Politics in Minutes (2016)


Fascism emerged in Italy during the First World War at a time when Italian nationalists were seeking a comprehensive ideology to match their dream of a dynamic, modern state as the heir to Ancient Rome. Benito Mussolini, the charismatic founder and leader of the fascist movement, had been a prominent socialist, and rejected the materialism and injustice of liberal capitalism, but found communism incompatible with his extreme nationalist leanings. Instead, he proposed a corporatist economic system with employers and the workforce united in production for the nation, and a modernization of Italian industry as a foundation for the building of an Italian empire. In place of class struggle and party political conflict, he advocated ‘Strength through Unity’, as exemplified by the fasces, the bundle of twigs of the fascist emblem. The National Fascist Party seized power in Italy following the March to Rome in 1922, and Mussolini led the ultranationalist dictatorship until he was ousted in 1943. Fascism is now outlawed by the Italian constitution.