Magazine article The New American

Ideological, Bedfellows: College Professors and the Media Tell Us That There Are Right-Wing Totalitarians and There Are Left-Wing Totalitarians, but Is This an Accurate Assessment?

Magazine article The New American

Ideological, Bedfellows: College Professors and the Media Tell Us That There Are Right-Wing Totalitarians and There Are Left-Wing Totalitarians, but Is This an Accurate Assessment?

Article excerpt


Benito Mussolini has an infamous place in modern history, as well he should. Nearly everyone knows Mussolini as the dictator of Fascist Italy and the ally of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. But that is only part of the story. Mussolini began his political career as an avowed Marxist (defined as the atheist philosophy which holds that capitalism is bad because it enriches a few capitalists to the detriment of masses of laborers and that laborers should take control of all means of production--in order, in theory though not in practice, to be fair to the masses). Mussolini was not just a leading leftist in Italy, he was one of the most important communists in the world (communism is here defined as a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy, and a single, often authoritarian party, holds power--in order, in theory, to be fair and spread all goods equally amongst the people).

In 1914, Mussolini organized "Red Week," which was aimed at causing a violent revolution against the corrupt capitalist world. The very name "Duce" (an Italian word for leader) was given to him at a banquet hosted by Marxists after his release from prison for protesting the "imperialist" Italian war in Libya, at which one veteran socialist said: "From today you, Benito, are not only the representative of Romagna Socialists, but the Duce of all revolutionary Socialists in Italy!"

After the First World War began, Mussolini worked hard to get Italy to join the side of Britain and France. He succeeded. After the war, Fascism began to grow into a serious political movement in Italy, with Benito at its head. Hitler admired Mussolini intensely and considered Fascism in Italy to be a precursor to National Socialism in Germany. Mussolini brought Fascist Italy into the Second World War as an ally of Nazi Germany about the time that the Nazis defeated France in mid-1940.

Italy surrendered to the Allied Powers in 1943 and ousted Il Duce. But that is not the end of the biography of Benito Mussolini. Hitler had him rescued and set Mussolini up as the head of a puppet state in northern Italy, the Italian Socialist Republic. The constitution of this odd polity was written by Nicola Bombacci, a communist and a friend of Lenin. In February 1944, the Socialist Republic issued a "Legislative Decree for the Socialization of Enterprises" that provided that all enterprises with capital of over one million lire or employing more than a hundred persons would be run by a committee composed of an equal number of management and workers. After that it moved even more radically to the Left. In 1944, Mussolini praised Stalin and said that if he had to choose which nation should dominate Europe, it would be the Soviet Union. Both Mussolini and the movement he led were left-wing at their inception and even more left-wing extremist in the end.

Yet Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, claims:

   The terms extreme right or ultra right
   are used by some scholars to discuss
   only those right-wing political
   groups that step outside the boundaries
   of traditional electoral politics.
   This generally includes the revolutionary
   right, militant racial supremacists
   and religious extremists, ricofascists,
   neo-Nazis and Klansmen.
   In this usage, the terms are distinct
   from other forms of right-wing politics
   such as the less-militant sectors
   of the far right, right-wing populists.

Though this definition, which includes fascists and Nazis, is accepted and promulgated by media and educators, how does this fit into any rational system of understanding political ideology? It does not, of course, but whenever any group displays any activity that does not adhere to a politically correct agenda, and can be pronounced by liberals as being racist, sexist, bigoted, or intolerant--whether this description is accurate or not--the group is deemed "right-wing. …

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