The Origin, Spread, and Impact of Fascism

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Fascism is a form of leadership with the character of aggression, oppression to the followers, chauvinism, dictatorship, and racism. However, as a political epithet, the act of fascism has been used in an anti-authoritarian intellect emphasizing the prevailing ideology of government destruction of individual freedom. There is minimal chance of expression offered to the public regarding the activities that have to be executed in society. Certain modes of operation had to be implemented in Europe creating room for its players to impact their rule on the civilians. However, this model of leadership was faced with a series of opposition as groups came up to fights for recognition. The leadership style further claimed numerous lives of innocent people that tried to get against the administrators’ rules. Even though fascism is an authoritarian practice, it is believed to be a promoter of nationalism at all costs which further ignites a debate. This essay will discuss the context of fascism concerning its origin, spread, and impact in the world’s history.

Origin

The practices of fascism originate from Benito Mussolini’s leadership in Italy between 1922 and 1943. Benito wanted every man to get active and engage in a series of activities with all their energies. He further expected these men to manfully get aware of the difficulties besetting them and derive a mechanism to manage these acts. Although studies on fascism ideology elucidate beginnings and endings, there is minimal need to understand the middle ranges of the cycle. Clear interpretations of the concept emerge from two political coalitions of the conservatives and liberals.[1]

The first movement of fascism hardly provides the ideal story as changes were later realized when the participants were struggling with the acts of claiming power.[2] The continuous practices of fascism ignited changes in the model of leadership in Europe as various nations drafted different targets on what they wished for their citizenry. In some parts of Europe, fascism involved the practices of worshiping the cult of leadership, mass movement of national militants, historical grievances, and the application of violence as a political tool.

After the direct rule of Benito in Italy, anti-fascism movement emerged in Europe in the 1930’s with the formation of the Third Reich in 1933 hence the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 (Brasken 2016).[3]

These leaders had different targets for their regions trying to administer a particular type of rule that will suit their model of life and economic activities for their regions. The majority of these actions were based on the aspect of ethnicity and the country of origin. For example, the right-wing people were known as xenophobic who emphasized the application of the populist style other than its contents with the left-wing having an alternative approach.[4] In the current era, the implementation of the term fascism refers to an individual with an authoritarian, intolerant, and far-right perspective.

Spread of Fascism

            The spread of this mode of leadership was based on the greed of various leaders and the responses emerging from the citizenry in Europe. Similar reasons for the spread were witnessed in Africa, Europe, and America that later ignited the anti-fascism movements. It was further observed in the European nation under a sequence in the 1930’s. For example, Italy (1922-1943), Germany (1933-1943), and Austria (1933-1945) among other countries. It was pioneered in Italy by Benito Mussolini in 1915 with the use of the PFR party. Multiple activities were executed by Mussolini to expand the Italian empire. In the year 1917, Italy established a protectorate in Albania providing the desired labor to spread their activities. During the World War, Italy further attained colonies in Africa occupying states like Somaliland, West Egypt, and Ethiopia.

            Women had a significant role in spreading fascism in Italy in the 1970s. Their efforts emerged from acts of mobilization, consensus, and resistance from the leaders. The fascists were devoted to the attention that eth women attain from society. Women were often mobilized through propaganda practices highlighting the significance of motherhood to a nation.[5]

It was a monolithic stereotype act that idealized the womanhood figure in speeches, writings, propaganda, and visual representations. These women further created organizations that were used to impose specific regulations to the masses. The most prominent group was formed in the 1920s known as fasci femminili that was given a primary role of the mass mobilization drive.[6]

            Religion was another factor in the acts of spreading fascism in Italy and its colonies with the help of Mussolini’s ambassador Bonifacio Pignatti (Kertzer 2014).[7] He kept his leader abreast of the behind-the-scenes activities reporting faith in the Duce and beyond discussion all of the Episcopal hierarchy and clergy. The creation of a good relationship with the Catholic Church could hardly create a vacuum for oppressing the leadership style by the Italian dictator. It was a straightforward approach that Mussolini would apply in expanding the fascism ideology to his followers. On the other hand, the clergy from Germany would oppress the Catholic religion’s leadership in Italy with scares emerging from the ways of choosing their pope. It is further witnessed as the hostility arising from the Italian cardinals towards Hitler was affecting their attitude to Benito. It also created division as the Italians wanted a pope that would support Vatican’s alliance with Benito and the non-Italians wishing to elect a religious leader less enamored of fascism.[8]

Fascism in Germany

Hitler spread the acts of dictatorship in his country with the use of Nazi ideology trying to administer his power. These control mechanisms were also applied in Germany’s colonies with the target of expanding its military power within Europe and some African states. However, little changes were viewed in Hitler’s way of administration but sharing multiple characteristics from Mussolini’s model of leadership. In Germany, more attention was linked to the relations of capital, labor, and the state as issues of questions of class occupying center stage (Bessel 1997).[9]

The other factors that led to the spread of fascism in Europe and America are linked to fear for communism and the economic depression after the inter-Europe wars. The economic depression led to these nations seeking alternative measures that would help improve the living standards for ten citizenries. An increased rate of dependency led to the emergence of superpowers that took advantage of the affected states hence the spread of fascism. Nevertheless, the fear of communism led to many leaders embracing the practices of fascism as a bulwark against the Bolshevism. The worries in Europe further intensified the practices of dictatorship in the United States thanks to the influence of Adolf Hitler who persuaded Frank Buchman in 1936 to build a defense against the anti-Christ communism.

