How far was the appeal of Fascist ideology due to corporatism?

Corporatism, along with a totalitarian government, a heroic leader, extreme nationalism, militarism and hatred of communism, were the features of Fascism that Mussolini created. Each central feature appealed to a different group of the population.

The appeal of Fascist ideology was due to Corporatism. Corporatism was the state controlled economic plans which would aim to move Italy towards full employment. The economic system would also ensure that harmony between the workers and employers was created. Because of this, corporatism would have appealed to workers and Capitalist business owners, and also the poorer peasant population, as full employment was the ultimate goal. As corporatism was the third way between Capitalism and Communism, both peasants and Capitalist business owners would benefit from this, as the peasants would have a fair distribution of wage and resources, and the business owners would earn the most money and be able to expand their businesses. Therefore, the appeal of Fascist ideology was due to corporatism.

However, the appeal of Fascist ideology was also due to extreme nationalism. Extreme nationalism aimed to return Italy back to the glory days of the Roman Empire through expansion. For example, taking over some countries in Africa to exploit for resources to help build the Italian nation. This desire to expand the empire made for an aggressive foreign policy which stated that war was necessary in building the empire and making history. Extreme nationalism also justified there being a superior race – the Italians, and therefore justified the massacres of those seen inferior. This feature would have appealed to the soldiers and ‘true’ Italians wishing their country to prosper above the rest, whilst also giving them a sense of unity which they had been lacking since the unification of Italy. Therefore, the appeal of Fascist ideology was also due to Extreme Nationalism.

In addition, the appeal of Fascist ideology was due to value of agriculture. Rural Fascism was a sub ideology of Fascism which saw the traditions of he countryside as more important to the basis of Italian life, rather than the cities and industry of the modern world. This was because farming and agriculture came before industry, and still provided Italy with the food and natural resources which sustained life. The acknowledgement of this would have appealed to the rural peasants and farmers in Southern Italy, and could help the country to become fully unified as there was a current divide between the Industrial north and poor agricultural south. Therefore the appeal of Fascist ideology was also due to the acknowledgement of the importance of the rural community.

Finally, the appeal of Fascist ideology was also due to Techno Fascism, which in addition to valuing agriculture and because of its Capitalist-Communist corporatism, Fascism also encouraged industrialisation and modernisation of Italy, which would also help the country to exceed others and be able to expand its empire. Techno Fascism would have appealed to the workers as it would provide them with lots of new jobs both in the manufacturing of the new transport systems and industries, and then once these things had been created. It would also appeal to the Capitalist business owners as it allowed for their businesses to grow, earning more money. Because of this, Techno Fascism was also raised the appeal to Fascist ideology.

In conclusion, whilst Corporatism was a key feature of Fascism, and it appealed to both the poorer and richer population, it wasn’t the main attraction of Fascism. As ultimately the main drive of Fascism was extreme nationalism and the desire to become a great empire again, which was also the key appeal, as every Italian could relate to this, and would want their country to prosper. Extreme nationalism then created the other features of Fascism which would help Italy achieve this, such as Corporatism, Techno fascism and Rural fascism.

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