The far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, a big fan of the Lord of the Rings books, is known to have once used Lord of the Rings pseudonyms with friends and visited schools dressed as hobbits. Meloni also posed with a statue of Gandalf as part of a campaign. In fact, the Italian Prime Minister wrote in her autobiography, "I consider The Lord of the Rings to be a sacred text rather than a fantasy."

"YOUNG FASCISTS SAW THEMSELVES AS ARAGORN"

When the Italian fascists tried to reorganize in the 1970s, their main claim was that they were not like the fascists of your father's generation who were responsible for the Nazi horrors. They were the fascists of your grandfather's grandfather who longed for simpler times. The Lord of the Rings was first translated into Italian in 1971. In his preface to the book, the right-wing Elémire Zolla wrote: "The Lord of the Rings represents a permanent philosophy that must be seen as a total rejection of the modern world." Young fascists saw themselves as Aragorn, born to be king but having lost his possessions; they were destined to rule aristocratically over a people who respected them. Other fascists saw themselves as pure, heroic hobbits threatened by outside forces.

Elton John's belongings are up for auction! Elton John's belongings are up for auction!

They were admirers of Julius Evola, an Italian philosopher linked to the Nazis.For him, progress and equality were poisonous illusions, to be replaced by a violent racial hierarchy in which the strong rise above the ruins. "It may be better to contribute to the destruction of that which is already tottering, that which belongs to yesterday's world, than to support it and ensure its artificial survival," Evola argued.

In the 1970s, those who participated in Camp Hobbit were also involved in street clashes, bombing train stations with state support and trying to plunge the country into a total crisis.More than 1000 people were killed.This search for a "third way" - neither communism nor capitalism, but instead the Shire (the area where the hobbits lived in The Lord of the Rings) - eventually led to the fascists receiving a limited number of votes in the elections. So they abandoned their opposition to capitalism, reduced terrorism and re-embraced Christianity.