Girard and the Cathedral analysis

At root, the Cathedral concept is an attempt to articulate the behavior of crowds, individuals and groups in relation to power incentives and logical imperatives of their positions within society. The concepts is perpetually misunderstood by those who see it as a scapegoat mechanism in competition with other scapegoat mechanisms, but this is understandable. The concept also faces risk through the application of Liberal, or rather Rationalist conceptions of anthropology, as demonstrated in the form of such things as social contract theory and modern economic theory.

The work of Rene Girard has recently come into my focus, and it’s applicability to Cathedral analysis is quite extraordinary. For those unfamiliar with Girard, the central thesis of his works appears to be that human society prior to Christianity operated on a sacrificial basis to maintain large scale societies. The sacrificial system operated in such a way as to redirect all interpersonal mimetic conflict onto a single victim which had a cathartic effect on society, allowing a form of social bonding to occur. This premise is based upon the massively valuable insight that desire is mimetic, and not internally generated.We take our desires from others – this is as far from the base of Rationalism and Liberalism as is possible.

Girard exegesis of the bible, and in particular the Passion, is that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is an exposure of the nature of this sacrificial mechanism; and a rejection of it.This makes the Passion, and the Bible in which this rejection of the sacrificial victim of Paganism is repeated, a work of eminently valuable anthropology. The Bible thus demonstrates an understanding of humans that is exceptional. It also indicates that the Bible has been largely misunderstood for a long time – it is concerned with human anthropology and the actions of crowds, and societal formation.

The ramifications of these observations from the angle of the Cathedral analysis are that, as noted by Girard, society has reverted to a Pagan state in which care is not taken to reject the scapegoat mechanism, it is instead embraced, and a look at political theory will confirm this. One egregrious example of this can be seen in the work of Schmitt (who had a tendency of making Liberalism explicit,) and it is no wonder Girard trained his criticism on the Nazi regimes, Communist regimes and the Liberal regimes. Schmitt’s Concept of the Political is surely, if nothing else, the scapegoat mechanism with the enemy as the designated scapegoat which maintains the coherence of society against it.It is an example of what I believe Girard would note is Liberalism Pagan nature from a Girardian perspective (and do note, that Schmitt’s theory derives from Hobbes, so is very much within the Liberal scope.)

This scapegoat mechanism as a means of group coherence takes on added relevance when the analysis of De Jouvenel is put back into the Cathedral analysis from which it has been kept out for too long. What is the coherence of the left but as mass of people centered around the continual scapegoating of order and those who represent order? this is the central organizing principle of the high-low mechanism which binds the high and the low in union. “Racism,” proscriptions, duties, and now in a final act – Christianity in the form of rejection of the sacrificial mechanism. This mechanism has no rational actors who can stop it now, there is only power when you are part of the mob heaping stones at order, you go to the other side and receive the stones if you try to reverse course.

This final inversion of the care for the victim that is central to the Girardian interpretation of Christianity is an utterly delicious irony, and is a logical conclusion of the Phariseeism that is ingrained within the High-low mechanism. It is perpetual revolution held together by “being against” the enemy. It is a formidable distributed conspiracy, and the Cathedral analysis is a formidable criticism of mass movement mindless pagan Liberalism.

Those who think Liberalism can be redirected and salvaged in some form, fail to understand the fundamental problem of Liberalism – it has no coherent capability for rational actors to act in a multi-directional way – it is a ratchet. The only way forward is to conceive of some way in which Liberalism is removed root and branch, and a sovereign organisation is instituted that is built to manage human nature and societies with an understanding of human anthropology which Liberalism categorically does not possess. Moldbug was working towards that with the Patchwork conception which is utterly dependent on the sovereign entities being based upon a total rejection of mass movement politics and Liberalism. It has serious flaws, not least of which is the lingering Liberal influence, which is likely why we hear little more of it post 2009, but it was a start.


Anglo suicide

“During the course of their ‘studies’, The Round Table members hit upon what they claimed to be the distinctive feature of the British Empire: that it was a ‘Commonwealth’, committed to increasing self-government and equality amongst its members.

The new emphasis led to a change in the journal’s sub-title in 1919, to ‘A Quarterly Review of the Politics of the British Commonwealth’. (It became ‘A Quarterly Review of British Commonwealth Affairs’ in 1948, ‘A Quarterly Review of Commonwealth Affairs’ in 1966, and ‘The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs’ in 1983.) It also led to The Round Table‘s support for and involvement in moves towards increasing self-government in the empire— notably in connection with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the Indian reforms of 1919 and 1935.

The Round Table was the mouthpiece for the British elite. They had decided to go full prog a long time ago, and suicide was baked into the plan.

“If an international commonwealth built from countries within the British Empire came to include countries in Europe which had never been part of that Empire, the most difficult stage in its growth to a world commonwealth, after its first foundation, would have been crossed. So the British Empire would have done its work and passed into history. …”

Future Plans

In the near future I will be looking to set up a more intellectual site for long form expositions of political theory derived from the theory synthesized by Moldbug. I will be looking for potential contributors who can provide well thought out and detailed analysis of such areas as:

  • The ramifications of rejections of Imperium in Imperio.
  • The necessity of a non-Liberal anthropology, with specific focus on the works of Rene Girard given the affinities of his work with the Cathedral analysis.
  • The works of De Jouvenel and the implications of a society in which unsecure power is not correctly remedied.
  • The flaws of protocol governance.
  • The exposition of the reactionary analysis of right and left corresponding to chaos- order.
  • The necessity of realistic analysis of the capability of the current liberal power structures and power in general to undermine society rendering such concepts as sea steading and exit delusional.
  • The philosophical basis of Liberalism and identification of its fundamental essence, especially in light of its development from Protestantism.
  • Historical analysis of the development of Liberal power structures, with concentration of the works of Carroll Quigley and the role of finance and foundations.

A minimum 5000 word limit will be in place, and I will look to maybe publish sufficiently capable essays on a quarterly basis if possible. I will likely publish them anonymously (no author names.)

Submissions can be sent to my email address –

(please note the two “r”s at the start.)

What is Neoreaction?

This comment here is typical.

““Neoreaction” has been much discussed recently, but what is it?

Neoreaction defines itself more in in terms of what it is opposed to than in terms of what it is in favor of.

Fine. So what is neoreaction against?”

This is followed by:

“Because the origin of neoreaction (blog essays by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Curtis Yarvin and former University of Warwick philosopher Nick Land) focuses more on the problem of democracy than solutions, there are several schools of neoreactionary thought, ranging from the juvenile to the disreputable to the interesting.”

I’ve said repeatedly, that a complete removal of the core of Moldbug from neoreaction is coming. Fine, this leaves Moldbug to my project of taking it forward, whilst neoreaction can embrace the EXACT OPPOSITE of Moldbug’s coherent theory and become outright anarcho-capitalist – with “realism” aka pretty empty and arbitrary Liberalism. Mindless trendy mush.

Yarvin does focus on the solution, but Clark has obviously got poor reading skills. I have been elaborating on this, and am working on bringing the project forward, or at least keeping it alive, but this is impossible within the “Neoreaction” frame, as it is infested with Libertarians, materialists and all other sorts of anti-statist liberals.

If neoreaction is not based on Yarvin and his De Jouvenelian analysis, rejection of Imperium in Imperio, and rejection of Liberlism’s anthropology among other highly interconnected points , then be done with it and leave it to me. You cannot be everything at once. Go Anarcho-capitalism larping where everyone owns a bitcoin robot or something and becomes an Ayn Rand superhero,because it’s not like the central power can’t just take your things by sending in a diversity or harassment co-ordinator. That would be embarrassing.



Exit, “anti-statism” and property

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.


Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 17.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.


Where’s the problem? Exit and unrestrained property?

Decisions to be made

A number of these are overlapping, but they all deserve answering.

Decision number one – Is Imperium in Imperio a solecism or not. There is no middle ground. One direction is modernity and the very basis of Liberalism, the other is not.

Decision number two – Determinism versus non-determinism.

Decisions three -Desires and wants – pre-societal or post-societal?

Decision four – Can pre-defined rules and laws subsume all of reality? yes or no.

Decision five – Limitation of sovereignty results in sovereignty in conflict with society, and subsequently, undermining society. Yes or no.

Decision six – Sovereignty is conserved – someone, or some group of people is always in control ultimately. Yes or no.

Decisions must be made…


Modernity and desire

There is a remarkably connection between the works of both Alaisdair MacIntyre and Rene Girard in relation to the approach to, and rejection of, modernity’s conception of desire and emotions. To understand this major rift, and its implications, one only has to look at modernity’s conception first, and quite frankly modernity is Liberalism.

Modernity’s conception of desire is that it is pre-societal. Desire and emotions are something which emanate from the individual, and society becomes therefore a market place in which negotiation of differing and competing desires is resolved. You can see the predominance of such concepts through the very justifications provided for the state – does not the constitution of America, that beacon of modernity not guarantee the pursuit of happiness? This presumes that what makes the person happy is internally and individually generated does it not? Once you see it, you see it everywhere.

This conception of desire as being internally emanating without influence is seen in the fact-value distinction that riddles modernity, and it is the basis of pretty much all economic theory, despite evidence undermining it quite completely. I have mentioned it before, but it is worth repeating – if desire is internal and sovereign why do we need advertising which provides role models? If the market is just a mechanism for resolving wants and needs, well and good, but if it creates these wants and needs then economic theory is immediately undermined. The simplicity of the error is quite shocking really.

Macintyre dates this conflict between the concept of desire and wants being pre-societal, or post societal, back to the disputes between Plato and the Sophists, writing the following:



So the questions is, are desires, want and emotions pre-societal, or post-societal? If pre-societal, then Liberalism makes some sense. We are all sovereign individuals, the question of why we form into political societies becomes a logical one, and there is a fact-value distinctions in which an objective bedrock of non-societal informed motives and desires (the fact) are discernible, and on which theory can be built which is irrespective of the values of a society (value), these values which then become pretty much empty concepts akin to unscientific bigotry. The reader can surely see how the fact-value distinction is central to Liberalism now.

Rene Girard follows a similar pattern of attack on Liberal Modernity’s conception of the origin of desires and emotions with his mimetic anthropology. In Girard’s understanding following his biblical exegesis, desires are mimetic. We desire what others desire, which makes desires categorically not sovereign and not originating from within. This is totally subversive in relation to modernity.

According to Girard in the very first chapter of ‘I See Satan Fall Like Lightning’ (highlights mine):

In the bible, and especially in the Gospels, there is an original conception of desire and its conflicts that has gone largely unrecognized. In order to grasp how old it is we must go back to the Fall in Genesis or to the second half of the Ten Commandments, which is entirely devoted to prohibiting violence against one’s neighbor.

Commandments six, seven, eight, and nine are both simple and brief. They prohibit the most serious acts of violence in the order of their seriousness:

You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

The tenth and last commandment is distinguished from those preceding it both by its length and its object: in place of prohibiting an act it forbids a desire.

You shall not covet the house of your neighbor. You shall not covet the wife of your neighbor, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything that belongs to him. (Exod. 20:17)

Without being actually wrong the modern translations lead readers down a false trail. The verb “covet” suggests that an uncommon desire is prohibited, a perverse desire reserved for hardened sinners. But the Hebrew term translated as “covet” means just simply “desire.” This is the word that designates the desire of Eve for the prohibited fruit, the desire leading to the original sin. The notion that the Decalogue devotes its supreme commandment, the longest of all, to the prohibition of a marginal desire reserved for a minority is hardly likely. The desire prohibited by the tenth commandment must be the desire of all human beings — in other words, simply desire as such.

If the Decalogue forbids the most widespread desire, doesn’t it then deserve the modern world’s reproach to religious prohibitions? Doesn’t the tenth commandment succumb to that gratuitous itch to prohibit, to that irrational hatred of freedom for which modern thinkers blame religion in general and the Judeo-Christian tradition in particular?

