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|Titolo:||IL LAVORO IN AFRICA ORIENTALE ITALIANA (1935-1939)|
|Autori interni:||PODESTA', Gian Luca|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Abstract:||The conquest of Ethiopia radically modified Italian colonial policy, shifting it onto another level, that of the empire. The empire, in Mussolini’s opinion, was above all a spiritual goal towards which Italians should strive in order to avoid the fate of decadent Western people. The meaning attributed to the term transcended the mere material increase in the size of conquered territories, assuming an almost metaphysical character. Fascism’s idea of empire conceived a new totalitarian colonial policy, which included some common guidelines for the colonies (such as the racial hierarchy, the school programmes, the planning of an overseas Italian architecture and strict regulation and planning of both business and labour), thus overcoming the historical, political and cultural heterogeneity of the various dominions, and also taking into account that one of the principal objectives was to create large Italian communities overseas. Mussolini wished the fascist regime to be a social experiment, in which the new Italian colonists, made stronger by war and by the colonisation enterprise, would show the world that they represented the new type of Italian created by the fascist regime: sober, warrior-like, vital and prolific. In Italian East Africa (AOI) il Duce intended to create a new organic social system conjugating demographic colonisation with other forms of valorisation, transferring from Italy “the whole machinery of its own civilisation”. Fascist colonisation should be understood, in space and time, as “the settlement and empowerment of a people”, that is the transposition to the colonies of all the productive elements of the mother country, such as farmers, workers, artisans, clerks, traders, small entrepreneurs and intellectuals, thus shunning the loathsome model of capitalistic colonisation exclusively aimed at benefiting a restricted class of privileged individuals. This conception met with three crucial objectives: preserving and increasing the country’s numerical power, cementing Italians’ racial cohesion in the empire and in Italy itself and, finally, promoting the social elevation of large popular masses. The labour factor was going to play a crucial role in the valorisation of IEA and, quite deliberately, Mussolini loved to emphasize this fact, calling the Italian domination “The Empire of Work”. Like all other economic activities, recruiting workers in IEA, both in the public and the private sector, had been completely institutionalised and was directly managed and controlled by the State, which acted as an intermediary between business and labour, strictly regulating the demand and offer of manpower. The first contingents of Italian colonists sent to Eritrea and Somalia in the summer of 1935 were made up of workers directly organised in the legions of the Fascist militia; they were employed to build the necessary infrastructures to house the expeditionary corps and to prepare the army's advance into Ethiopian territory. Recruiting and training workers in Italy was entrusted to the Commissariat for Migration and Colonisation, which oversaw recruiting and the careful sanitary, technical, moral and, above all, political selection of the prospective candidates. Using the Prefectures and the local federations of the Fascist National Party (PNF), and according to Mussolini's wishes, a plan had been devised, with the aim of setting up a waiting list in the most densely populated Italian provinces and in those with the highest number of unemployed workers, in order to outline the characteristics of the local labour force and also to determine the selection procedures for those Italians who applied to emigrate to the colonies. The recruitment system was based on a capillary organisation that accompanied the workers up to the time of their boarding a ship in Genoa, Naples or Trieste. At the same time, a series of norms were issued, in order to regulate and protect the labour force in IEA as regards the organisation of productive activities, working hours, salaries and accommodation. Following Mussolini's explicit directives, the Fascist trade unions were not allowed to operate in IEA, whilst their functions were taken over by the PNF; this latter, besides its normal political and welfare functions, was also charged with the advocacy and defence of workers vis-à-vis their employers, both in the private sector and in the civil service. Altogether, the number of workers recruited by the Commissariat for Migration and Colonisation between 1935 and 1939 amounted to over 200,000 people.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume(Capitolo di libro)|
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