Sergio Panunzio (July 20, 1886 – October 8, 1944) was an Italian theoretician of revolutionary syndicalism. In the 1920s, he became a major theoretician of Italian Fascism.
Panunzio said that syndicalism is the historical development of Marxism. He pointed to George Sorel and Francesco Severio Merlino as revising Marx to fit the times and emboldening it. He is said to have spearheaded the revisionism that led many syndicalists through interventionism to corporativism and he ostensibly "gave Mussolini’s dictatorship a veneer of revolutionary legitimacy."
Born in Molfetta near Bari, he started his political involvement young by associating with syndicalist circles in 1902. From the University of Napels, he obtained two degrees in jurisprudence in 1908 and in philosophy in 1911. from 1928, he was the head of the Fascist Faculty of Political Sciences at Perugia University.
Panunzio criticized the Soviet state as a "dictatorship over the proletariat, and not of the proletariat." Also, he is quoted as saying "Moscow bows before the light radiating from Rome. The Communist International no longer speaks to the spirit; it is dead." He opposed the anti-Semitic campaign of 1938. A strong supporter of the state for its own sake, he had a long-running academic dispute with corporatist Carlo Costamagna regarding the role of fascism.
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... Sergio Panunzio a former syndicalist associated to Benito Mussolini, and later a leading fascist theoretist, compared fascism with anarchism ...