Benito Mussolini was the leader of the Socialist Party
of Italy, before a new term was adopted to describe him. Like many modern media Mussolinis, he was a socialist and
a journalist. Between 1912 and 1914 he was the editor of the Socialist Party
newspaper, "L'Avanti" (Avanti means "in front", "advance" or "forward" or
even "come in"). In 1914 he started his own socialist newspaper "Il Popolo
d'Italia" ("The people of Italy").
He was considered by socialists
to be a great writer about socialism. He was a staunch proponent of revolutionary
rather than reformist socialism, and actually received Lenin's endorsement
and support for expelling reformists from the Socialist Party. He was
in fact first dubbed "Il Duce" (the Leader) when he was a member of Italy's
(Marxist) Socialist Party.
When Mussolini differed with some socialists
it was over participation in World War I, not over abstract theory, nor economic
doctrine. Many socialists were neutralists in the First World
War, whereas Mussolini correctly foresaw that the Austro/German forces would
not win the war and therefore wanted Italy to join the Allied side and thus
get a slice of Austrian territory at the end of the war.
War I, Mussolini publicized what he admitted was his new brand of socialism.
On October 28, 1922, Mussolini led his "March on Rome", which brought him to power for 23 years.
In late 1937, Mussolini visited Germany and pledged himself
to support the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
In 1938, he
introduced his ‘reform of customs.’” Hand-shaking was suddenly banned
as unhygienic: a salute was to be used instead - the right forearm raised
vertically. He imposed a new march on the Italian Army which was simply
the goose-step of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. According
to the book “A Concise History of Italy” by Christopher Duggan, these reforms
were introduced mainly to underline ideological kinship with the National
Socialist German Workers’ Party and to impress its leader.
“Roman salute” (saluto romano) is as much of a fiction as is the so-called “Roman
step” (passo romano) as is the idea that the National Socialist German Workers’
Party emulated Mussolini and not vice versa.
The most notorious
instance of Italy imitating the National Socialist German Workers’ Party
was in the racist laws imposed in November 1938.
Before and during it all (from 1892), children in the
U.S. attended government-schools where racism and segregation were mandated
by law, and where they performed a straight-armed salute to the U.S. flag,
and were forced to robotically chant a pledge written by a national socialist
who wanted to produce an “industrial army” for totalitarian socialism as
popularized worldwide in a best-selling novel written by his like-minded cousin.