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100 Years ago....

Mussolini becomoes "Il Duce" of Fascists

Nov 7, 1921

Benito Mussolini, the blacksmith's son from poverty-stricken Romagna, has declared himself Il Duce, leader of the National Fascist Party. Formerly a Socialist and editor of the Milan Socialist Party's newspaper, Avanti, before the war, the square-jawed Mussolini is now violently opposed to Socialism.

He supported the poet-airman D'Annunzio's occupation of Fiume and has played the nationalist card with the Italian business community. The businessmen, frightened by the formation of the Italian Communist Party last year, and the wave of Communist-led strikes, have been generously funding the Fascists. Mussolini has responded by sending in his black-shirted Squadristi to beat up Bolsheviks, and break strikes.

The Fascists have become known in political circles as an expression of the "radicalism of the right" which subordinates individual liberty to the state. Thirty-five Fascists were elected to Parliarment this year. It seems certain Il Duce's power will grow.

Article from "Chronicle of the 20th Century" ISBN 1 872031 80 3

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