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Was Italian Fascism a “weak” totalitarianism?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Fascism: from popular discontent to the premises of a totalitarian state
    1. An ideologically and structurally vague movement
    2. Italy: the first European totalitarian State?
  3. Fascism or the failure of an integral totalitarianism
    1. A partial totalitarianism peculiar to Italy
    2. The failure of an imported regime
  4. Conclusion

Italian fascism, because it appeared at the same period as German national-socialism and Stalinist communism and presented some similarities with those regimes, is often categorized as a totalitarianism. However, this assertion has been refuted by many scholars, including the French political scientist Raymond Aron (who declared in the magazine ?Commentaire? that Mussolini's regime had never been a totalitarianism) and Hannah Arendt in ?the origins of totalitarianism?.

Indeed, to Hannah Arendt who theorized the concept of totalitarianism, Italian fascism cannot be classified as this political system who combines a single-party system, an ideological monopoly served by propaganda and mass terror, a total control of all the aspects of the society and an aspiration to create a new man. Although the very term totalitarianism has been shaped on the example of Italian fascism and was used a lot by Mussolini himself, it seems that the fascist rehime doesn't comprise all the elements of the definition of a totalitarianism.

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