By Furio Jesi
Originale mitologo della modernità, Jesi dedica gli studi qui raccolti a individuare le matrici sotterranee e il linguaggio delle “idee senza parole” della cultura di destra otto-novecentesca; e lo fa smascherandone i luoghi comuni, le formule e le parole d’ordine che alludono a un “vuoto” da riempire di materiali mitologici, un nucleo mitico profondo e inconoscibile, ma fondante e modellante, cui fanno riferimento i “valori non discutibili” di Tradizione, Passato, Razza, Origine, Sacro. Da questa prospettiva, Jesi indaga l’esoterismo di Julius Evola e il lusso retorico dannunziano, le pagine di Liala e Pirandello, gli apparati linguistici e iconici sottesi al fascismo e al neofascismo, al nazismo e al razzismo. Questa nuova edizione di un libro ancora attualissimo è corredata da tre inediti e un’intervista.
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Schuyler Colfax, a former Whig now turned Republican, had a growing midwestern following. He compared Frémont (who was now popularly known as "the Pathfinder" because of his western explorations) to Andrew Jackson as one who could stand up to the southern slavocracy. By implication, Jackson had threatened to hang traitors, and so would Frémont. The bandwagon was beginning to lurch forward. Weed and the New York Republicans looked on the Frémont boomlet without dismay, for there was a sense of bad timing that kept them from pushing Seward forward.
Still hewing a conservative line, Lincoln distrusted Frémont as a potential radical who would alienate the old Whigs with irresponsible statements. In fact, McLean had been placed in nomination, then his name was withdrawn, and in the ensuing confusion somehow Frémont was nominated by a unanimous ballot. Before adjourning, the Republicans adopted a platform that denounced slavery as "a relic of barbarism" and insisted that slavery could not exist in any territory of the United States because of the "due process" clause in the Fifth Amendment.
In Boston's environs, the Know-Nothings dramatically surged forward in the polling places, applauded by the blue bloods who feared the influx of Irish immigrants. Patrick Kennedy of County Wexford in Ireland, the grandfather of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, arrived in Boston as the tension rose and typified the "foreigners" that rabid Know-Nothings wanted to disfranchise. Undoubtedly both groups touched responsive chords in the North, for a variety of reasons, but initially it was the Know-Nothings who seemed most destined to challenge the Democrats.