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Anthony Bourdain Says There’s ‘A Little Fascist’ in Us All

Parts Unknown’s Rome episode gets political

Anthony Bourdain in Rome
CNN

This Sunday’s episode of Parts Unknown is headed to Rome — but not the well-touristed and picturesque old parts of Italy’s capital. Rather, he’s sticking to parts of the city shaped by fascism under dictator Benito Mussolini’s rule.

And in a reflection on the season finale published by CNN today, Bourdain admits that he appreciates the idea of fascism, on some level.

Bourdain writes that in the episode, his Rome tour guide, actress Asia Argento, asks him “So you're saying there's a little fascist inside you?” Bourdain’s response is affirmative, but he goes on to explain.

“That's what this episode is about: the urge, the impulse, for ordinary people, even ones surrounded by beauty, to want a leader, a man on a horse, to come down from on high and make everything better. Someone/anyone who will say with a firm voice, ‘Listen to me! I know what I'm doing!’”

To give Bourdain the benefit of the doubt, it doesn’t seem like quite the endorsement of fascist rule. “That things have historically seldom if ever worked out in the wake of such promises is almost beside the point,” he goes on to write.

Given that the episode was filmed months ago, it might be safe to guess that Bourdain didn’t expect the spectre of fascism would be hanging over the United States back when he said that on camera.

In the video here, Bourdain goes on to explain the fascist demi-theme for the Rome installment of Parts Unknown.

Anthony Bourdain: 'We gave it everything we had' [CNN]
The people’s tyrant: what Plato can teach us about Donald Trump [Vox]
Watch Anthony Bourdain Discover 'the Real Rome' With Doughnuts and Pasta [E]

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