Homework: Discussing Fascism

All right, guys– you know the drill.  Today, you need to read Benito Mussolini’s excerpt from The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism.  At the end of the excerpt, you’ll see the following questions:

  1. How did Mussolini view democracy, socialism, and pacifism?
  2. Why would Mussolini’s passionate embrace of heroism and violence appeal to so many Italians (and others) in the 1920s?

Respond to the questions in a comment below– and remember that normal commenting rules apply.  One good comment that fully addresses the questions will receive a 95%, while a comment AND a response can earn up a 100%.

See you tomorrow!

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88 thoughts on “Homework: Discussing Fascism

  1. Benito Mussolini was threatened by pacifism, democracy, and socialism as they opposed fascism, however he saw them as weak systems of governing. He believed that pacifism was useless because war is inevitable and pacifism associated too much with peace. Mussolini also disagreed with democracy because with so many people convinced of their sovereignty, it simply proved ineffective. He also protested socialism as he believed its ideas were influenced too much by the economy and it was based on the idea that well being equals happiness. The Italians were drawn to Benito Mussolini in the 1920s because his heroism and violence convinced them that he was a strong and fearless leader which appealed them in a time of need after World War One.

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  2. Mussolini believed that pacifism, democracy and socialism all made promises they could not keep and oversimplified the human condition. For socialism, he felt that human history could not be defined by class struggle and economic decisions alone making the ideology flawed. He also believed economic happiness was not achievable and thus pointless to try and obtain. With pacifism he felt that lasting peace was impossible so it was better to to fight as an ultimate test of courage. Finally he believes that a democracy can not work because the majority does not always have the power, Instead there will always be those with the most power who oppress the few.
    His embrace of heroism was so enticing due to the strong influence of nationalism. There was a concept of “us” vs “them” and the idea of heroism gave them the chance to fight united against other people. Also after WWI, Italy was left feeling weak as if it had something to prove. This meant that an idea of noble fighting was highly enticing.

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  3. Mussolini viewed democracy, socialism, and pacifism as wrong and flawed systems of government, but he thought this because he was threatened by these systems. He believed democracy gave people the illusion of sovereignty but couldn’t actually provide it. He thought socialism contradicted the core principles of Fascism. Lastly, he thought pacifism was “born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face of sacrifice.” I think it would have appealed to them because WWI had just ended and the Italians liked to think that those who served in that war were heroes. They also like this idea because they liked being able to think that right after WWI.

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  4. Mussolini did not agree with the concept of a democracy, socialism, or pacifism. He believed a democracy just gave people the false belief of sovereignty and wasn’t an effective way to run a government. He claimed that the majority rule did not always mean it was the correct decision for a society. In addition he believed socialism was based on the “materialistic conception of history”, which kept men from seeing what else allowed humans to become civilized besides an “economic drive”. Pacifism basically contradicted his support for violence, so he did not think it was efficient for the type of system he was attempting to promote.
    His passionate embrace in heroism and violence may have appealed to so many people because it was a new and bold idea that gave them a sense of hope during the war. For example, if the Italians let everyone know that they were about the violence, the other forces would fear them because they knew the Italians weren’t afraid of the consequences of the violence.

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  5. Benito Mussolini viewed was pacificism as a threat, democracy, and socialism as they opposed fascism, he thought this because he saw them as governing systems that were weak and inneffective. He believed that pacifism was useless because war is inevitable, and pacifism was too closely tied with peace. Mussolini also disagreed with democracy in that a large number of people were convinced of their sovereignty, it nonetheless proved ineffective. He also protested against socialism in that he believed its ideas were influenced too much by the economy, and it was based on the idea that everyone is equal which makes every happy. Benito Mussolini in the 1920s appealed to so many Italians because his heroism and violence won them over, believing he was a bold and fearless leader in a time of need after WWI.

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  6. Mussolini opposed pacifism, socialism, and democracy. He disclaimed pacifism because it involved too much peace, which directly opposes him view of violence, democracy because it gave people the thought that they had power, which they never had, and socialism because it was too much based on the economy and the market, rather than the people themselves.
    Mussolini’s heroism and violence appealed so much to Italians because it was right after WWI. Italians have suffered greatly and had just discovered this “hope” and thought this this was what they needed.

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  7. Mussolini argues that pacifism, democracy, and socialism are all ineffective ways of governing a population. Pacifism being ineffective because it doesn’t recognize the fact that conflict is inevitable. Democracy being ineffective because it gives too much power to the majority and he believes that the majority should not be able to “direct human society”. Mussolini doesn’t agree with socialism because he believes it puts too much faith in economy, stating that well being does not equal happiness. Mussolini’s passionate embrace of heroism and violence appealed to so many Italians simply because he was firm in his beliefs, and was going to be stable in leading their state. The Italians may have felt a sense of security and also felt as if they were going to hold a higher rank in the war with a perceived new leader.

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