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Doctrine Of Fascism by Giovanni Gentile and Benito Mussolini (1927)

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Published on 25 Feb 2021 / In Politics

"The Doctrine of Fascism" (Italian: "La dottrina del fascismo") is an essay attributed to Benito Mussolini. In truth, the first part of the essay, entitled "Idee Fondamentali" (Italian for '"Fundamental Ideas"') was written by philosopher Giovanni Gentile, while only the second part ("Dottrina politica e sociale", Italian for '"Political and social doctrine"') is the work of Mussolini himself.

Although written in 1927 by Mussolini, with the help of Giovanni Gentile, it was first published in the fourteenth volume of Enciclopedia Italiana of 1932, as the first section of a lengthy entry on "Fascismo" (Italian for 'Fascism'). The entire entry on fascism spans pages 847–884 of the Enciclopedia Italiana, and includes numerous photographs and graphic images. The entry starts on page 847 and ends on 851 with the credit line "Benito Mussolini." All subsequent translations of "The Doctrine of Fascism" are from this work.

A key concept of the Mussolini essay was that fascism was a rejection of previous models: "Granted that the XIXth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the XXth century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the "right", a Fascist century. If the XIXth century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the “collective” century, and therefore the century of the State." Nonetheless, Jane Soames, in her “authorized translation” of Mussolini’s 1933 ““The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism” reads: “a century of the Left, a century of Fascism” on page 20.

The first authorized translation into English was prepared by Jane Soames and published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf in 1933 (The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism, London: Hogarth Press, 1933). Soames' translation was also published in The Living Age, November 1933, New York City, p. 241, as a chapter entitled "The Doctrine of Fascism".

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