approved by the Constituent Assembly. The largest faction at the time were the Maximalists and pro-Lenin factions of the Italian Socialist Party, and the syndicalists, who joined ranks to successfully pass the constitution against the opposition of the reformists led by Turati. Amadeo Bordiga was chosen as the first President of the Republic while Palmiro Togliatti became the Chairman of the House of Commons. The affairs of the government would take place in the Congress of the Republic, or the former Royal Palace of Naples [1].


    The Congress of the Republic


    First Government of the Socialist Republic of Italy [2]

    President of the Socialist Republic of Italy: Amadeo Bordiga
    Chairman of the House of Commons: Palmiro Togliatti
    General Responsible for Diplomacy: G.M. Serrati
    General Responsible for Industry and Agriculture: Angelo Tasca
    General Responsible for Armaments: Arturo Labriola
    General Responsible for the Police: Antonio Gramsci
    General Responsible for Intelligence: Vittorio Vidali
    General Responsible for the People's Military: Camillo Berneri
    General Responsible for the People's Army: Umberto Marzocchi
    General Responsible for the People's Navy: Francesco Maugeri
    General Responsible for the People's Air Force: Mario Ajmone Cat


    Amadeo Bordiga and Palmiro Togliatti


    The two most pressing issues to the safety of the new nation were the Church and the Mafia. The Church had an incredible amount of influence among the peasants, and presented a potential “fifth column” of sorts in the event of a war with the confederation. Some of the prominent figures within the Republic advocated for a strong application of Atheism and a “people’s war” against the Church. Others advocated for a more secular approach to the Church, opting for a “kulturkampf” of sorts to combat the influence of religion among the populace [3]. This platform eventually won out in the government and the presence of the church was tolerated- though heavily scrutinized by the intelligence services. The Vatican in turn took a position of silence on the new Republic, greatly frustrating the Austrians.


    A mugshot of Cascioferro during a stint in jail in the United States


    The mafia had quickly established black markets as the new government began to create a socialist-oriented economy, responding to the demands of certain citizens for goods that were difficult to acquire. The mafia also operated a lucrative human smuggling network that moved southern Italians to the north or to the western hemisphere. The mafia in Sicily also maintained connections with mafia families in the United States, furthering their black market and human smuggling operations. Though the exact power structure was unclear, it was believed that Vito Cascioferro was the strongest of all the bosses in Sicily. Cascioferro had originally been a member of the Fasci Siciliani in his youth, and ended up in New York after several adventures in the Mediterranean by September 1901. It is believed there he worked his way up within the mafia network, and returning to Sicily at some point in late 1904 and became a powerful figure in the mob network there. During the revolution, Cascioferro and other friendly families withdrew to the shadows, aiding the revolutionaries where they could eliminate rivals. The mafia then reemerged into their original activities, and would present the republic with its most prominent problem for years to come.

    By the end of 1921, it was clear that the Commune of France and the Socialist Republic of Italy would be the only socialist nations in Europe. Uprisings in Germany failed to materialize while an attempted revolution in Hungary was foiled by the authorities. In Russia, the Bolsheviks lost their struggle when in September of 1921, both Petrograd and Moscow were captured from the Red Army by the German-assisted opposition forces [4]. The notable members of the Bolsheviks were either killed during the course of the German intervention, or put to trial and later executed. Very few managed to escape. The Mensheviks had managed to set up a socialist republic in Georgia, though it chose a path of isolation. The news came as a shock to the Marxist elements in the Socialist Republic of Italy, as it now left the momentum of the socialist revolution to the syndicalists in France.

    Aided by the Commune of France, the Socialist Republic of Italy began its path to industrialization. Infrastructure such as railroads, telephone, roads, radio, and much more began to sprout up in parts of the country. A massive restructuring of the education system took place, firmly placing it in a secular institution and promotion of the socialist ideals of the Republic. Alongside this was an expansion of the schools, spreading schools to areas which formerly none had existed and making it compulsory attendance. Factories began to pop up in the major cities and the creation of a larger and more dominant proletariat was encouraged. A proper military was formed alongside popular militias that formed the police in the Republic. All things considered though, the republic still had a ways to go. The industrial heartland of Italy was in the north, and it would take considerable effort to even minimize the gap. Furthermore there was the issue of resources- Southern Italy, though rich in agriculture in the mainland and mines in Sicily, would not be able to sustain a highly developed economy on its own. To that end it would have to rely on the Commune of France and other partners even more- autarky was out of the question.

    The divisions in the revolutionary movement were inevitable however. Like in the Commune of France, the prominent politicians soon affiliated themselves to different platforms within the government. The two major divisions at the time were the Social-Reformists, led by Turati, and the Socialist-Syndicalist platform led by Bordiga and Togliatti. While the latter was stronger at the time, it still did not prevent a rather heated dispute between Antonio Gramsci and Angelo Tasca from taking center stage of the governments’ affairs.


    Gramsci and Tasca


    Tasca and Gramsci, along with Togliatti and Terracini- all friends- had established a clandestine newspaper called “L’Ordine Nuovo”, or The New Order in 1919. While originally intending to be an exploration of “socialist” culture, the newspaper soon found itself exploring political questions. Notably, it encouraged and supported “councils” formed by workers and peasants that, in Gramsci’s words, would be the germ of a future socialist society. Encouraged by developments in Russia (soviets) and the revolutionary tide in Italy, it spread propaganda among workers about these “councils”. The paper relocated itself to the Socialist Republic of Italy and continued much of the same discussion, though readers soon noticed the debate raging between Tasca and Gramsci. It started over a disagreement over the role of trade unions in the councils. Gramsci felt that Trade Union status should not be a condition for membership on the council, a position opposite of Tasca. Eventually it grew into even more fundamental disagreements over socialism and the potential of syndicalism, and reached into the chambers of parliament in September of 1925. Tasca, claiming a sign of weakness in Austria-Hungary, argued that a “war of revenge” should be started immediately to reclaim the rest of Italy. Gramsci accused Tasca of warmongering and a “fetish” for nationalism, stating that a war with Austria would only be suicidal. Their divisions over syndicalism also came to the forefront as economic reorganization was discussed regarding the creation of councils. Bordiga, in his capacity as president, attempted to defuse the situation. During a heated debate in the House of Commons though, Bordiga angrily interjected his displeasure with syndicalism and raised a defense of Marxism as the more correct position for socialism. The Commune of France, receiving reports of the debate from its observers in the House of Commons, now moved into action and worked on its political connections to restore stability.

    After a series of political moves, Angelo Tasca eventually boarded a ship and went into a self-imposed exile in the Commune of France, citing death threats and a complete “bankruptcy” of political positions from the government in Naples. With Bordiga’s dismissal of Syndicalism and its backlash among the syndicalist factions, his prospects as a unifying president declined.

    During the Second Congress of the Greater Italian Union in 1926, a vote was called in the chamber regarding his position as president. While a sizable number within the Marxist-oriented wing of the Socialist-Syndicalist union voted to retain, the entirety of the syndicalists voted against him. The Social-Reformist block also voted against Bordiga. With the vote clearly against him, Bordiga resigned. Palmiro Togliatti was elevated to the president of the republic, while the young Antonio Gramsci was elected the Chairman of the House of Commons. Gramsci then in turn attempted to appoint Bordiga as the General Responsible for Industry and Agriculture that Tasca had left vacant, but he refused the appointment, preferring the position as the head of the Socialist-Syndicalist delegation in the House of Commons.

