The Politico--economic Career of Benito Mussolini
San José State University
Thayer Watkins
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The Politico--economic Career of Benito Mussolini

The purpose of this material is to show that Benito Mussolini and his political movement were elements of the left of the politico-economic spectrum.

Fascism is the name Benito Mussolini chose for his movement and later it was applied to similar movements elsewhere. Mussolini came from a socialist revolutionary family that named him after Benito Jaurez, the Mexican revolutionary. He grew up as a socialist and maintained his belief in the efficacy of socialism until the end of his life. He undoubtably considered Fascism as just a variant of if not socialismat least of collectivism that was nationalistic. The internationalist socialist expelled him when he advocated for nationalistic reasons the entry of Italy into World War I.

Italy did enter WWI and on the side of the Allies (Britain, France and Russia. This was long before Mussolini came to power in Italy.

Here is the timeline of Benito Mussolini's career:

To apply the lable fascist to organizations which advocate an economic system based upon markets represents the most abysmal ignorance. Fascism was a political movement of the left. It is to the right of socialism but that does not make it to the right of the whole political spectrum. < p>Perhaps the systematic misapplication of the term fascist is to make it a m eaningless term and thus disguise the fact that the one political organization whose ideological roots trace back to Mussolini's Fascist Party through the Rooseveltian New Deal is the Democratic Party.

The recent political organization that most thoroughly represents the street thuggery of the national socialists of Germany is called Anti-fa, supposedly for anti-fascist. Its cam paign against free speech is thoroughly fascist.

Asessment of the Career of Benito Mussolini

Dinesh d'Souza has written the folowing succinct account of Mussolini:

Mussolini never had the heart to be a true totalitarian, in part, because he was, well, Italian. His totalitaranism was always Italian, which is to say, half-assed. He sort of had his opponents arrested and he sort of controlled the media and he sort of had the parliament under his thumb, but he lacked the punctiliousness that characterized his more grim totalitarian c ounterparts Stalin and Hitler. Throughout his twenty year regn, Mussolini killed off very few of his own citizens and allowed people, including Jews, to leave Italy. Stalin and Hitler would never dream of allowing this. Wh at kind of totalitarian control can you have over people if they are free to p ack up and say sayonara?

Dinesh d'Souza, The Big Lie, Regnery Publishing, Washington, D.C., 2017, p. 58. < p>


All of his life Benito Mussolini was a collectivist. Until he was 31 years of age he was a Marxist s ocialist. He became a nationalist at the beginning of World War I. The socialists expelled him but th ere is no evidence that he gave up socialism. He adopted the collectivist philosophy of co rporatism to differentiate himself from his enemies the international socialists and called it fascism. Near the end of his life he formulated the perfect society as socialistic.

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