Fascism had its first successes in Italy. Mussolini took advantage of the social tensions and longing for change among the Italians, and after the war, mobilized former soldiers, the unemployed and university students, with slogans calling for a return of the glory days of ancient Rome. Mussolini organized his supporters, known as “Black Shirts,” in a quasi-military format, and whose methods were founded on violence. They began to carry out attacks in the streets against groups they identified as their rivals. With their Roman greetings, songs, uniforms and official parades, they aroused the emotions of the uneducated and the disenfranchised.
On October 29, 1922, 50,000 fascist militants marched on Rome. Because the king knew what the force that opposed him was capable of, and that there was no way he could oppose them, he called on Mussolini to form a government. As a result of the developments that followed, the Italian fascists finally came to power. A while later, Mussolini banned all other political parties. Some of the opposition leaders were sent into exile abroad, and others were imprisoned.
Hitler came to power by similar methods. The Nazi movement was born in the early 1920s, and carried out its first violent act in the Munich Beer Hall putsch. On November 8, 1923, Hitler raided a meeting at the Munich City Beer hall where Bavarian State Commissioner Gustav von Kahr was speaking with military units, no different from an organized gang, and 600 SA troopers. Hitler entered the meeting in a great rage and occupied the premises. Firing at the ceiling, he said that he was announcing a national revolution. But this coup was a failure. Hitler was arrested and lived as an exile for nine months. Nonetheless, in later years, the Nazis grew stronger by terrorizing their opponents and inciting anti-Semitic hatreds. Eventually, the Nazi Party became an important party in parliament. Throughout all this, of course, the Nazis frequently resorted to illegal methods, much like the Italian Fascist party. On January 30, 1933, Hitler was made chancellor. The post was conferred upon him by the elderly President Hindenburg, who was aware that the growing power of the national Socialist Movement was increasingly menacing, and therefore, made Hitler chancellor in order to avert a civil war. When Hitler again ran for election in March, like all fascist administrations, the Nazis employed terror, intimidation, and deception. After the elections, the German parliament immediately passed the Enabling Act, which made Hitler dictator of Germany for four years.
In this manner, the administrative and law-making power came into Hitler’s hands. But, shortly thereafter, the extent of his powers were increased still further. In August 1934, at the death of Hindenburg, the offices of president and chancellor were joined together, with Hitler assuming them both. Hitler followed policies much like those of Mussolini. In addition to brute force, Hitler also made use of various types of anti-democratic methods. For instance, he banned all opposition parties, and outlawed trade unions, thereby completely eliminating personal freedoms. Nazi influence was felt in all walks of life. Even university professors were required to take an oath of loyalty to Hitler.
In Spain, Franco came to power in the aftermath of a bloody civil war. Supported by Hitler and Mussolini, Franco’s army defeated the communists after a long and fierce war, and took power over the entire country. Franco then set up a particularly oppressive regime, and ruled the country with an “iron fist” until 1975.
Brainwashing Techniques of Fascism
There was one particularly egregious feature of Italian fascism and Nazi Germany: its attempt to brainwash its citizens. This program was founded on two basic components, education and propaganda.
In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote, “Propaganda is a means and must therefore be judged with regard to its end… Propaganda in the War was a means to an end, and the end was the struggle for the existence of the German people; consequently, propaganda could only be considered in accordance with the principles that were valid for this struggle. In this case the most cruel weapons were humane if they brought about a quicker victory… 
The Use of Pressure To Eliminate Opposed Ideas
One interesting example of fascism’s efforts to brainwash society were the book burning ceremonies in Nazi Germany.
The first of these took place on May 10, 1933. Students from German universities, which had previously been recognized as the best in the world, gathered in Berlin and other German cities, and burned books which contained “un-German” ideas. Thousands of books were burned, to the accompaniment of Nazi salutes, songs and military music.
The fascist state permits only its own ideology to be taught. Outside of that, nobody must be allowed to think anything else, or else, he will be punished, have his books burned, or be silenced in some other way. Each individual is seen as a tool at the service of the ideology of the state. Those who do not agree with the ideology are intimidated into doing so.
Therefore, the educational system was rendered to the complete service of the fascist state. The complete transformation of the educational system was outlined in the 20th article of the basic principles of National Socialism. Right from primary school, children were raised without any ethical values or human feeling, and in a way devoid of affection or compassion. They were educated under the principle that the strong are most right, and that it is essential to employ force to achieve one’s aims.
Another tactic used by all fascist regimes has been to conceal the true history from society, and in its place, to teach a fictitious version, written by themselves. The purpose to this has been to build a culture in which the fascists’ ideals could thrive, enabling them to become both more popular and more firmly rooted in society. The understanding of history, as well as philosophy, throughout the educational process were entirely monitored by the fascist state. As they were educated by the system, people were entirely unaware that they were being brainwashed in fascist ideology, and that all other ideas were completely censored.
(For further information on the subject, see “Fascism: The Bloody Ideology of Darwinism” by Harun Yahya)
Harun Yahya is a prominent Turkish intellectual.
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