Italian Nationalist Association

Italian Nationalist Association
Associazione Nazionalista Italiana
Secretary Enrico Corradini
Other leaders Gabriele D'Annunzio,
Luigi Federzoni,
Alfredo Rocco,
Costanzo Ciano
Founded 1910 (1910)
Dissolved 1923 (1923)
Merged into National Fascist Party
Headquarters Rome, Italy
Newspaper L'Idea Nazionale
Paramilitary wing Camicie Azzurre
Ideology Italian nationalism
Political position Far-right
National affiliation National Blocs (1921–23)
Colours      Blue

The Italian Nationalist Association (Associazione Nazionalista Italiana, ANI) was Italy's first nationalist political party founded in 1910, under the influence of Italian nationalists such as Enrico Corradini and Giovanni Papini. Upon its formation, the ANI supported the repatriation of Austrian held Italian-populated lands to Italy and was willing to endorse war with Austria-Hungary to do so.[1] The party had a paramilitary wing called the Blueshirts.[2] The authoritarian nationalist faction of the ANI would be a major influence for the National Fascist Party of Benito Mussolini formed in 1921. The ANI merged into the Fascist Party in 1923.[3]


The ANI's ideology remained largely undefined for some time other than it being nationalist. The ANI was divided between supporters of different kinds of nationalism - authoritarian, democratic, moderate, and revolutionary.[4][5]

Corradini, the ANI's most popular spokesman, linked leftism with nationalism by claiming that Italy was a "proletarian nation" which was being exploited by international capitalism which had led to Italy being disadvantaged economically in international trade and its people divided on class lines, but instead of advocating socialist revolution, he claimed that victory against these oppressing forces would require Italian nationalist sentiment to succeed.[5]

"We are the proletarian people in respect to the rest of the world. Nationalism is our socialism. This established, nationalism must be founded on the truth that Italy is morally and materially a proletarian nation." Manifesto of the Italian Nationalist Association, December 1910.[6]

"We must start by recognizing the fact that there are proletarian nations as well as proletarian classes; that is to say, there are nations whose living conditions are the way of life of other nations, just as classes are. Once this is realized, nationalism must insist firmly on this truth: Italy is, materially and morally, a proletarian nation." (Report to the First Nationalist Congress, Enrico Corradini, Florence, December 3, 1919)

Corradini occasionally used the term "national socialism" to define the ideology which he endorsed. Though this is the same term used by the movement of National Socialism in Germany (a.k.a.Nazism) no evidence exists to indicate that Corradini's use of the term had any influence.[5]

In 1914, the ANI began to tilt towards authoritarian nationalism with its endorsement of the creation of an authoritarian corporate state, a radical idea created by Italian law professor, Alfredo Rocco.[4] Such a corporate state led by a corporate assembly rather than a parliament, which would be composed of unions, business organizations and other economic organizations that would work within a powerful state government to regulate business-labour relations, organize the economy, end class conflict, and make Italy an industrial state which could compete with imperial powers and establish its own empire.[4]


A large number of the ANI supporters were wealthy Italians of right-wing authoritarian nationalist background, in spite of efforts by Corradini and left-leaning nationalists to make the ANI a nationalist mass movement supported by the working-class.[4]

Prominent members

(In alphabetical order.)

Electoral results

Italian Parliament

Chamber of Deputies
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1921 with National Blocs
20 / 535
Enrico Corradini


  1. Payne, Stanley G. 1996. A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Routledge. Pp. 64
  2. John Whittam. Fascist Italy. Manchester, England, UK: Manchester University Press, 1995. Pp. 45.
  3. Associazione nazionalista italiana
  4. 1 2 3 4 Payne, Pp. 65
  5. 1 2 3 Payne, Pp. 64
  6. Talmon, Jacob Leib. The Myth of the Nation and the Vision of Revolution: The Origins of Ideological Polarization. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA: University of California Press Pp. 484.
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