    The Commune of France now moved the Socialist Republic of Italy into a more syndicalist-friendly position as both of the leaders were open to some of the syndicalist’ platforms. The Commune of France had approved Gramsci’s endorsement of workers’ councils in L’Ordine Nuovo, and saw it compatible with the Commune of France’s “revolutionary industrial democracy” standpoint. While not as syndicalist as the Travailleur-Anarchist joint government in Commune in France would prefer, Togliatti and Gramsci were the only feasible option considering the power balance in Naples.

    In the aftermath of the Second Congress, Benito Mussolini, a member of the Socialist-Syndicalist Union, unexpectedly formed his own faction, the National-Syndicalist Union. Mussolini declared his desire for a far more centralized system in both governance and economy, and claimed simultaneously claimed influence from the Marxist positions of Lenin and the orthodox syndicalist positions of Georges Sorel. Mussolini found that he had won over some disgruntled syndicalists from within the Socialist-Syndicalist Union that despised the Marxist “infestation” within the government, and approved of what they felt was Mussolini’s “realistic” approach in recognizing the power of Italian nationalism among the people.

    Various newspapers were set up along with radio stations promoting the ideas of the republic and providing entertainment. Newspapers were where the majority of the political concerns flowed through them. The Social-Reformists ran “Avanti!”, once the old organ of the Italian Socialist Party and now firmly in the hands of Turati and his followers. The Socialist-Syndicalists created L’Unità to send out their own views. Benito Mussolini carried over his paper he created, Il Popolo d’Italia [5], to showcase the positions of the National-Syndicalists.The newspaper of record was the newly created “Liberazione” which talked about events in the world and allowed commentary from people not formerly aligned to any of the platforms within the republic. Other smaller papers, such as Gramsci’s L’Ordine Nuovo, also existed though were catered to a specific audience.

    The republic was busy trying to catch up to the rest of the world. The world outside also changed drastically, in ways that directly impacted the Socialist Republic of Italy. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad.

    In April 1922, Emperor Charles I of Austria died, leaving his 11-year old son Otto the heir to the throne. The Austrian-Hungarian Empire was now in even more distress with this event. With its trouble in maintain its hegemony in the Italian Confederation and even within the regions inside the empire itself, the lack of a mature, competent Emperor sent Austria-Hungary into a period of political chaos that lasted until the Ausgleich negotiations in 1927 [6]. This meant for the Socialist Republic of Italy a respite from Austro-Hungarian intrigues in the Italian peninsula. However, the Italian Confederation also reacted to the chaos to advance its own interests.


    Pope Pius XI, elected pope in 1922 after the death of Pope Benedict XV


    Pope Pius XI was aware of the disorder plaguing the Austro-Hungarian Empire and saw it as a perfect opportunity to further the Vatican’s interests in the Confederation. Raising the motto “Pax Christi in regno Christi”, he began to encourage a new order in Italy, avoiding both the evils of syndicalism and free-market capitalism. He proposed a common community of Italians working together in works for the Church and moving beyond the nobility feuds that had plagued the Confederation until then. With Austria-Hungary struggling with its own problems and the decentralization brought out with the Augsleich negotiations of 1927, Pope Pius XI actively pushed for this agenda without much opposition from Vienna. He won a victory when in 1930, a group of like-minded Cardinals gained control of the Vatican. From there, Pope Pius XI launched his final plan- a centralization of the weak confederation. His agitation in the previous years paid off when the nobility had consented to the move, and the Confederation turned into a more centralized Federation, with the Vatican at the reigns of the government. The Pope had his own ambitions, and strongly felt that from the ruins of the Great War, the vile atheism of syndicalism, the excess of the monarchies, and the failures of secularism in the few republics, that there was a possibility to finally create a community of Catholics, under the enlightened guidance of the Vatican of course. Naturally, he turned his attention to the new republic, and in a marked contrast to the previous position of silence, had begun to condemn the actions of the republic.

    In 1925 a small strike in south Wales escalated into a full-blown rebellion in the United Kingdom. The rebellion, much like the one in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, spread with remarkable speed among the discontent workers in the United Kingdom. A considerable portion of the military defected to the strikers and within days a civil war burned through the isles. Eventually, the monarchy, government, and much of the nobility fled into exile in Canada, establishing a government in exile similar to that of the French in North Africa. On October 25, John MacLean declared the creation of the Union of Britain. The Socialist Republic of Italy and the Commune of France quickly recognized the Union of Britain, which in turn also joined the Syndicalist International formed by the two. It however opted not to join the military alliance between the Commune of France and the Socialist Republic of Italy.

    The overseas colonies of the British rapidly collapsed into rebellion, as states either declared independence or were taken over by the German Empire. The so-called Jewel of British Empire, India, fractured into three states- a pro-British Delhi Sultanate, an anti-British alliance of Indian nobility in the south, and in the eastern ramparts of Bengal, a socialist faction took control and declared the People’s Republic of Bengal [7]. The three states made their intentions clear on unifying the peninsula under their rule and their opposition to one another.

    The republic continued to progress into the 1930s. Industrialization and land reform was accelerated, and Gramsci’s plans for combating the Mafia that he formulated as General Responsible of Police were implemented fully. While the mafia was not eliminated, its presence was certainly diminished. In 1931, the now-called “Anarcho-Syndicalist” platform led by Gramsci and Togliatti fended off attempts by the Social-Reformists and National-Syndicalists in the Third Congress of the Greater Italian Union. By 1935, the reorganization of the country’s economy was mostly complete. Looming in the future however, was to further the industrialization to catch up with the developed world and prepare for the inevitable war with their brothers in the north.

    __________________________________________________ ______________________

    [1] This “Royal Palace” is not to be confused with the Palace at Caserta, which was converted into a museum. It may be recalled that the royal family had a total of four residences in Naples alone.

    [2] These are the listings of the prominent ministries, though it does not cover the sub-ministries such as the General Responsible for Transportation, to which Mussolini was appointed.

    [3] The government opted for a two-prong assault, one through educating the youth and another by encouraging more radical minded clergy to take over churches where they can. The Italian Federation, after consolidating itself, took similar measures against the prominence of socialist thought in trade unions, encouraging instead the creation of “White”, or pro-Catholic trade unions.

    [4] The original provisional government of Alexander Kerensky and its supporters made peace with the forces of the White Army and agreed to fight against the Red Army together. It was only through the intervention of the German military that this opposition was able to do so, however.

    [5] Il Popolo d’Italia was created by Mussolini in 1914 after he was forced out of his position in the Italian Socialist Party’s paper, Avanti! He returned to the paper following Italy’s surrender in the Great War and upon hearing of the events unfolding in the south, used it as a tool to gather volunteers for his march southwards. He was allowed to set up the paper in the new republic following the victory, though was forced out of the top position after it was found he was using the paper to smear an opponent within the Social-Reformist platform, Giacomo Matteotti. His loyalists still continued to run the paper, which allowed him to use it as an organ for the National-Syndicalist platform.

    [6] In 1927 when disorder was threatening to tear the Austro-Hungarian Empire apart, the Kaiser intervened and had the Austrians renegotiate the original Ausgleich of 1867. The new agreement further decentralized the empire, granting greater autonomy to its subjects in Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia and Moravia, and Galicia. It also marked the end of the “equal” partnership between Germany and Austria, as Germany now moved to take an even more dominant position on the continent and relegated Austria to a client.