Before condemning prohibitions as needlessly repressive, before espousing the formula rendered famous by the events of May 1968 in France — “Il est interdit d’interdire” [It is forbidden to forbid] — we must pose some questions about the implications of desire as it is defined in the tenth commandment, the desire for the neighbor’s goods. If this desire is the most common of all, what would happen if it were permitted rather than forbidden? There would be perpetual war in the midst of all human groups, subgroups, and families. The door would be wide open to the famous nightmare of Thomas Hobbes, the war of all against all.

If we think that cultural prohibitions are needless, we must adhere to the most excessive individualism, one that presupposes the total autonomy of individuals, that is, the autonomy of their desires. In other words, we must think that humans are naturally inclined not to desire the goods of their neighbors. To understand that this premise is false, all we have to do is to watch two children or two adults who quarrel over some trifle. It is the opposite premise, the only realistic one, that underlies the tenth commandment of the Decalogue: we tend to desire what our neighbor has or what our neighbor desires.

If individuals are naturally inclined to desire what their neighbors possess, or to desire what their neighbors even simply desire, this means that rivalry exists at the very heart of human social relations. This rivalry, if not thwarted, would permanently endanger the harmony and even the survival of all human communities. Rivalistic desires are all the more overwhelming since they reinforce one another. The principle of reciprocal escalation and one-upmanship governs this type of conflict. This phenomenon is so common, so well known to us, and so contrary to our concept of ourselves, thus so humiliating, that we prefer to remove it from consciousness and act as if it did not exist. But all the while we know it does exist. This indifference to the threat of runaway conflict is a luxury that small ancient societies could not afford.

The commandment that prohibits desiring the goods of one’s neighbor attempts to resolve the number one problem of every human community: internal violence.
In reading the tenth commandment one has the impression of being present at the intellectual process of its elaboration. To prevent people from fighting, the lawgiver seeks at first to forbid all the objects about which they ceaselessly fight, and he decides to make a list of these. However, he quickly perceives that the objects are too numerous: he cannot enumerate all of them. So he interrupts himself in the process, gives up focusing on the objects that keep changing anyway, and he turns to what never changes. Or rather, he turns to that one who is always present, the neighbor. One always desires whatever belongs to that one, the neighbor.

Since the objects we should not desire and nevertheless do desire always belong to the neighbor, it is clearly the neighbor who renders them desirable. In the formulation of the prohibition, the neighbor must take the place of the objects, and indeed he does take their place in the last phrase of the sentence that prohibits no longer objects enumerated one by one but “anything that belongs to him [the neighbor].” What the tenth commandment sketches, without defining it explicitly, is a fundamental revolution in the understanding of desire. We assume that desire is objective or subjective, but in reality it rests on a third party who gives value to the objects. This third party is usually the one who is closest, the neighbor. To maintain peace between human beings, it is essential to define prohibitions in light of this extremely significant fact: our neighbor is the model for our desires. This is what I call mimetic desire. (1)


The ramifications if Girard are correct, are profound. What is the holiness spiral of modernity but a process of mimetic desire? Humans operate on a basis of small groups (maybe 150 as per Dunbar) and it is only the near, the neighbour as pointed out by the bible and by Girard that we seek to mimic. Advertising and media make the role models we seek to emulate neighbours through media exposure and in direct contrast to modernity regulate our desires. Politically, as I have mentioned before, Liberalism is premised on providing role models to spread a conception of sovereign desire and emotion which directly contradicts the very basis of the message.

It seems to me, that a fundamental message contained within both MacIntyre and Girard is that desires are not pre-societal, and that subsequently modernity is built on false assumptions. Further to this, modernity’s rejection of a regulation of desires in direct contradiction to all major religions renders it open to what Girard labels runaway mimetic conflict. The only way to stop it is to regulate society with firewalls of reason and understanding that desire needs to be controlled.

What we have instead is the perverse spectacle of a political system which simultaneously promotes the concept of desires being sovereign, and provides the entire edifice to “release” these natural desires from bigotry, whilst simultaneously managing desires through “education.” The revolutionary evil of such a contraption is surely clear to see.

For such a thing to come to pass, there must first have been the falsity of sovereignty of desire, followed by the erection of systems to keep this falsity going, which is what we see with the creation of modernity and it’s development into what is termed the Cathedral. Returning back to falsity in this light is beyond stupid, it is negligent.

If desire is not internal, and not sovereign, then society and governance has a direct and pressing role in generating an ethical state that cultivates and directs those desires towards virtue. It needs to be state which actively engages in cultivating virtue.

Elaboration on the Reactionary summary

I have a permanent page on which I have listed certain points in a reaction programme influenced from the synthesis that was developed by Moldbug in Unqualified Reservations. It would be great if he would step forward and provide this himself, but he never saw fit to do so, and seems unwilling to do so, notwithstanding the Letter to France post.

As far as I am concerned, there is no other outline, or plan which presents a systemic elaboration of reactionary theory. Neoreaction has no chance, having become the Unitarian Universalist church of anti-SJW conservatives. It’s not really anti-democracy, it is not really anti-cathedral, and it refuses to elaborate its core theories, instead like the UU all are acceptable, no matter how incoherent and contradictory.

On a positive note, this leaves Unqualified Reservation wide open. Neoreaction has obviously nothing whatsoever to do with the blog. So, lets begin:

The first point for the theory is that any society which is systematically turned against itself, is one in which chaos will take hold. To place segments of society in the situation in which engaging in conflict with others in society is of benefit to them is recipe for suicide. The thinking of republicans and the avocation of Imperium in imperio is utterly disastrous and based on basic stupidity which has played out over, and over, and over again. Away with it. If you can’t not deal with this, then I don’t care, you are not reactionary in any way shape or form. You have renounced a state.

Following on from this is the realisation that there is a reality external to the political unit which is comprised of events and eventualities that can never be collected and accounted for within a constitution. The concept is preposterous. All limited governance and all constitutionalisms are shams and frauds.

Thirdly, Sovereignty is conserved. This means that at all times, there is always a person or institution which is de facto sovereign. There is no sovereign rule of law, and as such, everything that occurs within the sovereign’s domain is their responsibility through either action or deliberate non-action. Hiding behind shams and frauds, and passing off responsibility to protocols and formulas is appallingly childish behaviour, but it is a signature of anglo political theory based on fantasy.

Fourthly, if sovereignty is conserved, then acknowledging this sovereignty and placing the requisite responsibility and freedom of action with this sovereign so they can engage their judgement in matters is formalism. In non-formal governance, the sovereign in un-secure and unable to engage judgement and multi-direction decision making potentials – they are trapped, and must continue serving the leftward trend or be replaced.

Fifthly, at the basis of all political theory of any value is a genuine understanding of what humans are, and it subsequently deciphers theory accommodating this. All modern political theory has this absolutely backwards, especially liberalism which has formulated a human actor which has no connection to reality, and then sought to bring this human into existence. This has no place in reactionary thought. Humans are hierarchical social creatures that mimic others and can only reach their full flourishing within political entities with ordered goods. The state must be ethical and must direct the population.

Sixth, Society as such, and any functioning state, is united in direction and purpose and must not, and cannot have internal sections of it which have incentives which do not align with the state, and power which threatens the state. Such things are absurd and represent a direct renunciation of the state and a challenge to the state. All ethics, and all actions by actors within the state must be conducted with mind to not only other sub-state actors, but also the state itself. This formally renounces all forms of anarchism, anarcho-capitalism, liberalism, republicanism. Begone with this idiocy.

In conclusion, above all, Liberalism must be removed in total. Not one shred of this cancer can be allowed to remain at all. Any claim that liberalism has been of any value to mankind is pure propaganda and delusion. The claim that the spread of liberty is an unalloyed good is beyond psychotic, and rests on the assertion that somehow political organisation has halted technological development, when evidence shows this to be unsupported. Liberty for a Newton, a Shakespeare or a Vermeer is liberty for them to become what they were capable of – and they had this liberty. Liberty for a criminal, a rapist and a scoundrel is liberty for them to become what they are capable of – and this is all that liberal liberty gives us. Liberalism is acid, it is cancer, it is the most hideous disaster to befall mankind and until it is stopped completely, the disaster will continue its work. Enough of these abstract and contextless values such as liberty, equality and freedom. Enough of the fraud.

More Gentile


I hope my readers were able to finish my last post without fainting, or running off, screaming “Crime think! Crime think!” whilst covering their eyes. If so, then well done, you may be left with some serious question as I am, such as; “But that is not what we were told the Fascist believed, what gives?” or “but that is actually coherent, reasonable and well thought out, and no serious refutation of it has ever been produced, what is going on?” Well Liberal world, where is your refutation? O that’s right:

Italien, Rom, zerstörtes Gebäude

The fate of gentile himself demonstrates what happens when you approach Liberalism (in any of it’s guises) with reason. Take it away Wiki:

“In 1944 a group of anti-fascist partisans, led by Bruno Fanciullacci, shot ‘the philosopher of Fascism’ dead as he returned from the Prefecture in Florence, where he had argued for the release of anti-fascist intellectuals.[7]

Giovanni Gentile so firmly believed that the philosophic concreteness of Fascism possessed a dialecticalintelligence that surpassed intellectual scrutiny, that he presumed that intellectual opposition would only reinforce, and thus give credence to, the truth of the superiority of Fascism as a superior form of polity.”

I believe Moldbug made the point that Liberals have a secret language, that only they seem to understand, and it’s called violence. Never bring a point of reason or actual attempt at discussion to a Liberal. Bring a stick.

I hope this is not giving the impression that I am a Fascist, because I am not, and I don’t reject Fascism from Liberal grounds – I reject it for not going far enough. Fascism retained too much of modernism, including the subject centered philosophy of Idealism which whilst being woefully wrong on anthropology, is at least orders of magnitude closer to the reality of the matter than anything which has survived, such as liberalism and its sub-species such as libertarianism, conservatism, communism etc which are all hideous jokes.

But, enough of my opinions, now I will augment the essay by Gentile with a further article, which was an official pronouncement from the Fascist government in 1932 (1935?) co-written by Mussolini and Gentile, titled ‘The Doctrine of Fascism.’ It is again a fascinating read, and one which raises many questions, especially when you place it side by side with both the popular conception of Fascism, and with the academic portrayal of Fascism which can best be described as a verbal brickbat response to the intellectual questions raised by Fascism. Liberals don’t do thinking , it is lethal to liberalism, they instead engage their secret language.

This time I will leave comments on to see what type of discussion this generates.


Like all sound political conceptions, Fascism is action and it is thought; action in which doctrine is immanent, and doctrine arising from a given system of historical forces in which it is inserted, and working on them from within (1). It has therefore a form correlated to contingencies of time and space; but it has also an ideal content which makes it an expression of truth in the higher region of the history of thought (2). There is no way of exercising a spiritual influence in the world as a human will dominating the will of others, unless one has a conception both of the transient and the specific reality on which that action is to be exercised, and of the permanent and universal reality in which the transient dwells and has its being. To know men one must know man; and to know man one must be acquainted with reality and its laws. There can be no conception of the State which is not fundamentally a conception of life: philosophy or intuition, system of ideas evolving within the framework of logic or concentrated in a vision or a faith, but always, at least potentially, an organic conception of the world.


