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Bentio Mussolini 18833-1945 was the Fascist dictator of Italy from 1922 to 1943 He centralized all power in himself as the leader il duce of the Fascist party and attempted to create an Italian empire ultimately in alliance with Hitlers Germany The defeat of Italian arms in World War II brought an end to his imperial dream and led to his down fall Mussolini was born in Predappio near Forli in Romagna on July 29 1883 His father Alesandro was a Blacksmith and his mother Rosa was a schoolteacher Like his father Benito became a fervent socialist He qualified as an elementary schoolmaster in 1901 In 1902 he immigrated to Switzerland Unable to find a permanent job there and arrested for vagrancy he was expelled and returned to Italy to do his military service After further trouble with the police he joined the staff of a newspaper in the Austrian town of Trenton in 1907-8 At this time he wrote a novel subsequently translated into English as The Cardinals Mistress Expelled by the Austrians He became the editor at Forli of a socialist newspaper La Lotta di Classe The Class Struggle His early enthusiasm for Karl Marx was modified by a mixture of ideas from the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche the revolutionary doctrines of Auguste Blanqui and the syndicalism of Georges Sorel In 1910 Mussolini Became secretary of the local Socialist party at ForliAt this stage in his life his political views were almost the opposite of what they later became He boasted of being an antipatriot When Italy declared war on Turkey in 1911 he was imprisoned for his pacifist propaganda Appointed editor of the official Socialist newspaper Avanti he moved to Milan where he established himself as the most forceful of all labor leaders of Italian socialism He believed that the proletariat should unite in one formidable Fascio bundle preparatory to seizing power Some see this as the start of the Fascist
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