Do to my passion and my fervor of understanding, I consulted many texts and I tried to find within them the great word which might give me a reason for my faith. And too often I realized what was missing in the book: The Gospel.
And then I asked if I could receive the collection of all the issues of Il Popolo d'Italia from its foundation up to the present. It was necessary, because nobody can live and feel Fascism without resorting to these pages in which he — the Duce — has indestructibly engraved the rules of the Regime.
Until yesterday I was missing something. But not today, and the gift overwhelms me.
It is necessary therefore to explain in a simple way the most important concepts of our political structure.
This book, which Comrade Berlutti has prepared, has very modest pretension and will appeal to the very young and to the common people.
With humility, having had recourse to unique and perfect texts and to the speeches of the Duce, Berlutti has marked in plain form answers to questions people may ask in their wise desire to understand the light of our faith in the Fatherland.
Secretary of the National Fascist Party
FASCISM: THE SALVATION OF THE FATHERLAND
When and how was Fascism born?
Fascism was born after the great war, when Italy did not obtain the peace it deserved, and the defenders were amnestied, and the heroes were scoffed at, wounded and killed. When the Communists were able to forcefully and cruelly dominate some regions of Italy, and the fields were abandoned, and the workshops deserted, and the strikes increased misery, Benito Mussolini cried - Enough! - and Italians worthy of the name gathered around him.
Was there a Government at that time?
There was no true Government: there were men who were trying to avoid certain responsibilities rather than face them. The people saw, judged, and waited for the right moment to get rid of those men.
Fascism was already born, then, among the people?
Yes. Before those few men rallied around the Duce, Fascism was in the conscience of the Nation, which recognized the danger and judged the Government incapable of saving her.
Why did the people stand with the Duce?
Because He was the expression of the Fatherland which did not want to die: He personified the sentiment of the betrayed people and the tenacious will of our Race.
There was thus a change of ministry?
In October 1922 there was a simple change of ministry, but also a profound political, moral, and social revolution.
Why did Fascism not follow the legal route and preferred revolution?
Because a new ministry alone would not solve the problem, it would only have delayed it.
Only a revolution, giving full power to Fascism, could ensure the continuity of the experiment, until the goal was fully attained.
What were the early results of the advent of Fascism?
Internal disorder was replaced by a Government; indiscipline in the workshops ceased; strikes ceased; all production in the country returned to activity; the functionaries were inspired with a greater sense of duty and responsibility; and there was given a more severe and energetic course to the functions of the State, of the Provinces and of the Comunes.
What is Fascism today?
Today Fascism is a syndical movement which gathers all the productive forces of the Nation obedient to the same law and to the same idea. It is a political movement with millions of members of the same unbreakable faith. It is a military movement with a real army of Blackshirts. And everything is fused in an almost religious devotion: devotion to the Fatherland.
Is Fascism not also a party?
Yes, but it is not only a party; it is a faith which has conquered the Italian people.
Can this faith change the Italian people?
This faith will profoundly change the spirit of the Italian people: it will give them a new way of life.
What is this way of life?
To live courageously, dangerously; to feel repugnance for the comfortable and soft life; to be always ready to dare as much in the individual life as in the collective life; to love truth and abhor falsehood; to love frank sincerity and abhor that which is sneaky; to feel in every hour the pride of being Italians; to work with discipline; to respect authority.
And Fascism wants to impose this way of life?
Fascism has already imposed it in order to forge the great Italy of our poets, of our warriors, of our martyrs. Out of a population which was aging and concerned with petty interests, Fascism has made a new people which has a superb goal to reach.
In order to build Fascism, is it necessary to break down other things?
Sometimes you must break down and destroy in order to prepare the foundation for future building. Just as a builder can not build if the ground is not paved and freed from stones and thorns, so Fascism could not build if it did not destroy the old mentality, the old cliques, and the old egoistic interests.
What is the ultimate goal?
The last century was the century of our independence. This century must be the century of our power: power in all fields, from the material to the spiritual.
What will it take to reach this goal?
It only takes the soldiers of Fascism to have the will to achieve it at any cost.
HOW SOLDIERS MUST SERVE THE FASCIST IDEA
What is needed for an idea to triumph?
