Albert Camus once said of dictatorship, The welfa

Albert Camus once said of dictatorship, “The welfare of the people inparticular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the
further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience”.

This is especially true in the case of Fascist Italy, as Mussolini has
dominated Italy with his Fascist Party in his 20 years of power, more or
less successfully fooling and playing the Italian and international press
and public, and to an extent the administration and leadership themselves
throughout the world. Throughout its leadership and with hindsight, one can
easily see through the facade of Mussolini’s illusion of success and
progress that hides, beneath the vaunted exterior, a rapidly crumbling
socioeconomic situation, truly “a rotten edifice” that only needs a good
kick to bring down. Such superficiality and outwards appearance hiding a
flawed system underneath are demonstratedclearlyinthesocial,
administrative, ideological and diplomatic aspects of Italy from the birth
in 1919 to its eventual decay and downfall during the Second World War.

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Extensive evidence of the style over substance approach is found in
the lack of real social development. While some may say that the land
reclamation and the public service projects helped boost the economy in the
1920s, it is nothing but an extension of the insufficient policies put
forth by a previous government. This goes hand in hand with the fact that
the Fasci di Combattimento itself was designed to appease a variety of
masses, its main purpose of existence of which to gain further power
without fundamental change. (Bosworth, 287) The Duce himself became more
and more a despot, avid for flattery, impatient of discussion, and
ridiculous in his personal luxury, albeit an incompetent one.

Statistics show that while the rest of the world proletariat and
average working class wages increased substantially, Italian lower class
income remained the same or dropped to small fractions of their European
neighbors. Earning only an estimated quarter of the American worker’s
salary, the Italian working class had its situation further hamstrung with
Mussolini’s halfway compromises as war loomed in the horizon. From the late
1930s onward, a wildcat inflation set in, inevitably resulting in extensive
illicit trade and general acceleration of the downwards approach of the
Italian economy and social life. Bosworth claims that, “asifto
demonstrate its determination to impose state control over the economy, the
Fascist regime had committed itself to a raft of welfare and development
schemes,” all of which eventually did little other than stimulating
“greater identification with the regime”. (Bosworth, 290)
Any ideals of a republic or a parliamentary democracy were shattered
after Fascists steadily replaced the major elements of government. While
many admirers attribute Il Duce to defeating Communism and being the savior
of Italy from such a red menace, a wide variety of sources suggest that
Communism had been on the wane since Giolitti’s last term. As Felix Gilbert
even states, “Mussolini’s claim that Fascism saved Italy from Bolshevism is
palpably untrue”. (Gilbert, 214) In addition, the concept of a corporate
state increasingly took its form and dominated almost every aspect of
Italian life. The once-powerful trade unions were infused with Fascist
representatives, and a general mess of the matter was made as employers
were integrated as well. Although one may believe at first that such
developments would contribute to the economic and industrial growth as in
Germany, Italy’s situation was extremely different. Italy did not have the
expanse of industry nor the experience with extensive industrialization for
Mussolini’s “Battles”. Primarily an agricultural nation, there were little
resources available and little margin for change for the industry and
manufacturing sectors to bolster the subsistence-farming economy to the
south and throughout the countryside. Although repeatedly emphasized that
Fascism represented neither capitalism, Mussolini ironically kept the major
financial and industrial leaders, preventing beneficial change and any
actual “realization” of the Italian and his role in the “corporate state”.

(Gilbert, 219) Thus, it must be noted that throughout this time period, the
growth rate for Fascist Italy fell from Liberal Italy’s 2.7 to a mere 1.9
percent, behind Britain’s 2.2%, Germany’s 3.8%andSweden’s4.1%.

(Bosworth, 288)
Such domestic fallacies are capitalized in three major “Battles”,
essentially a horribly conducted internal policy campaign which resulted in
further inflation, unemployment, the loss of confidence and morale, and
most importantly, the delay as compared to the other European nations; such
was essentially incompatible with Mussolini’s wavering diplomacyand
aggressive timetable. While the Battle for Land was somewhat successful in
terms of propaganda and immediate increase of production and housing,
beneficial actions of this scale were of little to


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