Fascism

In: Historical Events

Submitted By EmmaG1989
Words 3158
Pages 13
How successful was Fascism in achieving its totalitarianism ambitions?
The first time Mussolini used the term ‘totalitarian’ was in a speech at the Fascists Party’s fourth national congress in 1995*1 , he declared the ‘goal that is defined as our ferocious totalitarian will be pursued with even greater ferociousness’*1 . There is no doubt that Benito Mussolini was a very determined dictator. His aim was to create a long lasting Fascist Italy*1. In order to achieve his aim he required the total involvement and participation of every member of the state, in other words he needed to ‘Fascistize the masses’*1. Unfortunately Fascism was a very ambitious plan that failed to properly execute its aims*2. In order to delve deeper into the ways that Mussolini failed in his totalitarianism aims, we must first define what totalitarianism is. The essence of totalitarianism can be seen as a regime’s total control of the everyday life of its citizens, of its control, and more particularly of their thoughts and attitudes as well as their activities *3. A totalitarian dictatorship must have an elaborate ideology, a single mass party which is led by the ‘dictator’, a system of terror, near complete control over weapons of armed combat, control over all means of effective mass communication including the press, radio and cinema, and finally central control over the entire economy*3. While Mussolini dabbled in all of these areas he failed to execute them in an effective manner. It is interesting to note Hannah Arendt’s theories on totalitarianism, like Mussolini, she believed that the masses were a destructive force and she depicted them as entirely negative. Arendt also felt that that totalitarian propaganda can be considered as compelling for the mass, the idea of using endless repetition of a few key ideas, something which Mussolini fixated upon*4. Mussolini took his role as a…...

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