Italian Social Movement

The Italian Social Movement (Italian: Movimento Sociale Italiano, MSI), renamed in 1972 Italian Social Movement – National Right (Italian: Movimento Sociale Italiano – Destra Nazionale, MSI–DN), was a neo-fascist,[7][8][9] nationalist and national-conservative political party in Italy.

Italian Social Movement
Movimento Sociale Italiano
AbbreviationMSI
LeadersGiorgio Almirante
Augusto De Marsanich
Arturo Michelini
Pino Rauti
Gianfranco Fini
Founded26 December 1946
Dissolved27 January 1995
Merger ofItalian Movement of Social Unity
Front of the Italian[1]
Preceded byRepublican Fascist Party (not legal predecessor)
Succeeded byNational Alliance (legal successor)
Tricolour Flame (split)
HeadquartersVia della Scrofa 43, Rome (last)
NewspaperSecolo d'Italia
Youth wingYoung Italy (1954–71)
Youth Front (1971–95)
Membership202,715 (1993)
240,063 (peak, 1963)[2]
IdeologyNeo-fascism
National conservatism
Italian nationalism
Political positionRight-wing[3] to far-right[4][5][6]
European affiliationEuropean Social Movement (1951–62)
National Party of Europe (1962–66)
European Parliament groupNon-Inscrits (1979–84)
European Right (1984–89)
Non-Inscrits (1989–95)
Colours  Black
Party flag

Formed in 1946 by supporters of the former dictator Benito Mussolini, most of whom took part in the experience of the Italian Social Republic and the Republican Fascist Party, the MSI became the fourth largest party in Italy by the early 1960s. The party gave informal local and eventually national support to the Christian Democrats from the late 1940s and through the 1950s, sharing anti-communist ideologies. In the early 1960s, the party was pushed to the sidelines of Italian politics, and only gradually started to gain some political recognition in the 1980s.

There was internal competition between the party's moderate and radical factions. The radicals led the party in its formative years under Giorgio Almirante, while the moderates gained control in the 1950s and 1960s. Almirante's return as leader in 1969 was characterised by bigger-tent strategy. Finally, in 1987, the reins of the party were taken by Gianfranco Fini, under whom it was transformed into National Alliance (AN) in 1995. On that occasion a small minority, led by Pino Rauti, disagreed with the new course and formed Tricolour Flame instead.