DMPQ- . Discuss the emergence of fascism in Italy.

. Italian Fascism is the original fascist ideology as developed in Italy. The ideology is associated with the Fascist Revolutionary Party (PFR), founded in 1915; the succeeding National Fascist Party (PNF) in 1921, which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943.

The first meeting of the Fasci of Revolutionary Action was held on January 24, 1915, led by Benito Mussolini. In the next few years, the relatively small group was various political actions. In 1920, militant strike activity by industrial workers reached its peak in Italy. Mussolini and the Fascists took advantage of the situation by allying with industrial businesses and attacking workers and peasants in the name of preserving order and internal peace in Italy.

Fascists identified their primary opponents as the majority of socialists on the left who had opposed intervention in World War I. The Fascists and the Italian political right held common ground: both held Marxism in contempt, discounted class consciousness, and believed in the rule of elites. Fascism began to accommodate Italian conservatives by making major alterations to its political agenda—abandoning its previous populism, republicanism, and anticlericalism, adopting policies in support of free enterprise, and accepting the Roman Catholic Church and the monarchy as institutions in Italy.

To appeal to Italian conservatives, Fascism adopted policies such as promoting family values, including policies designed to reduce the number of women in the workforce by limiting the woman’s role to that of a mother. The fascists banned literature on birth control and increased penalties for abortion in 1926, declaring both crimes against the state. Though Fascism adopted a number of positions designed to appeal to reactionaries, the Fascists sought to maintain Fascism’s revolutionary character, with Angelo Oliviero Olivetti saying “Fascism would like to be conservative, but it will be revolutionary.” The Fascists supported revolutionary action and committed to secure law and order to appeal to both conservatives and syndicalists.

 

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