(Published in Il Popolo d'Italia, January 5, 1924)
Statements made in Rome to the special envoy of the London Observer, in the first days of January 1924.
By Benito Mussolini
In order to understand the Fascist movement one must first appreciate the underlying spiritual phenomenon in all its vastness and depth.
The political manifestations of the movement have been powerful and decisive, but that is not all. In fact, Italian Fascism was not merely a political revolt against those outworn and incapable governments which had become a menace to the development of our country, and under whose rule the authority of the State had fallen into decadence and decay. It was also a spiritual revolt against old ideologies which had corrupted the sacred principles of Religion, Fatherland and Family.
Fascism, therefore, was a spiritual revolt of the people. Soldiers returning from the trenches, the lower middle class and working people were among the first Fascists, and this origin has given the movement a distinct character which has never been lost—and never will be.
Restoring essential values and principles to a great national society, Fascism is working with a soul of iron to strengthen in the people those virtues of devotion and discipline from which it drew its strength.
Whoever has eyes sharp enough to read into the heart of Italy's history will be able to understand and appreciate Fascism. Those who know neither Italy nor her history, and who remain ignorant of the purity and greatness of spiritual things, will never understand.