Mussolini on Fascism

April 12, 2004

Digging around the net for a primary document to read in class, and a little confused about Italian fascism, I found this translation of Mussolini's own definition of his political philosophy.

It is one thing to read that fascists exhalted the role of the state, it is another to read the words in which they did so:

The Fascist State , as a higher and more powerful expression of personality, is a force, but a spiritual one. It sums up all the manifestations of the moral and intellectual life of man. Its functions cannot therefore be limited to those of enforcing order and keeping the peace, as the liberal doctrine had it. It is no mere mechanical device for defining the sphere within which the individual may duly exercise his supposed rights. The Fascist State is an inwardly accepted standard and rule of conduct, a discipline of the whole person; it permeates the will no less than the intellect. It stands for a principle which becomes the central motive of man as a member of civilized society, sinking deep down into his personality; it dwells in the heart of the man of action and of the thinker, of the artist and of the man of science: soul of the soul
I am glad I found this - fascism had been a term tossed around without clear definitions and, despite or perhaps because of Benito's pompous, abstract, and preachy tone, this gives a good feel for why the movement was so popular and for why it was so very very dangerous.

Posted by Red Ted at April 12, 2004 09:56 AM | TrackBack

Interesting you should post this now. I've been doing some research about Sartre/Camus after reading a lengthy review of a new book concerning their vitriolic split. It's amazing what lyrical writing can mask. Sartre's support of violence in the name of anti-colonialism is breathtaking for it's brilliance and it's totalitarianism. Hell, he makes fascists look good.

Posted by: vachon at April 12, 2004 08:11 AM
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