Ashes and Ember

Updated: Jan 30

Pp. 68-69 Mussolini, Benito. My Autobiography. With a Foreword by Richard Washburn Child. New York: Scribner, 1928.

I speak of movement and not of party, because my conception always was that Fascism must assume the characteristics of being anti-party. It was not to be tied to old or new schools of any kind. The name Italian Fighting Fascist! was lucky. It was most appropriate to a political action that had to face all the old parasites and programmes that had tried to deprave Italy. I felt that it was not only the anti-socialist battle we had to fight; this was only a battle on the way. There was a lot more to do. All the conceptions of the so-called historical parties seemed to be dresses out of measure, shape, style, usefulness. They had grown tawdry and insufficient — unable to keep pace with the rising tide of unexpected political exigencies, unable to adjust to the formation of new history and new conditions of modern life.

The old parties clung in vain to the rattling programmes. These parties had to make pitiful repairs and tinkerings in an attempt to adapt their theories as best they could to the new days. It was therefore not sufficient to create—as some have said superficially—an anti-altar to the altar of socialism. It was necessary to imagine a wholly new political conception, adequate to the living reality of the twentieth century, overcoming at the same time the ideological worship of liberalism, the limited horizons of various spent and exhausted democracies, and finally the violently Utopian spirit of Bolshevism.

In a word, I felt the deep necessity of an original conception capable of placing in a new period of history a more fruitful rhythm of human life.

It was necessary to lay the foundation of a new civilization.

To this end—through every day's observation of events and change, morning and evening, in vigor and in weariness—I aimed all my strength. I had a perfect and sure consciousness of the end I was driving at. This was my problem—to find the way, to find the moment, to find the form.

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