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Totalitarianism and Fascism
I. “Totalitarianism” and “fascism:”
A. “Totalitarianism”:
1. A totalitarian governmental regime is a __________________ that aspires, with a great
degree of success, to control the __________________, values, and behavior of
__________________; and all phases of political, social, and __________________ life
and __________________.
2. Totalitarianism requires both
a. a highly developed __________________, as well as
b. __________________ (e.g., radio and film media for __________________,
efficient transportation for mobilization, and giant __________________ for easy
control by the __________________). There have therefore been totalitarian
governments only in the __________________ Century. These were Nazi
__________________ and the __________________.
3. These totalitarian regimes provided a total __________________. Like traditional
__________________, this ideology offered:
a. a complete story of __________________: past glories and defeats, present
__________________, and future __________________;
b. a clear set of absolute __________________ (good vs. evil in Nietzsche’s
c. a sense of belonging to a great __________________; this was especially
appealing to the isolated and alienated individuals of __________________
In short, totalitarianism eases people’s __________________ of weakness and the
B. “Fascism”:
There are 2 senses of “fascism”: one narrow and one broad:
1. “Fascism” in the narrow sense refers to the rightist political movement that governed
__________________ as a dictatorship during the period 1922-1943. It gets its name
from the fact that in 1919 their leader, Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) began using the
fasces – a bundle of __________________ bound with a red cord that had been used in
ancient __________________ as a symbol of authority – as a symbol of his movement.
2. “Fascism” in a broad sense also includes Nazi __________________ (1933-1945),
since in both cases power was wielded exclusively by a single, popular, and charismatic
__________________ (= “Duce” in Italian; “Führer” in German).
C. Totalitarianism and fascism compared and contrasted:
1. Totalitarianism and fascism:
a. Both are authoritarian, since the dictator’s or Party’s __________________ are
what rule, instead of free and rational __________________ (e.g., through parliament
or __________________).
b. Both are also absolutist, since they allow no limits on the __________________ of
the dictator or the Party.
c. Both are against liberal __________________ (e.g., civil rights) and
__________________ (e.g., effective parliaments or voting).
2. Unlike Soviet totalitarianism, German and Italian fascism was also opposed to
__________________. Whereas Marxism was an __________________ movement,
based on an economic class (the proletariat); fascism was a __________________
movement, based on the notion of a people (linked by race or culture).
II. The rise of fascism in Italy:
Italy immediately after WWI:
After WWI, Italy was ruled by a weak __________________ government.
Italy’s __________________ was in shambles: food shortages, inflation, and
Italian landowners and industrialists feared a __________________ revolution, as had
happened in __________________ in 1917.
Italians felt that they had __________________ much during WWI, but gained little in
return from the Peace of __________________.
1919: Mussolini, a WWI veteran, organizes the Fascist party, with its own militia of
“__________________ Shirts” to combat the socialist “__________________ Shirts”.
Mussolini’s Fascist party was supported by:
Italian landowners and industrialists, who supplied __________________;
military __________________, who thought Mussolini would increase Italy’s military
the lower-middle class, who feared the power the __________________ promised to
factory workers;
intellectuals and university students, who were attracted to Mussolini’s promise of
October 1922: Mussolini’s Fascists march on __________________, demanding power, even
though they had only 35 of 535 seats in parliament. The weak liberal King Victor Emmanuel III
appoints Mussolini __________________ to __________________ them.
1925-6: Mussolini eliminates non-Fascists from his __________________, dissolves opposition
__________________ and trade unions, censors the __________________, puts Fascists in local
government, and organizes a __________________ secret police.
- Once firmly in power, Mussolini used the __________________ to convey an image of
himself as a macho leader who would restore the glory of the __________________
Empire to Italy.
- In order to make Italy self-sufficient (in case of war), Mussolini
- launched the “battle of __________________” to increase the wheat crop;
- limited the import of __________________ goods, which increased the profits
for Italian industrialists.
1929: the Lateran Accords recognize the independence of __________________ City, and made
__________________ instruction mandatory in all secondary schools. This was Mussolini’s
attempt to secure the support of the ultra__________________ Pope Pius XI (r. 1922-29), and
thus to improve Mussolini’s image among __________________.