'Forward!' They Cried
Benito Mussolini is one of history's most reviled men. He was also a socialist. Mussolini began as a socialist;. Alessandro Mussolini, his father, preached a revolutionary socialism of Italian nationalism, anarchism, socialism, and communism. Alessandro had a great influence on Benito, and shaped his early political views.
But in later years Benito determined that socialism was a failure because it did not recognize nationalism and natural inferiority. These revelations led to his expulsion from the socialist party and his rebirth as a fascist.
In an effort to evade military service, Mussolini fled to Switzerland in 1902, but returned to Italy in 1904. He worked as a journalist for the next ten years, eventually becoming editor of Avanti! (the Italian word for 'forward'), the official voice of the Italian Socialist Party. But WWI changed everything. Italy was initially neutral, and Avanti! supported that position. Mussolini's views concerning neutrality changed, and in September 1914, he wrote several articles supporting Italy's entry into the war. The articles caused strife among his fellow socialists and in November 1914 he was expelled from Italy's socialist party.
Mussolini joined the Italian army and was sent to fight at Isonzo, on the eastern end of the Italian Front near the Isonzo River. A mortar bomb exploded during a training exercise, killing four of Mussolini's fellow soldiers. He escaped alive, but spent six months in the hospital, where 44 mortar shell fragments were removed from his body.
Upon army discharge and return to Milan, Mussolini started his own paper, Il Popolo d'Italia (The People of Italy), with dissidents from Italy's Socialist Party. The paper became the foundation of the Fascist movement in Italy after WWI, advocating nationalism, militarism, and Italian irredentism. Fascism was a form of socialism that was very nationalistic, anti-democratic, relied on military conquest, and allowed for private businesses only under close government supervision and regulation. [emphasis mine]
Mussolini, by the way, maintained a correspondence with Vladimir Lenin, one of the founders of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Mussolini became head of the Italian Socialist Party at the Congress of Reggio Emilia, preaching Marxist socialism that prompted Vladimir Lenin to write in a Russian publication that the party of the Italian socialist proletariat has taken the right path. Ironically, Lenin wanted a voluntary union of nations for the construction of socialism.
Italy was governed by Mussolini's fascist regime starting in 1925, fully eight years before Hitler came to power in Germany. Italian fascism was the older brother of Nazism, a fact Hitler himself acknowledged. Hitler was a great admirer of Mussolini, but the admiration was not reciprocated. Mussolini did not like Hitler -- at first. However, Hitler supported Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia, which eventually led Mussolini into an alliance with Hitler.
Adolf Hitler, also one of the most reviled men in history, was, by his own admission, a socialist. Hitler, leader of Germany's NAZI (National Socialist German Workers' Party) party told Otto Strasser in 1930, "I am a Socialist, and a very different kind of Socialist from your rich friend, Count Reventlow."
Hitler practiced "state socialism," a dictatorship with a goal of near absolute economic control for economic development and national power, all supposedly to benefit the people. Hitler said, "We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak." And, "Fascists were convinced that, as Hitler told an enthusiastic Mussolini, 'capitalism has run its course'."
Bottom line: "Socialism and fascism are both forms of statism, forms of government in which the government is given complete or extensive control over the lives of its citizens." Though they do have some technical differences, fascism and socialism are basically the same. Both socialism and fascism are vehemently opposed to capitalism. (By the way, this article provides a very good examination of socialism and fascism.)
So? Why this history lesson, you ask? What about socialism? Simply this: it's amazing the similarities between Hitler's and Mussolini's socialism, and that of Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., along with their views on capitalism. This history lesson, then, illustrates what may lie ahead for this country if Obama continues with his "reforms", his wealth reallocation, and his view of social justice.
First, some indisputable facts about socialism from Campaign Life Coalition.
"... socialists eventually seek to extinguish religion from society." "History proves that whenever a nation has embraced this philosophy, it was followed by ruthless totalitarianism, unhinged from moral standards." "Socialist/communist leaders comprise a who's who of the world's worst mass murders including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, General Mao, Pol Pot and Ceusescu."
