What does Fascism really mean?

Fascism, born in Italy, was defined by himself Benito Mussolini, politician, journalist and soldier born in Italy. He led a totalitarian regime in the period that has become known as Italian fascism, and which corresponded chronologically to the period known as the interwar period, that is, between 1919 and 1939, when the Second World War broke out.

Nevertheless, the rise of fascism in Italy is between 1925 and 1939.

Fascists they were part of the 20th century political system. Characterized, among other aspects, by its authoritarian, nationalist, totalitarian, militaristic and anti-communist condition. Mussolini himself, a recognized fascist, he proposed fascism as a parallel path to liberalism and communism that were in full swing.

Benito Mussolini, being the director of the newspaper Avanti, a medium that has historically belonged to the Italian socialist party, explained in detail his condition of having his whole life as an internationalist socialist.

However, at the beginning of the war he realized that all the socialist parties were also internationalist, and that they had to ensure that the workers of all nations should not kill each other, in their fight for the same rights. From this dilemma, they became nationalist socialists; so, precisely, the fascist base is national socialism.

Characteristics of fascism

  • It is an ideology that emerged in the interwar period
  • Fascism is totalitarianism, that is, the construction and supremacy of the State as the primary objective of society, which is even above the rights of citizens.
  • Reject democracy because they award this political system of government be guilty of not having avoided the war and the economic crisis. For this reason, it proposes the establishment of a single party and the suppression or elimination of political opponents.
  • Fascism as a mass movement, he sought to nullify any kind of individuality. All decisions were taken from power and only accepted support for ideas and actions, so dissenting opinions were execrated, and their supporters persecuted.
  • Other characteristics of the fascists is that its symbology was purely military. This was exhibited in all classes, civil or military, and ended up invading and penetrating social, civil and political life.
  • As in all totalitarianisms, fascism boasted a charismatic leader. This was Benito Mussolini, who held the presidency of the Council of Royal Ministers, from December 1922, achieved the dissolution of parliament and assumed command of the Italian State.
  • In addition, he led the Italian socialist party through which he was surrendered cult of his personality.
  • It was a political movement born from the bosom of the power that Mussolini held, and it was anti-liberalism, anti-Marxism and anti-capitalism.
  • Also the fascist system it was marked by nationalism, racism and expansionism.

Hence, at present there is a serious conceptual problem in wanting to designate the opposition of a government as fascist movements. Nothing could be further from reality, since fascism comes from power and goes against all dissent, to the point of persecuting, harassing and, if possible, eliminating it.

Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler

It is neither correct nor sensible claim that fascism belongs to the political right, since fascism arose from nationalist socialism, associated with the political left. This classification groups the positions that defend social equality, that is, a doctrine that seeks the organization of society under the dictatorship of the proletariat, whose objective is to lay the foundations of communism and take charge of the administration of the economy under the mode of production Centralized “socialist”.

While the political right assumes that existing social differences are an inevitable and natural condition of any society.

Social bases of fascism

The question is always latent as to why political movements arise that become a historical tragedy, such as fascism and Nazism have been. There are plenty of explanations, and in the fascist case the social bases that promoted its emergence are considered to be the ones we will mention:

  • The fascists formed a mass movement with very different elements, such as the fascist partisans where the active military was, and the ex-combatants of the First World War who did not find a foothold in the new postwar situation.
  • Among the supporters were the military and ex-combatants who did not adapt to the new postwar reality
  • The presence and increase of unhappy young people who were against democracy because it had not responded to the economic crisis.
  • There were the middle classes whose discontent had begun when they were losing their purchasing power due to hyperinflation and the economic crisis.
  • A working class hopeful that fascism would succeed in lowering unemployment levels.

Mussolini and the fascist Russian laboratories

Many political analysts and intellectuals from all areas have compared national socialism to the one that prevailed in the Nazi party, short for the national socialist party, which makes it clear that fascism is the closest thing to socialism.

A socialist vision is based on the interventionist economic vision on the part of the State, on the fear of freedom and on its attempt at total control of society; however, in the case of fascism the nationalist factor is more accentuated, which was not so marked in socialism of that time.

Another expert opinion explains that fascism cannot be understood without two characters such as Mussolini and Hitler, whose socialist parties combined violent elements like those of the Bolsheviks (radical political group of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party), the Mensheviks (moderate fraction of the Russian POS), so that Russia became the laboratory of all socialisms, of all fascisms and from which they arose various variants.

When it is said that the right has fascist neoliberal ideas, it is a contradiction, since neoliberalism is clearly the limitation of state intervention in economic and legal affairs, while fascism, it has already been said, is the opposite, it is the desire to control all levels of a society through the imposition of authority.

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