    [7] The People’s Republic of Bengal would later become the Bharitya Commune in 1930, marking its pan-Indian aspirations.
    Last edited by MercZ; 20-05-2011 at 03:44.
    Torch of the Mediterranean, a Kaiserreich-DH AAR, Weekly AAR Winner 6/19/11, Character Writer of the Week 2/26/12
    A SHADOWY CABAL OF EVIL.

    This is where I put some quotes

  10. #10
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    Protect your state against the catholic oppresors in the norht!!
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  11. #11
    The church and syndicalism are made for each other, right ? (in other words: invade and protect the workers from catholic opression )

    Tim

  12. #12
    Great AAR!

    I look forward to the beginning of the game. I also saw you talking about wanting a SRI flag with a cogwheel, torch and hammer symbol in the middle:


  13. #13
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    Thank you for the comments, and thanks to Attack for making an enlarged RSI flag- I'll add that to the previous update. I am currently playing through and getting to a point I think is appropriate for the next chapter. Look for it later today or tomorrow. Also, I've noticed that so far, there's a peculiar concentration of bespectacled Italians so far- Gramsci, Togliatti, Tasca, Bordiga, and even the freaking pope have glasses
    Torch of the Mediterranean, a Kaiserreich-DH AAR, Weekly AAR Winner 6/19/11, Character Writer of the Week 2/26/12
    A SHADOWY CABAL OF EVIL.

    This is where I put some quotes

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MercZ View Post
    Thank you for the comments, and thanks to Attack for making an enlarged RSI flag- I'll add that to the previous update. I am currently playing through and getting to a point I think is appropriate for the next chapter. Look for it later today or tomorrow. Also, I've noticed that so far, there's a peculiar concentration of bespectacled Italians so far- Gramsci, Togliatti, Tasca, Bordiga, and even the freaking pope have glasses
    It is even scarier when you play the Bhartiya Commune (Bengal)...almost all of the army leaders have glasses...and they are quite bad because they mostly are major general with 0 or 1 skill...so there is some connection I believe

    Nevertheless good luck...you will need France's help with reconquering the North...

  15. #15
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    @Timmie: Yes, it is. It just seems awfully nerdy in the government :S


    The last days of the Third Congress


    Quote Originally Posted by from the Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci
    “…The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”
    Entering into 1936, the Socialist Republic of Italy found itself vastly changed. For the immediate future, the socialist society seemed secure. Industrialization was progressing at a respectable rate, and the once agrarian south now had a sizable working class. Factories now took the produce of grain and other agricultural goods and pumped out foodstuffs and drinks. Small arms factories were set up to arm the Republican Guard and the People’s Militias. However, the young Republic could not hold a candle to the industrial power of the north.


    The industrial gap was a considerable one, to say the least


    To that end, the government saw that advancements in both agriculture and industry would be key to try and make the most of the existing factories and infrastructure. The first plan would be to begin making basic machinery tools to aid workers in productivity.


    Due to its small size, the republic could only be able to have one major projected researched at a time


    Intelligence was also expanded at the request of the General Responsible for Intelligence, who cited increasing issues with the Italian Federation as well as Austria. More over, he said it was essential for the republic to be aware of events developing in the reactionary powers that could threaten the republic. The demand was accepted, as well as a long-term plan to expand intelligence funding as far as the republic would be able to.



    Orders were also filed to recruit more volunteers into the People’s Militias- and one be expanded every four weeks with another division. Plans to expand the Republican Guard itself would be saved for after the Fourth Congress of the Greater Italian Union, a pressing concern to all those in the government, as success or failure in the Congress would spell an end to their long-term plans for the republic. Most of those in their positions were busy with justifying their job so far to the workers and peasants’ councils across the country. The government entering into the 1936 looked like so:



    Positions were shuffled from the old Bordiga government. Vittorio Vidali became General Responsible for Armaments minister following the resignation of Arturo Labriola, while his old position of General Responsible for Intelligence was filled by the trade unionist Giuseppe di Vittorio. G.M. Serrati was replaced by party functionary Pietro Nenni following his sudden death in May 1926. The military was kept mostly the same, more due to the lack of many officers to provide options for the government, as well as ensuring that loyalists to the ruling platform.

    The biggest change was the name of the platform itself- from Socialist-Syndicalists to Anarcho-Syndicalists, a name change mainly to indicate its approval of workers’ and peasants’ councils. The other two blocks, the Social-Reformists and National-Syndicalist, remained the same in naming and positions.

    The Mafia continued to be a problem for the republic. While Gramsci’s two-pronged plan of agitation among the people and action by the Republican Guard had succeeded in driving the Mafia families underground and halting their support for “petit-bourgeois” peasants, the black market and human smuggling routes still existed inside Italy. This would be an issue that all would attack the current government for not adequately addressing when the next Congress convened.



    The major change the Italians did in their strategy against the mafia was to cut trades to the United States. They were aware that the mafia within their borders benefited in the trade with the United States due to the families present there and their control of certain dockyards. It was reasoned that the families in Italy needed the ones in the United States as a lifeline rather than the opposite, and cutting that would hamper their efforts back home.



    While preparing for the meeting of the Fourth Congress, the Socialist Republic of Italy looked outwards. Events outside the borders of the republic would also influence the thought of the voters in the councils, depending on which platform they could fault or credit for an event, depending on what it was.


    The Socialist Republic of Italy and nearby nations


    Very early on, two events occurred that were of interest to the republic in early January. The first was of immediate importance- the death of Pope Pius XI.



    Pius XI had transformed the Italian Confederation from a loose and disorderly collection of feuding nobles to a more centralized federation, ruled by the Vatican. His thought had begun to increasingly dominate the politics of the federation, encouraging his brand of political Catholicism to bring order to disorder. The republic was worried of the real possibility of how the Austrians would react. It was known that the Austrians did not approve of Pius XI’s attempts to undermine the nobility in favor of the Church, and it was feared that Austria would take advantage of the situation to propose the Chief of Staff of the Federation- Duke Giuseppe di Toscana [1] – to be crowned King of the Federation. Thankfully for the republic, this was averted and Austria chose merely to offer its condolences over the death. However, the Conclave ended up electing on January 13 the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Theodore Innitzer.



    Theodore Innitzer took the title of Julius IV and gave his remarks on how the Vatican would “adjust” to the new world, and like Pius XI once again raised the possibility of a community of Catholic nations as the solution to the “disorder” in the world. Julius IV gave the socialists in Italy reason to worry- by virtue of his previous post in Vienna, he had maintained close ties with the Habsburgs and it was believed he would bring the Vatican in line with Mitteleuropa’s position on socialism. Not failing to disappoint, the new pope took the opportunity to target the Socialist Republic of Italy, the Commune of France, and syndicalism in general, seeing them as an abomination and bringing suffering upon “good Christians”. This was the most direct reference to the Socialist Republic of Italy the Vatican had made up until that point, and it brought to the foreground the tensions that had been festering between the two nations for a long time.

    Pietro Nenni suggested to the government that the Socialist Republic of Italy should in turn condemn the new pope for his remarks against the nation. The government approved, feeling that it was time to begin confronting the Federation directly. Shortly after the Pope’s statements, Nenni sent an official statement against the pope.



