The word ‘Fascism’ has been derived from the word ‘fascio’ which means union or league. In Fascism, the power of the state is vested in one man only and others have to obey his orders. Fascism, which emerged in Italy, was anti-nationalist, anti-communist, and anti-democratic.
Aims of Fascism
- Fascists did not believe in democracy; according to fascists, democracy widens the gulf between the rich and the poor.
- Fascists supported one party and one leader as they felt that the country could make progress only under one leader.
- Fascists wanted to control all the sections of society such as capitalists, industrialists, workers, artisans and peasants.
- Fascism laid stress on nationalism and not on individual institutions. The Fasces was a bundle of sticks bound to an axe. The Fascists referred to this ancient Roman symbol of power.
- Fascists favoured aggressive nationalist policies.
Impact of Fascism
Positive impact of Fascist Rule:
- Mussolini carried out several administrative and economic reforms to strengthen Italy. He also took numerous measures to stop the devaluation of the currency. He expanded agriculture and set up many hydroelectric power plants to overcome the shortage of coal.
- He took several steps to reduce unemployment. Factories and mills were nationalized and syndicates were established to improve relations between the capitalists and the workers. He also improved the transport system in Italy.
- Many new schools, colleges and libraries were set up to eradicate illiteracy.
- Measures were taken to increase the military might of the country. Military training was made compulsory and efforts were taken to improve the naval powers of Italy.
- A pact was signed between Mussolini and the pope. The pope agreed to take a subordinate position and recognize the government formed by Mussolini. The latter recognized Roman Catholicism as the state religion.
Negative impact of Fascist Rule:
- All political freedoms of the people were curbed.
- Italy became a dictatorial state, and all civil and military powers were centred in Mussolini’s hands.
- All political parties except the Fascists were banned.
- Press was censored and freedom of speech was denied to the people.
- Mussolini crushed all his opponents.
Also, Read Rise of Dictatorship