Benito Mussolini himself doesn’t need any introduction; he’s a famous Italian dictator and fascist. So, we’ll probably skip the biography here, and start off with the fundamental ideas summary.
So, what was his attitude toward personal liberties?
First of all, we remember, he was an advocate for the totalitarian regime, so he wasn’t a fan of personal or civil liberties, that’s for sure. To state that we need several arguments and here they are.
#1. One of his famous quotations is clearly explaining his position towards Individual vs State. He says “Against individualism, the Fascist conception is for the State ... Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual.” Thus, he says, that the State is actually more important than the individual. An individual won’t mean much and in case of any contradiction between the individual’s and state’s interests. State wins in each case.
#2. Here is what he thinks of democracy and people overall. “Democracy is talking itself to death. The people do not know what they want; they do not know what is the best for them. There is too much foolishness, too much of lost motion. Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice, it is a fallacy.”
#3. Here’s what Benito Mussolini's political ideology is up to “Fascism is definitely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and economic sphere.”
#4. This quote clearly shows his attitude to liberty “People are tired of liberty. They have had a surfeit of it. Liberty is no longer a chaste and austere virgin…. Today’s youth are moved by other slogans…Order, Hierarchy, Discipline.”
From these several short quotations, we see, that Benito Mussolini has a sharply defined position towards the place an individual should take in the State.
- The State is all-embracing. Therefore, an individual is included in the state and has its own, limited place.
- The State defines what an individual learns, does and how individual lives. Preferably, even what individual thinks/believes.
- Fascism is all against individualism.
- Each person should follow the order defined by State, discipline is vital
- There are rights and duties assigned by the State. There is nothing more one can get.
- The interests and the needs of the State are always more important than the needs of one individual.