    The Church responded promptly, expecting as much, with a prepared encyclical against syndicalism. The Church issued the encyclical in an attempt to rile up Catholics in both the Socialist Republic of Italy and the Commune of France.



    The Church wanted to remind both of the nations of their failure to “intimidate” the faithful and stamp out the word of God. The Commune of France had already broken apart the large Church holdings in France in the aftermath of the revolution. The Socialist Republic of Italy had attempted to take a prolonged approach, though the Church had now effectively forced its hand. It could not appear weak by not doing anything in response to the encyclical.



    Some segments of the republic’s population reacted negatively to the move, getting into scuffles with the People’s Militias as Churches directly affiliated with the Vatican were targeted for confiscation of their holdings. However, the cultural program of the republic had paid off in some areas, lightening the negative response by the populace.

    The other significant event unfolded in Russia. President Kerensky was assassinated by a lone gunman and put the already weak state into political chaos. Kerensky had presided over an alliance of the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries and Kadets in the hopes that the two could “reform” Russia against both the radical demands from the left-wing of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, and the attempts by pro-nobility factions to restore the crown.


    President Kerensky


    Nenni issued a formal consolation to the Russian government. The republic had maintained mostly cordial relations with Russia, though more out of the necessity of trade than an approval of each other. The entirety of the political factions in the republic did not hold a high opinion of Kerensky due to his role in squashing the Bolsheviks and having the right-wing of the Socialist-Revolutionaries enter into a government with the bourgeois Kadets. The republic had hoped for the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks to join efforts in the Duma to form a government, and in doing so frustrate attempts by pro-Tsarist factions to seize the initiative. Marshal Denikin, fearful of the potential danger of a Menshevik-Left SR government, while recognizing the issues of a power seizure by pro-Tsarist factions in the Senate, took advantage of the chaos to declare martial law and dissolve the government.



    Russia’s fate as a republic looked questionable. Political groups had hoped that Denikin would form a caretaker government until elections could be held by appointing a prime minister. Denikin could either choose the previous prime minister, the Kadet politician Pavel Milyukov, Patriarch Mikhail Pol'skii of the Conservatives, or the landowners’ block of Vladimir Purishkevich [2]. Instead, Denikin did something that shocked the world, but not really a surprise to the International.



    It was unclear if the former White Army commander would use the position to bring back the Russian Empire. Only time would tell.

    Meanwhile as the republic was dealing with the Pope’s denunciation of the government, Mussolini departed for the Union of Britain for a meeting with Oswald Mosley. Mosley also invited Georges Valois, a prominent Commune of France political figure and leader of the Sorelian political platform, and Chairman of the Central Committee of the Menshevik Party, Lavrentiy Beria of Georgia. It was officially stated the three would discuss political strategies, though the Union of Britain, the Commune of France, and the Socialist Republic of Italy were aware that the three were discussing a new political platform. The meeting took place over the course of nearly six days, and on January 12th the three emerged and hosted a press conference. Flanked by Mussolini, Beria, and Valois, Mosley declared that the four had found common ground in their groups of Mosley’s Maximists, Mussolini’s National-Syndicalists, Beria's faction in the Mensheviks, and Valois’s Sorelians. In the synthesis of their ideas, Mosley declared the creation of “Totalitarian Socialism” as he waved a copy of the “Totalist Charter”. He said that their respective groups had all endorsed the ideology and plan on raising it in the elections in their respective countries.



    Benito Mussolini, Oswald Mosley, Georges Valois, and Lavrentij Beria- the founders of “Totalism”.



    Within a few days, an Italian version of the Totalist Charter began to be distributed in the republic by National-Syndicalist agitators and the entirety of the charter appeared in Mussolini’s paper, Il Popolo d’Italia.


    Totalism espoused the role of the state in establishing and protecting socialism against foreign powers, and preserving it until the international revolution was possible. The creators of Totalism all agreed that in order to preserve the revolution, the state had to be given maximum power in the economy and squashing seditious activity within the country. It looked down upon the semi-decentralized council system that the British, French, and Italians had established in their countries as unable to sufficiently harness the power of their nations and to back the military power needed to fight a potential war against their foes.

    The news of the creation of Totalism was greeted by figures in other countries. Nikolai Bukharin, one of the few Bolsheviks to survive the civil war, gave his approval to the ideology. The United States and the German Empire also saw their share of activity around the announcement of the Totalist Charter. In the United States, the prominent trade union agitator William Z. Foster fully endorsed Totalism as the way forward for revolution. In the broken left in Germany, some figures chose to embrace the ideology feeling that Totalism would provide the only possible means for revolutionaries to wipe away the “taint” of the nobility in Germany.

    The key nations of the International- the Commune of France, the Union of Britain, and the Socialist Republic of Italy, now had to face a formidable threat in the form of the platforms that endorsed Totalism. For the Anarcho-Syndicalists in Italy in particular, Mussolini had essentially tossed to the wind the concept of workers’ councils in favor of a centralized state and represented, in the view of the Anarcho-Syndicalists at least, a bastardization of socialism. Totalism would have its first shot at securing power in France as news came of Marceau Pivert’s government falling on January 26th and elections called.



    Pivert was a member of the Travailleur faction in the Commune of France. He had been one of the key figures of the revolution and organization an alliance between the Anarchist and Travailleur factions and to that end had the old anarchist Sébastien Faure [3] made Chairman of the Bourse Générale du Travail (BGT) while he became the Chairman of the Comité de Salut Public (CSP). Many of the Travailleurs came from the radical wing of the SFIO and traditional trade unionist figures, and had people who were avowed Marxists. They faced challenges from all over France by factions that accused them of either going too far, or not far enough, in the pursuit of syndicalism. The anarchists felt that the Travailleurs were too old and out of touch with the revolutionary youth, and declared their support for decentralizing the economic structure of the Commune of France.

    The biggest problem however was the Jacobin and Sorelian platforms. The two had a fierce rivalry and in the event of a victory, would probably use their power to eliminate the other. The Jacobins claimed lineage from the teachings of Marx and Lenin and desired to centralize the state into a revolutionary one to prepare for world revolution. The Sorelians on the other hand, as the name would imply, wanted Syndicalism in its “purest” form and desired the outright destruction of the Marxist “taint” in the country.

    Italy watched the events carefully. The Travailleurs were a close ally and the best option for Italy’s development. The anarchists, led by the anarchist Ukranian émigré Nestor Makhno, could be worked with though it would probably mean less industrial aid from France. The Italians were more worried however about the prospect of a Sorelian victory- like the National-Syndicalists they had subscribed to Totalism and felt the need to pursuit the program of Sorel over that of Marx. Mussolini would certainly use the victory of the Sorelians to his advantage in advancing the validity of his own platform. Both the Social-Reformists and National-Syndicalists would, however, welcome the defeat of the Travailleurs solely due to the fact that it would give them an even better position to attack the Anarcho-Syndicalists with.

    The newspapers of Italy received telegrams from Paris as the votes began to return from the councils. The first result released was the position for the army. All the platforms raised their ideas of what strategies the army should take and whether it should be a drafted or standing army. It was expected that the Sorelian or Jacobin factions, from their popularity within the military, would secure the position. In the end, opposite of many people’s expectations, the Anarchist candidtate Henri-Rol Tanguy won the position.



