Fascism by Benito Mussolini

Frequently and unfittingly placed side by side with communism, Mussolini’s fascism is characteristically both opposed to pacifism and communism. Rather than taking large strides to aim for a classless utopia, Mussolini’s fascism embraces and war, life’s everyday struggles, and rejects the notion that class conflicts are a dominant force in the metamorphosis of society, which is consistent with his notion that political equality is a myth. Judging from this document, Mussolini would argue that you need war and adversity to produce the worlds great men. Mussolini believes that fascism has already been the ideology of his era, given his observations on the human sacrifice people put forth for the state.

Mussolini’s anthropomorphizes the state–describing it with human characteristic such as a conscience, will, and personality. “…The Fascist State is itself conscious and has itself a will and a personality — thus it may be called the “ethic” State….”. I believe the term “ethic” here is referring to the efforts of the individual for the state, and the sacrifices one must make and willpower one must have to persevere through life’s adversities to become greater.

How do fascism, naziism, socialism, and liberalism compare and contrast to one another? What events in Mussolini’s life, or the history of Italy, combined to form this political concept?

Bibliography Interwar.doc 24.0 KB

My research project will focus mainly on the repressive political system run by Stalin in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1950. During this era, Stalin used an oppressive political machine in order to gain control over the political sphere. Two ways which Stalin executed this tactic was through mass purges and The Gulag. The Gulag was a Soviet Union government agency which spearheaded the labor camp movements. Stalin’s purges of The Party was also a form of political control. Millions of Party members which he deemed as unfit were killed. I will be explaining the political and social strains and affects that this had on the Soviet Union during this time period.

The Impact of German and Soviet Organizations

In Koenker’s The Proliterian Tourist in the 1930s, and Reagin’s Comparing Apples and Oranges, both authors place emphasis on specific societal institutions.  Tourism in the Soviet Union became very politically focused during the inter-war period.  In Germany, the ideals of consumption were promoted by housewives.  Both articles provide basic insights into each organization and their various contributions to society.  It is clear that in both the Soviet Union and Germany, tourism and housewife organizations were utilized for the promotion of political and social ideologies.

Koenker’s description of tourism was both intriguing and surprising; she argued that a concept as seemingly casual as tourism had intentions of a larger political scheme, which was to promote socialism, and stray away from the bourgeois life.  While there are many obvious ways in which they implemented this change, it is shocking that the Soviets would turn to organizations like tourism to solve these issues.  This essay is substantial, because it depicts the significance of everyday activities with regards to a larger political agenda.

Comparing Apples and Oranges was similarly striking in terms of highlighting Germany’s reliance on everyday institutions to solve social and political issues. What was surprising in this article was the reliance on women to solve such substantial issues.  During the inter-war period, it was clear that the woman’s place was in the home.  While this article supports that ideal, it argues that being a housewife was actually a crucial responsibility. Housewife organizations were responsible for promoting German manufactured goods, rationalization, and natural ingredients.  It is surprising that women, as second-class citizens at that time, would be relied upon for such pressing issues.

Why were everyday organizations like tourism and housewife organizations targeted as catalysts for political change? Why were these specific groups believed to be beneficial to the political agendas of the Soviet Union and Germany?