The rule of Italian fascism. Political formation and fascist practices. Part I

 

Mussolini created a structure of economic and social governing in which the government — on behalf of the fascist party — declares itself to be a superclass “power of national solidarity”.

Editor’s note: The migrant crisis creates a new Europe. Right-wing parties already win elections – like in Switzerland. The success of more radical, extreme right wing is a matter of time and pressure caused by the refugees on the European countries, which number keeps growing. However, once Europeans believe in the solutions proposed by right wing and ultra-right parties and let them into the government, there will be no way of getting them out. Their methods never change – violence and political terror. They will never leave the power, once they get it. Unfortunately, there is no strong resistance from the inside Europe that could stop them once they are in power. Moreover, any resistance will be suppress by the ultra-right. In XXI century, the cost that the world would pay for buying into what new right politicians promise Europe, would be dramatically higher than the one world paid in XX century. We need to search for solution! We need a new answer to the most dangerous challenge of the XXI century.

The fascist coup d’etat in Italy concluded with a triumphant march of fascist cohorts along the streets of Rome as they were leaving the city. Mussolini announced the members of the new Cabinet of Ministers not only fascists, but also popolare, democrats and liberals on November 30, 1922. Mussolini left the Interior and Foreign Ministries to himself.


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Italian fascism: path towards seizure of power

 

Violence against political competitors, as well as mass public campaigns — rallies, marches, holidays of cohorts of blackshirts were at the heart of  the activity of fascists. Elitism and deep contempt towards liberalism, socialism, democracy were present in all aspects of fascist activity.

 

Editor’s note: Fascism, and Mussolini, saw socialists as their main enemies. Liberals were nothing more than an annoying distraction to them, doomed either way. The year 1922 proved this: the liberals surrendered the country to the fascists without a fight. The only major force opposing fascists were socialists. But socialists were too disorganized. They didn’t manage to convince the masses to follow them. Fascists, in the absence of strong socialists, quickly took over Italy: Mussolini’s fascist party had 150 thousand members in 1923 and almost a million members a year later. Soon fascists were strong enough to use their main problem-solving weapon: violence.

 

After the decision of the Rapallo conference and the fall of the “free city of Fiume”, Mussolini (quite in the spirit of Machiavelli and Le Bon) once again drastically changes his position. Earlier he supported D’Annunzio by his articles in his party periodical Popolo d’Italia (People of Italy), proclaiming the motto “Fiume or death”; now he writes “Fascism cannot be uncompromising in questions of foreign policy. The treaty regarding Fiume and the eastern border is acceptable.


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Italian fascism: competition for the role of the leader

 

Mussolini — fully in the spirit of Sorel’s concept — began to create a party of “direct action” — a party of mass violence, supposed to embody the ancient Roman imperial myth.

 

Editor’s note: The fifth article of a series on essence, birth and rise of fascism. D’Annunzio’s Fiume Exploit taught Mussolini many things about what fascism should be like: what the leader must do, how the leader should effectively incorporate mysticism in his image, the role of mystical symbols and rituals that surround the leader, how to spellbind the crowd. D’Annunzio also made mistakes; Mussolini learned from his mistakes and became the Duce not of a single city, but of all of fascist Italy. XXI century Europe might give in to fascism despite all efforts – alas, fascist ideas might be dear to it’s people. Bringing fascists to power, with their solutions to immigration and economic crises, might be tempting to too many people. But this is the expectation of those who constructed these crises by bombing Libya and supporting extremists in Syria, by destroying the economies of some European countries in favor of the economies of others. Everyone who wants to fight fascism must be prepared. You, who want to fight fascism, will not convince anyone that you are right without deep intellectual understanding of fascism. We must learn to be convincing. And we are running out of time: hear the ticking of the clock, fascism gets closer by the second.

 

Let us emphasize one more time that it is Italian fascism which — for the first time in Modern era — gave life to the main concepts of “elite theory” and decisively and openly cancelled the fundamental principles of the French revolution — Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The success of this attempt cannot be understood without the analysis of reasons and conditions of the rise of fascists to power. The devil, as they say, is in the details.


