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The Origins of Fascism

The origins of Fascism as a political ideology and party are often attributed to Benito Mussolini who pioneered the concept in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Kallis, 2000). The Fascist ideology viewed the nation as an all-embracing entity; outside of the state no one person is inherently valuable (Kallis, 2000). Fascism utilises the totalitarian style of governing and is therefore opposed to the socialist doctrine which advocates a cooperative society (Kallis, 2000). There are several definitions of the word Fascism and it is defined by The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary (2013) as "a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralised autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”. When Fascism is mentioned it is usually in reference to certain regimes in countries like Italy, Germany, Spain and Indonesia; with Italy and Germany being the most notable. This essay will explain the ideology of Fascism as it pertains to both countries and discuss the similarities and differences between Italian Fascism focusing on Benito Mussolini’s reign and fascism in Germany, specifically Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism, also known as Nazism.
The Fascist ideology first developed in Italy in association with the National Fascist Party, which was led by Benito Mussolini for twenty-one years starting in 1922 (Kallis, 2000). The primary source of Italian fascism was a strong sense of Italian nationalism and the goal of expanding italian territories which was essential to achieving the nation’s goal of establishing itself as a world power (Lazzaro, 2005). Mussolini’s fasc...

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