In Italy, dissidents from dominant thinking are increasingly blacklisted and silenced. There is a climate of witch hunts typical of a system that considers dissidents as enemies who should be destroyed. The fight against “fake news” related to the COVID-19 epidemic has made this trend increasingly evident. Fake news verification commissions have been set up, lists of allegedly unreliable Italian websites are compiled by a foreigner, videos on the epidemic “contrary to the standards of our community” are removed from YouTube. If this mechanism becomes state policy then Italian journalists, writers or bloggers such as Maurizio Blondet, Massimo Mazzucco, Enrica Perucchietti, Silvana De Mari, Danilo Quinto, Diego Fusaro – or politicians like Sara Cunial – will be blacklisted and put in prison.
First, the most prominent dissidents would disappear, hunted by the political police, deprived of their freedom, “cured” by state psychiatrists and finally shot by a Party assassin. But in this Orwellian system nobody would be safe: the Party could also imprison people who express criticism by mistake. This new society would resemble Nazi Germany with its Gestapo and death camps, Stalinist Russia with its Gulag and psychiatric hospitals, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Such a scenario could happen in present-day Italy.