    The next result was the key position of intelligence. The position of the Director of the Comité de Renseignements Généraux would be a deadly tool for the Jacobins or the Sorelians to wipe their rivals out, but more importantly the use the position to influence the politics of Italy. Particularly in the event of a Sorelian victory here, as Mussolini was hoping, it would more than likely hand a victory to the National-Syndicalists in the upcoming Congress. However the Travailleur candidate, war veteran and PoW Roger Salerno, won the position.



    The positions of internal security and industrial minister were up next. The position of internal security was won readily by the anarchist candidate Maurice Joyeux, a protégé of Nestor Makhno, more than likely due to the wish of the people to have a far less intrusive police presence. The counting for the position of Delegate to Economic Affairs was a close one and hotly contested, as it was seen more or less as a vote on the Travailleur’s handling of the economy. The Sorelian candidate Jacques Doriot attempted to rally to the feeling of revanchism by arguing for the economy to be geared towards the eventual war. The Jacobins wanted more industrialization. The anarchists wanted to favor the creation of cooperatives. The Travailleurs of course argued for the status quo, their brand of “orthodox” syndicalism. The Travailleur’s candidate of Benoît Frachon narrowly won, leaving the key positions of the government split between the Travailleurs and Anarchists.



    The vote for Delegate to Foreign Affairs thus became the king maker. A victory by either the Travailleurs or the Anarchists would allow them to capture both the positions of the BGT and CSP. A victory here by either the Sorelians or the Jacobins would end up making no clear majority and thus a potential period of governmental chaos. The Italians, or at least Antonio Gramsci, was more worried if the Sorelian candidate for the position, his enemy Angelo Tasca, would secure the position. Such an outcome would probably harm relations between the two nations as long as both were in positions of power within their respective nations. Much to his relief though, Tasca lost to the anarchist candidate Nestor Makhno.



    The results indicated an anarchist majority and allowed Daniel Guérin to secure the position of the CSP on February 7th. Sébastien Faure, an member of the anarchist platform himself, had hoped that he would be able to retain the position of the BSP and refused to resign. He found his hopes dashed when Nestor Makhno was chosen by the anarchists to ascend to the position, saying that the country had now moved into the hands of the youth.

    Italy sent a formal congratulation via telegram to Makhno and Guérin, who in turn responded back thanking them and promised to keep ties between Italy and France close. Italy certainly hoped this was the case- without France it would be difficult, if not impossible, to beat the Italian Federation. The following day Italy tested this with a request for technology research aid, which was approved by the new government in France for nothing in return.



    During the elections in the Commune of France, a significant event for all the socialist nations took place on February 4th. The Berlin Stock Market, arguably the center of global commerce, crashed. Blame went all around. The liberals in Germany claimed this was due to the current government's intrusive interventionist policies in the economy. The socialists saw it as an example of the failures of capitalism. The government in turn attempted to deflect blame away and downplayed the effects of the crash, saying that the economy should recover in a few months. All parties involved knew though that it would be a trying time for the German Empire and her partners.


    The day of the crash was termed by the press “Black Monday”


    The crash had no effect on the socialist nations as they existed outside of the economic order constructed by the German Empire. However, most other nations felt the effects of the crash. All of the nations in Europe under Germany’s influence, including Austria and Russia, saw economic crashes of their own from the event. Germany’s economic ventures in Mittelafrika and in the Allgemeine Ostasiatische Gesellschaft (General East Asian Company) were both severely affected. Even nations in the western hemisphere, notably Brazil, saw fallout from the crash. It was truly a global economic disaster, one that would certainly provide a topic of discussion and action by the International during the meeting in May.

    In the United States the Socialist Republic of Italy began to use its connections among Italians in the country to support the Combined Syndicates of America, an alliance of various socialist organizations, in its political efforts for the presidency. The mafia did as well, using its connections in the Italian community, particularly through the Church, to drive up support for the America First party. The first major move by the United States against the Combined Syndicates came with two events- the so-called “Battle of the Overpass” and the banning of the Charlie Chaplin movie, Modern Times [4], in many areas. The Battle of the Overpass was the breakup of a Trade Union meeting in Detroit by the police, and the Chaplin film was accused of a pro-Socialist bias and support for the Combined Syndicates of America.



    March was uneventful for the republic- the only significant event was a dockworker strike in the Australasian Confederation escalating into political crisis, defused by Billy Hughes assuming stronger powers within the country. In doing so he took the opportunity to jail the agitators of the strike indefinitely. Such was expected by a nation of the Entente.

    Meanwhile the Italian Federation attempted to have the United States quiet the anti-Semitic and hateful statements of the Catholic priest, Father Coughlin, on his radio show. The federation was worried that such remarks would damage the reputation of the church, though the United States replied back that Coughlin was protected by his First Amendment rights.



    Most of the populace, however, was more concerned about the upcoming elections. Everyone was getting ready for the Congress meeting looming in April, and the final week [5] was filled with newspaper battles and speeches to workers’ and peasants’ councils regarding economic, domestic, and military policy. April 1st was the official opening of the Fourth Congress, one that the Anarcho-Syndicalists went into nervously.
    __________________________________________________ ______

    [1] Duke Giuseppe di Toscana, better known as Josef von Österreich-Toskana, was a member of the nobility and son of Ferdinand the IV, the last Duke of Tuscany. He was born in Austria and a member of the Habsburg royal family. He had been the favored candidate by Austria-Hungary originally to be crowned “King of the Italians”, though this never materialized due to opposition by Italian nobility. He was instead chosen by the pope as Chief of Staff of the Confederation (and later Federation) military.

    [2] Pavel Milyukov was prime minister under Kerensky and the chief politician of the liberal Kadets in Russia. Mikhail Pol'skii was patriarch of the Russian Eastern Orthodox Church and advocated for a total fusion of church and state. Vladimir Purishkevich represented the interests of landowning gentry in the agrarian sectors of Russian, and fiercely reactionary and anti-Semitic. All three candidates were possible for Denikin to pick due to their acceptance of a monarch- in varying degrees of course.

    [3] Sébastien Faure was born in January 1858 and was one of the oldest heads of state in the world, being 78 at 1936. He was the “soul” and “thought” of the French anarchists and his appointment to the head of the BGT was chosen mainly because he was the only major political figure with any memory of the Paris Commune (he would have been roughly 13 at the time), and thus represented a sort of continuity between the experience of the Paris Commune and the Commune of France.

    [4] Modern Times was a film made by Charles Chaplin that was critical of the effects of capitalism and heartless industrialism was having on the workers. While comedic in nature, its political overtones were obvious and led to the film’s banning in many parts of the United States, particularly in the south. Chaplin himself had socialist sympathies, which led to trouble for him in Hollywood.

    [5] The Socialist Republic of Italy forbade any form of campaigning, by political figures or the media, until the week before votes were cast.
    Last edited by MercZ; 22-05-2011 at 06:52.
    Torch of the Mediterranean, a Kaiserreich-DH AAR, Weekly AAR Winner 6/19/11, Character Writer of the Week 2/26/12
    A SHADOWY CABAL OF EVIL.

    This is where I put some quotes

  16. #16
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    I always thought totalism was a slightly silly part of KR. You'd better not make Benito your leader or I'll never forgive you.

    Soon the Red Flag will be flying over Rome and Milan.

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    @Davis, thank you

    @Attack: Yeah, personally I think some of the ideologies outside the Syndicalist norm are not fleshed out too well either, but I think that also owes to the restrictions the political "slider" system in HoI2 places on the modders.


