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The rise and fall of Benito Mussolini

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Sev Ma

on 9 May 2014

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Transcript of The rise and fall of Benito Mussolini

Political journalist and socialist
The rise and fall of Benito Mussolini
Content of my presentation
"The rise and fall of Benito Mussolini"
Childhood of Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini
Time in Switzerland
Change in political attitude
Early life
Change in political view
World War 2
Rise to power
in an 1914 article, Mussolini wrote:

"Down with the War. We remain neutral."
saw the war as an opportunity:
for his own ambitions as well as those of socialists and Italians
believed that the war offered Italians in Austria-Hungary the chance to liberate themselves from rule of the Habsburgs

declare support for the war by appealing to the need for socialists to overthrow the monarchies in Austria-Hungary
came into conflict with socialists who opposed the war
attacked the opponents of the war
claimed that those proletarians who supported pacifism were not real revolutionaries
criticize the Italian Socialist Party and socialism itself for having failed to recognize the national problems that had led to the outbreak of the war
He was expelled from the party due to his support of intervention
born in Dovia di Predappio, 29 July 1883
Neo-Fascists pilgrim there
call his birth place
"Duce's town"
was named after Mexican reformist President
Juárez, and after the Italian socialists
Costa and
early political views were heavily influenced by his father, who idolized revolutioniary socialists and anarchist figures
conflict between his parents about religion
unlike most Italians, Mussolini was not baptized
1909: left Italy to take the job in the local Socialist party in the Italian-speaking city of Trento
edited newspaper L'Avvenire del Lavoratore (The Future of the Worker)
returned to Italy: edited the weekly Lotta di classe (The Class Struggle)
was one of Italy's most prominent Socialists
1911: participated in a riot, led by Socialists, against the Italian war in Libya
He bitterly denounced Italy's "imperialist war"
five-month jail term
As a result: was rewarded the editorship of the Socialist Party newspaper
Under his leadership, its circulation rose from 20,000 to 100,000
he was arrested by the Swiss police because of a violent general strike
spent two weeks in jail, was deported to Italy, set free there, and returned to Switzerland
arrested again in Geneva
taking advantage of an amnesty returned to Italy
do his his military service
he taught for years in different schools , but was not committed because of anti-church propaganda
his radical contributions in local papers led to no job
Rosa Maltoni
Catholic schoolteacher
Alessandro Mussolini
an extreme socialist
His anti-clerical attitude led to problems in school
Because of a knife attack on another student he had to left the school
he earned a high school diploma for primary teachers 1901
Early Life
1902, Mussolini emigrated to Switzerland
avoid military service
was unable to find a permanent job
studied Marxist ideas
the emphasis on the need for overthrowing
capitalism by the use of:
violence, direct action, general strike, and appeals to emotion,
became active in the Italian socialist movement in Switzerland
worked for the paper L'Avvenire del Lavoratore
gave speeches to workers
served as secretary of the Italian workers' union

Mussolini's booking photograph
following his arrest by Swiss police
The following excerpts are from a police report prepared by the Inspector-General of Public Security in Milan, that describe Mussolinis background and his position on the First World War that resulted in his ouster from the Italian Socialist Party:
"He was the ideal editor of Avanti! for the Socialists. [...] Some of his former comrades and admirers still confess that there was no one who understood better how to interpret the spirit of the proletariat [...] He was a [...] passionate advocate, first of vigilant and armed neutrality, and later of war; and he did not believe that he was compromising with his personal and political honesty [...] It is difficult to say to what extent his socialist convictions may have been sacrificed [...] he always wanted to give the appearance of still being a socialist, and he fooled himself into thinking that this was the case."
Beginning of
Fascism and service
in World War I
From left to right ?
After being ousted by the Italian Socialist Party for his support of Italian intervention, Mussolini made a radical transformation:
ending his support for class conflict and joining in support of revolutionary nationalism
formed the interventionist newspaper Il Popolo d'Italia
denounced socialism for failing to recognize that the war had made national identity and loyalty
recognize the reality show the hopelessness of socialism as outdated
demonstrated his transformation by acknowledging the nation as an entity

The new Mussolini

"When dealing with such a race as Slavic - inferior and barbarian - we must not pursue the carrot, but the stick policy ... We should not be afraid of new victims ... The Italian border should run across the Brenner Pass, Monte Nevoso and the Dinaric Alps ... I would say we can easily sacrifice 500,000 barbaric Slavs for 50,000 Italians ..."

