1990s >> 1993 >> no-1068-august-1993

50 Years Ago: The Rise and Fall of Mussolini

One myth about Mussolini, still held by many who denounce him, is that he was the creator of modern Italy, the inspired and dynamic leader who moulded events to his will and took power by a brilliant and forcible “march on Rome” in October 1922. Mr. Bernard Shaw is an outstanding believer in the “great man” myth. If it were true that the great man could so mould events to his will, why the undignified and craven exit from power? Mussolini’s path to power was not through any bold and godlike masterstroke, but through the connivance and desire of those who had control of the political machine in Italy in 1922. Is it not related how General Badoglio offered at the time to “scatter this Blackshirt rabble with a whiff of grapeshot”, only to be ordered by the King of Italy to let the rabble take office?

[From article in Socialist Standard, August 1943.]