Fascism and War

Davide Rodogno

in The Oxford Handbook of Fascism

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199594788
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Fascism and War

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This article explores Benito Mussolini's view on fascism and war. War had an essential place in Mussolini's worldview, even before he came to power in 1922. After this, Mussolini showed some realism and opportunism in domestic and foreign policy, but he was first and foremost driven by an ultranationalist, racist, militarist, and Social Darwinist worldview which rested on the fundamental assumption that life is a struggle and war the father of all things. Mussolini believed the twentieth century to be the century of Italy. He failed to assemble his ideas into an all-embracing intellectual system; however, he possessed a sufficiently articulated and coherent worldview, the essence of which was that the nation would be made through war and territorial expansion. Racism was the most radical part of the fascist project to transform Italians into a warrior race.

Keywords: Benito Mussolini; Italian nationalists; territorial expansion; racism; Fascist Italy

Article.  9860 words. 

Subjects: History ; Military History

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