Benito Mussolini was an Italian dictator who founded Fascism. His family was poor, because of which, Mussolini thought of himself as the 'man of the people'. As a teenager, he moved to Switzerland to escape poverty. After coming back to Italy, he married Rachele Guidi. He became an editor for the socialist newspaper 'Avanti'. However, he drifted from his belief in socialism to join the World War I. His object behind this move was the desire to cause the fall of France. In 1915, he joined the Italian army. After coming back from war, he formed a fascist party that opposed communism and had the support of veterans who were out of work.
Prime Minister Luigi Facta, refused to give Mussolini a seat in the government. Later, Facta resigned, and Mussolini formed the Nationalist Fascist Party. Mussolini became a dictator and called himself 'Il Duce'. He tried to avoid coalitions and blocs. Subsequently, a politician, Giacomo Matteotti, was killed and Mussolini had to distance himself from those accused. Mussolini suppressed the freedom of the press.
He aided the rebels in Spain because he did not want a communist government in Spain. France and Britain also feared Italy. In 1939, Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia) united with Germany. Thereafter, Germany had a disagreement with Poland. At first, Italy remained neutral, but then, Italy became an ally of Germany. Halfway through the war, Mussolini resigned, and Italy declared peace with the Allies. Mussolini was jailed but was soon rescued by the German soldiers. In 1945, Mussolini tried to run away to Switzerland, but was caught and killed by anti-Fascist Italians.
The following are some quotes made by Mussolini:
"Thirty centuries of history allow us to look with supreme pity on certain doctrines which are preached beyond the Alps by the descendants of those who were illiterate when Rome had Caesar, Virgil, and Augustus." This was Mussolini's early opinion of German national socialism.
"The League is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out." - Mussolini's comment on the League of Nations.
"All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." This was Mussolini commenting on totalitarianism.
"The truth is that men are tired of liberty." Mussolini wrote this, in an article he contributed to the April edition of the review, Gerarchia.
"Blood alone moves the wheels of history." A quote from a speech by Mussolini on December 13, 1914.
"The Italian proletariat needs a blood bath for it force to be renewed." Quoted from an editorial that Mussolini wrote for the Popolo d'Italia in 1920.
"We affirm that the true story of capitalism is now beginning, because capitalism is not a system of oppression only, but is also a selection of values, a coordination of hierarchies, a more amply developed sense of individual responsibility." This was an excerpt from a speech made by Mussolini, on July 21, 1921.
"What is liberty? There is no such thing as absolute liberty!"
"Let us have a dagger between our teeth, a bomb in our hands, and an infinite scorn in our hearts."
"Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice, it is a fallacy." Mussolini said this immortal statement to Edwin L James, of the New York Times, in 1928.
"Fortunately the Italian people is not habituated to eating several times a day." These are Mussolini's words, extracted from his speech at the Chamber of Deputies meeting, on December 12, 1930.
"It is the State which educates its citizens in civic virtue, gives them a consciousness of their mission and welds them into unity."
"Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity, quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace."
"I don't like the look of him." Mussolini said this to his aide, after his first encounter with Hitler in 1934.
"Shoot me in the chest." These were Mussolini's last words before getting killed on April 28, 1945.
Mussolini was a famous and equally infamous war leader known to man. Let us be optimistic, that fewer people of his kind live on this earth.