First response: Fascismo e violenza

The prime principles of fascism is systematic violence against an enemy. This ideology manifested itself circa 1920’s Italy, where Benito Mussolini took control of the country as an authoritarian leader. As mentioned in his doctrines,

War alone maximizes to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it”.

As a counter-resistance to Socialism and Liberalism, the rise of fascism as an ideology was defined by Mussolini through action rather than theory or principle. This idea of being able to act, rather than just theorizing concepts of war and conflict, allow for leaders like Mussolini to mobilize quickly.

The Italians were able to find national unity in the demographic colonization of Ethiopia. The examples given in the Ben-Ghiat chapter which include the obvious racism against Ethiopians and sexual exploitation of women demonstrate the ability under fascist regimes to act swiftly and place these violent  principles into action, and as a unifying factor in their [Italy’s] state building.

What is most interesting about this principle of structured violence within a political theory is that while Italian fascism is the first concrete example, it is but the first example of many. Finchelstein makes reference to many examples in Asia, the Middle East and South America, as well as the infamous Nazism, as German fascism. The transnational aspect of this ideology shows the universality, especially historically, in violence as a means of identity, action, and legitimate justice. In each country example, while there are different ends, the means of consolidating power through violence is still the same.


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