For an idea to triumph it needs faithful servants, disciplined soldiers, intransigent believers.
Who is a faithful servant of Fascism?
He who is not a good Fascist is not a faithful servant of Fascism; anyone who thinks that his own fortune is worth more than that of the Fatherland is not a good Fascist. On the other hand, every Fascist who considers himself a soldier even if not wearing a uniform; a soldier even when working in the office, in the workshops, on construction sites, or in the fields; a soldier bound to the rest of the army: — he who does this is a faithful servant of Fascism.
How should the discipline of the true Fascist be practiced?
The discipline of the true Fascist must be silent, active, and devout.
What does silent, active, and devout discipline mean?
It means that discipline must be in the spirit rather than in the form; which means it should not occur only during parades, but must be a feeling that animates your life.
But if we obey at the cost of sacrifice?
True, wise, holy discipline is in obeying when you do not want to, when it represents sacrifice.
And if this discipline is not accepted?
If this discipline is not accepted, it will be imposed.
We are not allowed murmurings or criticism?
Fascism banishes from its ranks quarrelsome people, those who feel a constant need to create difficulties, which they can not live without, and who sow discord and quarreling.
Even the leaders have a discipline?
Yes: discipline also helps those in command. Only obedience and being humble, but with a stern pride to obey, can achieve the right to command.
Why must we obey a Leader?
Because in the subordination of all to the will of a Leader, which is not a capricious will, but a seriously meditative will, and proven by deeds, Fascism has found its strength yesterday and will find its strength and its glory tomorrow.
To what extent should we obey the Leader?
There should be no limits. We must obey even if the Leader asks too much. If at any time the Leader of Fascism is too tough, if sometimes he is inflexible, if sometimes he seems to want to squeeze and ask for more than what is necessary, it is because he carries on his shoulders the formidable weight of the destiny of the whole Nation.
True Fascists have an obligation to help him carry the heavy burden.
How must we deal with non-Fascists?
There are citizens who are not members of the party, but are honest, disciplined workers. They must be respected.
There are others who seek to damage Fascism: these must be mercilessly combated.
Even with violence?
Even with violence, if it is necessary: but because Fascism is now strong and danger no longer threatens it, violence is not necessary.
And if it is necessary?
When it is necessary it should not be left to the arbitrary will of each person.
In every circumstance it must not be separated from a sense of chivalry and generosity; it must always be guided by an idea and never by a low calculation.
But is violence moral?
When it is a painful necessity, when it is a surgical necessity, then violence is moral, more moral than compromising.
What kind of violence is reprehensible?
Trivial violence, brute violence, unintelligent violence, violence which has the character of a personal vendetta and not of national defense, especially violence which is ten against one.
It is to be hoped, however, that we never have to use it?
Certainly. Violence can be a tough necessity in certain specific hours of history, but every Fascist must bear in his heart the dream of a peaceful Italy, concordant, hard-working, where everyone feels they are children of the same Fatherland.
Then the Black Shirt is not a symbol of violence?
No. The Black Shirt is a symbol of ardent devotion to the Fatherland, of the spirit of sacrifice, courage and strength, but not of violence: it therefore can not be worn except by those whose hearts contain a pure faith.
Is faith enough?
Yes, if faith comes from a tenacious iron will, which does not cower in the face of obstacles.
How do you build your own will?
It is not built with cheers and cries of alalà, but with daily, bitter and painful struggle, without wanting nor asking for words of comfort.
What is the commandment of the Fascist?
Here is the commandment of the Fascist: he loves work because of the pride it gives to the individual and because of the harmony it gives to the Nation.
He lets faith always triumph over the selfish motives of self-interest, obstinacy and personalism.
He believes that every dispute and every dissension is a hindrance to the admirable order of the Leader.
He believes that every rash action is an insult to those who actually fought in the war and in the Revolution.
How must the true Fascist live?
The pure Fascist, worthy, truly a faithful servant and disciplined soldier of the idea, must be content to serve the Nation with devout humility.
THE NATION AND ITS FOUNDATIONS
What is the Nation?
Over fifty million Italians who have the same language, the same customs, the same blood, the same fate, the same interests: a moral, political and economic unity which is integrally realized in the Fascist State: that is the Nation.
Can a citizen live for himself?
