Fascism’s success in building communities and structures of conviviality was for many years avoided by the critical scholarship on Italian fascism. More recently, however, fascist land reclamation has become a favored topic in Italian historiographical revisionism: it has become an argument for the regime’s “revolutionary” aspects.
This article argues that “land reclamation” was a fundamental policy and ideology of Italian fascism. It claims that reclamation furnishes the literal and figurative grounds of consent to the regime: this is to say, reclamation as policy and ideology was not only successful in creating consent but was a crucial site for its creation: reclamation was rooted in the idea of a politics and discourse that arise from the ground. This essay is an intervention into these debates: it argues that “land reclamation” is the tool used now by revisionist postfascist discourses in a new politics of memory.