Thus many of the practical expressions of Fascism such as party organization, system of education, and discipline can only be understood when considered in relation to its general attitude toward life. A spiritual attitude (3). Fascism sees in the world not only those superficial, material aspects in which man appears as an individual, standing by himself, self-centered, subject to natural law, which instinctively urges him toward a life of selfish momentary pleasure; it sees not only the individual but the nation and the country; individuals and generations bound together by a moral law, with common traditions and a mission which suppressing the instinct for life closed in a brief circle of pleasure, builds up a higher life, founded on duty, a life free from the limitations of time and space, in which the individual, by self-sacrifice, the renunciation of self-interest, by death itself, can achieve that purely spiritual existence in which his value as a man consists.The conception is therefore a spiritual one, arising from the general reaction of the century against the materialistic positivism of the XIXth century. Anti-positivistic but positive; neither skeptical nor agnostic; neither pessimistic nor supinely optimistic as are, generally speaking, the doctrines (all negative) which place the center of life outside man; whereas, by the exercise of his free will, man can and must create his own world.Fascism wants man to be active and to engage in action with all his energies; it wants him to be manfully aware of the difficulties besetting him and ready to face them. It conceives of life as a struggle in which it behooves a man to win for himself a really worthy place, first of all by fitting himself (physically, morally, intellectually) to become the implement required for winning it. As for the individual, so for the nation, and so for mankind (4). Hence the high value of culture in all its forms (artistic, religious, scientific) (5) and the outstanding importance of education. Hence also the essential value of work, by which man subjugates nature and creates the human world (economic, political, ethical, and intellectual).This positive conception of life is obviously an ethical one. It invests the whole field of reality as well as the human activities which master it. No action is exempt from moral judgment; no activity can be despoiled of the value which a moral purpose confers on all things. Therefore life, as conceived of by the Fascist, is serious, austere, and religious; all its manifestations are poised in a world sustained by moral forces and subject to spiritual responsibilities. The Fascist disdains an “easy” life (6).The Fascist conception of life is a religious one (7), in which man is viewed in his immanent relation to a higher law, endowed with an objective will transcending the individual and raising him to conscious membership of a spiritual society. “Those who perceive nothing beyond opportunistic considerations in the religious policy of the Fascist regime fail to realize that Fascism is not only a system of government but also and above all a system of thought.


In the Fascist conception of history, man is man only by virtue of the spiritual process to which he contributes as a member of the family, the social group, the nation, and in function of history to which all nations bring their contribution. Hence the great value of tradition in records, in language, in customs, in the rules of social life (8). Outside history man is a nonentity.


Fascism is therefore opposed to all individualistic abstractions based on eighteenth century materialism; and it is opposed to all Jacobinistic utopias and innovations. It does not believe in the possibility of “happiness” on earth as conceived by the economistic literature of the XVIIIth century, and it therefore rejects the theological notion that at some future time the human family will secure a final settlement of all its difficulties. This notion runs counter to experience which teaches that life is in continual flux and in process of evolution. In politics Fascism aims at realism; in practice it desires to deal only with those problems which are the spontaneous product of historic conditions and which find or suggest their own solutions (9). Only by entering in to the process of reality and taking possession of the forces at work within it, can man act on man and on nature (10).

Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity (11). It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual (12). And if liberty is to he the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State (13). The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist  State  – a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values – interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people (14).

No individuals or groups (political parties, cultural associations, economic unions, social classes) outside the State (15). Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognizes the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonized in the unity of the State (16).Grouped according to their several interests, individuals form classes; they form trade-unions when organized according to their several economic activities; but first and foremost they form the State, which is no mere matter of numbers, the suns of the individuals forming the majority. Fascism is therefore opposed to that form of democracy which equates a nation to the majority, lowering it to the level of the largest number (17); but it is the purest form of  democracy if the nation be considered as it should be from the point of view of quality rather than quantity, as an idea, the mightiest because the most ethical, the most coherent, the truest, expressing itself in a people as the conscience and will of the few, if not, indeed, of one, and ending to express itself in the conscience and the will of the mass, of the whole group ethnically molded by natural and historical conditions into a nation, advancing, as one conscience and one will, along the self same line of development and spiritual formation (18). Not a race, nor a geographically defined region, but a people, historically perpetuating itself; a multitude unified by an idea and imbued with the will to live, the will to power, self-consciousness, personality (19).In so far as it is embodied in a State, this higher personality becomes a nation. It is not the nation which generates the State; that is an antiquated naturalistic concept which afforded a basis for XIXth century publicity in favor of national governments. Rather is it the State which creates the nation, conferring volition and therefore real life on a people made aware of their moral unity.The right to national independence does not arise from any merely literary and idealistic form of self-consciousness; still less from a more or less passive and unconscious de facto situation, but from an active, self-conscious, political will expressing itself in action and ready to prove its rights. It arises, in short, from the existence, at least in fieri, of a State. Indeed, it is the State which, as the expression of a universal ethical will, creates the right to national independence (20).A nation, as expressed in the State, is a living, ethical entity only in so far as it is active. Inactivity is death. Therefore the State is not only Authority which governs and confers legal form and spiritual value on individual wills, but it is also Power which makes its will felt and respected beyond its own frontiers, thus affording practical proof of the universal character of the decisions necessary to ensure its development. This implies organization and expansion, potential if not actual. Thus the State equates itself to the will of man, whose development cannot he checked by obstacles and which, by achieving self-expression, demonstrates its infinity (21).


The Fascist State, as a higher and more powerful expression of personality, is a force, but a spiritual one. It sums up all the manifestations of the moral and intellectual life of man. Its functions cannot therefore be limited to those of enforcing order and keeping the peace, as the liberal doctrine had it. It is no mere mechanical device for defining the sphere within which the individual may duly exercise his supposed rights. The Fascist State is an inwardly accepted standard and rule of conduct, a discipline of the whole person; it permeates the will no less than the intellect. It stands for a principle which becomes the central motive of man as a member of civilized society, sinking deep down into his personality; it dwells in the heart of the man of action and of the thinker, of the artist and of the man of science: soul of the soul (22).

Fascism, in short, is not only a law-giver and a founder of institutions, but an educator and a promoter of spiritual life. It aims at refashioning not only the forms of life but their content – man, his character, and his faith. To achieve this propose it enforces discipline and uses authority, entering into the soul and ruling with undisputed sway. Therefore it has chosen as its emblem the Lictor’s rods, the symbol of unity, strength, and justice.


When in the now distant March of  1919, speaking through the columns of the Popolo d’Italia I summoned to Milan the surviving interventionists who had intervened, and who had followed me ever since the foundation of the Fasci of revolutionary action in January 1915, I had in mind no specific doctrinal program. The only doctrine of which I had practical experience was that of socialism, from until the winter of 1914 – nearly a decade. My experience was that both of a follower and a leader but it was not doctrinal experience. My doctrine during that period had been the doctrine of action. A uniform, universally accepted doctrine of Socialism had not existed since 1905, when the revisionist movement, headed by Bernstein, arose in Germany, countered by the formation, in the see-saw of tendencies, of a left revolutionary movement which in Italy never quitted the field of phrases, whereas, in the case of Russian socialism, it became the prelude to Bolshevism.

Reformism, revolutionism, centrism, the very echo of that terminology is dead, while in the great river of Fascism one can trace currents which had their source in Sorel, Peguy, Lagardelle of the Movement Socialists, and in the cohort of Italian syndicalist who from 1904 to 1914 brought a new note into the Italian socialist environment – previously emasculated and chloroformed by fornicating with Giolitti’s party – a note sounded in Olivetti’s Pagine Libere, Orano’s Lupa, Enrico Leone’s Divenirs Socials.When the war ended in 1919 Socialism, as a doctrine, was already dead; it continued to exist only as a grudge, especially in Italy where its only chance lay in inciting to reprisals against the men who had willed the war and who were to be made to pay for it.

The Popolo d’Italia described itself in its subtitle as the daily organ of fighters and producers. The word producer was already the expression of a mental trend. Fascism was not the nursling of a doctrine previously drafted at a desk; it was born of the need of action, and was action; it was not a party but, in the first two years, an anti-party and a movement. The name I gave the organization fixed its character.

Yet if anyone cares to reread the now crumpled sheets of those days giving an account of the meeting at which the Italian Fasci di combattimento were founded, he will find not a doctrine but a series of pointers, forecasts, hints which, when freed from the inevitable matrix of contingencies, were to develop in a few years time into a series of doctrinal positions entitling Fascism to rank as a political doctrine differing from all others, past or present. “If the bourgeoisie – I then said – believe that they have found in us their lightening-conductors, they arc mistaken. We must go towards the people… We wish the working classes to accustom themselves to the responsibilities of management so that they may realize that it is no easy matter to run a business… We will fight both technical and spiritual rear-guirdism… Now that the succession of the re­gime is open we must not be fainthearted. We must rush forward; if the present regime is to be superseded we must take its place. The right of succession is ours, for we urged the country to enter the war and we led it to victory… The existing forms of political representation cannot satisfy us; we want direst representation of the several interests… It may be objected that this program implies a return to the guilds (corporazioni). No matter!. I therefore hope this assembly will accept the economic claims advanced by national syndicalism …Is it not strange that from the very first day, at Piazza San Sepolcro, the word “guild” (corporazione) was pronounced, a word which, as the Revolution developed, was to express one of the basic legislative and social creations of the regime?The years preceding the march on Rome cover a period during which the need of action forbade delay and careful doctrinal elaborations. Fighting was going on in the towns and villages. There were discussions but… there was some­thing more sacred and more important… death… Fascists knew how to die. A doctrine – fully elaborated, divided up into chapters and paragraphs with annotations, may have been lacking, but it was replaced by something far more decisive, – by a faith. All the same, if with the help of books, articles, resolutions passed at congresses, major and minor speeches, anyone should care to revive the memory of those days, he will find, provided he knows how to seek and select, that the doctrinal foundations were laid while the battle was still raging. Indeed, it was during those years that Fascist thought armed, refined itself, and proceeded ahead with its organization. The problems of the individual and the State; the problems of authority and liberty; political, social, and more especially national problems were discussed; the conflict with liberal, democratic, socialistic, Masonic doctrines and with those of the Partito Popolare, was carried on at the same time as the punitive expeditions. Nevertheless, the lack of a formal system was used by disingenuous adversaries as an argument for proclaiming Fascism incapable of elaborating a doctrine at the very time when that doctrine was being formulated – no matter how tumultuously, – first, as is the case with all new ideas, in the guise of violent dogmatic negations; then in the more positive guise of constructive theories, subsequently incorporated, in 1926, 1927, and 1928, in the laws and institutions of the regime.Fascism is now clearly defined not only as a regime but as a doctrine. This means that Fascism, exercising its critical faculties on itself and on others, has studied from its own special standpoint and judged by its own standards all the problems affecting the material and intellectual interests now causing such grave anxiety to the nations of the world, and is ready to deal with them by its own policies.


First of all, as regards the future development of mankind, and quite apart from all present political considerations. Fascism does not, generally speaking, believe in the possibility or utility of perpetual peace. It therefore discards pacifism as a cloak for cowardly supine renunciation in contradistinction to self-sacrifice. War alone keys up all human energies to their maximum tension and sets the seal of nobility on those peoples who have the courage to face it. All other tests are substitutes which never place a man face to face with himself before the alternative of life or death. Therefore all doctrines which postulate peace at all costs are incompatible with Fascism. Equally foreign to the spirit of Fascism, even if accepted as useful in meeting special political situations — are all internationalistic or League superstructures which, as history shows, crumble to the ground whenever the heart of nations is deeply stirred by sentimental, idealistic or practical considerations. Fascism carries this anti-pacifistic attitude into the life of the individual. ” I don’t care a damn „ (me ne frego) – the proud motto of the fighting squads scrawled by a wounded man on his bandages, is not only an act of philosophic stoicism, it sums up a doctrine which is not merely political: it is evidence of a fighting spirit which accepts all risks. It signifies new style of Italian life. The Fascist accepts and loves life; he rejects and despises suicide as cowardly. Life as he understands it means duty, elevation, conquest; life must be lofty and full, it must be lived for oneself but above all for others, both near bye and far off, present and future.

The population policy of the regime is the consequence of these premises. The Fascist loves his neighbor, but the word neighbor does not stand for some vague and unseizable conception. Love of one’s neighbor does not exclude necessary educational severity; still less does it exclude differentiation and rank. Fascism will have nothing to do with universal embraces; as a member of the community of nations it looks other peoples straight in the eyes; it is vigilant and on its guard; it follows others in all their manifestations and notes any changes in their interests; and it does not allow itself to be deceived by mutable and fallacious appearances.


Such a conception of life makes Fascism the resolute negation of the doctrine underlying so-called scientific and Marxian socialism, the doctrine of historic materialism which would explain the history of mankind in terms of the class struggle and by changes in the processes and instruments of production, to the exclusion of all else.

