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Fascism - Political Totalitarian Movement

            Fascism as a political totalitarian movement of the right was born in Italy in 1919 with the name Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, meaning Italian Fasces of Fighting and by 1923 the Fascist movement came to power after the so-called 'March to Rome'1 and very soon after, under the dictatorial government of Benito Mussolini took complete control of society.2 In these years, the passion for nationalism on which the Fascist ideology was based found breeding sites everywhere in the world where the wounds of the Great War were still open. Most importantly though developing side by side with the model of Italian Fascism was the much more incisive and ruthless model of German National Socialism, led by Adolf Hitler. For both Hitler and Mussolini sport would have a huge amount of importance for their ideologies and their Fascist societies, so much so that sporting events would become true liturgies because actually what was being paid attention to above all was the image that was being portrayed, the glorification of a historical event, a sporting event, through the use of forms that were essentially ritualistic. Fascism became at a certain point a genuine lay religion, you had a sporting spectacle being turned into a powerful instrument for political ends. When comparing the Fascist ideologies under Mussolini and Hitler by using the New Consensus the differences between the two ideologies become obvious. Mussolini and Italian Fascists identified their ideology as being connected to the Roman Empire and Julius Caesar, who was idolised by Italian Fascists.3 They viewed the modern state of Italy as the heir of the Roman Empire and accentuated the need for renovation of Italian culture to 'return to Roman values' because Italian Fascists identified the Roman Empire as an ideal organic and stable society in contrast with contemporary individualistic liberal societies, which they saw as symbolic.

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