Benito Mussolini


Modern History Sourcebook:
Benito Mussolini:

Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) over the course of his lifetime went from Socialism - he was editor of Avanti, a socialist newspaper - to the leadership of a new political movement called "fascism" [after "fasces", the symbol of bound sticks used a totem of power in ancient Rome].
Mussolini came to power after the "March on Rome" in 1922, and was appointed Prime Minister by King Victor Emmanuel.
In 1932 Mussolini wrote (with the help of Giovanni Gentile) and entry for the Italian Encyclopedia on the definition of fascism.


Excerpts from
Benito Mussolini:

What is Fascism

Fascism, …., believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. …... War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it. …..

...Fascism [is] the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism,.... Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, …. And if the economic conception of history be denied…… it follows that the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied …. And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society....

… Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, …..Fascism denies that the majority, …, can direct human society; …. ...Fascism denies, …, the absur[d] conventional untruth of political equality dressed out in the garb of collective irresponsibility, and the myth of "happiness" and indefinite progress....

The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. …....The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, ….; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone....

...For Fascism, …. the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, ….. empire demands discipline, the coordination of all forces and a deeply felt sense of duty and sacrifice…. never before has the nation stood more in need of authority, of direction and order. …Fascism as the characteristic doctrine of our time. …..










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