chapter  11
14 Pages

The Fascist State: the new authoritarianism

Mussolini’s speech of 3 January 1925 was not merely the endof the Matteotti crisis. It was also a foretaste of things to come. He had made three main promises, or threats. He had promised that press freedom would be curbed and that the opposition parties would be disciplined; he had promised a ‘strong State’; and he had promised that the Fascist squads would not be unleashed. So the outlines of a new ‘regime’ were already discernible. It would be illiberal and authoritarian, but it would not be fully ‘Fascist’ – although naturally some face-saving concessions would be given to the Fascist enthusiasts. It would strengthen the institutions of High Politics; and it would do its best to abolish the trivial concerns of Low Politics.