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Italian Fascism

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  1. Introduction
  2. The beginning of Nationalists drift
    1. The progressive integration of Jews
    2. The legacy of traditional Judaism
    3. Persistent prejudices
  3. The rise of antisemitism in the 1880s
    1. The Jew, 'scapegoat of modernity '
    2. Strengthening the construction of identity in race
    3. Discomfort spread by the press and the literature
  4. The violent antisemitism led to a division of corporations
    1. Of termination to the exclusion
    2. The instrumentalization of anti-Semitism by political forces
    3. Zionism, a response to the barbaric antisemitism

It is difficult to find a clear and unique definition of fascism. Specialists have differences of opinion which suggests that establishing a single definition is impossible. This is also true of interpretations of Italian fascism, though the observation of facts, assumptions and strategies implemented by this scheme can enlighten us. In the 1920s Italy occupied a special position on the chessboard of European politics. Thus a new ideology, fascism, which was then poorly defined with fuzzy edges, came into power in 1922. Gradually, the aspirations for a totalitarian dictatorship settled. In order to understand this phenomenon, we can fall back on the work of Emilio Gentile. What is fascism? What incorporates the features of fascist regimes?

He bases his definition on a correlation between the organizational, cultural, and institutional dimension. On the subject of strictly Italian fascism, it seemed interesting to understand why such a scheme emerged, and Mussolini's ideology. What is the nature of Mussolini's fascist rejection of representative democracy? What are its characteristics? Has this representative democracy initiated the fascist wave in Europe by its impotence, or do the fascist coups have to be explained only by the will of their leaders (here, Mussolini)?

At first, it is necessary to study the factors that contributed to the development of Italian fascism, to highlight how fascism is a reaction representative of the inefficiency or loss of credibility of democracy. In a second step, the study of the regime itself can show the specificity of Italian fascism, and can help to achieve a precise periodization where we see a successor to the virulent authoritarianism and totalitarianism similar to that prevalent in Nazi Germany.

If fascism has been inspired by social and economic difficulties of the immediate postwar period, it has mainly taken advantage of data that now belong to the past: the destruction of traditional societies just entering the industrial age, the inability of elites to integrate the masses, in some countries the lack of democratic traditions and especially the traumatic effects of the First World War.

In Italy and France can be seen a fusion of opposites - a synthesis of nationalism and the tendency of revolutionary syndicalism. These, according to Pierre Milza, were the two major sources of fascism; two movements, with seemingly opposite conclusions, both questioning the ideology of bourgeois society.

Nationalism was growing in Italy when the industrial take-off took place and where part of the ruling class, breaking with the tradition of liberalism, sought to provide an ideological justification for war or the conquest of Ethiopia of Tripolitania. In this respect, Italian nationalism reflected the conquest of capitalism. The other stream will assume that fascism is partly the legacy of revolutionary syndicalism, which developed during the decade immediately preceding the war. Anarchism and nationalism reflect a rejection of capitalism and the transformations brought about by recent economic developments.

Many authors, Milza, Jean-Claude Lescure and Emilio Gentile, consider the birth of Italian fascism as related in part to the very specific situation of the post-war period and also Italy's industrial revolution led to the establishment of a democratic facade, which actually covers many archaisms.

Tags: Italian fascism, industrial revolution, post-war period, Mussolini, Nazi Germany

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