Who in Italy Gained from Fascism
The word Fascism comes from fasces, the bundle of elm or birch rods from which an ax
projected that was carried before Roman magistrates. These fasces indicated the magistrates
power to decapitate. Fascism is actually defined as " a political philosophy, movement, or
regime that exalts nation, and often race, and stands for a centralized autocratic, often
militaristic government" (Webster's). March 23, 1919 marked the ascension of the Fascist party in Italy. For many, young Benito Mussolini was a symbol of law and order in a time of political and social turmoil. Mussolini's "Fasci di Combattimento", the re-organization of his Fascia group, was accepted and admired by all, especially those Italians longing for the end of unemployment, inflation, and the fear of a communist revolution. In Italy, many members of the government, as well as a few aspects of society, gained from Fascism. However, despite those who gained, more Italians suffered as a result of Fascist government.
Some members that gained from Fascism were the Fascists in power. The
Fascists who held office were all shrewed politicians. All of those politicians were ruthless
and were feared by many of the people. "The result at the 1919 polls was disappointing. The Socialists did splendidly, but Fascism, having not yet fully identified with the conservative Right, seemed in 1919 to have arrived at a dead end" (Forman 27). The fear that was created between government official and citizen was what kept Fascism in power after this initial downfall. Many of the Fascists in power were out of control; Even Benito Mussolini had his own Fascist propaganda army: the Blackshirts , or "Squadre". Fear was building as the Fascist party was coming into power. "Murder and arson were daily occurrences, and by 1922, Italian Socialists were driven to desperate measures. On August 1, massive strikes disrupted transportation. The government was helpless to combat the effects. Italy needed a savior. Mussolini, Now called Il Duce ("The Leader"), was not found lacking. He gave the government 48 hours to act, and at the expiration of that time he had his Fascists take over Public transportation" (Forman 28).
Other members of the government that gained from Fascism were the nationalists. Part of the definition of Fascism was putting state before citizen, so naturally those fanatically supporting Italy benefited greatly from Fascist's orders to a Nationalistic government. "In February of 1923, the Nationalist Association, with its "Always Ready" militia, joined the Fascist party en masse" (Payne 111). By the end of May 1919, "the Nationalists were writing to Mussolini as "the one and only Duce of the Italian people" (Smith 334). Also, "support for this escapade was easily obtained from many patriots" (Smith 334).
Finally, there were territorial gains from Fascist imperialism. In 1911, Italy won Libya from the Turks. This proved to be an...