Living for himself for the love of tranquility means a disinterest in the Nation for selfish purposes, and this is cowardly, and being cowardly is not Fascist.
It is not possible for one to be estranged from the life of the Nation.
Why is it not possible?
It is not possible, even if you desired it, because it is not possible to deny your own mother.
What binds us to the Nation?
What binds us above all to the Nation is the feeling of being its sons, the pride of being children of this Italy which other people envy for its glorious past and its secure shining future.
Fascism also feels pride in the past?
Yes, but for Fascism it is not a pride of passivity: you have to be worthy of that grandeur, not live upon it, and not use it as degenerate sons.
Some say: "We are great because we were great." No!
We will be great when the past becomes an impulse, a ferment of life.
There is also an interest which binds us to the Nation?
Whatever be the fortunes of the Fatherland, a son always remains devoted; but if the Nation is peaceful, is concordant, is laborious, is prosperous and rich, it is clear that all those who are in it will benefit. Therein lies the interest which binds us to the Nation.
What is necessary for the Nation to be powerful?
You do not become powerful without internal discipline, without intelligent collaboration, rationality, all energies everyday. Only then the Nation appears as a singly army, organized, firm, serene and quiet.
Therefore we are servants of the Nation?
We must all be servants of the Nation, beginning with the Head of Government. We should have sacred pride in being devout servants.
What does the Nation ask?
Only this: the silent fulfillment of our duty.
What is this duty?
It is the duty of the son to his mother. Love her jealously, tenaciously, devotedly.
Honour her with every act of your life.
Have faith in the destiny of her, never doubting, never allowing others to doubt.
Serving faithfully, without asking, without even waiting for compensation.
Working with the proud confidence of helping her.
Defending against all enemies, within and without.
Forgiving all disgraceful brothers, except an act or a word which is hostile to the Fatherland.
Striving because the Government can fully and effectively carry out its work.
What are, according to Fascism, the foundations of the Nation?
Fascism considers as the foundations of national society the Statute, the Monarchy, the Church, the Parliament, and the Army.
What is the Statute?
The Statute is the covenant between the King and Italy signed in 1848, when Italy was formed from Piedmont, Liguria, Sardinia and Savoy.
It is thus an inviolable covenant?
Yes, under no circumstances can it be violated in what pertains to the incorruptible conquest of our Risorgimento, but it can be updated to make it, in areas where it is incomplete or deficient, more suited to our times.
Such a solemn covenant can be modified?
The legislature may modify the Statute, and has already done so for several articles which have been adapted to new needs not foreseeable in 1848.
What is the most important of these modifications?
The insertion of the Fascist Grand Council among the greatest organs of the Italian Constitution in order to regulate the relations between the supreme Sovereign, the Government, and the Nation, thus safeguarding the inexorable developments of the Fascist Revolution.
And what is the Monarchy according to Fascism?
The monarchy is the sacred, glorious, traditional, millenary symbol of the Fatherland.
Why has the Fascist Revolution not destroyed it?
Because it represents the historical continuity of the Nation and thus fulfills a task of incalculable importance.
Not only has the Fascist Revolution not destroyed the monarchy, but it has fortified it, and made it more majestic.
And was the monarchy opposed to Fascism?
The monarchy did not object and could not object, because Fascism aimed, first of all, to restore the prestige of authority.
Moreover, the House of Savoy has never opposed the will of the people. And in October 1922 it permitted to enter into the worn-out arteries of the Parliamentary State the new impetuous Fascist current, fresh out of the War and exalted by the Victory.
Why is the Church considered one of the foundations of national society?
Because the Catholic religion is the sacred heritage of the people and the Church has the supreme pontiff.
What does Fascism recognize in the Church?
Fascism recognizes in the Church the supreme pontiff, its universality, its necessary freedom in religious matters, the immense moral force it exerts in the world and imposes on public life, and has the utmost respect for the Church.
Does the Church have any particular significance for Fascism?
For Fascism the Latin and imperial tradition of Rome is represented by Catholicism, which is a universal idea that radiates from Rome.
Can Fascism be non-religious?
No. Fascism is not atheistic, it is an army of believers. Religion alone makes possible the realization of great human ideals. Science tries desperately to explain the phenomena of life, but it can not explain everything; there remains always a closed wall upon which one word alone should be written: God.
