chapter  2
39 Pages

Italietta – a backward society?

Benito Mussolini's economic and social policies were geared to political propaganda rather than to real achievement. This chapter examines government monetary, industrial and agricultural policies, and discusses whether they had any effect upon reality; and will also look at some of the Fascists social policies such as urbanization, demography and education, in the same light. The general message will be that in as much as the Fascists had a long-term aim at all, it was to mobilize resources for some great national purpose, usually war; but it did not work, or worked only very partially. Fascist propaganda presented Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (IRI) as part of the corporate State. Mussolini proclaimed the need to ruralize Italy, and told the Prefects to give particular attention to agriculture, in precedence over all other forms of economic activity, the regime is predominantly rural, and intends to remain so. In many regions the small farmers were the backbone of the Fascist regime.