Thursday, March 1, 2012

Program of the National Fascist Party (1921)


Fundamental Elements

Fascism constituted itself as a political party in order to strengthen its discipline and to individuate its beliefs.

The Nation is not reducible to a sum total of living individuals, nor is it a tool that political parties may use for their own ends. Rather, it is an organism comprising an indefinite series of generations of which single individuals are but transient elements. The Nation is the supreme synthesis of all the material and immaterial values of a race.

The State is the juridical embodiment of a Nation. Political institutions are effective as long as the Nation's values are expressed and protected by them.

Autonomous values upheld by individuals, like the collective values upheld by multitudes and espoused by organized collective bodies such as families, municipalities, guilds and so on, ought to be promoted, developed and defended. But this must always be done within the Nation, an entity to which these values are subordinate.

The National Fascist Party maintains that the form of social organization predominant in today's world is the national society. It holds, moreover, that the destiny that awaits global life is not the unification of various societies into a single, global society, i.e. "humanity" in the parlance of the internationalists. Rather, destiny promises something better: fruitful and peaceful competition among all national societies.


The State

The State must be reduced to its essential functions: maintaining the political and judicial order.

The State bestows powers and responsibilities on associations. It also grants professional and economic guilds the right to vote in elections to the National Technical Councils.

It therefore follows that the powers and duties currently assigned to the Parliament must be restricted. Under the Parliament's sway come all problems of the individual as a citizen of the State, and of the State as an organ whose purpose consists in realizing and protecting the supreme national interest. Under the National Technical Councils' sway come all problems involving the activities undertaken by individuals as producers.

The State is sovereign. Such sovereignty cannot and ought not be damaged or diminished by the Church, to which ample freedom must be granted so that it may carry out its spiritual ministry.

The National Fascist Party's attitude regarding the forms assumed by individual political institutions depends upon the moral and material interests of the Nation, understood both in its reality and in its historical becoming.


The Guilds

The rise of guilds (corporazioni) is a historical fact that Fascism cannot oppose. It aims at coordinating corporative development in the pursuit of national objectives.

Guilds must be promoted with two functional goals in mind: as an expression of national solidarity and as a means for the development of production.

Guilds must not strive to submerge the individual in the collectivity by arbitrarily leveling his or her abilities and strengths. Rather, they must aim at making good use of and developing them.

The National Fascist Party will advocate the following positions in support of blue-collar and white-collar workers:

1. The enactment of a State law establishing an official standard workday of eight hours for all employees, with possible exceptions being granted due to special agricultural or industrial needs;

2. The enactment of welfare legislation adapted to current needs—particularly in the domains of accident, disability, and old-age protections for agricultural, industrial, or office workers—so long as it does not hamper production;

3. Obligatory representation of workers in the management of factories, limited with respect to personal issues;

4. The management of industry and public services be entrusted to union organizations that are morally and technically up to the task;

5. Promotion of the diffusion of small landholdings in those regions where it makes sense for certain types of agricultural production.


Cornerstones of Domestic Policy

The National Fascist Party aims to bring a new dignity to our political habits, so that the life of the Nation is not characterized by antithetical forms of public and private morality.

It aspires to the supreme honor of governing the Nation and aims to restore the ethical principle that governments ought to administer the commonwealth as a function of the Nation's supreme interest and not as a function of the interests of political parties and cliques.

The prestige of the nation-state must be restored. The State in question does not look with indifference upon the outbreak of arrogant forces attempting or threatening to materially and spiritually weaken its structure. It is a jealous keeper, defender and propagator of national tradition, sentiment and will.

The freedom of individual citizens is subject to a twofold limit: the freedom of other juridical persons and the sovereign right of the Nation to live and develop.

The State must favour the Nation's growth by promoting (but not monopolizing) all efforts that foster the ethical, intellectual, religious, artistic, judicial, social, economic and physiological development of the national collectivity.


Cornerstones of Foreign Policy

Italy must reaffirm its right to complete its historical and geographical unity, even in cases where unity has not yet been fully achieved. It must fulfill its duty as a bulwark of Latin civilization in the Mediterranean basin. It must firmly and serenely assert the sway of its laws over the peoples of different nationalities annexed to Italy. It must provide real protection to Italians abroad, Italians who are deserving of the right to political representation.

Fascism finds the founding principles of the so-called League of Nations wanting, because irrespective of whether they are members or non-members, nations do not enjoy an equal footing within the League.

Fascism does not believe in the vigour or effectiveness of the color-coded internationals, whether red, white or other. The latter are artificial, formal constructions gathering small minorities of individuals with varying degrees of conviction. They are to be contrasted with the great masses of the population whose lives, whether on an upward or downward trajectory, provoke shifts in powers and, in turn, the collapse of all international constructions. Recent history has proven as much.

