Benito Mussolini was ‘Prime Minister’ of Italy from 1922 to 1943. Mussolini inspired and supported the international spread of fascist movements during the inter-war period between the two European Wars of 20th Century. His story of meteoric rise and abject fall as a Totalitarian monster is an apt reminder for humanity, at a time when this hydra-headed monster has been raising its ugly head once again to devour our children with its insatiable greed and gluttony and a psychopathic and morbid obsession to control, subjugate and enslave humankind.
Before we get to Mussolini’s tragic story, here is a perspective on how the predominantly European Wars, with the exception of Japan, were erroneously called as First and Second World Wars. It was because of the fatally flawed but then dominant Euro-Western Universalism, that started as a land grabbing spree and butchering or subjugation of native human society around the world riding on the Doctrine of Discovery and then in dialectical approach the European Renaissance, enormous amount of intellectual regurgitation of native wisdom, it sought to bring Enlightenment to the world and civilise the savages to progress. However, steeped in ignorance, hubris and vanity, it violated the fundamental principles of living in harmony with nature and created new technological solutions that ignored those fatal flaws, and thus created hundreds of new problems, that mired humanity into greater inequality, injustice and deepening ecological crises over successive centuries, even as it deluded us with the utilitarian fantasy of maximum good for maximum people. This Faustian Culture is now in its death throes in the third decade of the 21st century.
Over nearly 5 centuries of its global dominance, it has created an unsavoury legacy and a popular error of dividing humans into indigenous and non-indigenous. Bordering on the inhuman, driven by greed and gluttony, creating hoaxes and hypnosis to drill fears and insecurities, besides use of brute force, the Euro-Western Universalism lends itself now to the grotesque and macabrous ideology of trans-humanism, with proponents like Yuval Noah Harari, the top adviser of Klaus Shwab, founder of the totalitarian monster called as World Economic Forum.
The curse of Faustian bargain, as Oswald Spengler in his epochal ‘Decline of the West’ in aftermath of First European War calls out to describe the degenerate Euro-Western Culture, is manifesting as the Totalitarian monster devouring its children, by injecting them with a treacherous poisonous injection, that will make them infertile and cause lifelong illnesses, heart attacks, organ failures and cancer, thus killing them prematurely. But before that, it will turn them into feeble and docile slaves of the Trans-humanist agenda, for as long as they are alive.
In what seems to many as stranger than fiction in 2022, this bigotry and hatred towards fellow humans and the morbid desire to control those who survived continues even today in nations like Brazil Canada France New Zealand South Africa and India but cleverly disguised as Pandemic Control.
Among those who believe that reality today is stranger than the ‘1984’ fiction by George Orwell, and alarm bells raised by Gustave Le Bon, Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, Vaclav Havel, David Graeber and most recently Mattias Desmet, was 20-year old Karunya, a healthy and intelligent youth who died three weeks after taking the first Covishield injection. I met the bereaved family in Coimbatore – her mother Suzini, father Venugopalan Govindan and younger brother Kartik. She was not only a bright and vivacious livewire of the family, Carnatic music vocalist, Veena and Tabla player, she was also a critical thinker. The last book she had read was ‘1984’ as her mother showed me passages she had underlined. Here is an interview with her father, in Coimbatore, in January earlier this year.
Coming back to our short story, Mussolini was originally a socialist politician and a journalist at the Avanti! newspaper. In 1912, he became a member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), but he was expelled from the PSI for advocating military intervention in World War I, in opposition to the party’s stance on neutrality.
Mussolini denounced the PSI, his views now centering on Italian nationalism instead of socialism, and later founded the fascist movement which advocated “revolutionary nationalism” transcending class lines. On 31 October 1922, Mussolini was appointed prime minister.
After removing all political opposition through his secret police and outlawing labor strikes, Mussolini and his followers consolidated power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship. Within five years, Mussolini had established dictatorial authority by both legal and illegal means and aspired to create a totalitarian state. In 1929, Mussolini signed the Lateran Treaty with the Holy See to establish Vatican City.
