Benito Mussolini: Understanding Fascism

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Benito Mussolini, What is Fascism?

Italy faced serious postwar economic problems which became known as "The Two Red Years". It faced inflation problems due to government printing money to pay for weapons, workers on strike, arms and shipbuilders became bankrupt due to lack of government order, and unemployment rose to two million as returning soldiers searched for work. Benito Mussolini, upon being removed from the Socialist Party for advocating Italy's participation in battle, organized the Fascist Party following the war. He gained followers among war veterans and the middle class by exploiting their fears of unemployment, chaos, communism, and a political domination by lower classes. The Russian Revolution, the collapse of Central Powers in 1918, and Communist attempts to seize power greatly strengthened the appeal of fascism throughout Europe. In defining the new term Fascism, Mussolini is easily able to gain followers looking for a better way of life, one in which the current government structure was not protecting.

Mussolini describes the Fascist as someone who "accepts life and loves it" and "conceives life as duty and struggle and conquest". He also describes Fascism as believing in "holiness and in heroism, actions influenced by no economic motive", and also uses the phrase "Fascism combats...democracy." These phrases alone specifically make use of words (underlined) that relate to the life of a soldier, or that a soldier would take to heart. Soldiers have a sense of duty and are perceived as heroes without any benefit of receiving a monetary reward. Relating to the life of a soldier who possesses pride of service and duty and is returning from war without availability of work is an easy means of winning over the soldier population to Fascism.

Many civilians faced the threat of a communist takeover and democracy lead by a majority, a majority meaning the lower class. Mussolini says "Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact...
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