Benito Mussolini,


Mussolinis View
the same way, Mussolini argued that Italy was right to follow an imperalist policy in Africa, because all black people were "inferior" to whites
Mussolini claimed that the world was divided into a hierarchy of races
this was justified more on cultural than on biological grounds

after returning from Allied service in World War I, he was convinced that:

Socialism as a doctrine was already dead; it continued to exist only as a grudge"
Italy was suffering from overpopulation was seen as proving the cultural and spiritual vitality of the Italians
justified in seeking to colonize lands that Mussolini argued on a historical basis belonged to Italy anyway, which was the heir to the Roman Empire
In Mussolini's thinking: demography was destiny; nations with rising populations were nations destined to conquer, and nations with falling populations were decaying powers that deserved to die

history was nothing more than a Darwin struggle for

power and territory
various racial
Aftermath of Mussolini
Propaganda & Cult of Personality

All teachers in schools and universities had to swear an oath to defend the fascist regime
Large sums of money were spent on highly visible public works and on international prestige projects

Futurism, a revolutionary cultural movement which would
Reliogious views
with the rise in influence of pro-Nordicist Nazism, Aryanism increased
German influence on Italian policy upset the established balance in Fascist Italy
Pope Pius XII sent a letter to Mussolini protesting against the new anti-Semitic laws
Mussolini refused to allow Italy to return again to this inferiority complex, which were highly unpopular to most Italians
strong tensions arose between the Fascists and the Nazis over racial issues
Mussolini decided to launch a racial program in Italy
The Axis powers - Berlin Rome

Nazi Germany-
Friendship with Hitler?

is the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances
with little regard for principles
without seeing consequences for others
expedient actions guided primarily by self-interested motives
the term can be applied to Mussolini as an individual and also for his political behaviour
no real idealism

was raised by a Catholic mother and an anti-clerical father
His mother Rosa took her children to services every Sunday, his father never attended
Mussolini regarded his time at a religious boarding school as punishment
he compared the experience to hell
tried to shock audience by calling on God to strike him dead
denounced socialists who were tolerant of religion, or had their children baptized
believed that science had proven there was no God, and that the historical Jesus was ignorant and mad
considered religion a disease of the psyche
believed that socialists who were Christian or who accepted religious marriage should be expelled from the party
Fall of the Duce
Even today, the "Duce" is revered by neo-fascists
Her best-known representative is Mussolini's granddaughter, the politician Alessandra Mussolini
she was previously an actress and model and appeared several times naked for play boy
is the founder and former leader of the national conservative political party Social Action
from 2004 until 2008, Mussolini also served as a Member of the European Parliament
"Better fascist than faggot"
Mussolini declared that all Romanians were criminals in remarks regarding immigration policy
support Berlusconi
states she is a feminist
she is against homosexuals, communists and Muslims

serve as a catalyst for
Fascism, argued for "a school
for physical courage and
Alessandra Mussolini
Mussolini asserted there was a "natural law" for stronger peoples to subject and dominate "inferior" peoples such as the "barbaric" Slavic peoples of Yugoslavia
"The racial laws are the worst fault of Mussolini, who, in so many other aspects, did good.”
"At a certain point Mussolini says: 'But don't you understand that I don't count for anything anymore, I can only make
suggestions'," Mr Berlusconi said, adding: "I have felt in the same situation."
Full transcript