And what does the Army represent for Fascism?
The Army is entitled to great respect and profound devotion: in fact it occupies a place of honour in the spirit of Italians devoted to the Fatherland.
And why in the past was it possible to vilify the Army?
Those were bastard times. If today's soldiers can carry on their chest the marks of glory from their conquest in war, if the mutilated are not forced to weep on their stumps, it is due to Fascism.
What is the role of the Army according to Fascism?
Fascism does not ask the Army anything which is not the fulfillment of its duty. The Army has only one task, the supreme task: to prepare and be ready at all times to defend the interests of the Nation.
And the task of the Militia?
The task of the Militia is to defend the Nation and the Fascist Revolution.
Is it a supplement to the Army?
No, it is not and should not be a supplement to the Army, or worse, a duplicate of the Army: its tasks are ones that the Army, by its very nature, can not bear: and tasks are limited, specific, and clearly defined, so as to avoid conflicts.
Who is the Militia composed of?
It is composed of citizens, peasants, workers, and soldiers who work all week and only present themselves when they are called. The Nation relies on their voluntary spirit.
Who controls it?
Three-quarters of the officers of the Militia are from the Army: almost all the commanders are Generals of the Army. The supreme leader is the Duce.
What are the fundamental organs of the Regime?
There are three: the Party, which is the political reservoir of the Regime, while the Guilds are the economic reservoir, and the Militia is its military safeguard.
What is the task of the Party?
The Party must Fascistize the Nation from top to bottom and from bottom to top, the Party must provide a Fascist ruling class for all major and minor institutions of the Regime.
Fascism and the Party are the same thing?
Fascism is not only a group of Italians gathered around a determined program realized and to be realized, but it is primarily a faith that has its confessors and, in jurisdictions where they operate, as militants, the New Italians. The Party is the essential part of these systems and the role of the Party is fundamentally indispensable for the vitality of the Regime.
THE FASCIST STATE
What is the State?
The State is the political and juridical organization of National Society, and is manifested in a number of institutions of various types.
But more precisely, according to Fascism, what is the State?
According to Fascism the State is the supreme Authority which subordinates the activity and the interests of the individual citizens to the general interests of the Nation.
And the interests of the Nation coincide with the interests of the State?
Yes. The State is that unitary expression, absolute will, of the power and of the consciousness of the Nation understood as an expression of Race, and all that is within the boundaries of the Nation must be subject to the authority of the State. The State understood in this sense has not only the duty but has the right to lay down rules, the roads and the laws by which, and through which, the activity of the classes and the individuals is clearly determined.
What is the Executive Power?
It is the omnipotent power active in the life of the Nation: the power which decrees the greatest things which may occur in the history of a people: it is the power to declare war and to conclude peace.
It is then a Sovereign Power?
This executive power, which has at its disposal all of the armed forces of the State, is the sovereign power of the Nation. The supreme head is the King.
This new conception of the State collides with old conceptions?
Yes. It strikes against the Marxist conception of the State and against the liberal conception of the State, which both rest on fundamental errors.
What is the fundamental error of Marxism?
The fundamental error of Marxism is the belief that in the State there are only two classes: the workers and the capitalists. A greater error is the belief that these two classes are in constant opposition to one another. There may be contrasts, but they are only momentary and not systematic.
With regard to class struggle, what is the difference between Marxism and Fascism?
This: that for socialists class struggle is the rule, while for Fascism class struggle is the exception; class collaboration for them is the exception, while for Fascism it is the rule.
Why can class struggle not be the rule?
Class struggle can be an episode in the life of a people, but it can not be the daily rule, because, if it were the rule, it would result in the destruction of wealth and thus in universal poverty.
Then capital and labour are not terms in opposition?
No. Capital and labour are not two terms in opposition, they are two terms that complement each other: the one can not fare without the other, and must come to an understanding.
How can they come to an understanding?
By collaborating with each other.
It is in the interests of industrial workers, who are serene, to conduct a quiet life, and not be hassled by unmet needs.
But it is also in the interest of the workers that production takes place with orderly rhythm, as work is the most solemn, the most noble, the most religious of life.