Mussolini asserted there was a “natural law” for stronger peoples to subject and dominate “inferior” peoples such as the “barbaric” Slavic peoples of Yugoslavia. He stated in a September 1920 speech:
“When dealing with such a race as Slavic—inferior and barbarian—we must not pursue the carrot, but the stick policy … We should not be afraid of new victims … The Italian border should run across the Brenner Pass, Monte Nevoso and the Dinaric Alps … I would say we can easily sacrifice 500,000 barbaric Slavs for 50,000 Italians.”
— Benito Mussolini, speech held in Pola, 20 September 1920
While Italy occupied former Austro-Hungarian areas between years 1918 and 1920, five hundred “Slav” societies (for example Sokol) and slightly smaller number of libraries (“reading rooms”) had been forbidden, specifically so later with the Law on Associations (1925), the Law on Public Demonstrations (1926) and the Law on Public Order (1926)—the closure of the classical lyceum in Pazin, of the high school in Voloska (1918), and the five hundred Slovene and Croatian primary schools followed. One thousand “Slav” teachers were forcibly exiled to Sardinia and to Southern Italy.
The Fascisti, led by one of Mussolini’s close confidants, Dino Grandi, formed armed squads of war veterans called blackshirts (or squadristi) with the goal of restoring order to the streets of Italy with a strong hand. The blackshirts clashed with communists, socialists, and anarchists at parades and demonstrations; all of these factions were also involved in clashes against each other. The Italian government rarely interfered with the blackshirts’ actions, owing in part to a looming threat and widespread fear of a communist revolution. The Fascisti grew rapidly; within two years they transformed themselves into the National Fascist Party at a congress in Rome. In 1921, Mussolini won election to the Chamber of Deputies for the first time. In the meantime, from about 1911 until 1938, Mussolini had various affairs with the Jewish author and academic Margherita Sarfatti, called the “Jewish Mother of Fascism” at the time.
In the night between 27 and 28 October 1922, about 30,000 Fascist blackshirts gathered in Rome to demand the resignation of liberal Prime Minister Luigi Facta and the appointment of a new Fascist government. On the morning of 28 October, King Victor Emmanuel III, who according to the Albertine Statute held the supreme military power, refused the government request to declare martial law, which led to Facta’s resignation. The King then handed over power to Mussolini (who stayed in his headquarters in Milan during the talks) by asking him to form a new government. The King’s controversial decision has been explained by historians as a combination of delusions and fears; Mussolini enjoyed wide support in the military and among the industrial and agrarian elites, while the King and the conservative establishment were afraid of a possible civil war and ultimately thought they could use Mussolini to restore law and order in the country, but failed to foresee the danger of a totalitarian evolution.
Between 1925 and 1927, Mussolini progressively dismantled virtually all constitutional and conventional restraints on his power and built a police state. A law passed on 24 December 1925—Christmas Eve for the largely Roman Catholic country—changed Mussolini’s formal title from “President of the Council of Ministers” to “Head of the Government”, although he was still called “Prime Minister” by most non-Italian news sources. He was no longer responsible to Parliament and could be removed only by the King. While the Italian constitution stated that ministers were responsible only to the sovereign, in practice it had become all but impossible to govern against the express will of Parliament. The Christmas Eve law ended this practice, and also made Mussolini the only person competent to determine the body’s agenda. This law transformed Mussolini’s government into a de facto legal dictatorship. Local autonomy was abolished, and podestàs appointed by the Italian Senate replaced elected mayors and councils.
Mussolini launched several public construction programs and government initiatives throughout Italy to combat economic setbacks or unemployment levels. His earliest (and one of the best known) was the Battle for Wheat, by which 5,000 new farms were established and five new agricultural towns (among them Littoria and Sabaudia) on land reclaimed by draining the Pontine Marshes.
