As a child Mussolini was restless, disobedient, unruly, and aggressive. He was also intelligent, and he passed his final examinations without difficulty.
At the age of 19 he moved to Switzerland without a cent to his name.
He began to gain a reputation as a political journalist and as a public speaker.
During this time he was arrested several times, by the time he returned to Italy in 1904, even the Roman newspapers were starting to mention him.
He returned to trade-union work, to journalism, and to extreme politics.
Shortly before his fifth arrest Mussolini married Rachele Guidi, the youngest daughter of his father mistress.
The Birth of Fascism
Mussolini soon began to get involved with socialism, he began his own socialist paper: La Lotta di Classe (the Classic Struggle). In 1912 he became the editor of Avanti! (Forward!).
He strongly disagreed with Italy entering World War I.
Swayed by Karl Marx’s aphorism that social revolution usually follows war and other ideas, Mussolini entire political ideals changed.
He then assumed the editorship of Il Popolo d’Italia (The people of Italy), where he stated his new philosophy: “From today onward we are all Italian and nothing but Italians. Now that steel has met steel, one single cry comes from out hearts –Viva l’Italia [long live Italy!]” And so Fascism was born.
Mussolini went to fight in World War I and was recognized for his efforts.
The Doctrine of Fascism
Published in 1932 and written by Benito Mussolini
Basically Mussolini’s written reform of Socialism and the blueprints of Italy’s government and society during Mussolini’s reign.
Described a very military-based government and explained that Mussolini did not believe in peace, only war.
Mussolini noticed flaws in his design and attempted to destroy the document… He failed at doing so.
The Fascist Decalogue
1. Know that the Fascist and in particular the soldier, must not believe in perpetual peace.
2. Days of imprisonment are always deserved.
3. The nation serves even as a sentinel over a can of petrol.
4. A companion must be a brother, first, because he lives with you, and secondly because he thinks like you.
5. The rifle and the cartridge belt, and the rest, are confided to you not to rust in leisure, but to be preserved in war.
6. Do not ever say "The Government will pay . . . " because it is you who pay; and the Government is that which you willed to have, and for which you put on a uniform.
7. Discipline is the soul of armies; without it there are no soldiers, only confusion and defeat.
8. Mussolini is always right.
9. For a volunteer there are no extenuating circumstances when he is disobedient.
10. One thing must be dear to you above all: the life of the Duce.
The End of Mussolini
Led to the Death of Democracy in Italy
Italy joined WWII on the side of Germany
The US joined the war against Italy in order to support democracy
Italy switched sides to the Allies when Mussolini died