That the vicissitudes of economic life – discoveries of raw materials, new technical processes, and scientific inventions – have their importance, no one denies; but that they suffice to explain human history to the exclusion of other factors is absurd. Fascism believes now and always in sanctity and heroism, that is to say in acts in which no economic motive – remote or immediate – is at work. Having denied historic materialism, which sees in men mere puppets on the surface of history, appearing and disappearing on the crest of the waves while in the depths the real directing forces move and work, Fascism also denies the immutable and irreparable character of the class struggle which is the natural outcome of this economic conception of history; above all it denies that the class struggle is the preponderating agent in social transformations. Having thus struck a blow at socialism in the two main points of its doctrine, all that remains of it is the sentimental aspiration, old as humanity itself-toward social relations in which the sufferings and sorrows of the humbler folk will be alleviated. But here again Fascism rejects the economic interpretation of felicity as something to be secured socialistically, almost automatically, at a given stage of economic evolution when all will be assured a maximum of material comfort. Fascism denies the materialistic conception of happiness as a possibility, and abandons it to the economists of the mid-eighteenth century. This means that Fascism denies the equation: well-being = happiness, which sees in men mere animals, content when they can feed and fatten, thus reducing them to a vegetative existence pure and simple.


After socialism, Fascism trains its guns on the whole block of democratic ideologies, and rejects both their premises and their practical applications and implements. Fascism denies that numbers, as such, can be the determining factor in human society; it denies the right of numbers to govern by means of periodical consultations; it asserts the irremediable and fertile and beneficent inequality of men who cannot be leveled by any such mechanical and extrinsic device as universal suffrage. Democratic regimes may be described as those under which the people are, from time to time, deluded into the belief that they exercise sovereignty, while all the time real sovereignty resides in and is exercised by other and sometimes irresponsible and secret forces. Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical, and destructive than one, even if he be a tyrant. This explains why Fascism – although, for contingent reasons, it was republican in tendency prior to 1922 – abandoned that stand before the March on Rome, convinced that the form of government is no longer a matter of preeminent importance, and because the study of past and present monarchies and past and present republics shows that neither monarchy nor republic can be judged sub specie aeternitatis, but that each stands for a form of government expressing the political evolution, the history, the traditions, and the psychology of a given country.

Fascism has outgrown the dilemma: monarchy v. republic, over which democratic regimes too long dallied, attributing all insufficiencies to the former and proning the latter as a regime of perfection, whereas experience teaches that some republics are inherently reactionary and absolutist while some monarchies accept the most daring political and social experiments.In one of his philosophic Meditations Renan – who had prefascist intuitions remarks, “Reason and science are the products of mankind, but it is chimerical to seek reason directly for the people and through the people. It is not essential to the existence of reason that all should be familiar with it; and even if all had to be initiated, this could not be achieved through democracy which seems fated to lead to the extinction of all arduous forms of culture and all highest forms of learning. The maxim that society exists only for the well-being and freedom of the individuals composing it does not seem to be in conformity with nature’s plans, which care only for the species and seem ready to sacrifice the individual. It is much to be feared that the last word of democracy thus understood (and let me hasten to add that it is susceptible of a different interpretation) would be a form of society in which a degenerate mass would have no thought beyond that of enjoying the ignoble pleasures of the vulgar.”


In rejecting democracy, Fascism rejects the absurd conventional lie of political equalitarianism, the habit of collective irresponsibility, the myth of felicity and indefinite progress.


But if democracy be understood as meaning a regime in which the masses are not driven back to the margin of the State, and then the writer of these pages has already defined Fascism as an organized, centralized, authoritarian democracy.


Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and the economic sphere. The importance of liberalism in the XIXth century should not be exaggerated for present day polemical purposes, nor should we make of one of the many doctrines which flourished in that century a religion for mankind for the present and for all time to come. Liberalism really flourished for fifteen years only. It arose in 1830 as a reaction to the Holy Alliance which tried to force Europe to recede further back than 1789; it touched its zenith in 1848 when even Pius IXth was a liberal. Its decline began immediately after that year. If 1848 was a year of light and poetry, 1849 was a year of darkness and tragedy. The Roman Republic was killed by a sister republic, that of France. In that same year Marx, in his famous Communist Manifesto, launched the gospel of socialism.

In 1851 Napoleon III made his illiberal coup d’etat and ruled France until 1870 when he was turned out by a popular rising following one of the severest military defeats known to history. The victor was Bismarck who never even knew the whereabouts of liberalism and its prophets. It is symptomatic that throughout the XIXth century the religion of liberalism was completely unknown to so highly civilized a people as the Germans but for one parenthesis which has been described as the “ridiculous parliament of Frankfort ” which lasted just one season. Germany attained her national unity outside liberalism and in opposition to liberalism, a doctrine which seems foreign to the German temperament, essentially monarchical, whereas liberalism is the historic and logical anteroom to anarchy. The three stages in the making of German unity were the three wars of 1864, 1866, and 1870, led by such  “liberals” as Moltke and Bismarck.  And in the upbuilding of Italian unity liberalism played a very minor part when compared to the contribution made by Mazzini and Garibaldi who were not liberals. But for the intervention of the illiberal Napoleon III we should not have had Lombardy, and without that of the illiberal Bismarck at Sadowa and at Sedan very probably we should not have had Venetia in 1866 and in 1870 we should not have entered Rome. The years going from 1870 to 1915 cover a period which marked, even in the opinion of the high priests of the new creed, the twilight of their religion, attacked by decadentism in literature and by activism in practice. Activism: that is to say nationalism, futurism, fascism.

The liberal century, after piling up innumerable Gordian Knots, tried to cut them with the sword of the world war. Never has any religion claimed so cruel a sacrifice. Were the Gods of liberalism thirsting for blood?

Now liberalism is preparing to close the doors of its temples, deserted by the peoples who feel that the agnosticism it professed in the sphere of economics and the indifferentism of which it has given proof in the sphere of politics and morals, would lead the world to ruin in the future as they have done in the past.

This explains why all the political experiments of our day are anti-liberal, and it is supremely ridiculous to endeavor on this account to put them outside the pale of history, as though history were a preserve set aside for liberalism and its adepts; as though liberalism were the last word in civilization beyond which no one can go.


The Fascist negation of socialism, democracy, liberalism, should not, however, be interpreted as implying a desire to drive the world backwards to positions occupied prior to 1789, a year commonly referred to as that which opened the demo-liberal century. History does not travel backwards. The Fascist doctrine has not taken De Maistre as its prophet. Monarchical absolutism is of the past, and so is ecclesiolatry. Dead and done for are feudal privileges and the division of society into closed, uncommunicating castes. Neither has the Fascist conception of authority anything in common with that of a police ridden State.A party governing a nation “totalitarianly” is a new departure in history. There are no points of reference nor of comparison. From beneath the ruins of liberal, socialist, and democratic doctrines, Fascism extracts those elements which are still vital. It preserves what may be described as “the acquired facts” of history; it rejects all else. That is to say, it rejects the idea of a doctrine suited to all times and to all people. Granted that the XIXth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the XXth century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ” right “, a Fascist century. If the XIXth century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the “collective” century, and therefore the century of the State. It is quite logical for a new doctrine to make use of the still vital elements of other doctrines. No doctrine was ever born quite new and bright and unheard of. No doctrine can boast absolute originality. It is always connected, it only historically, with those which preceded it and those which will follow it. Thus the scientific socialism of Marx links up to the utopian socialism of the Fouriers, the Owens, the Saint-Simons ; thus the liberalism of the XIXth century traces its origin back to the illuministic movement of the XVIIIth, and the doctrines of democracy to those of the Encyclopaedists. All doctrines aim at directing the activities of men towards a given objective; but these activities in their turn react on the doctrine, modifying and adjusting it to new needs, or outstripping it. A doctrine must therefore be a vital act and not a verbal display. Hence the pragmatic strain in Fascism, it’s will to power, its will to live, its attitude toward violence, and its value.


The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative. Individuals and groups are admissible in so far as they come within the State. Instead of directing the game and guiding the material and moral progress of the community, the liberal State restricts its activities to recording results. The Fascist State is wide awake and has a will of its own. For this reason it can be described as ” ethical “.

At the first quinquennial assembly of the regime, in 1929, I said  “The Fascist State is not a night watchman, solicitous only of the personal safety of the citizens; not is it organized exclusively for the purpose of guarantying a certain degree of material prosperity and relatively peaceful conditions of life, a board of directors would do as much. Neither is it exclusively political, divorced from practical realities and holding itself aloof from the multifarious activities of the citizens and the nation. The State, as conceived and realized by Fascism, is a spiritual and ethical entity for securing the political, juridical, and economic organization of the nation, an organization which in its origin and growth is a manifestation of the spirit. The State guarantees the internal and external safety of the country, but it also safeguards and transmits the spirit of the people, elaborated down the ages in its language, its customs, its faith. The State is not only the present; it is also the past and above all the future. Transcending the individual’s brief spell of life, the State stands for the immanent conscience of the nation. The forms in which it finds expression change, but the need for it remains. The State educates the citizens to civism, makes them aware of their mission, urges them to unity; its justice harmonizes their divergent interests; it transmits to future generations the conquests of the mind in the fields of science, art, law, human solidarity; it leads men up from primitive tribal life to that highest manifestation of human power, imperial rule.

The State hands down to future generations the memory of those who laid down their lives to ensure its safety or to obey its laws; it sets up as examples and records for future ages the names of the captains who enlarged its territory and of the men of genius who have made it famous. Whenever respect for the State declines and the disintegrating and centrifugal tendencies of individuals and groups prevail, nations are headed for decay”. Since 1929 economic and political development have everywhere emphasized these truths. The importance of the State is rapidly growing. The so-called crisis can only be settled by State action and within the orbit of the State. Where are the shades of the Jules Simons who, in the early days of liberalism proclaimed that the “State should endeavor to render itself useless and prepare to hand in its resignation “? Or of the MacCullochs who, in the second half of last century, urged that the State should desist from governing too much? And what of the English Bentham who considered that all industry asked of government was to be left alone, and of the German Humbolt who expressed the opinion that the best government was a lazy ” one? What would they say now to the unceasing, inevitable, and urgently requested interventions of government in business? It is true that the second generation of economists was less uncompromising in this respect than the first, and that even Adam Smith left the door ajar – however cautiously – for government intervention in business.

If liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government.

The Fascist State is, however, a unique and original creation. It is not reactionary but revolutionary, for it anticipates the solution of certain universal problems which have been raised elsewhere, in the political field by the splitting up of parties, the usurpation of power by parliaments, the irresponsibility of assemblies; in the economic field by the increasingly numerous and important functions discharged by trade unions and trade associations with their disputes and ententes, affecting both capital and labor; in the ethical field by the need felt for order, discipline, obedience to the moral dictates of patriotism.

Fascism desires the State to be strong and organic, based on broad foundations of popular support. The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporative, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organized in their res­pective associations, circulate within the State.  A State based on millions of individuals who recognize its authority, feel its action, and are ready to serve its ends is not the tyrannical state of a mediaeval lordling. It has nothing in common with the despotic States existing prior to or subsequent to 1789.

Far from crushing the individual, the Fascist State multiplies his energies, just as in a regiment a soldier is not diminished but multiplied by the number of his fellow soldiers. The Fascist State organizes the nation, but it leaves the individual adequate elbow room. It has curtailed useless or harmful liberties while preserving those which are essential. In such matters the individual cannot be the judge, but the State only. The Fascist

State  is not indifferent to religious phenomena in general nor does it maintain an attitude of indifference to Roman Catholicism, the special, positive religion of Italians. The State has not got a theology but it has a moral code. The Fascist State sees in religion one of the deepest of spiritual manifestations and for this reason it not only respects religion but defends and protects it. The Fascist State does not attempt, as did Robespierre at the height of the revolutionary delirium of the Convention, to set up a “god” of its own; nor does it vainly seek, as does Bolshevism, to efface God from the soul of man.

Fascism respects the God of ascetics, saints, and heroes, and it also respects God as conceived by the ingenuous and primitive heart of the people, the God to whom their prayers are raised.

