How much of this sounds familiar to you?

Benito Mussolini coined his system of government the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento on Mar. 23, 1919, in Milan, Italy. Mussolini thought that democracy was a failed system. He thought that liberty of expression and liberty of parties was a sham, and that fascism would organize people under state power. This, in his mind, would make people more free because there would be no classes, no decisions to be made. Everything would be decided for you by the state. Mussolini wrote:

The Fascist conception of life accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with the State. . . . Fascism reasserts the rights of the state. If classical liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government. The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity.

Benito Mussolini

Violence was seen as beneficial to society and a necessary function of government. The main way the fascists got to power was by killing off and intimidating what was the largest and most popular party, the Socialist Party. Squadrists, terrorists who would descend upon towns in trucks, uniformed in black shirts, had knives and they killed thousands of people from 1919 to 1922. The violence escalated to the point that the people began clamoring for someone to end the violence. Mussolini led a protest march to Rome, where they planned to demand an end to the violence. and demand an end to the Prime Minister’s term. On October 28, 1922 Mussolini was named Prime Minister in his place.

At first, Mussolini’s rule looked great. The budget was balanced, competitive elections were held, freedom of the press was still present, and trade unions were still permitted to strike. Then 1925 came. The largest businesses supported the new plan. Select individuals, those who had garnered Mussolini’s favor, supported the new economy.

The economy became centrally planned with heavy state subsidies, and high tariffs prevented foreign competition. Cronyism was rampant, large deficits as far as the eye could see were caused by profligate government spending. Bank and industry bailouts were widespread, the bureaucracy grew ever larger, mostly supporting massive social welfare programs, crushing national debt, inflation, and a highly regulated, multiclass, integrated national economic structure. In short, the government decided the winners and losers.

Benito Mussolini identified his economic policies with “state administered capitalism,” the exact phrase that Vladimir Lenin used to describe his “New Economic Policies.” Mussolini’s fascism combined market-based mechanisms and socialism, similar to China’s “market driven socialism.” In fact, Mussolini often said that he was a follower of Keynesian economics.

Reading all of the above, which of America’s political belief systems do you think sounds more like fascism?

Categories: The Collapse