Propaganda in Fascist Italy
It is quoted that “Propaganda was the key factor in the consolidation of the Fascist regime in Italy in the years 1922-9.” Based off of this statement, propaganda was the key factor for consolidating power. What about the other factors? Is propaganda even the most important factor? Propaganda did help with power consolidation, but this paper will argue whether I agree with it or not.
Mussolini realized the importance of the Italian media when he was the editor of Il Popolo d’Italia, and one of the first things he did when he was able to make laws without the consent of Parliament was suppress the media (he did this in 1926). He decreed that journalists and editors could be arrested if they published anything derogatory towards the regime. Also, Mussolini set up his own press office which would write articles for the suppressed newspapers, and they were expected to publish them without question. Mussolini’s press office loved to quote foreigners who admired the actions of Mussolini, and this brought out many claims of propaganda having success in foreign policy. The newspapers, for example, quoted Austen Chamberlain when he said that Mussolini was “a wonderful man working for the greatness of his country.” Other foreign leaders like Ghandi also admired him. His articles also included successes in Italian colonies like Ethiopia (in Africa), exciting patriotism (nationalism). Another form of media was the radio. Although it wasn’t very popular in Italy yet, Mussolini controlled the airways, sending out constant broadcasts which praised Fascism and its leaders. Mussolini’s speeches were played over the radio in full. Mussolini realized that the radio was one of the more effective ways to spread propaganda, so he made an effort to supply even rural parts of the country with radios (schoolhouses also received radios). Mussolini also made attempts to control Italian theaters. Although he failed in making whole movies based on...
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