"There have been other 'Fasci' before the present, for the word, derived from Latin 'fascia' (a bandage), means any league or association. Thus, the association of laborers and sulfur-workers, that caused the agrarian agitation in Sicily in 1892, were called Fasci... the essence of the word being the close union of different elements in a common cause that binds them all together. Each 'Fascio' possesses so-called 'squadre de azione' (squadrons of action), composed of young men who have mostly served in the war. Each of these 'squadrons' has a commandant, named by the directing council of the particular Fascio."
In Milan there existed a general committee that supervised all these yahoos, but by enlarge, each local Fascio was free to do as they saw fit within their own domains. The earliest 'Fasci di Combattimento' were created in 1919 by Mussolini, who at the time enjoyed some popularity as the editor of the Il Popolo d'Italia. The Fascists saw the destruction of Italian socialism as their primary job.
A tight little essay that clarifies the force behind Italian fascism. This was an editorial penned by Dr. Frank Crane, a pastor who appeared regularly in the pages of CURRENT OPINION.
"The Fascisti is a name given to a political party in Italy. Political parties, and indeed almost all organizations, as has often been pointed out, hold together and get their strength by hating something. The Fascisti hate the Bolshevists, Communists and the like."
American World War I veteran John Roberts Tunis (1889 - 1975) was charged with the task of writing about the two Armistice Day ceremonies as they were marked in both London and Rome; needless to say they were entirely different in nature and spirit. The attached piece is an excerpt from that article and reported on the manner in which fascist Italy observed the anniversary of November 11, 1918 - the day World War I came to a close; a war in which Italy lost 1,240,000 men. Tunnis was disgusted to observe how the Italians seemed to learn nothing from the war - Mussolini's Armistice celebration was drenched in fascist pageantry and the attending masses had far greater interest in their current military adventures in Africa than remembering their sons and fathers who had perished just eighteen years earlier.
"One thousand men are charged with the personal responsibility of seeing that Il Duce doesn't meet with an untimely death. Their frenzied precautions make him the best protected of all contemporary dictators - a protection which is sorely needed. Sixteen years after the victorious March on Rome a special tribunal dealing with the 'enemies of fascism' is still working along at exceptionally high pressure."
Click here to read about Mussolini's departure from the League of Nations.
"In Italy, every other man is wearing a uniform or just stepped out of one. Every other wife is about to become a mother again. Every boy is lugging a wooden gun and playing at soldier. So it sees to the eye, and amazingly, so it actually is. War, babies, self-sufficiency, poverty, persecution complexes, chest beating, magnetic pride and the most parrotty people in the world. This is the land determined to out-Caesar the greatest Roman of them all. The Italian's thoughts, eyes, ears, destiny, morals, spaghetti, pocketbook and trigger finger are controlled completely by the whim of one man. And the Italians love him."
This short, slanderous profile of Italy's Victor Emmanuel III (1869 – 1947) is accompanied by a caricature of the potentate:
"He chose Mussolini in 1922 in preference to dictatorship by Premiere (Luigi) Facta, aided him in attaining supreme power...Hasn't had any choice about anything since."