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The concept of leadership in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

1. Definition of Fascism and Nazism The word fascism is derived from the Latin fasces and is a designation for a bundle of rods tied around an ax, worn in front of ancient officials by ancient officials as a sign of their important social function. We also have the Italian name fascio o otep or bundle, which was used by Italian revolutionaries in the nineteenth century and during the First World War also by many Italian activists engaged in various activities. However, the fascist movement Fasci di Combattimento, which is the subject of this work, originated in Milan on March 23, 1919, when war veterans, futuristic intellectuals and trade unionists, led by Mussolini, met in the Milan Industrial and Trade Union building in Piazza San Sepolcro to "declare the war of socialism because it opposes nationalism ".

The concept of leadership in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

Introduction The power structure applied after the rise of fascism in Italy is to some extent different from that applied in Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, many social science theorists tend to combine both types of ideology in interpreting fascism. In my bachelor's thesis, I want to try to answer the question which of these two regimes, in practical application, came closer to its ideological conception of the relationship between the leader and the party.

The concept of leadership in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

2. The concept of the state The Fasci di Combattimento movement originated on March 23, 1919, when about three hundred people gathered to declare war on socialism. However, the path to seizing power was very thorny for the Italian fascists in the following years - yet they managed to take power eleven years earlier than the Nazis in Germany.

The concept of leadership in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

3. The principle of leadership According to contemporary testimonies, Mussolini had charm, the ability of skilful political compromises and at the same time a refined instinct for self-preservation mixed with good organizational ability and intuition for the effective delegation of competencies. Compared to Hitler, however, he was more of an executive administrative worker than a type of orator who toured mass meetings and enchanted crowds with fiery rhetoric. Hitler lacked precisely that diligence and consistency in carrying out the normal official duties of the head of state, on the other hand, he was a better strategist, a more energetic leader and orator, and, unlike Mussolini, he needed the ability to build absolute authority. He was able to work with the masses through mass public meetings and the terrorization of opponents by Nazi troops.

The concept of leadership in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

4. The party As stated in the first chapter, the Italian fascists did not strive from the beginning, they even opposed the establishment of fascism through parliament. Fasci di Combattimento originated in its essence as an "anti-party", without a specific political agenda. This character of political formlessness is summed up in Mussolini's article published in a Catholic newspaper in the summer of 1918, which stated "we dare to be revolutionaries and egalitarians, (...) all according to circumstances, time, place and environment."

The concept of leadership in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

5. The relationship between leader and party According to Nazi and fascist ideology, authority was established, which can be simply described by Joseph Goebbels' famous statement "One nation, one empire, one leader" ("Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer"). The will of the leader on the basis of this thesis should merge with the will of the state, it should be ubiquitous, generally binding. Both the Nazis and the fascists justified this with an irrational argument that it is the leader who is best able to interpret the will of the nation. The question of whether the will of the whole nation can be identical with the will of the individual in the form of a duce or a Führer remained unanswered.

The concept of leadership in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

Conclusion Both ideologies examined have developed dynamically since their inception, and within them there has been a constant feud of conflicting ideological elements. This makes it impossible for us to grasp the ideologies objectively, but in any case it was a completely new line of thought. The movement that emerged from these directions was a phenomenon that interwar Europe, influenced by the belief of modernity in unlimited progress, did not anticipate, had no experience with, and was therefore unable to respond adequately to its destructive effects. Fascism and Nazism represented a radical departure from contemporary liberalism, which failed as a social and economic system of modernity as a result of World War II.

The concept of leadership in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

The power structure applied after the rise of fascism in Italy is somewhat different from that applied in Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, many social science theorists tend to combine both types of ideology in interpreting fascism. In my bachelor's thesis, I want to try to answer the question which of these two regimes, in practical application, came closer to its ideological conception of the relationship between the leader and the party.

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