Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini is known as the Father of Fascism, as he created the term and concept of Fascism and was the first ruler of a nation-state governed by Fascist policies.
Mussolini was born to be a socialist!
He was born on July 29, 1883 in the small town of Dovia di Predappio. His father was a blacksmith and ardent Socialist, whose political ideology combined the views of anarchist figures, such as Carlo Cafiero and Mikhail Bakunin, the nationalism of Giuseppe Mazzini, and the military authoritarianism of Giuseppe Garibaldi. His mother was a devout Catholic whose primary influence on her son was the demand that he be baptized.
Mussolini was inspired by socialist doctrine...
So passionate was Mussolini's father about Socialism that he named his son for esteemed Socialist leaders and activists. His first name came from Benito Juarez, the first indigenous president of Mexico, while his middle names, Amilcare and Andrea, were in tribute to Italian Socialists Andrea Costa and Amicare Cipriani. You could say that Benito Mussolini was born to be a Socialist!
Young Mussolini spent hours everyday listening to his father espouse anarchist philosophy and socialist doctrine, and as we shall see, his own politics were highly influenced by these lessons from his father.
"Fellow countrymen, in a few days you will have not a ministry, but a government."
Rome, Oct. 30.--- A Roman triumph was staged here today by the victorious Fascisti, who call themselves the inheritors of the traditions of the ancient empire. All night long the streets of the Italian capital echoed to the tramp of the marching feet of the picturesque legionnaires, who are entering the city to strengthen the choice of their leader, Mussolini, as the new Premier by King Victor Emmanuel.
"Fellow countrymen, in a few days you will have not a ministry, but a government," declared Benito Mussolini, Premier designate, to a crowd outside the Quirinal this evening as he came from a long audience with the King.
Ghosts of an Old Empire
This is how Wilbur Forrest, writer for the New York Tribune, began his article "Ghosts of an Old Empire Rise As Fascisti March in Rome," on October 30, 1922, the day after Mussolini's famous march on the Italian capital. He continues....
The Fascisti themselves are not much of an army to look at. They are garbed in part in their famous black shirts, whence their popular nickname is derived; they wear also black tassled skull caps and nondescript trousers and leggings. Their weapons match the latter articles, some carrying rifles, others shotguns and some blackjacks, and a few have only heavy sticks. Their discipline is of the strictest, however. When a manifesto was issued from their headquarters yesterday warning that "the slightest incident or act of youthful impatience may compromise the fate of the nation," and "their is no room for traitors in the ranks of the Fascisti," every member of the organization was aware of the gravity of the admonition, and their was no attempt to violate the order, which demands "iron, blind, silent obedience to their leaders."
"There is no room for traitors in the ranks of the Fascisti"
So, who were these Fascists and their founder, Benito Mussolini, who would become known simply as "The Leader?" What were their beliefs, and how did they impact the political world until this very day? We shall explore these questions, as we try to understand the true nature of Fascism and how it has evolved in modern times.
Samuel Griswold is a lifelong student of history and politics, whose studies have given him unique insights into the true nature of totalitarianism in all of its aspects... Fascism, Communism and Socialism. As an American Jew, who lost relatives in the Holocaust, he's lived by the pledges "Never Forget" and "Never Again." But, for him, these pledges mean to never let the policies that led to the Holocaust happen again. To prevent fascism from thriving, we must know how to see and define it. That is the purpose of FightingFascism.com, to draw attention and rally opposition to current fascist policies and governments.