We know by Obama's actions, both past and present, that he is a self-proclaimed socialist. As Stanley Kurtz wrote in June 2012, Obama was, in 1996, a member of the far-left radical New Party that sought to transform America into the sort of socialist democracy common in Europe. As Kurtz wrote, "... Barack Obama formally joined the New Party, which was deeply hostile to the mainstream of the Democratic party and even to American capitalism." Kurtz continues, "... I wrote here at National Review Online that Obama had been a member of the New Party, his campaign sharply denied it, calling my claim a 'crackpot smear'." But Kurtz had the last say: the Chicago chapter of the New Party listed Obama as a party member beginning in early 1997.
As Paul Roderick Gregory wrote: "By 'socialist,' I do not mean a Lenin, Castro, or Mao, but whether Obama falls within the mainstream of contemporary socialism as represented, for example, by Germany's Social Democrats, French Socialists, or Spain's socialist-workers party? By this criterion, yes, Obama is a socialist."
Gregory continues, "The European welfare state takes one half of national output to provide state health care, pensions, extended unemployment benefits, income grants, and free higher education. Failed nationalizations taught European socialists to leave enterprise in private hands and coerce it through taxation and regulation to contribute to what the state deems the 'social welfare'." Sound familiar? By looking at Europe, you would think that Obama is doing all he can to remake the U.S. into a European welfare state.
Saul Alinsky, a socialist and a founder of social activism, wrote the book Rules for Radicals, which outlined many of the tactics used today in community organizing campaigns. Alinsky taught that true revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism. Rather, they cut their hair, put on suits and infiltrate the system from within. Alinsky created many organizations, including the Industrial Areas Foundation, which trained Obama in organizing tactics. Any doubt that Alinsky's socialist views and tactics were imparted to Obama are laid to rest by the fact that Alinsky's son, Lee David Alinsky, praised Obama on his ability to perform Saul's tactics, saying that Barack "learned his lesson well."
Obama, while at Occidental College, said that "...there would be a revolution of the working class, led by revolutionaries, who would overthrow the capitalist system and institute a new socialist government that would redistribute the wealth."
In the "Acorn doesn't fall far from the tree" (pun intended) department, consider that Obama's father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., was an African socialist. Obama's book, Dreams From My Father, sums up the father/son relationship. The word "From" is quite telling. The word is not "Of." Sarah Obama, Obama Jr.'s grandmother, said that the son was getting his ideas from his father. Understanding the dreams of the father is integral to understanding Obama, Jr., our current president. Obama, Sr. supported socialism in Africa as a way to redistribute all that the colonizers had taken (stolen and pillaged in Obama, Sr's mind) from Africa. This certainly explains Obama's redistribution fetish.
How dare you, leftists will shout, compare Obama to Hitler. Well, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. It seems that MoveOn.org, in 2004, had two potential campaign ads that compared George W. Bush to Hitler. "The two 30-second ads were submitted as part of a contest MoveOn.org sponsored." One ad said that Hitler's war crimes are Bush's 2003 foreign policy. The other ad used computer effects to morph a picture of Hitler into a picture of Bush. Wes Boyd, president of MoveOn.org's Voter Fund, said, "We do not support the sentiment expressed in the two Hitler submissions." I guess Boyd's statement lets the left off the hook, completely exonerates them.
Consider what Obama is doing to the U.S. today, and how his actions are quite similar to what Hitler did to Germany. Dr. Walter E. Williams wrote:
"It was decent but misguided earlier generations of Germans -- who would have cringed at the thought of genocide -- who created the Trojan horse for Hitler's ascendancy. Today's Americans are similarly accepting the massive consolidation of power in Washington in the name of social justice. If you don't believe it, just ask yourself: Which way are we headed tiny steps at a time -- toward greater liberty or toward more government control over our lives?" [emphases mine]
There can be very little, if any, doubt that the left's hero, Obama, is a socialist who is trying to crush capitalism and enact his version of socialism (social justice) through redistribution. And, irony of ironies, his 2012 campaign slogan was the same as the paper Mussolini edited: "Avanti!", or "Forward."
Is there a lesson in all of this? Hopefully, yes! We can all take solace in what Lady Margaret Thatcher said: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." How true. I just hope we, as a society, can weather the violent storm that will come when the producers, the taxpayers, say "enough," and cease to support socialism!
But that's just my opinion.
Dr. Beatty earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University. He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making. He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired. Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years. He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.