The Heirs Of Il Duce
A century has passed since Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (July 29, 1883 – April 28, 1945) ascended to power in 1922. The March on Rome took place on October 31 that year, as General Mussolini, along with his troops, marched towards the capital of Italy. Soon after that event, King Victor Emmanuel III (Vittorio Emanuele Ferdinando Maria Gennaro di Savoia; November 11, 1869 – December 28, 1947) accepted the 33-year-old Mussolini as the Prime Minister of his country. Twenty-six months later (in January 1925), Mussolini took complete control of the Southern European nation through mass extermination and brutality. He proudly described the system, established by him, as a Totalitarian State. He further claimed that the actual birthday of his reign was October 28, the day when he had launched the March on Rome in 1922. Mussolini celebrated the third anniversary of the Fascist Revolution in a grand style on this day in 1925. The day was observed in Italy for the next 20 years.
Those two decades are memorable in the History of Italy, as well as in Global History. Mussolini’s Fascist Italy used to control all aspects of the Civil Society by destroying the Fundamental Rights of the common people and transforming them into mere puppets, during this period. In the next two decades, the Fascists dragged the inhabitants of their country and colonies through a period of terrible times that culminated into the Second World War. The Grand Council, led by the King, triggered the fall of the Il Duce (Mussolini) in 1943, as the dictator was arrested because of a hasty decision of the Council during the Second World War.
Mussolini reportedly installed his propaganda machinery after the March on Rome. The Duce forced his countrymen to accept his absolute authority, as well as legacy, which Nazi Germany bore later. In fact, the culture of constant display of Il Duce‘s images at public places was a prominent contribution of Fascist Italy. In modern times, many authoritarian leaders follow Mussolini’s methods in various countries, and get success to an extent.
History is not confined only to textbooks; otherwise, it would be considered as a subject only. One should not consider History only as events of the past. History revisits us… sometimes as tragedy, and sometimes as horrific experiences. Hence, the importance of learning something from History is immense. In recent times, the return of Authoritarianism, riding on the sentiment of narrow Nationalism, has been witnessed in many countries.
After swearing in as the Prime Minister of Italy on October 22, 2022, Giorgia Meloni hinted that she would try to make her country a Totalitarian State, once again. It may be noted that Meloni (45) is the first woman Prime Minister and first Far-Right Premier (since the end of Second World War) of Italy. She is, seemingly, the biggest supporter of Mussolini in her country in the post-Second World War era. One of the eminent leaders of Meloni’s Brothers of Italy Party has said: “We are all heirs of Il Duce.“
The Global Community is eagerly waiting to see how these so-called heirs of Mussolini would influence public life in Italy in the coming years. In other places of the world, Authoritarian Regimes have already made the lives of common people miserable through intolerance and repression. The State has become a symbol of terror to minorities, marginalised groups and communities. The State-sponsored terror continues to grow, almost unopposed. In a sense, Fascism has returned in the 21st Century. Hence, discussions on History have become necessary in order to understand how the terrible crisis of humanity drags civilisation into the darkness.
May that message be resounded once again in the centenary of the Mussolini Regime.
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