Ignazio Silone

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Ignazio Silone

Ignazio Silone (1 May 1900 – 22 August 1978) was the pseudonym of Secondino Tranquilli, an Italian author and politician.


  • "Political regimes come and go, but bad habits endure." (alt trans = 'remain')
    • "The Choice of Comrades", Dissent (Winter 1955).
  • What struck me most about the Russian Communists, even in such really exceptional personalities as Lenin and Trotsky, was their utter incapacity to be fair in discussing opinions that conflicted with their own. The adversary, simply for daring to contradict, at once became a traitor, an opportunist, a hireling. An adversary in good faith is inconceivable to the Russian Communists. What an aberration of conscience this is, for so-called materialists and rationalists absolutely in their polemics to uphold the primacy of morals over intelligence! To find a comparable infatuation one has to go back to the Inquisition.
    • The God That Failed, Crossman, Richard, ed. (1963). New York, NY: Harper & Row. p. 108.


  • This reminded me of what Ignazio Silone said in 1945 soon after he returned to Italy from his Zurich exile: "The Fascism of tomorrow will never say 'I am Fascism.' It will say: 'I am anti-Fascism.'"
  • Variant: When I met him in Geneva on the day of his scheduled return home after the long exile in Switzerland, Silone said abruptly: "If at a future moment fascism will return, it will not be so stupid as to say: 'I am fascism.' It will say: 'I am antifascism.'"
    • "Ignazio Silone: In Memoriam", The Washington Quarterly, vol. 2, issue 2 (1979).

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