What Is Fascism?
This article is excerpted from As We Go Marching, part
1, chapter 10. An MP3 audio file of this article, read by Dr.
Floy Lilley, is available
Mussolini became premier in October 1922. With the innumerable
arguments about the march on Rome or with the story of the violent,
lawless, and outrageous tactics he used to come to power we are
not concerned here. That history has been told many times. Our business
is to see the use he made of his power to fashion a new form of
He did not have a majority in parliament. He had to form a coalition
cabinet which included a moderate socialist and a member of the
Popolari. Some liberal politicians saw the hope of a stable government
and the General Confederation of Labor (socialist) agreed to collaborate.
Mussolini, of course, began to move toward dictatorship. But the
full dictatorship did not come until 1925, after the assassination
We will now see the elements of the fascist society emerge
point by point. First we must note one important difference between
Communism and Fascism which becomes clear here. Socialism has a
definite philosophy, based upon clearly enunciated principles which
had long been debated and were widely understood. Socialists disagreed
among themselves on certain points and upon programs of action.
But socialism as a system of social structure with an organized
body of doctrine was well understood. This was not true of Fascism.
Whether it was capitalist or anticapitalist, labor or antilabor,
no one could say until the leaders themselves decided upon a course
of action. It was improvised as the movement went along. Therefore
we cannot define Fascism as a movement committed to the collection
of principles enunciated in its formal proclamation of principles
and objectives the Eleven Points of San Sepolcro. Mussolini,
being in pursuit of power, made that objective the mold by which
his policies were formed. Behold now the erection of the great Fascist
the rest of the article
Flynn (18821964) was an outspoken critic of the Roosevelt
administration's domestic and foreign policy decisions, opposing
both the New Deal and the Second World War. As Mises Institute senior
Raico described Flynn in his introduction to the 50th anniversary
edition of The
Roosevelt Myth, "There is little doubt that the best informed
and most tenacious of the Old Right foes of Franklin Roosevelt was
John T. Flynn."
© 2008 Mises Institute