Mussolini first used the term ‘totalitarian’ publicly in his speech to the PNF’s national congress in June 1925. He spoke of Fascism applying its ‘ferocious totalitarian will’ to the remnants of opposition and to the ‘fascistisation’ of the nation so that ‘tomorrow Italian and Fascist, rather like Italian and catholic, mean the same thing’.1 This usage corresponded to the earlier coining of the term by anti-Fascists lamenting Fascism’s desire not only to defeat but to destroy its opponents and monopolise power. It hence referred also to the explicitly ‘totalitarian’ drift of provincial squadrism and syndicates from 1921 to 1922 to eliminate all political opposition and ensure party control of all aspects of life. The operation of party rule under the ras was ‘totalitarian’ even before the term was officially formulated. As we shall see, the provincial party extremists revived all the themes of 1923 ‘intransigence’ during 1925, when they attempted to generalise and formalise their experience as the basis of the new Fascist system.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- The Construction of the ‘Totalitarian’ State, 1925–29
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number