The Fascist State expresses the will to exercise power and to command. Here the Roman tradition is embodied in a conception of strength. Imperial power, as understood by the Fascist doctrine, is not only territorial, or military, or commercial; it is also spiritual and ethical. An imperial nation, that is to say a nation a which directly or indirectly is a leader of others, can exist without the need of conquering a single square mile of territory. Fascism sees in the imperialistic spirit — i.e. in the tendency of nations to expand – a manifestation of their vitality. In the opposite tendency, which would limit their interests to the home country, it sees a symptom of decadence. Peoples who rise or rearise are imperialistic; renunciation is characteristic of dying peoples. The Fascist doctrine is that best suited to the tendencies and feelings of a people which, like the Italian, after lying fallow during centuries of foreign servitude, are now reasserting itself in the world.But imperialism implies discipline, the coordination of efforts, a deep sense of duty and a spirit of self-sacrifice. This explains many aspects of the practical activity of the regime, and the direction taken by many of the forces of the State, as also the severity which has to be exercised towards those who would oppose this spontaneous and inevitable movement of XXth century Italy by agitating outgrown ideologies of the XIXth century, ideologies rejected wherever great experiments in political and social transformations are being dared.Never before have the peoples thirsted for authority, direction, order, as they do now. If each age has its doctrine, then innumerable symptoms indicate that the doctrine of our age is the Fascist. That it is vital is shown by the fact that it has aroused a faith; that this faith has conquered souls is shown by the fact that Fascism can point to its fallen heroes and its martyrs.Fascism has now acquired throughout the world that universally which belongs to all doctrines which by achieving self-expression represent a moment in the history of human thought.


  1. Philosophic conception

(1) If Fascism does not wish to die or, worse still, commit suicide, it must now provide itself with a doctrine. Yet this shall not and must not be a robe of Nessus clinging to us for all eternity, for tomorrow is some thing mysterious and unforeseen. This doctrine shall be a norm to guide political and individual action in our daily life.

I who have I dictated this doctrine, am the first to realize that the modest tables of our laws and program the theoretical and practical guidance of Fascism should be revised, corrected, enlarged, developed, because already in parts they have suffered injury at the hand of time. I believe the essence and fundamentals of the doctrine are still to be found in the postulates which throughout two years have acted as a call to arms for the recruits of Italian Fascism. However, in taking those first fundamental assumptions for a starting point, we must proceed to carry our program into a vaster field.  Italian Fascists, one and all, should cooperate in this task, one of vital importance to Fascism, and more especially those who belong to regions where with and without agreement peaceful coexistence has been achieved between two antagonistic movements.

The word I am about to use is a great one, but indeed I do wish that during the two months which are still to elapse before our National Assembly meets, the philosophy of Fascism could be created. Milan is already contributing with the first Fascist school of propaganda. It is not merely a question of gathering elements for a program, to be used as a solid foundation for the constitution of a party which must inevitably arise from the Fascist movement; it is also a question of denying the silly tale that Fascism is all made up of violent men. In point of fact among Fascists there are many men who belong to the restless but meditative class.

The new course taken by Fascist activity will in no way diminish the fighting spirit typical of Fascism. To furnish the mind with doctrines and creeds does not mean to disarm, rather it signifies to strengthen our  power of action, and make us ever more conscious of our work. Soldiers who fight fully conscious of the cause make the best of warriors. Fascism takes for its own the twofold device of Mazzini : Thought and Action u. (Letter to Michele Bianchi, written on August 27, 1921, for the opening of the School of Fascist Culture and Propaganda in Milan, in Messaggi e Proclami, Milano, Libreria d’Italia, 1929, P. 39).

Fascists must be placed in contact with one another; their activity must be an activity of doctrine, an activity of the spirit and of thought.  Had our adversaries been present at our meeting, they would have been convinced that Fascism is not only action, but thought as well  (Speech before the National Council of the Fascist Party, August 8, 1924, in La Nuova Politica dell’Italia, Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. 267).

(2) Today I hold that Fascism as an idea, a doctrine, a realization, is universal; it is Italian in its particular institutions, but it is universal in the spirit, nor could it be otherwise. The spirit is universal by reason of its nature. Therefore anyone may foresee a Fascist Europe. Drawing inspiration for her institutions from the doctrine and practice of Fascism; Europe , in other words, giving a Fascist turn to the solution of problems which beset the modern State, the Twentieth Century State which is very different from the States existing before 1789, and the States formed immediately after. Today Fascism fills universal requirements; Fascism solves the threefold problem of relations between State and individual, between State and associations, between associations and organized associations. (Message for the year 1 October 27, 1930, in Discorsi del 1930, Milano, Alpes, 1931, p. 211).

  1. Spiritualized conception

(3)  This political process is flanked by a philosophic process.  If it be true that matter was on the altars for one century, today it is the spirit which takes its place. All manifestations peculiar to the democratic spirit are consequently repudiated: easygoingness, improvisation, the lack of a personal sense of responsibility, the exaltation of numbers and of that mysterious divinity called n The People a. All creations of the spirit starting with that religious are coming to the fore, and nobody dare keep up the attitude of anticlericalism which, for several decades, was a favorite with Democracy in the Western world. By saying that God is returning, we mean that spiritual values are returning. (Da the parte va it mondo, in Tempi della Rivoluzione Fascista, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 34).

There is a field reserved more to meditation upon the supreme ends of life than to a research of these ends. Consequently science starts from experience, but breaks out fatally into philosophy and, in my opinion, philosophy alone can enlighten science and lead to the universal idea. (To the Congress of Science at Bologna , October 31, 19,26, in Discorsidel 1926. Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 268).

In order to understand the Fascist movement one must first appreciate the underlying spiritual phenomenon in all its vastness and depth. The manifestations of the movement have been of a powerful and decisive nature, but one should go further. In point of fact Italian Fascism has not only been a political revolt against weak and incapable governments who had allowed State authority to decay and were threatening to arrest the progress of the country, but also a spiritual revolt against old ideas which had corrupted the sacred principles of religion, of faith, of country. Fascism, therefore, has been a revolt of the people. (Message to the British people; January 5, 1924, in Messaggi e Proclami, Milano, Libreria d’ Italia, 1929, p. 107).

  1. Positive conception of life as a struggle 

    (4) Struggle is at the origin of all things, for life is full of contrasts: there is love and hatred, white and black, day and night, good and evil; and until these contrasts achieve balance, struggle fatefully remains at the root of human nature. However, it is good for it to be so. Today we can indulge in wars, economic battles, conflicts of ideas, but if a day came to pass when struggle ceased to exist, that day would be tinged with melancholy; it would be a day of ruin, the day of ending. But thaver discloses new horizons. By attempting to restore calm, peace, tranquility, or. A would be fighting the tendencies of the present period of dynamism. Ore must be prepared for other struggles and for other surprises. Peace will only come when people surrender to a Christian dream of universal brotherhood, when they can hold out hands across the ocean and over the mountains. Personally I do not believe very much in these idealisms, but I do not exclude them for I exclude nothing. (At the Politeama Rossetti, Trieste, September 20, 1920 in Discorsi Politici, Milano, Stab. Tipografico del « Popolo d’ Italia » , 1921, p. 107).

(5) For me the honor of nations consists in the contribution they have severally made to human civilization. (E. Ludwig, Talks with Mussolini, London, Allen and Unwin, 1932, p. 199)

4. Ethical conception

I called the organization Fasci Italiani Di Combatimento. This hard metallic name compromised the whole program of Fascism as I dreamed it. Comrades, this is still our program: fight.   Life for the Fascist is a continuous, ceaseless fight, which we accept with ease, with great courage, with the necessary intrepidity. (On the VIIth anniversary of the Foundation of the Fasci, March 28, 1926, in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 7, p.98     You touch the core of Fascist philosophy. When recently a Finnish philosopher asked me to expound to him the significance of Fascism in one sentence, I wrote in German: ((We are against the “easy life”!  (E. Ludwig: Talks with Mussolini, London, Allen and Unwin, 1932, p. 190).
5. Religious conception

(7) If Fascism were not a creed, how could it endow its followers with courage and stoicism only a creed which has soared to the heights of religion can inspire such words as passed the lips, now lifeless alas, of Federico Florio. (Legami di Sangue, in Diuturna, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 256).

  1. Historical and realistic conception

(8) Tradition certainly is one of the greatest spiritual forces of a people, inasmuch as it is a successive and constant creation of their soul. (Breve Preludio, in Tempi della Rivoluzione Fascista, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p.  13)

(9) Our temperament leads us to appraise the concrete aspect of problems, rather than their ideological or mystical sublimation. Therefore we easily regain our balance. (Aspetti del Dramma, in Diuturna, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 86).

Our battle is an ungrateful one, yet it is a beautiful battle since it compels us to count only upon our own forces. Revealed truths we have torn to shreds, dogmas we have spat upon, we have rejected all theories of paradise, we have baffled charlatans white, red, black charlatans who placed miraculous drugs on the market to give a happiness n to mankind. We do not believe in program, in plans, in saints or apostles, above all we believe not in happiness, in salvation, in the Promised Land. (Diuturna, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 223).We do not believe in a single solution, be it economical, political or moral, a linear solution of the problems of life, because of illustrious choristers from all the sacristies life is not linear and can never be reduced to a segment traced by primordial needs. (Navigare necesse, in Diuturna, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 233).(10) We are not and do not wish to be motionless mummies, with faces perpetually turned towards the same horizon, nor do we wish to shut ourselves up within the narrow hedges of subversive bigotry, where formulas, like prayers of a professed religion, are muttered mechanically. We are men, living men, who wish to give our contribution, however ‘modest, to the creation of history. (Audacia, in Diu­ turna, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p.233)

We uphold moral and traditional values which Socialism neglects or despises; but, above all, Fascism has a horror of anything implying an arbitrary mortgage on the mysterious future. (Dopo due anni, in  Diuturna, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 242).

In spite of the theories of conservation and renovation, of tradition and progress expounded by the right and the left, we do not cling desperately to the past as to a last board of salvation: yet we do not dash headlong into the seductive mists of the future. (Breve preludio, in Diuturna, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 14) Negation, eternal immobility, mean damnation. I am all for motion. I am, one who marches on   (E. Ludwig, Talks with Mussolini, Lot Jon, Allen and Unwin, 1932, p. 203).

  1. The individual and liberty

(11) We were the first to state, in the face of demo liberal individualism, that the individual exists only in so far as he is within the State and subjected to the requirements of the state and that, as civilization assumes aspects which grow more and more complicated, individual freedom becomes more and more restricted. (To the General staff Conference of Fascism, in Discorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 280).

The sense of the state grows within the consciousness of Italians, for they feel that the state alone is the irreplaceable safeguard of their unit and independence; that the state alone represents continuity into the future of their stock and their history. (Message on the VIIth all anniversary, October 25, 1929, Discorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 300).

If, in the course of the past eight years, we have made such astounding progress, you may well think suppose and foresee that in the course of the next fifty or eighty years the onward trend of Italy, of this Italy we feel to be so powerful, so full of vital fluid, will really be grandiose. It will be so especially if concord lasts among citizens, if the State continues to be sole arbitrator in political and social conflicts, if all remains within the state and nothing outside the State, because it is impossible to conceive any individual existing outside the State unless he be a savage whose home is in the solitude of she sandy desert. (Speech before the Senate, May 12, 1928, in Discorsi del 1928, Milano, Alpes, 1929, p. 109).

Fascism has restored to the State its sovereign functions by claiming its absolute ethical meaning, against the egotism of classes and categories; to the Government of the state, which was reduced to a mere instrument of electoral assemblies, it has restored dignity, as representing the personality of the state and its power of Empire. It has rescued State administration from the weight of factions and party interests (To the council of state, December 22, 1928, in Discorsi Del 1928, Milano, Alpes, 1929 p.328).

(12) Let no one think of denying the moral character of Fascism. For I should be ashamed to speak from this tribune if I did not feel that I represent the moral and spiritual powers of the state. What would the state be if it did not possess a spirit of its own, and a morality of its own, which lend power to the laws in virtue of which the state is obeyed by its citizens?

