In spite of the recent transnational turn, there continues to be a considerable gap between Fascist studies and the new approaches to the transitions, imperial collapses, and legacies of post–World War I Europe. This article posits itself at the crossroads between fascist studies, Habsburg studies, and scholarship on post-1918 violence. In this regard, the difficulties of the state transition, the subsequent social unrest, and the ascent of new forms of political radicalism in post-Habsburg Trieste are a case in point. Rather than focusing on the “national strife” between “Italians” and “Slavs,” this article will concentrate on the unstable local relations between state and civil society, which led to multiple cycles of conflict and crisis. One of the arguments it makes is that in post-1918 Trieste, where the different nationalist groups contended for a space characterized by multiple loyalties and allegiances, Fascists claimed to be the movement of the “true Italians,” identified with the Fascists and their sympathizers. Accordingly, while targeting the alleged enemies of the “Italian nation” (defined as “Bolsheviks,” “Austrophiles,” and “Slavs”), they aimed to polarize the Italian-speaking community along different political fault lines to reconfigure relations between the state and civil society.