Dictator Benito Mussolini rose to power in Italy in the year 1922 as a Fascist Dictator. Years earlier, Mussolini began his political career as a Revolutionary Socialist, but by 1919 he was able to mold the Italian government into a paramilitary Fascist dictatorship giving him full control of Italy by 1922. Mussolini forged the Italian government into a Fascist Dictatorship under his control where he abused his power and performed criminal and unjust activities.
Before Mussolini came to power the Italian mafia was still an extremely prominent group within Italy. The organized crime society functioned in illegal ways through drug trafficking, human trafficking and extortion. After close observation, scholars noticed that Mussolini’s Fascism and the Italian mafia work in similar ways in that they try to control and manipulate people using their power and fear.
Mussolini’s fascism and the mafia also have a similar way of dealing with corruption and gaining control of people. This furthermore demonstrates how Mussolini acted in a deceitful way similar to the Italian Mafia. He did this through his actions of bribery towards the mafia for his own political and personal gain, unjust and unfair treatment of people, and being intolerant of the beliefs of others through extreme acts.
The mafia was an Italian crime organization that originated in Sicily Italy and was taken to the United States through Italian immigrants moving to the United States in the late nineteenth century. The Italian mafia is a network of organized crime groups based in Italy which evolved over many decades in Sicily. Until the middle of the 19th century Sicily was an island ruled by many different foreign invaders. People of Sicily began to unite in groups to defend others and themselves in order to live in peace and unity.
The term Mafioso is translated to a member of the mafia, however originally the word had no association to criminal connections and was used to refer to a person who was suspicious of being connected to central authority. By the 19th century, many of these criminal organizations titled themselves as private armies, also known as the mafia. The mafia soon evolved into a corrupt group who committed felonies like drug trafficking, human trafficking, and extortion and eventually became one of the most violent criminal organization groups known today as the Sicilian Mafia.
Fascism is defined as “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”. Fascism places a very strong emphasis on patriotism and nationalism and is less focused on the wellbeing of the individuals rather than military power.
People who object and criticize the nation’s main ideals such as war are harshly chastised as unpatriotic and against the nation and can result in many different punishments the worst being treason. Additionally, Fascism loathes the principles of economic equality and disdains equality between immigrant, citizen, and government.
Mussolini started out as a soldier in WWI until he was injured, afterwards he became a leading promoter of fascism. He started originally as a revolutionary socialist, but as his power began to grow he started to grow the paramilitary fascist movement in 1919. In 1922 Mussolini became the prime minister. The black shirts were members of the Fascist regime who marched on Rome and made Mussolini their Fascist leader.
Mussolini worked to progress the Paramilitary Fascist movement in Italy during the years of 1919-1921. He then harassed his new power to March on Rome, and ultimately become Prime Minister. Mussolini then began to seize dictatorial power and transform the government into what he wanted it to become. Additionally, Mussolini was intolerant to any other political or religious beliefs that differed from his, which led to extreme uses of violence and force upon people.
Mussolini started his rule of Italy by turning the country into a Fascist Dictatorship that was to bow down to him and only him. Among the many other flaws in Mussolini’s ruling, the fascist guidelines he followed were intolerant to opposition and was therefore ill prepared to be a leader of a country. Mussolini had no way of dealing with adversity or different threatening groups, other than consolidating his power and demonstrating his strength through the government and law.
Yet, the threat of the law was still not enough to keep Mussolini from doing the right thing. Mussolini began to use the Italian Mafia as an ally to not only come to power but to help maintain his ideals in the country where the mafia was most occupying. Although both Mussolini and the Mafia were intolerant to anyone with other beliefs “Mussolini still needed his Mafioso allies for a time, especially their aid in maintaining law”.
This action is seen as the beginning of the numerous mischievous works that Mussolini gets himself mixed in with while he was in power. Aliening with a mafia organized crime group while in power is a sign of corrupt behavior and demonstrates his want for political gain without compromise or tolerance. The phrase “for a time” indicates an ulterior motive of planning to abandon the mafia after he has already benefited from the gain he had hoped the Mafia would help him achieve.
Mussolini transformed the country of Italy into a Fascist Dictatorship which gave him the power to control everything and everyone in the country without retaliation. In order to keep the positive opinions of his people he used the Italian mafia to execute certain decisions made. He used the mafia to make his popularity rise in areas he was not pertaining to as much, “During the first two years of his regime compelling reasons to enter into collaborations with influential Mafioso, men who were capable of enforcing law and order in the countryside”.
This furthermore proves the point of Mussolini using the mafia for political gain without having his actions being recorded back to him, therefore he highly influenced the organized crime group to his benefit.
This is an unfit and negative attribute for a leader of a country, this relates Mussolini much to the Italian mafia which functions in the same way. However, while neither case is okay in Mussolini’s case it is more important because his actions affects the entirety of Italy.
