Mussolini ex Machina

Written by A.J. Rice on July 31, 2020

Il Duce ha sempre ragioe!

In English, Mussolini is always right. To disagree with Il Duce – as the leader of fascist Italy styled himself – would be to risk . . . cancellation. The permanent kind.

The jut-jawed Duce even cancelled his own son-in-law, Count Galeazzo Ciano – for disagreeing with the sentiment that the leader is always right. Ciano was shot by firing squad in 1944 on the orders of Il Duce. 

Mussolini himself was eventually cancelled, too – on April 28th, 1945.

But while Mussolini is a memory, cancellation culture has returned – worse this time. Because it’s not embodied in a single tyrant, strutting and nodding in agreement with himself from the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia – but emanating from seemingly everywhere except the government.

Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato!

In English: Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State. 

This time, it’s not the state. It’s a million online Mussolinis – sans the Fez, but just as belligerently abusive toward anyone who dares to disagree with anything they say is right.

Which has given them practically unlimited power, fueled by fear. 

The Washington Redskins is wrong – racist! A kind of native American minstrel show on the 100-yard line. Not because it is. Because they say it is. Even though millions of fans never said so. Even though it never occurred to them to think so. Because the context is obviously not meant to be insulting to anyone as it would be absurd to cheer for a team named after an object of derision.

But down comes the name  . . .  because Il Duces say so.

JK Rowling is wrong, too – even though (until now) she was considered very right – meaning, very left.

She is “fiercely proud” of the British welfare state, for instance. And very pro-abortion as well as very not pro-Trump.

Saluta Il Duce?

Not when there are a million online Duces to placate, each of whom thinks they’re right about everything – including the fungibility of biology.

The author of the hugely popular Harry Potter series recently became the object of a cancellation crusade – despite her very sturdy lefty bona fides – when she wrote that she “didn’t believe lesbians should be called bigots for not dating trans women with penises” and even more so for denying that a biological male literally becomes a biological female because “she” says so.

Because she said so, the minions of Mussolini are trying to destroy her publishing career – by pressuring her publisher not to publish her.

Jordan Peterson – the well-known speaker and teacher – faced more than just cancellation of his ability to earn a living when he “misgendered” students. In Canada, where Peterson lives, one can be prosecuted for not referring to them or ze rather than he or she – or she as he.

Reality is racist – and transphobic and inherently oppressive, too.

It all has to go.

This includes Paw Patrol – a cartoon about dogs, all of them friendly. But one of them – a German Shepard named Chase – is a very incorrect doggie. He is portrayed as a cop dog – of the not racist variety. But of course, all cops are systemically racist, ipso facto.

Il Duce ha sempre ragio!

Even when “right” has no meaning – other than genuflecting.

Which is what cancel culture this is really all about. Not “systemic racism” but rather the inculcation of universal obedience. What’s wanted isn’t atonement or enlightenment but everyone cringing in fear of instant ostracization, unemployment and ruin. Of anyone who dares to disagree with anything the Internet Il Duces say.

No matter their previous bona fides.

To question the least little bit of it is itself evidence of mental malignancy, say the mini Mussolinis – who have learned from Stalin, too. He was the first to pathologize disagreement.

If you didn’t love Comrade Stalin – and Comrade Stalin’s views of communism – expressed as doggy obedience to whatever Stalin said – you were sick as well as reprobate.

And got cancelled, too.

Also permanently.

Cancel culture is ironically totalitarian. The very thing the Mussolinis and Stalins say they are fighting but are actually building.

Thought and discussion must give way to emotion –  to feigned (and endless) outrage – because the mortified silence which ensues is the source of their power.

The Mussolinis are now trying to cancel Goya Foods, Hispanic owned but obviously racist for its CEO’s expression of support for President Trump. It doesn’t matter that Goya provides jobs for thousands of people – including thousands of Hispanic people. What matters to the Mussolinis is that Goya agrees they’re right – by doing what they say.

And they didn’t even have to March on Rome.

All they had to do was Tweet or speak in the Rose Garden at the White House. 

And – luckily – all those who oppose this cultural (and inevitably, political) totalitarianism need to do is what Nancy Reagan once advocated. 

Just say no. 

No to the unearned guilt; not to the unjustified shaming.

No marching on Rome needed.

A.J. Rice is CEO of Publius PR, a premier communications firm in Washington D.C. Rice is a brand manager, star-whisperer and auteur media influencer, who has produced or promoted Laura Ingraham, Donald Trump Jr., Judge Jeanine Pirro, Newt Gingrich, Monica Crowley, Charles Krauthammer, Alan Dershowitz, Pete Hegseth, Steve Hilton, Victor Davis Hanson, and many others. Find out more at