    The Fourth Congress of the Greater Italian Union


    Quote Originally Posted by A letter published in Popolo d’Italia from a “Concerned Worker”
    I wonder why the people of Italy have not gotten tired of the “leadership” of the Anarcho-Syndicalists? Since the revolution they have governed our country uninterrupted. While we must be thankful for their success in keeping our country from collapsing in its most vulnerable period, they have done little to move our country in the right direction. The oppressors to the north are still more industrialized than us and maintain a larger, more professional army. The mafia still bullies the workers and peasants of Italy. In the end, what do we have to show? Nothing. The pope has the respect of foreign leaders- ours do not beyond the International. Even the French jokingly refer to our system as “Spaghetti Socialism”. We need strong leadership that embodies the will of the people, one that the bespectacled clowns are not providing. It does not help that one of them is shorter than many of our school children! How can we expect to be taken seriously with them at the reigns?
    The week before the Congress voting was not unlike previous years, though it was certainly far more heated. Emboldened by Mussolini’s adoption of Totalism, the major figures of the National-Syndicalists and their supporters poured out in rallies and visits to factories and farms to make their case. A common thread ran through all the rallies and speeches of the National-Syndicalists: the Anarcho-Syndicalists were too weak. Armed with arguments from the Totalist Charter, Mussolini and others attempted to prove to the workers and peasants of Italy the necessity of a strong, revolutionary state. Mussolini in one meeting proclaimed that the success of both the Risorgimento and socialism depended on the existence of a revolutionary state entrusted with all the power possible to preserve socialism: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state”, as he stated [1]. Mussolini went on to reiterate the National-Syndicalists focus on making a viable, strong military. To that end he stated “For my part I prefer fifty thousand rifles to five million votes.”. He also added “demographic policies” being proposed by the National-Syndicalists would help boost the recruitment in the military and factories and would provide everyone a “role” in reunifying Italy.


    Mussolini talking to workers


    The National-Syndicalists took aim at the government’s policy against the mafia, denouncing it as weak and ineffective. While acknowledging that the government’s policy had reduced violence from the mafia and their alliance with petit-bourgeois landowners, they accused the government of not “finishing” the job. Speakers brought up examples of the black market and human smuggling as a smear on the republic’s reputation. In every meeting the same point was raised: the extermination of the mafia. They raised an all-out “war” against the mafia to eradicate it from Italy.

    An embarrassing moment occurred for the government when during a speech, Mussolini was shot at by a man within the crowd. The bullet only grazed by Mussolini’s ear and did not injure him too badly. He ordered some of his men to drag the man up to the stage where everyone could see him. Fumbling through the man’s overcoat, Mussolini produced papers identifying him as a commanding officer of a Republican Guard division. Mussolini then took a ring with a distinctive design from the man’s hand and after inspecting it, told the crowd the man was a member of the mafia. Seeing the perfect opportunity to slam the government’s Mafia policy, Mussolini quipped: “And here the government claims the popular militia and Republican Guard are free of mafia infiltration! They are saying these men can fight the mafia, but how could they if they are led by them?”

    The National-Syndicalists also drummed up the latent desire of many Italians for the “Second Risorgimento”, to finally make Italy whole again. This was a powerful sentiment they hoped to exploit in the choosing of delegates by the councils, one that that Angelo Tasca before them had attempted to tap into. A play was put on by National-Syndicalist organizers in many rallies called “Gennaro and Maria”. The play was simple, involving a medieval-era Italian family being torn apart by war. The two main characters were the eponymous Maria and her brother Gennaro who in time found themselves living in the same city. Maria had been forced into a marriage with a cruel landlord and Gennaro found himself hired as a guard for the same household. Gennaro would often hear the landlord abusing Maria, with his sister often calling out for help. However, he refused to do anything out of fear of being killed by the strength of the landlord’s guards. One day, after meeting with a friend who encouraged him to have strength in the face of adversity, Gennaro challenged the landlord to a duel, and defeating him, rescued his sister from captivity. The two found themselves reunited once again, and together left to where they could live out their lives in peace. While not officially stated, it was understood by the observers that the play was a thinly veiled barb at the reluctance of the government to face the Federation and the Austrians for re-unification of Italy.

    For their part, it was known that Mussolini eyed the position of president while a close theoretician of the National-Syndicalist movement, Michele Bianchi, would be made the Chairman of the House of Commons.

    The Social-Reformists too launched a vigorous campaign of their own criticizing the Anarcho-Syndicalist government. Unlike the National-Syndicalists though, the Social-Reformists attacked the Anarcho-Syndicalists for their “overreaching” power and refusal to listen to the demands of the people as industrialization was pursued over the past 15 years. The Social-Reformists acknowledged the importance of industrialization that the Anarcho-Syndicalists and National-Syndicalists wanted furthered, but felt that a far more reduced pace was more appropriate. Speakers to the councils reminded the people that the burden of industrialization more often than not fell on them- would it not be better to have a more gradual and measured plan? [2]

    Instead the Social-Reformists raised that the governments’ efforts should be focused on improving the infrastructure of the country. They presented plans to improve roads, buildings, schools, the budding telephone network, and so on- issues that directly impacted the populace. As Matteotti said to one council: “You are the ones who drive the economy, should you not see benefit out of it?”

    The Social-Reformists also raised the possibility of economic reforms that would decentralize the current system, and allow for the creation of other economic arrangements as opposed to the co-ops and councils that dominated the republic.

    Turning to the military, the Social-Reformists argued that the military was too large and a drain on the country’s resources. They attempted to argue for the Republican Guard to become a small, but professional standing army to protect the country. Knowing the apprehension of a sign of weakness by the republic against the federation, the Social-Reformists assured that the alliance with France as well as the advanced equipment that would be issued to the army would be able to sufficiently defend Italy. They argued that the mass, drafted military of the Anarcho-Syndicalists was actually weaker than a professional one, while the desire for a large, professional military by the National-Syndicalists would create an oppressive force on the people. Their position was one of a realistic position to Italy’s current conditions, as Turati justified in Avanti!: “Italy cannot afford to have a disorganized “popular” military that the Anarcho-Syndicalists have encouraged, and in doing so remove men and woman from the workplaces where they are more urgently needed. We do not need a large military presence to create an overbearing state presence either as the National-Syndicalists wishes to do.”

    In regards to the mafia question, the Social-Reformists rejected the “heavy-handedness” of both the Anarcho-Syndicalist and National-Syndicalist positions. They believed that the root of the mafia’s strength laid at the demands of people driving the black market. Instead of “wasting” money on police and the military, as they put it, the Social-Reformists instead opted for an increase in social spending to pull out the rug from under the mafia and remove the reasons why people would turn to them. With adequate schooling, healthcare, food distribution, and a focus on consumer goods, why would anyone turn to the Mafia’s black markets?

    A more controversial aspect of the Social-Reformists was the use of churches. It was known that the government had long encouraged the creation of “radical” clergy that would be able to synthesize religious and socialist teachings, but the government had stopped the extent of their involvement there. The Social-Reformists appealed to these radical clergy by hinting at greater public involvement of their churches than the current government allowed. The Social-Reformists knew of the church’s influence in sectors of the republic and hoped to use that to their advantage in the coming elections.

