'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...(Read Full Article)