chapter
Introduction
ByUWE BACKES, STEFFEN KAILITZ
Pages 10

This chapter addresses the most significant cases of repression, legitimation, and co-optation in the Fascist regime in Italy. It focuses on some pivotal structural elements of change in Italian society that found their apex in the post-war contingencies. In fact, the original form of Fascism, the Italian one, attracted the attention of the European and non-European public in the 1920s and 1930s as the first alternative to liberal and Bolshevik regimes that was compatible with a free market. Violence allowed Fascists to gain positions in the communes and then on the electoral lists, often allied with the traditional liberal political elite, and in the Italian Parliament. Fascists built economic and political organizations but were also able to use the press to characterize their approach to politics as national in an effort to put an end to the societal divisions created by the war. In Benito Mussolini's view, the reorganization of politics beyond the representation of interests was a success.