Today, October 27, 2022, is the one hundredth anniversary of Benito Mussolini’s March on Rome, the insurgent action which brought him to power in Italy a few days later. As the Prime Minister of Italy, Mussolini, a former mainstream socialist and a follower of the syndicalist Georges Sorel, would build out an economic and political system of national socialism. He would call it “fascism,” using an ancient Latin metaphor for binding individuals together in a corporate unity.
We have almost entirely forgotten Mussolini, but that is a grave mistake. His version of socialism – a nationalist one, turning its back on class conflict and promoting a “volk” – has proved to be the more successful version of socialism. Along with international proletarian communism, fascism is also an anti-capitalist mode of organizing a society, using corporatist management of enterprise under the suzerainty of one political party and its leader, its “Duce” or its “Fuhrer.”
While experiments in proletarian, Marxist socialism failed, Mussolini-ism is still very much with us.
Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China are quite obviously “national” socialist states, centered on the mythos of their respective “volk” community.
The October issue of our newsletter Pegasus, soon to be published and sent to you, will contain a longer essay of mine on the lasting impact of national socialism.