The Doctrine of Fascism

"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 the Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile, while only the second part ("Dottrina politica e sociale", Italian for 'Political and social doctrine') is the work of Mussolini himself.[1]

The Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile wrote the first part of "The Doctrine of Fascism"


Although written in 1927 by Mussolini, with the help of Giovanni Gentile, it was first published in the 14th volume of the Italian Encyclopedia (Enciclopedia Italiana), published in 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 nineteenth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the twentieth 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 nineteenth 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."[2] The original Italian text says, "Si può pensare che questo sia il secolo dell’autorità, un secolo di «destra», un secolo fascista". 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. This is often said to be a mistake in Soames' translation.[citation needed]

For instance, a German version from the 1930s translates the Italian "destra" as "right-wing" in German.[citation needed] A French version (B. Mussolini: "Le Fascisme", Paris, 1933, p. 19) has it as "century of the right" as well.[citation needed] According to Noel O’Sullivan: "Fascism", London: Dent, 1983, p138, in 1940 Mussolini ordered all remaining copies of the document, which had different editions and translations, to be retracted "because he changed his mind about certain points".[citation needed]


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".

Other translations include:

  • Nathanael Greene, ed., Fascism: An Anthology, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1968, pp. 41, 43–44
  • Benito Mussolini, My Autobiography: With "The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism", Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, 2006, p. 236.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ De Felice, Renzo (2006). Mussolini il duce (in Italian). Vol. 3: Gli anni del consenso, 1929-1936. Turin: Giulio Einaudi editore. pp. 35–36. ISBN 9788806139964.
  2. ^ Online version


  • Fascism, Noel O'Sullivan, 1983 pg 138: referencing; Mussolini's Roman Empire, by Mack Smith Penguin, ed., 1979, first published in 1976.
  • Mussolini, Benito (1935). The Doctrine of Fascism. Florence: Vallecchi Editore.
  • Mussolini, Benito (1935). Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions. Rome: Ardita Publishers.
  • Translation of the 1932 Enciclopedia Italiana essay "Doctrines" by Mussolini. This translation is by Mr. I. S. Munro, from "Fascism to World-Power" (Alexander Maclehose, London, 1933). It is part of a 1984 compilation book: Readings on Fascism and National Socialism; Swallow Press, Athens, Ohio, 1984. [1]
  • Schnapp, Jeffrey T.; Sears, Olivia E.; Stampino, Maria G. (2000). A Primer of Italian Fascism. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 9780803292680
  • My Autobiography. Book by Benito Mussolini; Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928. [2]

External linksEdit