The Epiphenomenon Of Fascism

Fascist Italy did not experience the same strict adherence by its citizenry to party ideologies like Nazism or Stalinism did. People who claimed they were loyal Fascists remained more indulged in self-serving behaviors than members of the other two regimes. Many accounts of this are given in Bosworth’s Everyday Mussolinism and it leads to speculation. What reasons evoked the ubiquitous corruption under Mussolini’s rule that appears far less prevalent under Hitler and Stalin?

Mussolini’s Fascism has no definitive goal. It mentions expansionism and transformation, but does not mention to what ends. It embraces the struggles of life, but fails to redirect the energy put towards life’s battles towards a unified vision. It has almost no inherently cohesive aspects. Perhaps this lack of unifying elements attributed to Fascism’s failure to overhaul cultural priorities such as communism or Nazism did. It appears Fascism became flexibly subjective depending on who wanted to do what–and claiming to be a member of the Fascist party could be used as justifying explanation for all behaviors, especially ones that affected family.

Corruption manifested as a byproduct of both a lack of common dream and authority. The police forces under Mussolini proved incomparably calm to both the SS and NKVD. The officers could be coerced, and according to Bosworth, acted out of their own self interests rather than the states. Bosworth claims that the evidence against societal dissidents often proved vague and there appeared to be a lack of uniform method of police control.

Comparatively, this type of conspicuous and and counterproductive behavior would have been impossible to carry out under Stalin. Why was there so little corruption and so little fear under Mussolini?

3 thoughts on “The Epiphenomenon Of Fascism

  1. Lack of fear and corruption lend back to the discussion from last week’s class regarding lack of rebellion in the Soviet Union during the Purge. Quality of governance and effectiveness of the regime are to blame. While the Soviet Union had a firm grasp on the hearts and minds of the people, the Italian government struggled with a nation un-unified by common ancestor, culture, or even language.

  2. Stalin was extremely organized and meticulous about those he had around him. This led to Stalin’s success as a leader. Mussolini, on the other hand, focused more on the rhetoric of empowering the people, rather than organizing logical strategies to influence the people.

  3. As discussed in your blog post, I believe that vagueness has a lot to do with why Mussolini’s Fascist Italian state did not instill as much fear as Nazi Germany and Stalinist Soviet Union. Both regimes respectively targeted specific groups of people in order to rid the state of their enemies. In Nazi Germany, enemies were identified using their genealogy, and in the Soviet Union, although very complex, those who were targeted were clearly “class enemies” and eventually “enemies of the people.” Generally, both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union served a clear purpose – a racial purpose and class purpose respectively. Meanwhile, in Fascist Italy, Mussolini had very generic and vague goals such as, making Italy powerful again.

Comments are closed.