In the recently concluded Historical Congress, Prof. Belardinelli touched upon the difficult topic of Salesians and their attitude towards Italian Fascism. He noted that the supposed ‘moderation’ of Fascism in contrast to the exaggerated place given to the state in Communism and Nazism allowed some scholars to regard it as an ‘imperfect totalitarianism’. This made it possible and easy for many Salesians to reconcile and sometimes accomodate themselves to the regime in the name of 'educating good citizens.' One fallout was the strengthening of authoritarianism in formation, and to the tendency to spread Italian culture as the 'beacon of civilization' in the missions. [Mario Belardinelli 46.]
At any rate, such dialectic is always interesting to a historian. It enables him to make the jump from being a mere chronicler to being truly a historian.