The Fascist state claims its ethical character: it is Catholic but above all it is Fascist, in fact it is exclusively and essentially Fascist. Catholicism completes Fascism, and this we openly declare, but let no one think they can turn the tables on us, under cover of metaphysics or philosophy. (To the Chamber of Deputies, May 13, 1929, in Discorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 182).A State which is fully aware of its mission and represents a people which are marching on; a state which necessarily transforms the people even in their physical aspect. In order to be something more than a mere administrator, the State must utter great words, expound great ideas and place great problems before this people (Di­ scorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 183).

(13) The concept of freedom is not absolute because nothing is ever absolute in life. Freedom is not a right, it is a duty. It is not a gift, it is a conquest; it is not equality, it is a privilege. The concept of freedom changes with the passing of time. There is a freedom in times of peace which is not the freedom of times of war. There is a freedom in times of prosperity which is not a freedom to be allowed in times of poverty. (Fifth anniversary of the foundation of the Fasci di Combattimento, March 24, 1924, in La nuova politica dell’Italia, vol. III, Milano, Alpes, 1925, p. 30).In our state the individual is not deprived of freedom. In fact, he has greater liberty than an isolated man, because the state protects him and he is part of the State. Isolated man is without defence. (E. Ludwig, Talks with Mussolini, London, Allen and Unwin, 1932, p. 129).

(14) Today we may tell the world of the creation of the powerful united State of Italy, ranging from the Alps to Sicily; this State is expressed by a well-organized, centralized, unitarian democracy, where people circulate at case. Indeed, gentlemen, you admit the people into the citadel of the State and the people will defend it, if you close them out, the people will assault it. (speech before the Chamber of Deputies, May 26, 1927, in Discorsi del 1927, Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. 159).In the Fascist regime the unity of classes, the political, social and coral unity of the Italian people is realized within the state, and only within the Fascist state. (speech before the Chamber of Deputies,

December 9, 1928, in Discorsi del 1928, Milano, Alpes, 1929, p. 333).

  1. Conception of a corporative state

(15) We have created the united state of Italy remember that since the Empire Italy had not been a united state. Here I wish to reaffirm solemnly our doctrine of the State. Here I wish to reaffirm with no weaker energy, the formula I expounded at the scala in Milan everything in the state, nothing against the State, nothing outside the state. (speech before the Chamber of Deputies, May 26, 1927, Discorsi del 1927, Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. 157).

(16) We are, in other words, a state which controls all forces acting in nature. We control political forces, we control moral forces we control economic forces, therefore we are a full-blown Corporative state. We stand for a new principle in the world, we stand for sheer, categorical, definitive antithesis to the world of democracy, plutocracy, free-masonry, to the world which still abides by the fundamental principles laid down in 1789. (Speech before the new National Directory of the Party, April 7, 1926, in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 120).

The Ministry of Corporations is not a bureaucratic organ, nor does it wish to exercise the functions of syndical organizations which are necessarily independent, since they aim at organizing, selecting and improving the members of syndicates. The Ministry of Corporations is an institution in virtue of which, in the centre and outside, integral corporation becomes an accomplished fact, where balance is achieved between interests and forces of the economic world. Such a glance is only possible within the sphere of the state, because the state alone transcends the contrasting interests of groups and individuals, in view of co-coordinating them to achieve higher aims. The achievement of these aims is speeded up by the fact that all economic organizations, acknowledged, safeguarded and supported by the Corporative State, exist within the orbit of Fascism; in other terms they accept the conception of Fascism in theory and in practice. (speech at the opening of the Ministry of Corporations, July 31, 1926, in Di­scorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 250).We have constituted a Corporative and Fascist state, the state of national society, a State which concentrates, controls, harmonizes and tempers the interests of all social classes, which are thereby protected in equal measure. Whereas, during the years of demo-liberal regime, labour looked with diffidence upon the state, was, in fact, outside the State and against the state, and considered the state an enemy of every day and every hour, there is not one working Italian today who does not seek a place in his Corporation or federation, who does not wish to be a living atom of that great, immense, living organization which is the national Corporate State of Fascism. (On the Fourth Anniversary of the March on Rome, October 28, 1926, in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 340).

  1. Democracy

(17) The war was revolutionary, in the sense that with streams of blood it did away with the century of Democracy, the century of number, the century of majorities and of quantities. (Da che parte va il Mondo, in Tempi della Rivoluzione Fascista, Milano, Alpes, 1930,  p. 37)

(18) Cf. note 13.(19) Race: it is a feeling and not a reality; 95 %, a feeling. (E. Ludwig, Talks with Mussolini, London, Allen and Unwin, 1932, p. 75).

  1. Conception of the state

(20) A nation exists inasmuch as it is a people. A people rise inasmuch as they are numerous, hard working and well regulated. Power is the outcome of this threefold principle. (To the General Assembly of the Party, March lo, 1929, in Discorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 24).

Fascism does not deny the State; Fascism maintains that a civic society, national or imperial, cannot be conceived unless in the form of a State (Stab, anti-Slato, Fascismo, in Tempi della Rivoluzione Fa­scista, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 94).For us the Nation is mainly spirit and not only territory. There are States which owned immense territories and yet left no trace in the history of mankind. Neither is it a question of number, because there have been, in history, small, microscopic States, which left immortal, imperishable documents in art and philosophy.      The greatness of a nation is the compound of all these virtues and conditions. A nation is great when the power of the spirit is translated into reality. (Speech at Naples, October 24, 1922, in Discorsi della Rivoluzione, Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. 103). We wish to unity the nation within the sovereign State, which is above everyone rid can afford to be against everyone, since it represents the moral continuity of the nation in history. Without the State there is no nation. There are, merely. human aggregations. subject to all the disintegration’s which history may inflict upon them. (Speech before the National Council of the Fascist Party, August 8, 1924, in La Nuova Politica dell’Italia, vol. III; Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. 269).

  1. Dynamic reality(21) I believe that if a people wish to live, they should develop a will to power, otherwise they vegetate, live miserably and become prey to a stronger people, in whom this will to power is developed to a higher degree. (Speech to the Senate, May 28, 1926).

    (22) It is Fascism which has refashioned the character of the Italians, removing impurity from our souls, tempering us to all sacrifices, restoring the true aspect of strength and beauty to our Italian face. (Speech delivered at Pisa ,

May 25, 1926, in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 193).It is not out of place to illustrate the intrinsic character and profound significance of the Fascist Levy. It is not merely a ceremony, but a very important stage in the system of education and integral preparation of Italian men which the Fascist revolution considers one of the fundamental duties of the State: fundamental indeed, for if the State does not fulfill this duty or in any way accepts to place it under discussion, the State merely and simply forfeits its right to exist. (Speech before the Chamber of Deputies, May 28, 1928, in  Discorsi del 1928, Milano, Alpes, 1929, p. 68).

Gentile’s essay on the philosophy of Fascism

A great number of claims about what Fascism is, are thrown around, but surprisingly little investigation into its origins is conducted. Instead we have Liberals who just create ever greater squalid acquisitions of mental instability and lack of intelligence, whilst in doing so exhibiting the very same pathologies they seek to ascribe to others.

Musollini’s Intellectuals’ which is a book by that rarest of rare things – an honest liberal, approaches Fascism from a very fair direction, and in a nut shell describes an intellectual movement which arose from the twin sources of socialists of a nationalist bent and syndicalism. These two trends both converged on the realisation that Marxist revolutionary theory was defective, and that the proletariat collective was not coming to be, and that rather the nation was the true and meaningful agent of history. (side note – isn’t Marxism just a criticism of Liberalism which calls for a collective within which man lives – “commune”, while fascism is a further criticism that this is not correct, and in fact the “nation” is? Doesn’t this make both Marxism and Fascism relatively less mentally deranged than liberalism?)

Key players in the development of Fascism include Sergio Pannunzio, Carlo Costamanga (links with Evola) and Gionvanni Gentile, that latter of whom wrote an article on the ‘The Philosophic Basis of Fascism’ which this post will provide in full. It’s long, but worth reading.

Before I do however, a couple of highlights are worth commenting on to explain the posting of this article by the “philosopher” of Fascism. The first thing worth commenting on is that Gentile was an Actual Idealist, and the main thrust of his philosophy seems to have been to refute materialism and determinism, and to incorporate a degree of free will into political philosophy in contradiction to the liberal democratic political thinking grounded on “crude positivism” which was omnipresent in Italy at the time. Of course, Gentile criticized this Positivism from a still modernist position, so was claiming to represent true positivism (he was an atheist and a modern.) So when he lauds Vico as the anti-Descartes, you can see a precursor to this conflict of modernity creating enemies which are inherently accepting of its precepts and acts as false opposites. Think of the progressive nature of conservatives vis a vis outright progressives, who then occupy any actual rejection of progressivism.

Either way, the identification of “crude positivism” with democratic-socialism is useful, in that it supports one of my contentions that positivism is the underlying basis of liberal-democracy. The link between positivism and utter total full spectrum degeneracy is not difficult to see once the connection is made. Any true reaction, no matter how abortive or still modern it is, always seems to begin with a rejection of positivism, and in effect a rejection of determinism and materialism in favour of free agency. This is not that surprising when it is considered that the bedrocks of leftism are these things.

Another point worth consider which was recently brought to my attention is that Fascism coined the term “totalitarianism” as a descriptor of their approach to politics. Such a term has been used extensively in the uniform denouncement of anything other than Liberal Democracy, yet, as can be seen, it was not coined as a term of abuse, and is only conceivable as such from a liberal perspective in which the individual is super autonomous and lives in isolation and without need of governance. This leads into Gentile’s comments on the Fascist conception of liberty and freedom which he declares

“…can exist only within the State, and the State means authority.

in contrast to the liberal conception in which

“Liberalism broke the circle above referred to, setting the individual against the State and liberty against authority.”

These comments make it hard for me to not come to the conclusion that Fascism is modernity at its most lucid and thoughtful.

So without anymore delay, here is the essay:

FOR the Italian nation the World War was the solution of a deep spiritual crisis. They willed and fought it long before they felt and evaluated it. But they willed, fought, felt and evaluated it in a certain spirit which Italy’s generals and statesmen exploited, but which also worked on them, conditioning their policies and their action. The spirit in question was not altogether clear and self-consistent. That it lacked unanimity was particularly apparent just before and again just after the war when feelings were not subject to war discipline. It was as though the Italian character were crossed by two different currents which divided it into two irreconcilable sections. One need think only of the days of Italian neutrality and of the debates that raged between Interventionists and Neutralists. The ease with which the most inconsistent ideas were pressed into service by both parties showed that the issue was not between two opposing political opinions, two conflicting concepts of history, but actually between two different temperaments, two different souls.

For one kind of person the important point was to fight the war, either on the side of Germany or against Germany: but in either event to fight the war, without regard to specific advantages — to fight the war in order that at last the Italian nation, created rather by favoring conditions than by the will of its people to be a nation, might receive its test in blood, such a test as only war can bring by uniting all citizens in a single thought, a single passion, a single hope, emphasizing to each individual that all have something in common, something transcending private interests.

This was the very thing that frightened the other kind of person, the prudent man, the realist, who had a clear view of the mortal risks a young, inexperienced, badly prepared nation would be running in such a war, and who also saw — a most significant point — that, all things considered, a bargaining neutrality would surely win the country tangible rewards, as great as victorious participation itself.

The point at issue was just that: the Italian Neutralists stood for material advantages, advantages tangible, ponderable, palpable; the Interventionists stood for moral advantages, intangible, impalpable, imponderable — imponderable at least on the scales used by their antagonists. On the eve of the war these two Italian characters stood facing each other, scowling and irreconcilable — the one on the aggressive, asserting itself ever more forcefully through the various organs of public opinion; the other on the defensive, offering resistance through the Parliament which in those days still seemed to be the basic repository of State sovereignty. Civil conflict seemed inevitable in Italy, and civil war was in fact averted only because the King took advantage of one of his prerogatives and declared war against the Central Powers.