The diffusion of Italianism (Italianità) throughout the world must be the aim of Italy's commercial growth and of the international treaties through which it asserts its influence. International treaties must be reviewed and altered, particularly where they contain clauses that are clearly inapplicable; they must fulfill the needs of the national and worldwide economy.

The State must make the most of Italian colonies in the Mediterranean and overseas by means of economic and cultural institutions, as well as by developing rapid international and transportation links.

The National Fascist Party openly supports a policy of friendly contact with the peoples of the Near and Far East.

The defense and growth of Italy abroad must be placed in the hands of an army and navy that are equal to Italy's political needs and on par with the armies and navies of other nations. It must also be placed in the hands of a diplomatic corps that, aware of its role, is endowed with culture, courage, and the requisite skills necessary to express Italy's greatness at once materially and symbolically.


Cornerstones of Fiscal Policy and Politics

The National Fascist Party will insist upon the following:

1. That concrete sanctions be imposed on individuals and guilds when labour contracts that were freely entered into are not respected;

2. That, in cases of acts of negligence, public employees and their supervisors be subject to civil sanctions to the benefit of the injured party;

3. That taxable income and assessments of inherited estates be made public, in order to facilitate the monitoring of each citizen's financial obligations to the State;

4. That all future State initiatives that aim to protect certain branches of agriculture and manufacturing from dangerous foreign competition be designed as a stimulus to our Nation's productive forces and not for the benefit of parasitic, plutocratic groups whose intention it is to exploit our national economy.

The following will be the short-term objectives of the National Fascist Party:

1. Balancing State and local budgets (when necessary) by means of rigorous cutbacks to all parasitic or redundant entities via reductions in expenditures neither crucial to the well-being of the beneficiaries nor justified by more general objectives;

2. Decentralization of the public administration so as to simplify the delivery services and to streamline our bureaucracy, without falling into the trap of political regionalism (which we most firmly oppose);

3. Shielding the taxpayers' money from misuse by means of abolition of all State or local government concessions and subventions to consortia, cooperatives, factories, special clienteles and other entities similarly incapable of surviving on their own and not indispensable to the Nation;

4. Simplifying the tax code and distributing tax burdens according to proportional criteria (that do not amount to "proportional plundering") such that no category of citizens is unduly favoured or handicapped;

5. Opposition to financial and fiscal demagoguery that hampers the spirit of enterprise and saps our Nation's savings and production;

6. Cessation of policies favouring public works projects that are botched, undertaken for electoral reasons, or supposedly to ensure law and order, projects that are unprofitable because of the irregular fragmentary way in which they are distributed;

7. Crafting of an organic public works plan in harmony with the Nation's new economic, technical and military needs. The plan proposes:
a. Completion and reorganization of the Italian railway system, so as to ensure better links between newly liberated regions and the peninsula and to improve transportation links within the peninsula itself, especially north-south links across the Apennines;

b. Maximum acceleration of the electrification of railways and, more generally, the exploitation of hydroelectric power in our mountainous river basins so as to promote the growth of industry and agriculture;

c. Repair and expansion of the roadway system, especially in the South, where this is a necessary precondition for resolving countless economic and social problems;

d. Creation and reinforcement of maritime links between the Italian peninsula and the islands, the eastern Adriatic shore and our Mediterranean colonies, as well as between the North and South, so as to shore up the railroads and/or to encourage Italians to take to the sea;

e. Concentrating expenses and efforts in a few key harbors on the three seas surrounding the peninsula outfitting them with the most up-to-date equipment;

f. Struggle and resistance against all forms of localism [only] inasmuch as, in the field of public works, they lead to uncoordinated efforts and thwart projects of national interest.
8. Return to the private sector of industries that the State has managed poorly, in particular, the telephone system and the railroads. Regarding the latter, competition needs to be enhanced between the major lines, which need, in turn, to be managed differentially with respect to regional and local lines;

9. Abolition of the State monopoly on postal and telegraphic communications so that private enterprise may supplement and eventually replace the State-run service.


Cornerstones of Social Policy

Fascism recognizes the social function of private property. At once a right and a duty, private property is the form of management that society has traditionally granted individuals so that they may increase the overall patrimony.

In the face of socialist reconstruction based on a prejudicially collectivist model of economics, the National Fascist Party has its feet firmly planted in the soil of our historical and national reality, which does not allow for a single type of agricultural or industrial economy, but favours any and every solution, be it individualistic or of any other kind, that will guarantee the maximum level of production and highest well-being.

The National Fascist Party advocates a regime that would strive to increase our national wealth by unleashing individual enterprises and energies—the most powerful industrious factor in economic production—and by abolishing, once and for all, the rusty, costly and unproductive machinery of State-based, society-based and municipality-based control. The party thus supports all efforts to enhance Italy's productivity and to eliminate forms of individual and group parasitism.

