- List of Contributors
- The Ideological Origins of Fascism before 1914
- The First World War as Cultural Trauma
- The First World War as Totality
- The Aftermath of War
- Culture and Intellectuals
- The Peasant Experience under Italian Fascism
- Corporatism and the Economic Order
- Fascism and Catholicism
- Propaganda and Youth
- Women in Mussolini's Italy, 1922–1945
- Crime and Repression
- Fascism and War
- Dictators Strong or Weak?: The Model Of Benito Mussolini
- State and Society: Italy and Germany Compared
- Diplomacy and World War: The (First) Axis of Evil
- Communism: Fascism's ‘Other’?
- Yugoslavia and its Successor States
- The Netherlands
- Britain and its Empire
- Comparisons and Definitions
- Memory and Representations of Fascism in Germany and Italy
Abstract and Keywords
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.
Davide Rodogno is an Academic Fellow at the School of History, University of St Andrews. His publications include Against Atrocity: Humanitarian Interventions in the Ottoman Empire (1815–1914) (tentative title, forthcoming), Fascism's European Empire (Cambridge, 2006), ‘Réflexions liminaires à propos des interventions humanitaires des puissances européennes au dix-neuvième siècle’, Relations internationales, 131 (2007), and ‘La Politique des occupants italiens à l'égard des Juifs en France métropolitaine: humanisme ou pragmatisme?’, Vingtième Siècle, 93 (January-March 2007).
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