This act of the King was the first decisive step toward the solution of the crisis.


The crisis had ancient origins. Its roots sank deep into the inner spirit of the Italian people.

What were the creative forces of the Risorgimento? The “Italian people,” to which some historians are now tending to attribute an important if not a decisive rôle in our struggle for national unity and independence, was hardly on the scene at all. The active agency was always an idea become a person — it was one or several determined wills which were fixed on determined goals. There can be no question that the birth of modern Italy was the work of the few. And it could not be otherwise. It is always the few who represent the self-consciousness and the will of an epoch and determine what its history shall be; for it is they who see the forces at their disposal and through those forces actuate the one truly active and productive force — their own will.

That will we find in the song of the poets and the ideas of the political writers, who know how to use a language harmonious with a universal sentiment or with a sentiment capable of becoming universal. In the case of Italy, in all our bards, philosophers and leaders, from Alfieri to Foscolo, from Leopardi to Manzoni, from Mazzini to Gioberti, we are able to pick up the threads of a new fabric, which is a new kind of thought, a new kind of soul, a new kind of Italy. This new Italy differed from the old Italy in something that was very simple but yet was of the greatest importance: this new Italy took life seriously, while the old one did not. People in every age had dreamed of an Italy and talked of an Italy. The notion of Italy had been sung in all kinds of music, propounded in all kinds of philosophy. But it was always an Italy that existed in the brain of some scholar whose learning was more or less divorced from reality. Now reality demands that convictions be taken seriously, that ideas become actions. Accordingly it was necessary that this Italy, which was an affair of brains only, become also an affair of hearts, become, that is, something serious, something alive. This, and no other, was the meaning of Mazzini’s great slogan: “Thought and Action.” It was the essence of the great revolution which he preached and which he accomplished by instilling his doctrine into the hearts of others. Not many others — a small minority! But they were numerous enough and powerful enough to raise the question where it could be answered — in Italian public opinion (taken in conjunction with the political situation prevailing in the rest of Europe). They were able to establish the doctrine that life is not a game, but a mission; that, therefore, the individual has a law and a purpose in obedience to which and in fulfillment of which he alone attains his true value; that, accordingly, he must make sacrifices, now of personal comfort, now of private interest, now of life itself.

No revolution ever possessed more markedly than did the ItalianRisorgimento this characteristic of ideality, of thought preceding action. Our revolt was not concerned with the material needs of life, nor did it spring from elementary and widely diffused sentiments breaking out in popular uprisings and mass disturbances. The movements of 1847 and 1848 were demonstrations, as we would say today, of “intellectuals;” they were efforts toward a goal on the part of a minority of patriots who were standard bearers of an ideal and were driving governments and peoples toward its attainment. Idealism — understood as faith in the advent of an ideal reality, as a manner of conceiving life not as fixed within the limits of existing fact, but as incessant progress and transformation toward the level of a higher law which controls men with the very force of the idea — was the sum and substance of Mazzini’s teaching; and it supplied the most conspicuous characteristic of our great Italian revolution. In this sense all the patriots who worked for the foundation of the new kingdom were Mazzinians — Gioberti, Cavour, Victor Emmanuel, Garibaldi. To be sure, our writers of the first rank, such as Manzoni and Rosmini, had no historical connection with Mazzini; but they had the same general tendency as Mazzini. Working along diverging lines, they all came together on the essential point: that true life is not the life which is, but also the life which ought to be. It was a conviction essentially religious in character, essentially anti-materialistic.


This religious and idealistic manner of looking at life, so characteristic of the Risorgimento, prevails even beyond the heroic age of the revolution and the establishment of the Kingdom. It survives down through Ricasoli, Lanza, Sella and Minghetti, down, that is, to the occupation of Rome and the systemization of our national finances. The parliamentary overturn of 1876, indeed, marks not the end, but rather an interruption, on the road that Italy had been following since the beginning of the century. The outlook then changed, and not by the capriciousness or weakness of men, but by a necessity of history which it would be idiotic in our day to deplore. At that time the fall of the Right, which had ruled continuously between 1861 and 1876, seemed to most people the real conquest of freedom.

To be sure the Right cannot be accused of too great scruple in respecting the liberties guaranteed by our Constitution; but the real truth was that the Right conceived liberty in a sense directly opposite to the notions of the Left. The Left moved from the individual to the State: the Right moved from the State to the individual. The men of the Left thought of “the people” as merely the agglomerate of the citizens composing it. They therefore made the individual the center and the point of departure of all the rights and prerogatives which a régime of freedom was bound to respect.

The men of the Right, on the contrary, were firmly set in the notion that no freedom can be conceived except within the State, that freedom can have no important content apart from a solid régime of law indisputably sovereign over the activities and the interests of individuals. For the Right there could be no individual freedom not reconcilable with the authority of the State. In their eyes the general interest was always paramount over private interests. The law, therefore, should have absolute efficacy and embrace the whole life of the people.

This conception of the Right was evidently sound; but it involved great dangers when applied without regard to the motives which provoked it. Unless we are careful, too much law leads to stasis and therefore to the annihilation of the life which it is the State’s function to regulate but which the State cannot suppress. The State may easily become a form indifferent to its content — something extraneous to the substance it would regulate. If the law comes upon the individual from without, if the individual is not absorbed in the life of the State, the individual feels the law and the State as limitations on his activity, as chains which will eventually strangle him unless he can break them down.

This was just the feeling of the men of ’76. The country needed a breath of air. Its moral, economic, and social forces demanded the right to develop without interference from a law which took no account of them. This was the historical reason for the overturn of that year; and with the transference of power from Right to Left begins the period of growth and development in our nation: economic growth in industry, commerce, railroads, agriculture; intellectual growth in science, education. The nation had received its form from above. It had now to struggle to its new level, giving to a State which already had its constitution, its administrative and political organization, its army and its finance, a living content of forces springing from individual initiative prompted by interests which the Risorgimento, absorbed in its great ideals, had either neglected or altogether disregarded.

The accomplishment of this constitutes the credit side of the balance sheet of King Humbert I. It was the error of King Humbert’s greatest minister, Francesco Crispi, not to have understood his age. Crispi strove vigorously to restore the authority and the prestige of the State as against an individualism gone rampant, to reassert religious ideals as against triumphant materialism. He fell, therefore, before the assaults of so-called democracy.

Crispi was wrong. That was not the moment for re-hoisting the time-honored banner of idealism. At that time there could be no talk of wars, of national dignity, of competition with the Great Powers; no talk of setting limits to personal liberties in the interests of the abstract entity called “State.” The word “God,” which Crispi sometimes used, was singularly out of place. It was a question rather of bringing the popular classes to prosperity, self-consciousness, participation in political life. Campaigns against illiteracy, all kinds of social legislation, the elimination of the clergy from the public schools, which must be secular and anti-clerical! During this period Freemasonry became solidly established in the bureaucracy, the army, the judiciary. The central power of the State was weakened and made subservient to the fleeting variations of popular will as reflected in a suffrage absolved from all control from above. The growth of big industry favored the rise of a socialism of Marxian stamp as a new kind of moral and political education for our proletariat. The conception of humanity was not indeed lost from view: but such moral restraints as were placed on the free individual were all based on the feeling that each man must instinctively seek his own well-being and defend it. This was the very conception which Mazzini had fought in socialism, though he rightly saw that it was not peculiar to socialism alone, but belonged to any political theory, whether liberal, democratic, or anti-socialistic, which urges men toward the exaction of rights rather than to the fulfillment of duties.

From 1876 till the Great War, accordingly, we had an Italy that was materialistic and anti-Mazzinian, though an Italy far superior to the Italy of and before Mazzini’s time. All our culture, whether in the natural or the moral sciences, in letters or in the arts, was dominated by a crude positivism, which conceived of the reality in which we live as something given, something ready-made, and which therefore limits and conditions human activity quite apart from so-called arbitrary and illusory demands of morality. Everybody wanted “facts,” “positive facts.” Everybody laughed at “metaphysical dreams,” at impalpable realities. The truth was there before the eyes of men. They had only to open their eyes to see it. The Beautiful itself could only be the mirror of the Truth present before us in Nature. Patriotism, like all the other virtues based on a religious attitude of mind, and which can be mentioned only when people have the courage to talk in earnest, became a rhetorical theme on which it was rather bad taste to touch.

This period, which anyone born during the last half of the past century can well remember, might be called the demo-socialistic phase of the modern Italian State. It was the period which elaborated the characteristically democratic attitude of mind on a basis of personal freedom, and which resulted in the establishment of socialism as the primary and controlling force in the State. It was a period of growth and of prosperity during which the moral forces developed during the Risorgimento were crowded into the background or off the stage.


But toward the end of the Nineteenth Century and in the first years of the Twentieth a vigorous spirit of reaction began to manifest itself in the young men of Italy against the preceding generation’s ideas in politics, literature, science and philosophy. It was as though they were weary of the prosaic bourgeois life which they had inherited from their fathers and were eager to return to the lofty moral enthusiasms of their grandfathers. Rosmini and Gioberti had been long forgotten. They were now exhumed, read, discussed. As for Mazzini, an edition of his writings was financed by the State itself. Vico, the great Vico, a formidable preacher of idealistic philosophy and a great anti-Cartesian and anti-rationalist, became the object of a new cult.

Positivism began forthwith to be attacked by neo-idealism. Materialistic approaches to the study of literature and art were refuted and discredited. Within the Church itself modernism came to rouse the Italian clergy to the need of a deeper and more modern culture. Even socialism was brought under the philosophical probe and criticized like other doctrines for its weaknesses and errors; and when, in France, George Sorel went beyond the fallacies of the materialistic theories of the Marxist social-democracy to his theory of syndicalism, our young Italian socialists turned to him. In Sorel’s ideas they saw two things: first, the end of a hypocritical “collaborationism” which betrayed both proletariat and nation; and second, faith in a moral and ideal reality for which it was the individual’s duty to sacrifice himself, and to defend which, even violence was justified. The anti-parliamentarian spirit and the moral spirit of syndicalism brought Italian socialists back within the Mazzinian orbit.

Of great importance, too, was nationalism, a new movement then just coming to the fore. Our Italian nationalism was less literary and more political in character than the similar movement in France, because with us it was attached to the old historic Right which had a long political tradition. The new nationalism differed from the old Right in the stress it laid on the idea of “nation;” but it was at one with the Right in regarding the State as the necessary premise to the individual rights and values. It was the special achievement of nationalism to rekindle faith in the nation in Italian hearts, to arouse the country against parliamentary socialism, and to lead an open attack on Freemasonry, before which the Italian bourgeoisie was terrifiedly prostrating itself. Syndicalists, nationalists, idealists succeeded, between them, in bringing the great majority of Italian youth back to the spirit of Mazzini.

Official, legal, parliamentary Italy, the Italy that was anti-Mazzinian and anti-idealistic, stood against all this, finding its leader in a man of unfailing political intuition, and master as well of the political mechanism of the country, a man sceptical of all high-sounding words, impatient of complicated concepts, ironical, cold, hard-headed, practical — what Mazzini would have called a “shrewd materialist.” In the persons, indeed, of Mazzini and Giolitti, we may find a picture of the two aspects of prewar Italy, of that irreconcilable duality which paralyzed the vitality of the country and which the Great War was to solve.


The effect of the war seemed at first to be quite in an opposite sense — to mark the beginning of a general débâcle of the Italian State and of the moral forces that must underlie any State. If entrance into the war had been a triumph of ideal Italy over materialistic Italy, the advent of peace seemed to give ample justification to the Neutralists who had represented the latter. After the Armistice our Allies turned their backs upon us. Our victory assumed all the aspects of a defeat. A defeatist psychology, as they say, took possession of the Italian people and expressed itself in hatred of the war, of those responsible for the war, even of our army which had won our war. An anarchical spirit of dissolution rose against all authority. The ganglia of our economic life seemed struck with mortal disease. Labor ran riot in strike after strike. The very bureaucracy seemed to align itself against the State. The measure of our spiritual dispersion was the return to power of Giolitti — the execrated Neutralist — who for five years had been held up as the exponent of an Italy which had died with the war.