Impact of Fascism

            A series of outcomes were realized during and after the practices of fascism in Europe and other states. Similarly, this model of leadership has a significant impact among the youth in the current generation. Various publications offer distinct messages regarding the rise and fall of fascism in Europe and other parts of the world. For instance, Mussolini’s rule lead to the collapse of leaders in other smaller nations that were later occupied by Italy. The southern part of the country was the most affected part with an estimated 40 percent of the Sicilian over the age of six were illiterate. The illiteracy levels in the region had an impact on the government policies and understanding the operations within the state. These groups of people were also left out of the country’s operations and were not involved in the state’s politics. In the long run, this citizenry did not mind about the corruption that was taking place behind closed doors despite having a stable government.

            The corruption practices during this regime affected the economic stability of the nation hence significant depression and inflation factors to the nation’s currency. Mussolini created a stature that made people worship him and follow his lead. However, minimal attention was then paid to their needs with the clergy, and other sects in the country’s leadership were controlled by greed and only had to comply by their leader’s directive. The high poverty and illiteracy rates present in the country was an advantage to Mussolini compared to the class of people being led in other nations. In the long run, Mussolini’s true colors emerged in the series of wars that he participated exposing him as a manipulative dictator over the masses.

            Mussolini applied various tricks to improve his ideology over the masses. His newspaper was a source of inspiration to multiple classes of people (veterans, unemployed, socialists, and nationalists) growing a huge following that would abide by his ideas. These classes of people thought Benito was to enforce changes in their lives but were being used as a stepping stone towards the leadership in the country. The formation of fascism later led to the creation of gangsters and real patriots of which some of them were clustered into strong arm-squads, armed, and uniformed. The primary targets for this creations were to overcome the power of democracy and instill an alternative model of leaders for the country.

            Fascism led to the emergence of World War II as the numerous dictators in the world had different ambitions about their leadership styles. Alliances were later formed to enact dominance in the leadership of the world. In various countries, the most significant impact is linked to the suppressed personal liberties even as the war continued. There was a need for equality from the creating oppressed movement to fight for justice. On the other hand, the Jews had a different thought to the act of killing people that never supported the fascist ideologies. These thoughts by the Jews sparked the need for civilization in the type of leadership and the kind of administrators that are being elected into power.

            Furthermore, the expansionist policies from these dictators created an atmosphere where war was inevitable. Hitler had a significant expansion providing him with stronger ammunition compared to other leaders surrounding him. A relatively large group of people had a fear of getting against the dictatorial leadership as people lost their lives and property through similar acts. Additionally, the fascism ideology created women movements that later went against dictatorship rule as they started fighting for their recognition in society. Feminism acted as a savior to many youths that were taken as slaves in Mussolini’s government. The feminist groups had a huge following making it simple for its leaders to draft policies that would suppress the dictatorial rule.

            Lastly, the affected masses decided to seek alternative leaders based on the outcomes of fascist ideas. Revolutions were staged Italy that oversaw the death of Benito Mussolini and an election of a successor (Pietro Badoglio) through the Republican Fascist Party. These changes in ideologies created a better leaving atmosphere in Europe as people would quickly move into other states with minimal interference from political masters.

Conclusion

Despite fascism being linked with acts of aggression, suppression, and racism, the citizenry in Europe and other parts fought for different forms of leadership. This essay addresses the context of fascism concerning its origin, spread, and impact in the world’s history. However, from the year 1919 to 1923, Italian citizenry fought against fascism in different platforms asking for all opposition leaders be brought back from exile. The growth of the opposition led to a change in leadership tactics in the country. In the long run, there was a reduced rate of violence and criminal activities that were regularly witnessed in the Italian streets under Benito’s leadership and his police.

Bibliography

Bessel, Richard. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: comparisons and contrasts.

Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

Brasken, Kasper. Making anti-fascism transnational: the origins of communist and socialist articulations of resistance in Europe, 1923-1924. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Finchelstein, Federico. From Fascism to Populism in History. California: University of California Press, 2017.

Gordon, Philip, and Stanley Hoffmann. The Anatomy of Fascism Robert O. Paxton.

Foreign Affairs, 2004.

Kertzer, David I. The Pope and Mussolini: the secret history of Pius XI and the rise of Fascism in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

[1] Gordon and Hoffmann, The Anatomy of Fascism, 22.

[2]

Gordon and Hoffmann, The Anatomy of Fascism, 52.

[3]

Brasken, Making anti-fascism transnational, 573.

[4]

Finchelstein, Fascism to Populism in History. 2.

[5]

Bessel, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, 78.

[6]

Ibid, 80.

[7]

Kertzer, The Pope and Mussolini, 255.

[8]

Kertzer, The Pope and Mussolini, 255.

[9]

Bessel, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, 2.

November 24, 2023
Category:

History

Number of pages

8

Number of words

2052

Downloads:

26

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