Fascism and Mussolini

Author: Benito Mussolini began his political life in the limelight as a socialist, known for his use of violence. He later created fascism, a new political movement.

Context: The fascist party posted this document in order to show their power. At this time, fascism did not have a clear context, so this was published in order to persuade people to join the fascism party.

Language: The wording of this is pretty clear and easy to understand because he wanted many people to be able to understand what he was saying. He is also trying to persuade people.

Audience: The document is addressed to the general public of Italians in order to persuade everyone to join fascism.

Intent: He is intending to spread and promote the ideas of fascism to the Italian people in attempt to stay in power.

Message: Mussolini was attempting to show the people of Italy that they should join fascism, and that it was a good idea for Italy.

Do you think Mussolini’s idea of fascism was successful?

 

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/399484/Benito-Mussolini/5090/Dictatorship

3 thoughts on “Fascism and Mussolini

  1. Moreover, this article was written at 1932, 7 years after Mussolini rule Italy. At that time the economic crisis which started at 1929 had sweep the Europe and made the traditional power in Europe weak. By spreading the idea of fascism, Mussolini was preparing for the expansion at Africa.

  2. By 1932, Mussolini was already in power for tenyears, three as Prime Minister and seven as essentially a dictator in a totalitarian government. In order to ascend to power, Mussolini had to eliminate most of his enemies from the beginning of Italy’s transformation to fascism. Given that speaking out against “Il Duce” and fascism likely caused an individual to be arrested, perhaps this document is less a plea for people to join the party and more both a justification for Mussolini’s actions and a definition for his ideals. However, Mussolini also could be attempting to draw in foreign followers, to follow in his footsteps elsewhere, such as Germany and the Nazis.

    Also, when discussing the author of this piece, I would recommend stating how Mussolini distanced himself from socialism – he was kicked out of the party. In this document, Mussolini deliberately attacks socialism, and highlighting his transformation in ideals would provide a clearer context for this document.

    Lastly, to answer your question, for a time, yes it was successful. The rise of the Nazis in Germany, the Fascists in Italy, and other totalitarian governments elsewhere pointed toward this success. Certainly, the appeal of high levels of efficiency, clear-cut leadership, and an ability to be versatile and dynamic regarding change, had to have drawn in some groups of people. For governments lacking the ability to get anything done due to polarization, fascism is a very rational and possible answer. Moreover, it looked like fascism would remain the dominating force in Europe, had it not been for the unexpected union between ideological adversaries in World War II. While it is not the job of a historian to speculate about the future, it is very plausible that had the Allies lost the war, fascist dictatorships would have lasted for many years to follow after WWII.

  3. In order to answer the question that you posed it is necessary to define what you mean by successful. Mussolini’s idea of fascism was successful, for a time being, if you consider the fact that this system lasted in Italy for nearly twenty years. Also, similar fascist movements sprang up in other European countries (Germany most importantly). Italy was in turmoil prior to Mussolini’s reign. He was able to somewhat strengthen the nation, but he did it in what I believe to be an unsustainable fashion. Fascism can be extremely successful in the short run because problems can be addressed and solved in a rapid fashion. In the long run, however, fascism is not a viable form of government. Fascism requires a strong leader and figurehead. With the passage of time this figurehead must inevitably change, and so to does the people’s support if they believe an unfit leader has attained power. Any fascist movement will not be successful unless this “cult of personality” dynamic is present.

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