Benito Mussolini: “The Doctrine of Fascism”

(1932)

Italy’s leader and head of the Fascist Party, Benito Mussolini, had always resisted attempts to codify Fascism. Yet when the Enciclopedia italiana (“Italian Encyclopedia”) required an article defining Fascism, it became necessary to publish something that would give an appearance of thought and process behind what was essentially a constantly changing way of running the country. The result was Mussolini’s article “The Doctrine of Fascism,” published in 1932 and written with the help of Giovanni Gentile; in fact, it has been suggested that Gentile was the actual author of the document. The essay was in places misleading and in other places seemingly contradictory and actually differed from the way Fascism operated. But to those who did not read it critically, it at least supplied what seemed to be a logical basis for the political movement.

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Benito Mussolini (Library of Congress)

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