Intensifying the "ideological presence" of the extreme right in Italy: the cultural activism of Franco Freda and the Ar group (1963-1969)

Author/s Caterina Prever
Publishing Year 2023 Issue 2023/302 Language Italian
Pages 37 P. 113-129 File size 202 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2023-302005
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At the beginning of the 1960s, the Italian extreme right went through a phase of redefini- tion: as the only neo-fascist party — the Movimento sociale italiano — opted for a moder- ate turn in order to consolidate its position in the democratic system, clandestine and subver- sive groups further to the right characterised by an anti-democratic, racist, and anti-Semitic ideology emerged. In this context, the article aims to analyse the origin and development of the political and cultural activity of the Ar group, a cell of neofascist militants based in Pad- ua, founded in 1963 by ideologist, bookseller and militant publisher Franco Freda. Through an investigation of Freda’s thought and biographical itinerary, as well as of the group’s cultural project, this article provides a contextual framework accounting for social and cultural fac- tors. Moreover it offers a novel understanding of the process of radicalisation of the young Paduan militants who, in 1969, were responsible for the campaign of attacks that culminated in the Piazza Fontana massacre on December 12.

Keywords: extreme right, political violence, 1960s, radicalisation, political cultures, militant practices

Caterina Prever, Intensificare la "presenza ideologica" dell’estrema destra in Italia: l’attivismo culturale di Franco Freda e del gruppo di Ar (1963-1969) in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 302/2023, pp 113-129, DOI: 10.3280/IC2023-302005