This 1922 news column reported that Benito Mussolini had been granted power by the Italian King:
"King Victor Emanuel of Italy has invited the leader of Fascisti, Benito Mussolini, to form a cabinet to replace the Facta Ministry".
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."
"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 report by Carleton Beals on Italy's new order:
"The strong state has arrived in Italy. It has been on the road ever since the failure of the factory seizures in September, 1920."
A 1923 article about the earliest days of Mussolini and the Italian Black Shirts; their discomfort with neighboring Yugoslavia, their love of the Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863 – 1938) and their post-war struggle against the Italian Communists:
"When the Communists virtually ruled over Italy in 1920 and 1921, they set up a detestable tyranny. Railways could not carry troops. Officers were forbidden wear sidearms, and men with war medals were spat on and beaten."
and when Mussolini took power in 1922:
"The Fascisti today take Caesar's legions for their model...'Whatever was Roman before will be Italian' the officers used to remark modestly to their troops.'"
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.