The Battle for Wheat diverted valuable resources to wheat production away from other more economically viable crops. Landowners grew wheat on unsuitable soil using all the advances of modern science, and although the wheat harvest increased, prices rose, consumption fell and high tariffs were imposed. The tariffs promoted widespread inefficiencies and the government subsidies given to farmers pushed the country further into debt.
In 1930, in “The Doctrine of Fascism” he wrote, “The so-called crisis can only be settled by State action and within the orbit of the State.” He tried to combat economic recession by introducing a “Gold for the Fatherland” initiative, encouraging the public to voluntarily donate gold jewelry to government officials in exchange for steel wristbands bearing the words “Gold for the Fatherland”.
Mussolini’s foremost priority was the subjugation of the minds of the Italian people through the use of propaganda. The regime promoted a lavish cult of personality centered on the figure of Mussolini. He pretended to incarnate the new fascist Übermensch, promoting an aesthetic of exasperated Machismo that attributed to him quasi-divine capacities.
At various times after 1922, Mussolini personally took over the ministries of the interior, foreign affairs, colonies, corporations, defense, and public works. Sometimes he held as many as seven departments simultaneously, as well as the premiership. He was also head of the all-powerful Fascist Party and the armed local fascist militia, the MVSN or “Blackshirts”, who terrorized incipient resistance in the cities and provinces. He would later form the OVRA, an institutionalized secret police that carried official state support. In this way he succeeded in keeping power in his own hands and preventing the emergence of any rival.
Mussolini also portrayed himself as a valiant sportsman and a skilled musician. All teachers in schools and universities had to swear an oath to defend the fascist regime. Newspaper editors were all personally chosen by Mussolini, and only those in possession of a certificate of approval from the Fascist Party could practice journalism. These certificates were issued in secret; Mussolini thus skillfully created the illusion of a “free press”. The trade unions were also deprived of any independence and were integrated into what was called the “corporative” system. The aim, inspired by medieval guilds and never completely achieved, was to place all Italians in various professional organizations or corporations, all under clandestine governmental control.
Large sums of money were spent on highly visible public works, (Like Bullet Train and Central Vista) and on international prestige projects. These included as the Blue Riband ocean liner SS Rex; setting aeronautical records with the world’s fastest seaplane, the Macchi M.C.72; and the transatlantic flying boat cruise of Italo Balbo, which was greeted with much fanfare in the United States when it landed in Chicago in 1933.
The principles of the doctrine of Fascism were laid down in an article by eminent philosopher Giovanni Gentile and Mussolini himself that appeared in 1932 in the Enciclopedia Italiana. Mussolini always portrayed himself as an intellectual, and some historians agree. Gunther called him “easily the best educated and most sophisticated of the dictators”, and the only national leader of 1940 who was an intellectual. German historian Ernst Nolte said that “His command of contemporary philosophy and political literature was at least as great as that of any other contemporary European political leader.”
Between 1936 and 1941 during operations to “pacify” Ethiopia, the Italians killed hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian civilians, and are estimated to have killed about 7% of Ethiopia’s total population. Mussolini ordered Marshal Rodolfo Graziani “to initiate and systematically conduct a policy of terror and extermination against the rebels and the population in complicity with them. Without a policy of ten eyes to one, we cannot heal this wound in good time”. Mussolini personally ordered Graziani to execute the entire male population over the age of 18 in one town and in one district ordered that “the prisoners, their accomplices and the uncertain will have to be executed” as part of the “gradual liquidation” of the population. Believing the Eastern Orthodox Church was inspiring Ethiopians to resist, Mussolini ordered that Orthodox priests and monks were to be targeted in revenge for guerrilla attacks. Mussolini brought in Degree Law 880, which made miscegenation a crime punishable with five years in prison as Mussolini made it absolutely clear that he did not want his soldiers and officials serving in Ethiopia to ever have sex with Ethiopian women under any circumstances as he believed that multiracial relationships made his men less likely to kill Ethiopians.
