Fifty-seven years after he was shot dead by Italian partisans while trying to flee the country and strung upside-down in a piazza in Milan, Italy's shame about its vanquished World War II ruler is yielding to the curiosity and fascination of generations born since.
he originated an economic system – economic fascism – that was acclaimed in his heyday, influenced U.S. economic policy during the 1930s, and is surprisingly similar to some of President Obama’s policies.
He took with him no obvious skills and he was forced to live rough. He got involved with some Italian socialists who worked in Switzerland, got employment as a bricklayer and joined a trade union. He got expelled from Switzerland in 1903 when he suggested a general strike – a very revolutionary idea then.
By the end of 1941 Italy was totally dependent on Nazi Germany.
Hitler personally ordered a mission to get Mussolini out of prison, and after German commandos freed him in a daring raid, Il Duce led the Italian republic in areas outside Allied control.
World War I left the Italian economy in chaos – runaway spending, high taxes, budget deficits, war debts, inflation and unemployment. Mussolini recognized that he probably wouldn’t be able to retain power very long if the chaos continued.
Attempts by the Italian Army to invade Greece ended in failure. The war was also going badly in North Africa. Although outnumbered, General Archibald Wavell ordered a British counter-offensive on 9th December, 1940. The Italians suffered heavy casualties and were pushed back more than 800km
while racial laws passed by Mussolini in 1938 were wrong, it would be too simplistic to condemn fascism as a whole, as an "absolute evil".
He was the founder of fascism, and as a dictator he held absolute power and severely mistreated his citizens and his country. He led Italy into three straight wars, the last of which led to his overthrow by his own people.
Mahatma Gandhi called Mussolini “one of the great statesmen of our time.” In the mid-1920s, Winston Churchill met Mussolini and said: “If I had been Italian, I am sure I would have been with you from the beginning.”
he brought an excellent transportation system on land, air and water that helped to fetch a good economic rate of the country. The efforts he took to bring up the country were so great that there was a significant progress in the growth of the economy of Italy.
By subduing Libya (1922-1932), pacifying Somalia (1923-1927), conquering Ethiopia (1935-1936), helping the Nationalists win the Spanish civil war (1936-1939), and seizing Albania (April 1939), Mussolini made Italy predominant in the Mediterranean-Red Sea region.
Thereafter, Mussolini attacked the workers and spilled their blood over Italy. It was the complete opposite of his early views of socialism.
In March 1919, Mussolini formed the Fascist Party, galvanising the support of many unemployed war veterans. He organised them into armed squads known as Black Shirts, who terrorised their political opponents.
The form of government most productive of human happiness up to these times has been that vested in a strong and benevolent central authority. This system has met the tests and has come through them with greater achievement than any other form.
Mussolini decided his destiny was to rule Italy as a modern Caesar and re-create the Roman Empire. He forged the paramilitary Fascist movement in 1919-1921, using it to march on Rome, become prime minister, and then to seize dictatorial power
The "Duce of Fascism" ruled Italy from the time of his election as Italian Prime Minister in 1922 until he was deposed and imprisoned by the Grand Council of Fascism in 1943 as the Allies invaded Italy.