Does socialism recognize the legitimate rights of the workers?
Yes, but only because they believe that numbers, the masses, and quantity can create a special type of civilization in the future.
Fascism, however, desires the welfare of the proletariat because it is convinced that there can be no peaceful, harmonious and strong Nation, if its workers are condemned to disadvantaged living conditions.
It is therefore just that workers want to improve their living conditions?
It is just and it is legitimate that the workers defend themselves to improve their living conditions, materially and morally. But to do so it is not necessary to follow internationalistic illusions; to do this it is not necessary to deny the Fatherland and the Nation, because it is absurd, even criminal, like a son denying his mother.
Why has Fascism fought the leaders of socialism?
If Fascism can not oppose the legitimate aspirations of the workers, then it has the duty to fight the false prophets, who, taking advantage of the naivety and ignorance of the masses, of their real needs, of their real sufferings, blindly and brutally drive them against the Nation.
The owners of capital are not the enemies of the proletariat?
According to the socialist doctrine, the owners of capital are the torturers, the vampires of the poor proletariat. According to the Fascist doctrine, the owners of capital are modern captains of industry, among the greatest organizers, men who have and must a have high sense of civic and economic responsibility, men upon whom the fate of thousands and tens of thousands of workers depends.
And what is property?
Property is not theft, as they claim in the lowest form of socialist literature, but it is often the result of savings and hard work on the part of people who have been subjected to harsh trials; it is often private out of necessity, in order to scrape together the estate which then has the sacred right of being passed on to those who come after.
Then property is a right?
Yes, but it is not only a right, it is also a duty; it is not good to be selfish, but rather it is a good thing that you make use and develop it for the benefit of others.
What is the fundamental error of the Liberal State?
The fundamental error of the Liberal State is that of absolute neutrality in the face of collective competitions of citizens, who can fight until they strike and, consequently, annihilate the State itself.
What was the relationship between the people and the State before Fascism?
During the years of the demo-liberal regime, the working masses looked with distrust upon the State, whose authority was not beneficial to them; they were outside of the State and and therefore operated without worrying about it; they were against the State which they considered as an enemy of every day and every hour.
What position would the Liberal State take in the conflicts between capital and labour?
In face of the conflict between capital and labour, the Liberal State was pulled apart, and only when the contrast was too dangerous and overtly threatening the statal system, did it intervene and truncate the contrast by pronouncing judgment.
And the conflict was resolved?
It was not resolved, because neither party accepted arbitration, as they did not recognize the right of the State to pass judgement, but rather preoccupied themselves with escaping the will of the State.
What has replaced the old State?
The old State is now buried, it has been replaced by the national corporative State, the State which collects, controls and allocates the interests of all social classes.
Is this integral guild system possible?
Yes, but only within the realm of the State, because only the State is above the contrasting interests of individuals and of groups, and is able to coordinate them to a higher purpose. The implementation is rendered more expedient thanks to the fact that all recognized economic organizations, guaranteed, and protected in the Corporative State, live within Fascism, and accept the doctrine and practice of Fascism.
What is the cornerstone of the Fascist State?
The cornerstone of the Fascist State is the strong State: that is, the State able to defend itself and to defend the Nation from all attacks.
Does the concept of a strong State conflict with the concept of liberty?
The concept of the Fascist State certainly strikes against the old concept of liberty, in which a citizen can do anything, even conspire against the State with impunity, vilify the institutions, and deny the Fatherland.
What is the right concept of liberty?
The concept of liberty can not be absolute, because nothing in life is absolute. Even in early barbarian society there could not be unlimited freedom, the freedom to do what you want against another individual or against the community. Even then there was a leader, a law, or simply a pact limiting the liberty of the individual.
Then the concept of liberty can be changed by historical events?
Certainly, the concept of liberty changes according to the events and the degree of civilization.
There is a liberty in times of peace which can not be enjoyed in times of war, and a liberty in times of wealth which can not be enjoyed in times of poverty.
And each party invokes liberty?
Each party invokes not liberty, but their own idea of liberty. The liberty of the Communists, in fact, is not that of the Democrats, and the liberty of the Liberals is not that of the Populars.
In any case, liberty is a right of the citizen?
