Benito Mussolini  

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"Mussolini was probably the first party leader who consciously rejected a formal program and replaced it with inspired leadership and action alone. Behind this act lay the notion that the actuality of the moment itself was the chief element of inspiration, which would only be hampered by a party program. The philosophy of Italian Fascism has been expressed by Gentile's "actualism" rather than by Sorel's "myths." --The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Benito Mussolini (July 29 1883April 28, 1945) was the dictator of Italy from 1922 until 1943, when he was overthrown. He established a repressive fascist regime that valued nationalism, militarism, anti-liberalism and anti-communism combined with strict censorship and state propaganda.

Mussolini became a close ally of German dictator Adolf Hitler, whom he influenced. Mussolini entered World War II in June, 1940 on the side of Nazi Germany. Three years later, the Allies invaded Italy. In April 1945 Mussolini attempted to escape to German-controlled Austria, only to be captured and killed near Lake Como by Communist Resistance units.

Mussolini in popular culture

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