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To what extent can fascist economic policy in the years 1924-1939 be seen as an alternative neither capitalist nor communist

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Introduction

To what extent can fascist economic policy in the years 1924-1939 be seen as an alternative neither capitalist nor communist? Mussolini and the facsisits believed in the corporative state. Mussolini in theory believed that this was the state whereby all economic activity and political life would be organized through corporations with both workers and employers involved. Mussolini saw the corporative state as the third way between communisim and capitalism. He saw it as a way of removing labour problems and creating an efficient economy. The corporate state existed more in theory rather than in practice. Italy had emerged from WWI in a poor and weakened condition. An unpopular and costly conflict had been borne by an underdeveloped country. Post-war there was inflation, massive debts and an extended depression. By 1920 the economy was in a a massive disaster - there was mass unemployment, food shortages, strikes, etc. Mussolini came to power in 1922 and transformed the country's economy along fascist ideology. But the question is did he really do this ? ...read more.

Middle

In the 'new' Corporative State, for example, strikes would be illegal and labor disputes would be controlled by a state agency. In theory the fascist economy was to be guided by a complex network of employer, worker, and jointly run organizations representing crafts and industries at the local, provincial, and national levels. At the top this network was the 'National Council of Corporations.' but although syndicalism and corporativism had a place in fascist ideology and were critical to building a consensus in support of the regime, the council did little to steer the economy. The real decisions were made by state agencies such as the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction among interest groups. Corpotativism was merely a novel view that still continued to favour capitilsim. Beginning in 1929, in preparation for achieving the "glories" of war, the Italian government used measures to turn the economy toward autarchy, or economic self-sufficiency. The autarchic policies were intensified in the following years because the effects of the depression and the economic sanctions that other countries imposed on Italy after it invaded Ethiopia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mussolini designed his system to cater to the needs of the state and to meet fascist capitilist ideology, not to meet the needs of it's consumers. In the end, it proved to serve neither the state nor it's consumers. To conclude Although the Italian system was based upon unlimited government control of economic life, it still preserved the framework of capitalism. Legislation of 1926 and later years set up 22 guilds, or associations, of employees and employers to administer various sectors of the national economy. These were represented in the national council of corporations. The corporations were generally weighted by the state in favour of the wealthy classes, and they served to combat socialism and syndicalism by absorbing the trade union movement. The Italian corporative state aimed in general at 'reduced consumption in the interest of militarization.' Overall the corpartive state as a social and economic system was not a third way between the free market and communism. It was merely another form of totalitarianism that sought to "combine its general totalitarianism with the individualistic character of society." Such policy created an extreme interventionist state whose chief production agent was the government-created monopolist. ...read more.

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