Saturday, March 3, 2018

Mussolini's Rise to Power

It is an article of faith to progressives that Mussolini and Hitler seized power; neither were the result of democracy gone bad.  Of course,  both did.  To deal with one of these progressives who "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" commenters, I dug around a bit for information about the March on Rome, which even well-educated sorts imagine was a coup d'etat:
The Blackshirts did not seize Rome; Mussolini came to power legally, heading a normal multiparty parliamentary coalition.  He was prime minister and also head the portfolio of foreign affairs, but only three of the other thirteen cabinet members were Fascists.[Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism: 1914-1945, 110]
Mussolini was appointed prime minister in an essentially constitutional way, but in deference to the rank and file a 'victory' parade of squadristi was held through the streets of Rome in order to foster the illusion of a coup d'etat. [Christopher Duggan, A Concise History of Italy, 207.]
To be fair, this was the illusion that I learned in the lower grades as well; a seizure of power.

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