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Fascist PigsTechnoscientific Organisms and the History of Fascism$
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Tiago Saraiva

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035033

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035033.001.0001

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Wheat: Food Battles, Elite Breeds, and Mussolini’s Fascist Regime

Wheat: Food Battles, Elite Breeds, and Mussolini’s Fascist Regime

(p.21) 1 Wheat: Food Battles, Elite Breeds, and Mussolini’s Fascist Regime
Fascist Pigs

Tiago Saraiva

The MIT Press

This chapter describes the design of new wheat breeds by the Italian geneticist Nazareno Strampelli and their role in the Battle of Wheat, the first mass mobilization of Mussolini’s fascist regime. The combination in Strampelli’s most successful breed – Ardito – of immunity to rust and resistance to lodging leading to increased use of chemical fertilizers, an early version of the Green Revolution, made seem plausible fascist dreams of the national soil feeding the national community. More than that, Strampelli’s Ardito performed the fascist permanent mobilization of the nation, blurring peace and war, transforming every Italian involved in the campaign for wheat autarky into a defender of the Fatherland, a human Ardito, the name of the Italian storm troopers of First World War and the basis of Mussolini’s paramilitary black shirts.

Keywords:   Battle of Wheat, Nazareno Strampelli, Benito Mussolini, Ardito, Hybrids, Mendelism

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