Mussolini – the Fascist Mafia Boss
Mussolini acted as head of the Fascist mafia. The Italian Fascist movement demonstrated numerous characteristics nearly identical to the mafia. The Italian Fascists strove to establish order, fought for complete control and influence, and demonstrated a propensity for violence. The Italian mafia exhibited the same characteristics, blurring the line between Fascism and the mafia.
Establishing order was vital for both Fascists and the mafia. Fascism has been defined as a system in which “The State not only is authority which governs and molds individual wills with laws and values of spiritual life, but is also a power which makes its will prevail abroad” (“Italian fascism,” 2009). Strikingly similar to the definition of fascism, “the Mafioso brought order, albeit a conservative if not reactionary form, and dispensed primitive justice in a lawless society” (Abadinsky, 2003, p. 248). Both Italian Fascists and mafia established order over their territories. This order, often established under a state of precipice, set the foundation to control and influence others to further their causes.
The Italian Fascists and the mafia made tremendous efforts to control and influence the population. Italian Fascists gained control and influence in a number of ways:
"The Fascist State claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organized in their respective associations, circulate within the State" (“Italian fascism,” 2009).
The mafia took similar action as the Italian Fascists to obtain control and influence. The Italian mafia utilized tactics such as extortion to obtain control and influence over the economic markets in their regions (Abadinskly, 2003). This extortion created the control and influence required to ensure the mafia’s effectiveness.
Like the mafia’s propensity to use violence, Mussolini’s Fascists were quick to resort to violence. In efforts to rid the Italian countryside of a competing mafia organization, the Italian Fascists “assembled a small army of agents and set about the task of purging the island of mafiosi” (Abadinsky, 2003, p. 150). This is similar to the mafia’s quickness to kill people standing in the way of their beliefs or profit. Both the Italian Fascists and mafia violently got rid of anyone that opposed them.
Mussolini, the Italian Fascist leader, was simply a mafia boss. The Italian Fascist desire for order, control and influence, and the propensity for violence all are mafia characteristics. Like a mafia boss, Mussolini wanted to control his ‘turf’ so badly that he attempted to purge opposing mafia groups from the Italian countryside. Mussolini’s behavior and Fascist structure are similar to a mafia boss’s behavior and the mafia structure. Mussolini can be considered the mafia boss of bosses.
Abadinksky, H. (2003). Organized crime (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth Learning.
Italian fascism (2009). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_fascism