One of the major components to Fascism is its intolerance and narrow-mindedness towards people in all aspects of their lives. A Fascist Dictatorship entitles Mussolini to do as he pleases, therefore when the Mafia did not assist him in his goal for unethical political gain, Mussolini’s retaliation become very strong. “Above all else Mussolini was determined to destroy any possibility of effective land occupations and to suppress banditism.”
A major goal of Mussolini’s was to eliminate the mafia and all organized crime in Italy, he was the first leader of Italy to go to Sicily to take major action. The “determination” that Mussolini has to take vengeance on the Mafia shows that the way he acts is a sign of immaturity and very alike to the actions of an organized crime group would when faced with an issue. Although the attempted destruction of the Mafia would have been good for Italy, Mussolini’s actions were not totally righteous. An ulterior motive of helping himself through destroying the group that refused Mussolini’s offer for political gain demonstrates his intolerance towards groups and people that refuse or differ from him.
Mussolini had previously used the Italian mafia to bend the law and help him in his Fascist regime, but when the Mafia soon began to stop these actions, Mussolini retaliated against the organized group through methods the mafia would use. However, as a leader of a country Mussolini should handle himself in a much more professional. “In the meantime, his hand strengthened by the electoral victory of 1924, Mussolini declared war on the Mafia.
In May 1924, he made a triumphal tour of Sicily to consolidate his political gains of the previous month.” Mussolini’s almost immediate action of punishment and retaliation towards the mafia for not doing as he instructed demonstrates not only his power hungriness but also his intolerance to others in nearly every regard. By “consolidating his political gains” he is compelling the people of Sicily to support him and his administration otherwise they will face his consequences and punishments. The Mafia and Mussolini’s Fascism function in a similar way in regards to retaliation, both have a refusal to be controlled by another force or person.
Mussolini was the first ruler of Italy to go on to the Mafia filled island of Sicily as well as attempt to create a plan to end the corruption. Mussolini was not taking care of the dangerous Mafia because of the well-being of the Italian people, but instead because they do not believe in his Fascist regime. The Mafia is not supportive of Fascism because it has a more negative effect on their business which makes them more of a target by the government. Mussolini wanted the Mafia imprisoned so, “Thousands of suspected Mafia criminals had been captured and tens of thousands of years of imprisonment had been handed down in penal sentence.” Since Mussolini turned the government in Italy to a now Fascist dictatorship he has the power and ability to commit their actions without any repercussions or laws in his way.
Fascism entitled Mussolini to punish and imprison whomever he chose however, his actions demonstrate those similar to the Italian Mafia’s. When Mussolini began to capture Mafioso’s people noticed that, “When we passed through Sicily, the prisoners were crammed with these unfortunates. Later, I got to know youths of eighteen and nineteen years who said they were accused of crimes committed before they were born.”
The action of imprisoning children and innocent people accused of crimes “committed before they were born” demonstrates a characteristic with Mussolini that shows an ulterior motive of not caring about the corruption the Mafia has caused but caring about personal and political gain. The Mafia has done torturous actions like this when people refuses them which demonstrates a common connection between how the two different groups function.
Mussolini demonstrates his unfit behavior to be a leader of a country when he begins his retaliation against the Mafia. Because of their refusal, Mussolini treated the people in the Mafia with utter cruelty through his punishments towards the group for rejection of fascist beliefs.
Mussolini imprisoned people through, “We were jammed into various stinking, crowded cells I was placed in a cell with already twenty or thirty prisoners belonging to the mafia or black hand and the widely known Sicilian society which the Mussolini government is said to have destroyed.”
This obviously demonstrate the unfair and irrational treatments of people. History has shown the Mafia punishment or victimizing people through various different types of harsh punishment therefore when Mussolini imprisons people in such a difficult way the similarities between fascism and the mafia become extremely present.
The march on Rome is another perfect example of Mussolini and The Mafia working in a similar conduct. Mussolini and the black shirts took control of Rome and the Italian government through force and turned it into the government that they wanted. The mafia functions very closely to that through their actions of force upon people. The illegal business conducted in the mafia has made the people within it rise to power with a high influence and heavy threats.
Mussolini and the mafia have this aggressive power in common with one another demonstrating Mussolini’s unfit qualities to be a leader and the type of fascist regime he is dictating is like those of an organized crime group.
Overall Mussolini turned the Italian government into a Fascist Dictatorship under his control and consolidated power in a similar to the Italian Mafias. Mussolini used the Mafia’s power for political and personal gain to help his own regime, then began to retaliate against the Italian mafia when they did not do as he had told. His retaliation was through ridiculous punishments demonstrating his lack of tolerance for opinions and beliefs differing from his own. Finally, the parallel resemblance between both the Mafia and Mussolini’s Fascism demonstrates the common connection between both parties in the way that they conduct themselves.