Mussolini!

Something that interested me within the reading was how quickly the fascist movement grew even though the socialist movement had been extremely strong at the time. Among other factors, it seems that a frustration with the socialist movement and its lack of progress was what helped contribute to the sudden rise in fascist support.

An interesting study would be to compare the fascist movement in Germany to that of the one in Italy (which I am sure has been done several times) because they both have differences but also similarities such as the use of violence as a part of propaganda and the support of younger citizens.

 

Here is an image of Mussolini speaking to a large crowd

Mussolini actually came off as intelligently cunning to me, especially when he covered up his movements to limit the power that the squads had with supporting other groups. To not have done so probably would have been fairly detrimental to his overall movement. However, his interactions with other nations were less than . . . intelligent.

I can see how to some of the Italian citizens would be fully supportive of  him requesting to be treated as equals to Britain and France due to the fact that it upheld “Italy’s right to be considered a great power,” something necessary to trying to unify a state. Realistically, Italy was not at the same level of organization that Britain and France were at, Mussolini could barely control his own movement,  but he had every right to request to be treated equally. The issue I had with it was how he went about doing so. In my opinion, he acted in a very arrogant way which in the end did not help him gain respect from other countries which was what he was ultimately seeking. His actions with regards to the Corfu incident also looked ridiculous and in no way diplomatic thus resulting in criticism rather than support from other countries.

I hope that in the future we may cover some more of the corruption within Mussolini’s regime. It is interesting how well the government covered it up but also how willing the citizens were to ignore such blatant criminal activity, thus allowing the regime to further their dictatorship over Italy, just as the Nazis did in Germany.

3 thoughts on “Mussolini!

  1. With regard to your last paragraph, I definitely agree. I thought it was interesting that you mentioned how willing the citizens were to ignore the criminality in their government, because that is actually kind of a psychological phenomenon. There are a lot of different cognitive biases that affect the way we perceive things, one of which is the System Justification Theory, which posits that people are predisposed to defend or support the status quo, even when it goes against their individual or collective self-interest. I think, in a lot of ways, this could have something to do with how these regimes got away with so much.

  2. I definitely think there were similarities between Italy’s change to fascism and Germany’s, but a main difference was that Germany was coming out of a crippling war, at the end of which it was screwed by the rest of Europe and basically forced in economic and social depression. Having read this I feel Italy’s problems were much more of an internal struggle, basically it crippled itself. By not uniting itself under 1 flag and finding common ground (not to say they didn’t try!) they ended up with a violent regime change and a constant internal struggle that really didn’t resolve itself until after WWII. We just read about this period in 231…..

  3. I would definitely agree that a huge difference was the war which not only crippled Germany economically but it also hurt the morale of it’s citizens which is one reason why, I would argue, they supported Hitler as much as they did at first because he gave the country a bigger sense of being and happiness (I believe you mentioned this briefly in your comment). Italy really did cripple from within because of the disunity found all across the country.
    Going off of the first comment made, it is very interesting how our brains work psychologically and I loved learning about that when I took a psych class in high school. The theory you mentioned explains very well why people let the regimes at the time get away with so much. Thank you for your comments!

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