“They must make peace,” stated Mussolini. If they did not, they would lose their empire, or perhaps their home islands would actually be invaded and captured by the terrible might of the premier Fascist power in the world, which all could now see wielded the most fearsome war machine ever seen. Italy would then be unopposed in making the Mediterranean “Mare Nostrum” and extending Italian rule across North Africa and into the Balkan Peninsula in south-east Europe.
Category Archives: Fascism
The Uses of History, 32 – Mussolini and Fascism, 4
Mussolini and Hitler were able to provide spectacle and a strong propaganda image of mutual regard and ideological kinship, but there was always tension and ambiguity in their relationship. All the more among the leadership of their respective parties and governments. As the German power grew and Hitler’s triumphs accumulated, Mussolini felt increasingly threatened by comparison and he was determined to establish the credibility of Italy’s (and his) claim to national greatness by taking an independent course.
The Uses of History, 31 – Mussolini and Fascism, 3
Hitler admired Mussolini’s willingness to defy the Western democracies and the League and his canny judgment that he would get away with it. He was taking notes for his own future plans of expansion in the not-too-distant future. Mussolini was showing up the weakness, which the Fuhrer considered moral failure, of his opponents. This was a lesson definitely not lost on him. Hitler rarely admired anyone else, and respected no other living statesman – with one exception, the Duce!
The Uses of History, 30 – Mussolini and Fascism, 2
While Mussolini trumpeted the glories of this “great achievement” of crushing one of the only remaining independent African states after its heroic but futile resistance to the power of modern weapons, airpower, and even chemical warfare (a violation of the Geneva Convention), this war had cost Italy dearly, and ultimately Mussolini and his Fascist regime, in several ways.
The Uses of History, 29 – Mussolini and Fascism, 1
It is no longer very popular to suggest that anything positive or of lasting benefit was produced under a Fascist regime that lasted slightly longer than 20 years. At the time, for the first ten years or so, a good many Italians (obviously not of socialist or leftist persuasion) thought that overall conditions in the country really improved. Most people had jobs and could make ends meet, contrary to the unrest and turmoil of the years before “Musso” took power. “The trains actually run on time,” was one famous quip. The Mafia was reigned in, suffering the same brutal treatment from Fascist strong-arms that they were accustomed to use against their opponents. Godfathers going to prison was not unusual.