Essay on Fascism Defined in the Context of Mussolini's Italy and Nazi Germany

Essay on Fascism Defined in the Context of Mussolini's Italy and Nazi Germany

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Because fascism has been practiced in a variety of locations, at differing points in history, with no specific guidelines, every seemingly practical definition of fascism is simply too limiting to serve as a proper definition. Furthermore, to speak of fascism in generalizations prohibits one from truly understanding the completely confused concept. To avoid such generalizations, one must look at fascism as it was found in specific examples. Such examples include, Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany. Although these two instances are not all encompassing of the ideology, they exhibit fascism to the greatest proportions. Additionally, these instances allow one to get a vivid and practical notion to what fascism truly is.
At the end of World War One, the Central Powers (which included Italy, Germany, and Austria-Hungary) were forced to submit to the Treaty of Versailles, which left the Central Powers with citizens who had a mounting disdain for government and organized power. In this chaos, Italy struggled to find a definitive government. As a result, from the end of WWI in 1919 to 1922 Italy, struggling in the ruins of WWI, found itself under the rule of five different governments. Following the infamous ‘March on Rome’, Benito Mussolini was chosen to be Italy’s head of government; however, Mussolini’s nascent fascist party (which was officially founded in 1919) toiled to rally around a set ideology. Though Mussolini had founded the Fascist party in 1919, the party had no set platform or ideology to organize itself around. James Whisker, a professor of Political Science at West Virginia University states, “Italian fascism had at least four principal phases.” Through these phases Italian fascism would come to fruition. The first...


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...e useful. However, in the context of these instances the most encompassing definition of fascism reads; a form of governmental organization that arises out of societal disdain for liberalism, leading to a resurgence of a national identity. This resurgence is charged by a rise in state power, which allows for one party or an individual to head the entire county. In certain circumstances, this resurgence of a national identity is elevated by a purging of minority groups who serve as the societal scapegoat for faults. Ultimately, this form of government falters. It falters, because of its susceptibility to corruption. It falters, because of its pioneer approach to governing. It falters, because of its leader’s desire to have complete domination over their domain. It falters, because fascism, like all other systems of governing, is subject to human corruption and error.

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