In the Fascist conception, liberty is not a right of the citizen, but a duty of the citizen. It is the duty of the citizen to judge freely, work freely, and freely serve the Nation.
Liberty is not a concession of the Government; it is an achievement which the citizens must place above themselves, so as to make themselves free from all other ideas, from every party in face of the Fatherland.
What liberty will Fascism never give?
If liberty means the right of suspending the daily peace and orderly labour routine of the Nation, if liberty means the right to conspire against the State, if liberty means the right to offend symbols of Religion, of the Fatherland and of the State, then this is a liberty which Fascism will never give.
What, then, is the freedom of Fascism?
That of working, that of possessing, that of publicly honouring God, that of exalting the Fatherland and its institutions, that of having consciousness of oneself and of ones own destiny, that of feeling a strong people and not a mere satellite of greed and demagoguery of others. These are the freedoms, previously compromised or lost, which Fascism has restored to the Italian people.
CAPITAL AND LABOUR
Why is labour a social duty?
Labour is a social duty because one who works effects not only his own interests, but collaborates with the interests of the Nation.
So the fortunes of the workers are connected to those of the Nation?
Yes. The fortunes of the working people are intimately linked to the fortunes of the Nation. If the Nation rises, the people also become great and rich; but if the Nation perishes, the people also die.
For this reason higher social cooperation between capital and labour is indispensable.
What regulates the cooperation between capital and labour in the Fascist State?
The collaboration between capital and labour in the Corporative Fascist State is governed by the Charter of Labour.
What is the Charter of Labour?
The Charter of Labour is a type of a statute which determines the formula of the agreement which mist regulate the performance of work.
Why does the Fascist State protect labour?
Because labour, in all its forms — intellectual, technical and manual — is a social duty, and as such, and only as such, the State offers its protection and discipline.
This means that the organization is obligatory?
No. The syndical or professional organization is free; but only the syndicate which is legally recognized and subject to the control of the State has the right to represent the category of employers and workers for which it is composed.
What rights are granted by being recognized?
The syndical organization recognized by the State, due to this recognition, can protect its members before the State and other professional associations, stipulate collective labour agreements, impose contributions to members, and exercise, with respect to them, delegated functions of public interest.
So the guilds are organs of the State?
The law recognizes them as organs of the State.
What are the duties of employers towards the State?
The professional associations of employers have an obligation to promote in all ways the increase and improvement of production and cost reduction.
The State intervenes in labour disputes?
It intervenes with the Magistrates of Labour, which is an organ created for this purpose: it operates when disputes are caused by breaches of contracts or new working conditions.
What has been achieved with the Charter of Labour?
After centuries of ferocious and fruitless struggles it has achieved the harmony of the various classes: solidarity among all the citizens in the face of the superior interests of the Fatherland.
THE LIFE AND THE STRENGTH OF FASCIST ITALY
Will faith, discipline, labour and production be enough to ensure the future well-being and power of Italy and the Italians?
No, everything is resting on the vitality and reproduction of the Italian people. We must remember that the primary strength of a nation, the possibility of its power and of its well-being, lies in the number of its children.
But are not the Italian people, perhaps, the most prolific?
It is not true; the truth is different and it is sad; even in Italy there is a decline in birth rates.
The rate of decline is not only progressive, but it accelerates with each passing year. The deaths exceed the births. The cribs are empty, while the cemeteries expand.
How do you explain, then, that cities have become more populated?
The cities have become populated, but not for their virtue, but rather because people moved there from the rural areas. So goes the desert in the fields; but when the desert extends its plagues to the abandoned and burned, the city is taken by the throat, neither can its commerce nor its industries restore the balance which is now irreparably broken because rural households which were once prolific, took to the cities, and became sterile.
How do you make prevent the decline in births?
It has been clearly demonstrated that the sterility of the citizens is in direct relation with the disproportionate growth of the city.
It is necessary for there to be favourable laws safeguarding the peasants and the workers of the fields and small towns; to reclaim all the lands which are currently unhealthy, to make room for labour and rural life; and it is necessary to assist families which providence has blessed with many children.
This is not something which the Regime plans to do; it is something which has already been done and is now being done.
And it will succeed?
It will not be impossible, because the Italian people are still capable of reacting, since their customary morality is wholesome and lively, as is their religious conscience.
