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100 years ago: Mussolini ensures victory

12 April 2024

April 11th, 1924.

THE Italian general election has given Signor Mussolini a sweeping majority. As a special law was passed to bring this about, it would have been surprising if anything else had happened. Signor Mussolini is as open an enemy to democracy as was Lenin. He has scoffed at nineteenth-century Liberalism, and he can claim success for his virtual autocracy. Order reigns in Italy, thanks to his iron hand, and national prosperity is gradually being restored. It is doubtful, indeed, whether democratic government, as it is understood in English-speaking countries, is a universal ideal. Certainly a democratic government in Italy led to a corruption of politics almost equal to that which permanently exists in certain of the South American republics. Signor Mussolini’s Government is at least honest. It holds position, however, only by the ruthless repression of its opponents, whose meetings have been broken up and who have been prevented from anything like political propaganda. With all this, in certain districts of the north the opposition parties, and particularly the Catholic popularists, have polled many more votes at the election than the Fascisti. Fascism exists perhaps as long as Mussolini exists. When he dies, or his strength fails, it will assuredly die. And what then?

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