Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-4742
  • E-ISSN: 2211-4750
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Decades after the Second World War, fascism is still rife in Europe. After acknowledging a certain difficulty on the part of contemporary antifascist arguers to affirm their tenets and discredit those of their opponents, this investigation looks back at the past to examine an inspiring antifascist speech. The speech that socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti delivered to the Italian Parliament in 1924 is analysed though the methodological lens of Pragma-dialectics, focusing on the notions of strategic manoeuvring, argumentative structure and argumentative style. The results show that Matteotti’s argumentation against the fascists hinged on facts and rules as premises of argumentation. The speaker supported his arguments with factual evidence and organised them in a multiple argumentation structure. In addition, he “dressed up” his speech, apparently characterised by a detached argumentative style, with traits of a more engaged style, whose combination has turned Matteotti’s invective against the fascist regime into an argumentative masterpiece.


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