Mussolini the Revolutionary: The March on Rome
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The English language press appears to have been fascinated by the “March on Rome” – the peaceful Italian revolution – which is highly convenient, as it gives us a day by day account of the event, allowing us to see how the dispute in Italy was playing out, and what was expected to happen as the days went on. The one constant throughout the ordeal was that nobody seemed entirely sure what the end goals of the Fascisti were, much like the contradictory and unclear nature of their ideology. Similarly, while the Fascisti praised war and its purifying effects, Mussolini did his best to portray the period prior to the revolution as peaceful, even though the Fascisti “terrorized” the population. Conversely, he portrayed the revolution itself as more much more fraught with tension than it actually was so that it appeared that he had saved Italy from civil war purely out of the goodness of his heart. The march therefore fits in quite well with the entirety of fascism: revolutionary, confusing, violent, and portrayed as something different than it actually was.