While Fascist Italy under Mussolini sought to control its people and implement a new united world of ideas and ways of life in Italy, it did not succeed. Bosworth’s article, “Everyday Mussolinism: Friends, Family, Locality and Violence in Fascist Italy” demonstrated the disunity and corruption under Fascist rule.1 Bosworth cited numerous examples of Fascist leaders who corrupted the system. They reverted to the well known political practices. They appeared almost like American gangsters from the same era. Most of the men who were sent to exile used violence, threats, and terror to control their regions and gain desired power.
There was an interesting parallel in Fascist Italy to the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. In the opening story, a group of men were reported singing a communist song while in a drunken state.2 As in Nazi Germany, there was a fear of communism and those who held communist beliefs. Also, as in both other regimes, citizens denounced one another for undesired behavior. Yet, did this protect Italians from themselves being denounced, as it did initially in the Soviet Union? Or did it backfire as during the Great Terror?
Another parallel to the Soviet Union and Germany was the punishment of those deemed unproductive, that drained the economy. The drunken communist was denounced as lazy and an alcoholic.3 This added to peoples dislike for him, and he was sentenced to a common punishment, exile. Although most leading Fascist officials who were sentenced to long terms of exile had the sentences overturned after just a few months. Was this due to other Fascists condoning their behavior?
1. R.J.B. Bosworth, “Everyday Mussolinism: Friends, Family, Locality and Violence in Fascist Italy”, Contemporary European History, 14 (2005) 23-43.
2. Bosworth, “Everyday Mussolinism”, 23-24.
3. Bosworth, “Everyday Mussolinism”, 24.