Hello, it’s your friendly neighborhood last minute sweeper here to comment on the discussions this week regarding the Italian Fascist state.
Now, the first responders have pretty accurately summed up both the similarities and differences between different fascist states (notably Italy and Germany). Of course, there are many similarities, and there is no doubt that the rise of Mussolini influenced the Nazis. The circumstances were also similar, with the population being so desperate to regain a sense of belonging and nationalistic pride that they were willing to give up freedoms and overlook (and participate in) violence. However, I think this also points to one of the reasons why they differ.
We should not be lulled into thinking that Italian fascism was “nicer” than German fascism. Rather, due to the nationalism being the core of fascist ideology, the form fascism takes will vary depending on the country. They may turn to fascism due to a similar sense of desperation, but each country has a different past, different problems, different resources, different social views, etc. It is only natural that the focus of each fascist regime reflects that. As others have pointed out, Italy was certainly not “nice” in Ethiopia. However, their anti-Semitic policies were not as extreme as Germany because that was less of a concern for them.
I think this is something to keep in mind for future weeks. While Italy might have made the blueprint for future fascist states, these new states can never be direct copies of Italy, or the Nazis, or any other previous fascist regime due to the uniquely nationalistic core of its ideologies.