And if it fails?
It would be the death of the Nation. A nation exists not only as a history and as a territory, but as a human mass which reproduces itself from generation to generation. Otherwise, it is either slavery or death.
If this does not succeed, then the Fascist Revolution will fall into nothingness.
Because eventually in the fields, schools, barracks, ships, and workshops there will be no more men.
But the birth rate is what will distinguish the Fascist people from other European people, as it will demonstrate our vitality and our desire to pass on this vitality through the centuries.
But will there be space and work for for millions of Italians?
The Duce says yes.
In an Italy completely reclaimed, cultivated, irrigated, and disciplined, in other words a Fascist Italy, there will be space and bread for ten million more men. Sixty million Italians will make the weight of their number and their power felt in the history of the world.
What, then, is the commandment of the Duce?
To return to the land. One can not speak of national reconstruction, one can not speak of grandeur to conquer, if you do not solve the agrarian problem.
Because the greatest source of production and wealth for Italy is in the land, and the Italian citizen is, in his heart, a farmer — even when he is not using agricultural tools.
What does the agrarian problem essentially consist of?
It essentially consists of the urgent necessity of deriving from our national soil all that is necessary for the material life of the Nation; because then we can live on our own and break free from all foreign dependence.
The other governments have not studied this important problem?
The agrarian problem has always been studied by Governments, but Fascism has replaced vague desire with tenacious will, prepared to act on the long studies of the Commissions.
The agrarian problem can be solved?
It must be resolved, and will be resolved. The Duce, who has deep sympathy for the rural people, enough to qualify as a proud peasant, wants to solve it, even as a specific duty towards the peasants.
What is needed above all?
Above all it is necessary that workers remain loyal to their land, and not leave it, but become almost one with it.
How do you stop the peasants from moving away from the land?
By helping them discover that it is in their self-interest to remain peasants; by facilitating various forms of joint profit-sharing of farmlands; enabling this gradually, without sudden changes, so as not to endanger the rural economy, leading to peaceful possession of land.
The peasants deserve this intervention by the Government?
Yes. We must not forget that our peasant farmers, healthy in body and spirit, fought heroically in the war, and then later held firm in their convictions and their attachment to institutions, resisting the Bolshevik tide that threatened the Nation. They possess the most beautiful virtues of our Race and form the backbone of the Nation.
THE FATHERLAND IN THE WORLD
What are the cornerstones of Fascist foreign policy?
There are two: dignity and national utility. Fascism will never make a foreign policy which does not jealously safeguard the dignity of Italy, or does not openly defend its just interests.
It follows, therefore, a policy of peace but not of suicide.
What does this mean exactly: policy of peace but not of suicide?
It means a policy which sincerely and voluntarily seeks to maintain peace, without compromising the honour and interests of the life of the Nation, refusing to bow to false ideologies.
What are these false ideologies?
It is a false ideology to say that law always triumphs over violence, that good always triumphs over evil; false ideologies are those which proclaim perpetual and universal peace, universal brotherhood of peoples, etc.
But did not the Italian people once believe in these ideologies?
Italy has believed these ideologies and has worked sincerely in their service, but the experience of peace after the war was bitter. At its own expense Italy learned that those nations which loudly proclaim these principles only do so for their own selfishness.
The League of Nations is not sufficient to guarantee justice and peace?
Let us assume that the League of Nations has the good intention of securing peace; regardless, the means available to it does not give the assurance of success.
Would a general disarmament secure peace?
No one can be opposed to all attempts of disarmament, but you must be prudent and circumspect.
Fascism, which aims to to look at reality most profoundly, does not believe now in the possibility of disarmament. Even if it was universal, complete, sincere, simultaneous, and controlled, it would only be a military disarmament. The warlike spirits would survive and there would remain the possibility that greater people would swallow smaller people.
Then we will have more wars?
No one can know what destiny holds for Italy. The Fascist Government sincerely wants peace, and in fact no country can boast of so many agreements and treaties of peace which, in recent years, Italy has concluded.
But desiring peace and working to maintain it does not mean denying the existence of inordinate egoism, jealousy, envy, and international rancor.
Italy has a clear obligation to prepare for defense.
What does it take to be prepared?
