By Martin Blinkhorn
During this absolutely revised and up to date pamphlet, Martin Blinkhorn explains the importance of the guy, the flow and the regime which ruled Italian lifestyles among 1922 and the second one international warfare.
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Additional info for Mussolini and Fascist Italy (Lancaster Pamphlets)
Over the next two years they were to be sorely disappointed. Even as the membership of the Fascist Labour Confederation swelled with former members of the now illegal socialist 30 and Catholic unions, the reality of the regime’s attitude towards labour relations became apparent. Rocco’s labour relations law of April 1926 and the much-trumpeted Labour Charter of 1927 brought the fascist unions firmly under state control and installed a labour-relations system decidedly favourable to employers. In 1928 the Fascist Labour Confederation, now almost 3 million strong, was broken up into six parts, depriving Rossoni of his power base and effectively extinguishing fascist syndicalism as a serious force.
The onset of the world depression in 1929 forced the fascist regime along new paths. The Ethiopian war of 1935–6 gave renewed impetus to what in 1936 became Mussolini’s declared policy: that of ‘autarky’ or economic self-sufficiency, deemed essential for a warrior nation. From 1935 onwards the state’s role in industrial financing, raw material allocation, the replacement of imported by homeproduced materials, and direct control of major industries increased. By 34 1939 it controlled over four-fifths of Italy’ s shipping and shipbuilding, three-quarters of her pig-iron production and almost half that of steel.
By December 1919, with many leftists already abandoning the movement and D’Annunzio eclipsing Mussolini as the likely leader of ‘national syndicalism’, fascism faced collapse. Mussolini held on, however, with some support from wealthy Milanese who sensed fascism’s anti-socialist potential, and from summer 1920 the movement entered a new and crucial phase in its development. The most important element in fascism’s revival was the growth of ‘agrarian’ fascism throughout much of northern and central Italy, most notably the Po Valley and Tuscany where, especially since 1918, socialist unions and Catholic peasant leagues had come to threaten the power of the agrari and the position and status of such ‘middling’ elements as richer peasants, estate managers and the provincial urban professional class.