Fascism — three quotations from the source

Two from Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile’s The Doctrine of Fascism (1932):

“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.”

Further:

“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. 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.”

And this one from professor Alfredo Rocco, who was Minister of Justice under Mussolini:

“Fascism stresses the necessity, for which the older doctrines make little allowance, of sacrifice, even up to the total immolation of individuals, in behalf of society. … For Liberalism [i.e., individualism], the individual is the end and society the means; nor is it conceivable that the individual, considered in the dignity of an ultimate finality, be lowered to mere instrumentality. For Fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends.”

Editorial insertion: So the most anti-fascist philosophy would be one that insists upon: (a) individualism, (b) the rejection of self-sacrifice, (c) the pursuit of happiness in this life, (d) seeing the State as merely instrumental and (e) severely limited in its powers.

Sources:

Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile, The Doctrine of Fascism (1932).
Alfredo Rocco, The Political Doctrine of Fascism. (1925) HTML version here.

More of my posts on Mussolini and fascism.

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