To be prepared for all events it is necessary to train the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Militia.
That is enough?
That is not enough. It will not be possible to have a foreign policy of dignity and of firmness if the Nation does not daily demonstrate iron discipline, inside and outside the confines of politics.
Why even outside the confines of politics?
Because Italian citizens living outside the Fatherland must be the best collaborators of the Government's foreign policy.
The Italians living abroad must give a daily example of honest hard work, of dignity, of fierce national pride, of civil discipline, of brotherhood beyond classes and parties, of respect for the laws of their host country; and give the best proof of the right of Italy to work for the civilization of the world.
In short, the Italians abroad must be propagandists of their Fatherland, in order to maintain our prestige and facilitate our increasingly large spiritual expansion.
What does the spiritual expansion of Italy mean?
Our Italy, which has always been a mistress of civilization, must make known to other peoples the products of our spirit, that is, our language, our art, our books, our discoveries, our inventions, our work: our civilization.
How can you sum up, then, the new foreign policy?
It comes down to this necessity which must always be present in the leaders and the people: be inexorably strong, unanimous, productive.
Harmony gives prestige to the Government which speaks in the name of the people; strength sustains the prestige of the Government; productive labour liberates the Nation from others and makes the Government truly independent.
What is necessary to assure the success of all the vast work of national reconstruction?
To assure the success of all the vast work of national construction it is necessary to have the unanimous enthusiastic sacrifice of the Italian people guided and illuminated by the iron will of Benito Mussolini.
Who is Benito Mussolini?
Benito Mussolini is the Duce of Fascism and Head of the Fascist Government. He is the favourite son of the renewed Fatherland: He who managed to save the Fatherland from the abyss, towards which he ran with his eyes blindfolded, and is now our guide, working to achieve superb goals worthy of the past.
Why is he the Duce of Fascism?
Because it was He who created Fascism, which is the invincible defender of the Fatherland against the bastard children and external enemies, the staunch supporter of the rights of Italy.
Why is he the Head of Government?
Because only the Duce of Fascism, who defeated the various parties which were dragging Italy to ruin, could collect the inherited misery of previous Governments and the miseries of the wicked past and reconstruct the future. He understood the people who called with a loud voice, he understood the King who entrusted him with the government of the Country.
From whom then does the power derive?
The power of Benito Mussolini derives together from the King and the People.
When was Mussolini born?
Mussolini was born in 1883. Among the politicians who lead the great nations of the world, He is the youngest and the greatest.
Where was Mussolini born?
He was born in Predappio, in the Province of Forlì; but the particular area He was born in is not important. He is a son of Italy and the whole of Italy adores him as the best of its sons.
Does he come from a noble family?
No: his father was a blacksmith who bent red-hot iron on the anvil. He himself as a child helped his father in this harsh and humble work.
Then how was he able to climb so high?
With tenacious will, tireless labour, serene confidence in his strength, and ardent love for the Fatherland and the People.
What are his ambitions?
He has no personal ambition.
His only ambition is to make the Italian people strong, prosperous, grand, and free.
What is his great goal?
Making the 20th century the century of Rome, the center of Latin civilization, dominator of the Mediterranean, a beacon of light for all peoples.
Does he love the people?
He loves them jealously, but sternly: he does not attempt to flatter them with the audible rhetoric of beautiful phrases, but educates them in virile purposes: and if tomorrow it became necessary to be more stern, he would be so.
Does he love children?
Very much so. They are his most tender affection. He sees in today's children the future of the Fatherland, and desires and strives for them to be worthily prepared.
For this reason the people follow him?
For this reason the people follow him and love him, and that love is the greatest reward for his struggles.
Does the struggle tire the Government?
It is an immense struggle; but it never tires because it belongs to the race of New Italians, which is not ever dismayed, but always proceeds fearlessly on the path laid out by destiny. The Duce himself says: "If I advance, follow me, if I retreat, kill me, if I die, avenge me!"
What is the motto of his life?
The motto of his life is that of the New Italian: "Endure and proceed".
What is the duty of Italians to Mussolini and to the Fascist Revolution?
It is contained in this: "I swear to carry out the orders of the Duce without any hesitation and to serve with all my strength and, if necessary, with my blood, the cause of the Fascist Revolution."