But, curiously enough, it was under Giolitti that things suddenly changed in aspect, that against the Giolittian State a new State arose. Our soldiers, our genuine soldiers, men who had willed our war and fought it in full consciousness of what they were doing, had the good fortune to find as their leader a man who could express in words things that were in all their hearts and who could make those words audible above the tumult.

Mussolini had left Italian socialism in 1915 in order to be a more faithful interpreter of “the Italian People” (the name he chose for his new paper). He was one of those who saw the necessity of our war, one of those mainly responsible for our entering the war. Already as a socialist he had fought Freemasonry; and, drawing his inspiration from Sorel’s syndicalism, he had assailed the parliamentary corruption of Reformist Socialism with the idealistic postulates of revolution and violence. Then, later, on leaving the party and in defending the cause of intervention, he had come to oppose the illusory fancies of proletarian internationalism with an assertion of the infrangible integrity, not only moral but economic as well, of the national organism, affirming therefore the sanctity of country for the working classes as for other classes. Mussolini was a Mazzinian of that pure-blooded breed which Mazzini seemed somehow always to find in the province of Romagna. First by instinct, later by reflection, Mussolini had come to despise the futility of the socialists who kept preaching a revolution which they had neither the power nor the will to bring to pass even under the most favorable circumstances. More keenly than anyone else he had come to feel the necessity of a State which would be a State, of a law which would be respected as law, of an authority capable of exacting obedience but at the same time able to give indisputable evidence of its worthiness so to act. It seemed incredible to Mussolini that a country capable of fighting and winning such a war as Italy had fought and won should be thrown into disorder and held at the mercy of a handful of faithless politicians.

When Mussolini founded his Fasci in Milan in March, 1919, the movement toward dissolution and negation that featured the post-war period in Italy had virtually ceased. The Fasci made their appeal to Italians who, in spite of the disappointments of the peace, continued to believe in the war, and who, in order to validate the victory which was the proof of the war’s value, were bent on recovering for Italy that control over her own destinies which could come only through a restoration of discipline and a reorganization of social and political forces. From the first, the Fascist Party was not one of believers but of action. What it needed was not a platform of principles, but an idea which would indicate a goal and a road by which the goal could be reached.

The four years between 1919 and 1923 inclusive were characterized by the development of the Fascist revolution through the action of “the squads.” The Fascist “squads” were really the force of a State not yet born but on the way to being. In its first period, Fascist “squadrism” transgressed the law of the old régime because it was determined to suppress that régime as incompatible with the national State to which Fascism was aspiring. The March on Rome was not the beginning, it was the end of that phase of the revolution; because, with Mussolini’s advent to power, Fascism entered the sphere of legality. After October 28, 1922, Fascism was no longer at war with the State; it was the State, looking about for the organization which would realize Fascism as a concept of State. Fascism already had control of all the instruments necessary for the upbuilding of a new State. The Italy of Giolitti had been superceded, at least so far as militant politics were concerned. Between Giolitti’s Italy and the new Italy there flowed, as an imaginative orator once said in the Chamber, “a torrent of blood” that would prevent any return to the past. The century-old crisis had been solved. The war at last had begun to bear fruit for Italy.


Now to understand the distinctive essence of Fascism, nothing is more instructive than a comparison of it with the point of view of Mazzini to which I have so often referred.

Mazzini did have a political conception, but his politic was a sort of integral politic, which cannot be so sharply distinguished from morals, religion, and ideas of life as a whole, as to be considered apart from these other fundamental interests of the human spirit. If one tries to separate what is purely political from his religious beliefs, his ethical consciousness and his metaphysical concepts, it becomes impossible to understand the vast influence which his credo and his propaganda exerted. Unless we assume the unity of the whole man, we arrive not at the clarification but at the destruction of those ideas of his which proved so powerful.

In the definition of Fascism, the first point to grasp is the comprehensive, or as Fascists say, the “totalitarian” scope of its doctrine, which concerns itself not only with political organization and political tendency, but with the whole will and thought and feeling of the nation.

There is a second and equally important point. Fascism is not a philosophy. Much less is it a religion. It is not even a political theory which may be stated in a series of formulæ. The significance of Fascism is not to be grasped in the special theses which it from time to time assumes. When on occasion it has announced a program, a goal, a concept to be realized in action, Fascism has not hesitated to abandon them when in practice these were found to be inadequate or inconsistent with the principle of Fascism. Fascism has never been willing to compromise its future. Mussolini has boasted that he is a tempista, that his real pride is in “good timing.” He makes decisions and acts on them at the precise moment when all the conditions and considerations which make them feasible and opportune are properly matured. This is a way of saying that Fascism returns to the most rigorous meaning of Mazzini’s “Thought and Action,” whereby the two terms are so perfectly coincident that no thought has value which is not already expressed in action. The real “views” of the Duce are those which he formulates and executes at one and the same time.

Is Fascism therefore “anti-intellectual,” as has been so often charged? It is eminently anti-intellectual, eminently Mazzinian, that is, if by intellectualism we mean the divorce of thought from action, of knowledge from life, of brain from heart, of theory from practice. Fascism is hostile to all Utopian systems which are destined never to face the test of reality. It is hostile to all science and all philosophy which remain matters of mere fancy or intelligence. It is not that Fascism denies value to culture, to the higher intellectual pursuits by which thought is invigorated as a source of action. Fascist anti-intellectualism holds in scorn a product peculiarly typical of the educated classes in Italy: the leterato — the man who plays with knowledge and with thought without any sense of responsibility for the practical world. It is hostile not so much to culture as to bad culture, the culture which does not educate, which does not make men, but rather creates pedants and aesthetes, egotists in a word, men morally and politically indifferent. It has no use, for instance, for the man who is “above the conflict” when his country or its important interests are at stake.

By virtue of its repugnance for “intellectualism,” Fascism prefers not to waste time constructing abstract theories about itself. But when we say that it is not a system or a doctrine we must not conclude that it is a blind praxis or a purely instinctive method. If by system or philosophy we mean a living thought, a principle of universal character daily revealing its inner fertility and significance, then Fascism is a perfect system, with a solidly established foundation and with a rigorous logic in its development; and all who feel the truth and the vitality of the principle work day by day for its development, now doing, now undoing, now going forward, now retracing their steps, according as the things they do prove to be in harmony with the principle or to deviate from it.

And we come finally to a third point.

The Fascist system is not a political system, but it has its center of gravity in politics. Fascism came into being to meet serious problems of politics in post-war Italy. And it presents itself as a political method. But in confronting and solving political problems it is carried by its very nature, that is to say by its method, to consider moral, religious, and philosophical questions and to unfold and demonstrate the comprehensive totalitarian character peculiar to it. It is only after we have grasped the political character of the Fascist principle that we are able adequately to appreciate the deeper concept of life which underlies that principle and from which the principle springs. The political doctrine of Fascism is not the whole of Fascism. It is rather its more prominent aspect and in general its most interesting one.


The politic of Fascism revolves wholly about the concept of the national State; and accordingly it has points of contact with nationalist doctrines, along with distinctions from the latter which it is important to bear in mind.

Both Fascism and nationalism regard the State as the foundation of all rights and the source of all values in the individuals composing it. For the one as for the other the State is not a consequence — it is a principle. But in the case of nationalism, the relation which individualistic liberalism, and for that matter socialism also, assumed between individual and State is inverted. Since the State is a principle, the individual becomes a consequence — he is something which finds an antecedent in the State: the State limits him and determines his manner of existence, restricting his freedom, binding him to a piece of ground whereon he was born, whereon he must live and will die. In the case of Fascism, State and individual are one and the same things, or rather, they are inseparable terms of a necessary synthesis.

Nationalism, in fact, founds the State on the concept of nation, the nation being an entity which transcends the will and the life of the individual because it is conceived as objectively existing apart from the consciousness of individuals, existing even if the individual does nothing to bring it into being. For the nationalist, the nation exists not by virtue of the citizen’s will, but as datum, a fact, of nature.

For Fascism, on the contrary, the State is a wholly spiritual creation. It is a national State, because, from the Fascist point of view, the nation itself is a creation of the mind and is not a material presupposition, is not a datum of nature. The nation, says the Fascist, is never really made; neither, therefore, can the State attain an absolute form, since it is merely the nation in the latter’s concrete, political manifestation. For the Fascist, the State is always in fieri. It is in our hands, wholly; whence our very serious responsibility towards it.

But this State of the Fascists which is created by the consciousness and the will of the citizen, and is not a force descending on the citizen from above or from without, cannot have toward the mass of the population the relationship which was presumed by nationalism.

Nationalism identified State with Nation, and made of the nation an entity preëxisting, which needed not to be created but merely to be recognized or known. The nationalists, therefore, required a ruling class of an intellectual character, which was conscious of the nation and could understand, appreciate and exalt it. The authority of the State, furthermore, was not a product but a presupposition. It could not depend on the people — rather the people depended on the State and on the State’s authority as the source of the life which they lived and apart from which they could not live. The nationalistic State was, therefore, an aristocratic State, enforcing itself upon the masses through the power conferred upon it by its origins.

The Fascist State, on the contrary, is a people’s state, and, as such, the democratic State par excellence. The relationship between State and citizen (not this or that citizen, but all citizens) is accordingly so intimate that the State exists only as, and in so far as, the citizen causes it to exist. Its formation therefore is the formation of a consciousness of it in individuals, in the masses. Hence the need of the Party, and of all the instruments of propaganda and education which Fascism uses to make the thought and will of the Duce the thought and will of the masses. Hence the enormous task which Fascism sets itself in trying to bring the whole mass of the people, beginning with the little children, inside the fold of the Party.

On the popular character of the Fascist State likewise depends its greatest social and constitutional reform — the foundation of the Corporations of Syndicates. In this reform Fascism took over from syndicalism the notion of the moral and educational function of the syndicate. But the Corporations of Syndicates were necessary in order to reduce the syndicates to State discipline and make them an expression of the State’s organism from within. The Corporation of Syndicates are a device through which the Fascist State goes looking for the individual in order to create itself through the individual’s will. But the individual it seeks is not the abstract political individual whom the old liberalism took for granted. He is the only individual who can ever be found, the individual who exists as a specialized productive force, and who, by the fact of his specialization, is brought to unite with other individuals of his same category and comes to belong with them to the one great economic unit which is none other than the nation.

This great reform is already well under way. Toward it nationalism, syndicalism, and even liberalism itself, were already tending in the past. For even liberalism was beginning to criticize the older forms of political representation, seeking some system of organic representation which would correspond to the structural reality of the State.

The Fascist conception of liberty merits passing notice. The Duce of Fascism once chose to discuss the theme of “Force or Consent?;” and he concluded that the two terms are inseparable, that the one implies the other and cannot exist apart from the other; that, in other words, the authority of the State and the freedom of the citizen constitute a continuous circle wherein authority presupposes liberty and liberty authority. For freedom can exist only within the State, and the State means authority. But the State is not an entity hovering in the air over the heads of its citizens. It is one with the personality of the citizen. Fascism, indeed, envisages the contrast not as between liberty and authority, but as between a true, a concrete liberty which exists, and an abstract, illusory liberty which cannot exist.

Liberalism broke the circle above referred to, setting the individual against the State and liberty against authority. What the liberal desired was liberty as against the State, a liberty which was a limitation of the State; though the liberal had to resign himself, as the lesser of the evils, to a State which was a limitation on liberty. The absurdities inherent in the liberal concept of freedom were apparent to liberals themselves early in the Nineteenth Century. It is no merit of Fascism to have again indicated them. Fascism has its own solution of the paradox of liberty and authority. The authority of the State is absolute. It does not compromise, it does not bargain, it does not surrender any portion of its field to other moral or religious principles which may interfere with the individual conscience. But on the other hand, the State becomes a reality only in the consciousness of its individuals. And the Fascist corporative State supplies a representative system more sincere and more in touch with realities than any other previously devised and is therefore freer than the old liberal State.