Mussolini favored a policy of brutality partly because he believed the Ethiopians were not a nation because black people were too stupid to have a sense of nationality and therefore the guerrillas were just “bandits”. The other reason was because Mussolini was planning on bringing millions of Italian colonists into Ethiopia and he needed to kill off much of the Ethiopian population to make room for the Italian colonists just as he had done in Libya.
On 25 April 1945, as Allied troops were advancing into northern Italy, Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci set out for Switzerland, intending to board a plane and escape to Spain but were arrested on 27th April.
With the spread of the news of the arrest, several telegrams arrived from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) headquarters in Siena with the request that Mussolini be entrusted to the control of the United Nations forces.
The next day, Mussolini and Petacci were both summarily shot, along with most of the members of their 15-man train, primarily ministers and officials of the Italian Social Republic. The shootings took place in the small village of Giulino di Mezzegra and were conducted by a partisan leader who used the nom de guerre Colonnello Valerio, whose real identity was Walter Audisio. Mussolini was killed two days before Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide. The RSI only survived for another four days before Mussolini’s defence minister, Rodolfo Graziani–the lone Italian marshal who remained loyal to Fascism after 1943–surrendered its remains on 1 May.
On 29 April 1945, the bodies of Mussolini, Petacci, and the other executed Fascists were loaded into a van and moved south to Milan. At 3:00 a.m., the corpses were dumped on the ground in the old Piazzale Loreto. The piazza had been renamed “Piazza Quindici Martiri” (Fifteen Martyrs’ Square) in honor of fifteen Italian partisans recently executed there.
After being kicked and spat upon, the bodies were hung upside down from the roof of an Esso gas station. The bodies were then stoned from below by civilians. This was done both to discourage any Fascists from continuing the fight, and as an act of revenge for the hanging of many partisans in the same place by Axis authorities. The corpse of the deposed leader was subject to ridicule and abuse. Fascist loyalist Achille Starace was captured and sentenced to death and then taken to the Piazzale Loreto and shown the body of Mussolini. Starace, who once said of Mussolini “He is a god” (a la Har Har Modi), saluted what was left of his leader just before he was shot. The body of Starace was subsequently hung up next to that of Mussolini.
“Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.”
(PS: Thankfully, India, with its deep society, ancient wisdom and indigenous ways of life in harmony with the immense diversity of nature and the innate diversity of human habitats, cultures and belief systems, love and respect for human dignity, is not Italy. Even Gujarat is not anywhere close to being like Italy.)
So that we can make a new beginning with the Free Earth Alliance working towards our shared purpose of a healthy harmonious and holistic world order.
*GAIA features in today’s newsletter from Dr Mark Trozzi, Co-founder of World Council for Health*
Like oppressed people’s before us, we yearn for justice. It is natural and healthy to want to live in a just and free world. When breathing shallow under the latest dictators’ boots, it can feel like it will never end. Draw solus from history; tyrants lose. Here is a brilliant historic piece by Chanda Vikash on the rise and fall of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
We have a natural desire to live in a just world. As Martin Luther King taught, a loving society requires justice.
“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
It is along these lines, that I ponder great events of justice in our history. Times when the most evil and abusive overlords, were brought to justice. It warms the oppressed heart to think of justice. Justice is the path to freedom. Justice is the cure for covid.
The uprising and liberation of the Romanian people in 1989 from Nicolae Ceausescu brings us hope; so too does the overthrow of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator from 1922 to 1943.
I have been thinking of writing to you about Mussolini for many months. However, the schedule of opposing the covid crimes has been very intense, on many fronts, and I have never found the time to complete this work.
I was very happy today to find that my friend Chandra Vikash from GAIA, the Global Academy of Indigenous Activism in India has been inspired on this subject, and has written an excellent article about Mussolini that speaks to our times, our cries for justice, and the struggle against modern day covid-agenda dictators, like Trudeau.
Thanks to Chandra for creating this concise insightful historical article and sharing it with us.