    As for the candidates, the two main people that the Social-Reformists were advancing were Filippo Turati and Giacomo Matteotti, for the positions of President and Chairman of the House of Commons respectively. Turati though had to deal with a significant disadvantage compared to the other presidential hopefuls- being born in November of 1857, Turati was 78 years old at the time. He was by far the oldest politician in the Socialist Republic of Italy, and his reputation stemmed mainly from being the founder of the Italian Socialist Party. Even though his minimalist platform had lost out to the maximalists over time, he still retained influence within the trade unions of Italy who had formed links with the Italian Socialist Party historically. His protégé was Giacomo Matteotti, who was expected to carry the Social-Reformist torch in the likely event of Turati’s death in the near future. Matteotti had been able to reach out to the people much better than Turati had been able to and was competent at public speaking- though in the process he formed a bitter rivalry with Benito Mussolini [3].


    Turati and Matteotti


    The Anarcho-Syndicalists found themselves working the hardest to pitch their program to the councils. There was a clear anti-establishment vibe in both the National-Syndicalist and Social-Reformist campaigns that was targeted at the long running government. The Anarcho-Syndicalists also had to find a way to reconcile the former PSI Maximalists and pro-Lenin factions with the Anarchists in the group, who had overshadowed the original trade union-based syndicalist politicians (some of whom had defected to the National-Syndicalists in the aftermath of the Second Congress).

    In regards to the industrialization and five-year plans, the Anarcho-Syndicalists advocated for a continuation of their current long-term objectives. The industry was going to expand “as much as the economy can feasibly handle” as Togliatti explained to the workers of the national tractor factory in Naples. He rejected the National-Syndicalist position of heavy industrialization as something that would bring an “unbearable” amount of pain and suffering among the workers, while chiding the Social-Reformists for not having a grasp on the intricacies of the national economy. Speakers particularly focused in cities where factories were being set up and warned them that the factories might be scrapped if the Social-Reformists had their way.


    Togliatti speaking to factory workers


    Gramsci set out with the General Responsible for Police Ruggiero Grieco to discuss the mafia problem with concerned people and defend the current government’s anti-mafia policies. Gramsci distributed a pamphlet simply titled “The Mafia Question” which included writings by himself and others regarding the mafia problem and how to feasibly deal with it. In it Gramsci rejected a “war” by the state against the mafia, feeling that it would not eliminate the mafia as it would ignore the conditions they sprouted from. On the other hand, he also rejected the “welfare” policies of the Social-Reformists, stating that direction alone will not solve the intricacies of the social order that existed in Sicily that the Mafia thrived in. To that end he offered instead a combined approach of “cultural” programs among the youth and an increase in funds for the Republican Guard and popular militias to better police the region.

    During a talk in Palermo with people, Mussolini’s shooting came to Gramsci’s attention. Out of form with the arranged speaking, Gramsci descended into the throng of people and talked to them personally, walking down streets with the people and visiting collectives and councils at random. This was in essence a challenge to the Mafia to shoot him as he was in the open, and the failure of anything to occur was a strong rebuke to Mussolini’s statements regarding the Republican Guard.

    Grieco, after hearing of Mussolini’s shooting and accusation against the police, arranged a conference with the families of popular police, in particular those who had lost someone fighting the mafia, and called out Mussolini to retract his statements regarding the Republican Guard. In a statement later carried by L’Unita, Grieco stated that “Comrade Mussolini has charged the Republican Guard with corruption and a failure to deal with the mafia. He has charged them with a failure to do their duty to the republic essentially! And yet here I have around me the price many of them had to pay in their war against the most reactionary element of our society, and Mussolini still has the gall to question their loyalty? Comrade Mussolini needs to stick with what he knows best- playing with his toy trains” [4].

    The military was the place the Anarcho-Syndicalists felt the most troubled. Again and again they emphasized to the people the importance of a “popular” military that was rooted in the people and not a separate institution from the government. While acknowledging the military should be modernized and strategies revised, they felt that the “downsizing” the Social-Reformists were wanting was unfeasible at the time while the National-Syndicalist plans would only cement an oppressive element of the state.

    For his part, Bordiga embarked on debates regarding the role of the political party. In his time in the House of Commons leading the Anarcho-Syndicalist delegation (and more specifically, the Marxist remnants outs such as Gramsci and Togliatti), he began to formulate the importance of the Party in organizing and rallying workers and its role in a socialist order. To this end he got into conflicts with the Social-Reformists who charged him party-worship while the National-Syndicalists played up populist arguments against party “bureaucrats”. Bordiga remained by the position however, indicating that in the struggle for the workers to control the means of production and abolish class divisions, the party would play an important role in organizing and leading workers, and more importantly becoming an expression of the workers themselves [5].

    And so the debates proceeded across the week before the elections. Debates became more heated, the battles between the papers got uglier, and agitation in the workplace for different positions became more apparent. Voting took place in the two days leading up to April 1st across the workplaces, and with their delegates chosen, converged onto the Congress of the Republic on April 1st to sit in the House of Commons.



    Aside from the major figures of the platforms who were usually guaranteed a return and whose loyalties were known, the majority of the delegates were not usually formally aligned to one platform or another. During debates on major changes to policy, they could support a mixture positions proposed by the different platforms. To that end it wouldn’t be until the decisions themselves were made that they would be aware of whose policies got the majority of approval and therefore the go ahead to maintain the government.

    The first major topic of discussion was the economy. The positions of the platforms focused on industrialization. As discussions and debates got under way, the Anarcho-Syndicalist position to continue the current plans seemed to be the favored position among the delegates.



    The next major contested position was the mafia as discussion moved into internal security. The debates were much more volatile and heated, and the voting seemingly was split evenly between the platforms. It was in the end the Anarcho-Syndicalist position of Republican Guard funding that won out.



    The last divided position was over the military. In the meeting officers were invited by the different platforms to advance and justify their positions. While the general structure of the military was retained, the National-Syndicalists won in their arguments for the growth in manpower and a better trained, professional military.



    Other fields were discussed as well. The Anarcho-Syndicalists managed to defend the current economic structure of councils against the state-run schemes of the National-Syndicalists on the one hand and the decentralizing drive of the Social-Reformists on the other hand. However the National-Syndicalists in this argument made a convincing argument for economic planning, one that the Anarcho-Syndicalists recognized as the Congress went on. For his part, Mussolini managed to defend his role as General Responsible for Transportation, bragging about how “he had made the trains run on time so Comrade Grieco could make his speeches on time”. In delegations sent from the University, the Social-Reformists found that they had made inroads in their education policies and won the arguments there. To that end the Social-Reformists advanced the Free University of Naples professor of economics Piero Sraffa as a candidate for the General Responsible for Education, mostly due to his good ties with the Anarcho-Syndicalist Antonio Gramsci.

    The Anarcho-Syndicalists found however that most of the delegates were approving of their overall work and secured the confidence to govern the Fourth Congress.



    Negotiations were made to accommodate the minor sub-ministries to which the other platforms won victories in. However the most significant change was within the General Responsible for Armaments- Vittorio Vidali was returned to work in the Intelligence department while the National-Syndicalist Guido Jung was brought on to implement more efficient economic planning.


    The Council of the Republic


    The Fourth Congress was now convened and could proceed with forming the laws of the land and keeping the development of Socialism on track. More importantly, the Anarcho-Syndicalists could breathe a sigh of relief that the delegates had not been swayed by the arguments of either opposing platform.