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Mussolini and the political formation of fascism

 

Had Mussolini gone the average Italian Socialist way, he would most certainly become one of the prominent activists of the Italian Socialist party – not more than that. But Mussolini was (a) an unprecedented bastard and (b) an outstanding politician.

 

The creation and political development of Italian fascism is directly tied to the name of Benito Mussolini.

Two “methodological temptations” must be avoided in the discussion of this figure.


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Fascism. French beginnings and Italian precursors

 

The myth was supposed to awaken the uniform unquestioning and drivening desire of the masses to act (including violently) as directed by the leaders.

 

Editor’s note: The idea of equality of all humans was one of the three fundamental ideas which helped to put an end to the feudalistic type of rule; it was a part of the motto of the French Revolution (“Liberty, equality, fraternity”). And it seems to be no coincidence that it was France that gave birth to the first proto-fascist party a hundred years later. The goal of French fascists was to restore medieval, feudal monarchy in the country and divide the society back into estates. This was impossible to do without canceling the fundamental equality of people declared by the French Revolution. Directly restoring monarchy was impossible in the 20th century. But this wasn’t necessary: a neo-feudalism could be created. Thus fascism was born.

 

Several clear conceptual conclusions regarding the possibilities of “stopping the Red forces” follow from the works on elite theory which we have discussed earlier (and which were very attentively “digested” by imperialist ideologists).


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Theory of elites and inequality – from concepts to ideology

 

The cynicism of Machiavelli’s “The Prince” was criticized by many ruling contemporaries – they were afraid that such an unveiling of the “backstage of rule” might become a weapon against the rulers.

 

Editor’s note: Fascism is coming back. If we won’t remember how it came about last time, we won’t be able to recognize it returning to Europe months from today. We will vote for them and when our palms will become sweaty from the realization who we brought to power, it will be too late. Ukraine is just the first step. The migrant crisis in Europe, the relatively large social benefits paid to refugees, together with the difficult economic situation in half of EU countries, will inevitably cause protests in these countries. The discontent of the protesters will be used by far-right and extremist parties. These fascist parties will promise to “solve” the migrant crisis to gain the votes of the protesting masses in the elections. What will they do to the population that elected them? We must profoundly understand what fascism is to call out the politicians who will try to manipulate us into falling for their lies in the nearest future.

 

The theory of elites (which is sometimes called sociology of rule, theory of social stratification, etc. to avoid the word “elites”) came about as an independent sub-discipline only in the 19th century and was further developed in the 20th century.


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Marxism, imperialism and the justification of inequality


Inequality was impossible to justify within the boundaries of revolutionary victorious bourgeois liberalism (with “Liberty, equality, fraternity” on its banners). Which meant that the only way equality could and had to be justified is anthropologically.

 

Editor’s note: Below is a translation of an article by Yury Byaly. The article “Marxism, imperialism and the justification of inequality” was originally published in the 52nd issue of  “Essence of Time” newspaper on October 30, 2013. This is the first article in a series on the theory of elites, birth of fascism and Nazism. The articles of Yury Byaly are dedicated to the study of conceptual warfare – a part of non-classical warfare.

“Communism, liberalism, fascism and all other “isms”, the struggle between which is called ideological warfare, do not attack history itself. They try to direct the stream of history in one channel or another. Conceptual warfare is not the war for the channel in which the historical energy will flow. This is the war against history as such.”

 

When it comes to building the mighty German state, the role of Otto von Bismarck is acknowledged not only by the friends of the “Iron Chancellor”, but also by his enemies. But both friends and enemies of this unifier of Germany, who has declared that the state is built with iron and blood, are not too prone to discuss what was the state that Bismarck built. Both agree that Bismarck built a mighty state, overcame the differences between the pre-bourgeoisie elites (first and foremost – the Prussian military aristocracy) and the rising new bourgeoisie elites. But that is it. Even Lenin – one of the deepest analysts of his time – did not think it necessary to analyze Bismarck’s model in detail when he was drawing parallels between Bismarck and Stolypin, having put it alongside Marxism.


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