After the performance of Senior White House Advisor Stephen Miller defending President #Donald Trump on television by stating that “The President is always 100% correct” and Friday’s ban of major news sources from a White House briefing with Sean Spicer, it may be worthwhile looking back in time to an era which gives us an example to look at and a warning that is not out of place in Trump’s America.

A controversial character

Leo Longanesi was a controversial author and publisher that came to prominence in Mussolini’s Italy. He was a fascist from the first period, took part in the March on Rome in 1922 that led to Mussolini's becoming Prime Minister and was a personal friend of the Duce.

In his enthusiasm for the new order, Longanesi wrote the first version of the famous Fascist Decalogue. This modern political version of the Ten Commandments was meant to a viaticum for the quintessential Fascist. As the dictatorship grew in power and eventually became the last colonial Empire, the original 11 rules became a Decalogue that changed to reflect the new realities.

By then Longanesi began to see and understand that Fascism was not a political philosophy so much as a personality cult centred on the Dictator.

As the years passed he became more disillusioned with the Duce and above all with the sycophants that surrounded him. Eventually he was forced to flee Rome in 1943 to escape punishment by those who blamed him for the growing open opposition to the Duce.

Longanesi fled to American occupied Naples where he eventually took part in the propaganda broadcasts against the German controlled Italian Social Republic which was the last refuge for a clearly failed Mussolini.

Before looking at Longanesi’s bitter reflection of the twenty years of Fascist dictatorship in Italy, let us look at how a modern Miller and Trump White House inspired 11 Rules would look for the perfect Trumpian staffer or supporter.

The Rules for Trump’s faithful

Inspired by Longanesi’s original 1926 11 Rules for the Perfect Fascist such a Trumpian document would read as follows:

  1. Disobeying your Commander means disobeying all those in the hierarchy above you and above them all sits Donald Trump
  2. Your second Amendment rights are entrusted to you not so much so that you may waste time with them, but so you have them ready for battle
  3. You also serve your country by undertaking the smallest of tasks
  4. Any time you spend in prison is always well earned (direct copy of the original)
  5. Discipline is the salt of armies without which we would not have soldiers, but anarchists (direct copy of the original)
  6. Ruining something that belongs to the State means ruining something that belongs to you (direct copy of the original)
  7. Donald Trump is always right (direct copy of the original with a name change)
  8. Your work colleague must be your friend because he lives with you and because he thinks like you (direct copy of the original).
  9. Do not say “The Government will pay for it”, you will be the one paying for it because the government is the one you wanted and the reason why you are working here (direct copy of the original)
  10. An activist, a Trumpian .to be precise, must not be a pacifist. For you, struggle for the cause must be your daily bread.
  11. The bowed head, the “Yes, Mr President!” etc, might seem banal to you, but they are the essence of White House life because they form your character; that of knowing how to obey, to then be able to command.

The warning from 1943

Longanesi fled Rome a disappointed man and one whose past would always haunt him.

In the period of the fall of Mussolini’s dictatorship he made a bitter comment about more than twenty years not only of his own life, but also of that of his country.

“You have to live under a dictatorship to appreciate Democracy

These words could well be a warning to those who believe that electoral victory means being able to govern without limits. Will the interested Parties in 2017 understand before it is too late?