    Meanwhile, as the Congress was opening, some events of note took place outside of Italy. The first item of importance was with the Kingdom of Spain. The country had for some time shown signs of instability and a weak government. Over the course of the opening of the Congress, Spain entered into a period of social breakdown.



    Spain’s position in the world interested the Italians. Like Italy before the revolution, Spain was a country that had not fully moved out of its old system of landed gentry and the dominance of the Church. With the crash of the Berlin Stock Market, Spain began to tear apart at the seams as demonstrators took to the streets demanding labor reforms and greater suffrage among the people. There was a promising growth of socialist, particularly of the anarchist variety, in Spain that the International was the most interested in. The Kingdom too noticed after the CNT-FAI leader Joaquin Maurín Juliá made a speech promising to unionize all workers that had been laid off to “fight” for their rights that was received warmly across the restless workers. The Kingdom moved to arrest the leaders of the CNT-FAI, but were unable to find them since they had seemingly fled, which they brushed off as something “they knew would happen”.



    In Mexico, the longtime leader and revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata passed away from natural causes, though unexpectedly, on April 10th. The Socialist Republic of Italy had built up warm relations with Mexico as like the Italians, Mexico had to deal with the influence of the Church in its country and industrializing a nation that had fallen behind in the world. The republic was worried that reactionary elements within the military would seize the opportunity as confusion set in regarding succession, and the International moved to open its networks with Marshal Arango [6]. Thankfully though, the chairman of the Socialist Party Vicente Lombardo Toledano took power and averted a crisis.



    Meanwhile, Marshal Denikin set out to create a controlling state presence over the people of Russia, creating a top-down bureaucracy to manage every aspect of the country from the capital. The International hoped that Denikin would dig his own grave by creating the conditions ripe for revolution.



    In the United States, the government oddly vetoed a proposal to grant full and proper citzienship to the Native Americans. Italian papers proclaimed it a sign of the increasing “illness” within the capitalist state. It was more disturbing when considering that Hoover’s vice president, Charles Curtis, was himself half Native-American.



    Meanwhile in the far east, the disorder from a divided China made itself most apparent within the Legation Cities [7] when the ruling council decided to capitulate to criminal interests and allow them to hold positions of power within the union. This was again, as the Italian papers proclaimed, an example of capitalism’s true face while heralding the progress against the mafia within Italy.


    __________________________________________________ _____

    [1] Here Mussolini repeated an argument, nearly verbatim, that he made in the House of Commons in 1928 regarding his opposition to the workers and peasants councils.

    [2] The Social-Reformists knew there was discontent from the Socialist Republic of Italy’s industrialization policies since its initiation under the Bordiga government. In the pursuit of these ambitious plans, the government often upset the existing social order in the largely agrarian region.

    [3] In 1926 Mussolini launched a vicious smear campaign in the pages of Il Popolo d’Italia against Matteotti accusing him of various things, ranging from sexual affairs and “bourgeois” habits to treason. It was for this that Mussolini ended up losing the editorship of Il Popolo, but began the rivalry between the two figures. Mussolini viewed Matteotti as his biggest rival due to Matteotti often appealing to the same populism and “patriotic” sentiment that Mussolini relied on for his political success and as such would be Mussolini’s biggest obstacle in his goal to unseat the Anarcho-Syndicalists.

    [4]Grieco here refers to Mussolini’s position as General Responsible for Transportation. Mussolini had oddly become remarkably competent in his field here despite having no experience prior to his appointment. His office was filled with models of trains that were common in the republic, to which Grieco was also referring to.

    [5]While Bordiga’s party positions did not occupy a significant position of debate at the opening of the Fourth Congress, it gained importance later on and became a position of the Anarcho-Syndicalists in the Fifth Congress, which helped him regain the prestige he had lost earlier.

    [6] Marshal Arango, better known by his revolutionary nom de guerre Pancho Villa, was a close associate of Zapata who became the Chief of Staff of the Mexican military following the revolution. He was known to be much closer to the positions of the International than Zapata was.

    [7] The Legation Cities was a union of coastal cities in China, among them Shanghai, that were independent of regional powers, including the Qing Empire, the German Empire and their imperial company, and the Japanese. The Legation Cities included among them some of the most wealthy cities along the Chinese coast and was open to all for business.

    -For some remarks: why did I choose what I did in the choices offered? For industrialization, the benefits the Social-Reformists would give- improvements in infrastructure- were not great enough to outweigh those that the other two choices would provide- instant construction of factories! I opted for the Anarcho-Syndicalist position because it gave an overall +4 and a further move towards central planning in exchange for some resources and no dissent. The National-Syndicalist would have offered +6 factories, but with a whopping 10 dissent hit. That much for only two more factories? No way.

    With the mafia question, the Social-Reformist option would have caused a -5% penalty to the IC. If you recall from my previous chapter, there was an event "introducing" the mafia that, among other things, already gave a -%5 IC penalty. So I would already be even further in the hole in regards to my IC problems against the Federation for only the benefit of having a more "open" society. The National-Syndicalist option on the other hand gave +1 dissent that while moved my sliders more towards "hawk" (always a plus for better manpower growth), would have also made the Repubilc more of an even more "closed" society, and I was not comfortable with that. The Anarcho-Syndicalist option gave the option for one move towards the Hawk end with no dissent hit, so it was good to me.

    And finally, with the military positions, the Social-Reformists only moved the sliders somewhat towards "standing army" while Anarcho-Syndicalists did the opposite with with the addition +50 manpower. However, the National-Syndicalist position provided something appealing to me- 3 moves towards the Hawk position (Manpower!) and and a +25% increase in overall manpower growth. Every bit helps and a permanent modifier- as opposed to the one time +50 of the Anarcho-Syndicalists, would outweigh the +3 dissent hit.

    The event that "forms" the government also subtracts -3 from the dissent, so I essentially got the dissent from the last choice cancelled out. I took that opportunity to work in the appointment of Guido Jung (Totalist) to the Armaments minister slot, which gives a well-desired +10% IC modifier which stacks well with Gramsci's +5% IC modifier as a silent workhouse. At the end, I had an overall 29/22, a substantial increase from the 20/18 in the previous chapter.
    Last edited by MercZ; 22-05-2011 at 20:00.
    Torch of the Mediterranean, a Kaiserreich-DH AAR, Weekly AAR Winner 6/19/11, Character Writer of the Week 2/26/12
    A SHADOWY CABAL OF EVIL.

    This is where I put some quotes

  19. #19
    Hurrah for Syndacalism!

    Italy's road to a bright, socialist, future remains wide open.

    Do you intend to intervene in Spain btw? I can never help myself when I play France in KR, never played as the SRI though and I guess you probably need to keep your troops at home to face the North Italians.

  20. #20
    First Lieutenant MercZ's Avatar
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    I'll see how the game world develops until then. The French need all the help they can get when the showdown with Germany comes and generally it's good if the revolution succeeded in either the CSA or Spain. Both would be awesome.

    As a member of the Syndintern, I can force the CoF's hand by declaring war on them myself, but I can't invite anyone into it of course. That's up to the CoF AI to do themselves once they find themselves on the same side in the war :s
    Torch of the Mediterranean, a Kaiserreich-DH AAR, Weekly AAR Winner 6/19/11, Character Writer of the Week 2/26/12
    A SHADOWY CABAL OF EVIL.

    This is where I put some quotes

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