The National Fascist Party will argue for the following:

1. That disorderly clashes between divergent class and socio-economic interests be disciplined, to which end it is essential that organizations representing workers and employers be granted legal recognition (so that they may, in turn, be made legally responsible);

2. That a law be promulgated and strictly enforced prohibiting strikes on the part of public servants. Moreover, arbitration boards must be set up that are made up of representatives from the executive, from among the blue-collar or white-collar workers on strike, and from the taxpayers.


School Policy

The schools' overall objective ought to be the shaping of individuals who can contribute to the Nation's economic and historical progress, the raising of the masses' moral and cultural level, and a continual renewal of the ruling elite via the training of the best elements within every social class.

To these ends, the following measures are urgently needed:

1. Reinforcement of the battle against illiteracy through the building of schools and access roads and by means of all State measures that may be deemed appropriate;

2. Mandating that compulsory schooling extend through the sixth grade in municipalities where schools are available and can accommodate all students who do not continue on to middle school after the sixth-year exam. In all other municipalities, mandatory schooling at least through the fourth grade;

3. The institution of rigorous national elementary schools whose task it is to physically and morally shape Italy's future soldiers. In order to carry out this mandate, intensive State monitoring of programs, teacher selection and teacher performance are necessary (especially in municipalities in the hands of anti-nationalist forces);

4. Free middle schools and universities, although State monitoring of academic programs and of the spirit of what is being taught is required, as is the State's direct involvement in pre-military instruction, aimed at facilitating the training of officers;

5. Teacher-training colleges governed by the same principles that govern the schools where teachers will be employed. Therefore, schools training elementary school teachers must retain a rigorous national character;

6. Development of a master plan for the establishment of professional, industrial and agrarian schools that would make use of funding and a wealth of experience provided by manufacturers and farmers. These schools would have as their purpose an increase in the Nation's productivity and the training of an intermediate class of technicians, between workers and managers. To this end, the State will have to supplement and coordinate existing private sector efforts, while displacing these where they are found wanting;

7. Endowing middle and high schools with an overall "classic" character. All types of middle schools should be unified, so that Latin is studied by all students. French must no longer be the only language studied alongside Italian. The second modern language ought to be chosen as a function of regional need, especially in those areas that border on other nations;

8. Centralization of all educational benefits, grants and so on, under the aegis of a single institute managed by the State. Such an institute would single out the most intelligent and hardest-working pupils in the earliest grades and ensure that they go on into higher education. It would counteract (when necessary) parental selfishness and provide needy students with substantial financial aid;

9. Improvement of the salary and status of teachers, professors and army officers (who are, after all, the Nation's military educators). This should provide them with increased respect and with the means to expand their cultural horizons. It will also inspire in them and in the general public a higher awareness of the national importance of their mission.


Justice

Preventative and therapeutic anti-crime methods must be promoted such as reform schools, schools for the deranged, criminal asylums, and the like. Penal sentences are a means of self-defense on the part of a national society whose laws have been violated. They are usually meant to have both intimidatory and corrective value. From the standpoint of the second, it is essential that the hygiene of jails be improved and that, via the introduction of prison work, their social function be perfected. Special tribunals should be abolished.

The National Fascist Party is in favour of a reform of the military criminal code.

Trial proceedings ought to be swift.


National Defense

Every citizen is obliged to serve in the military. Our army must start to see itself integrated within a single armed Nation, a Nation within which all individual, collective, economic, industrial and agricultural forces converge for the supreme purpose of defending our national interests.

To this end the National Fascist Party advocates the immediate creation of a complete and perfect army, an army that watches over newly conquered borders like a vigilant sentry and that, on the domestic font, makes sure that the Nation's infinite reserve of spirits, men, and military means is always trained, organized and regimented so that it is always ready for times of danger and glory.

With this same goal in mind, the army, along with schools and sports clubs, must infuse citizens' bodies and spirits with the aptitude and knowledge required for battle and sacrifice in the name of the Fatherland (pre-military instruction).


Organization

Fascism in action is an organism with goals that are:
a. political
b. economic
c. combative.
In the political field, Fascism opposes sectarianism. It welcomes any person sincerely espousing its principles and obeying its discipline. It stimulates and values those endowed with genius, gathering them together in expert groups according to their specialty. It participates intensely and regularly in all aspects of political life, putting into contingent practice that which does not lie outside its doctrine's pragmatic framework, while at the same time reaffirming the doctrine as an overarching whole.

In the economic field, Fascism supports the creation of professional guilds which, depending upon historical or geographical circumstance, may be either genuinely Fascist or independent in character. Only one thing is crucial: that they be deeply informed by the tenet that the Nation stands above all social classes.

As concerns the bellicose character, the National Fascist Party is one and the same as its squads. The squads are voluntary militias fighting in service of the nation-state. They are a living source of strength in which and through which the Fascist idea embodies itself and defends itself.