The truth of life under Italian fascism

Despite what we have been told Italy under fascism was a pleasant place in which to live. All over the country were good clean hotels with excellent food at a very reasonable cost, rents were also cheap and central heating free. Tax was a quarter of what was paid in England at the time. Foreigners were treated with great kindness, one Englishman who lived and worked in fascist Italy for 15 years wrote; "in all my years here I cannot remember one unjust or unkind word. I have found private people and officials always courteous and friendly."

Before fascism 90% of the people could neither read or write. There was not one child born under Fascism that was not taught to read and write, and given a good education with three weeks holiday by the sea every year. Sports and games were encouraged, not only minds but also bodies were looked after. If children did drill and sang patriotic songs, and learnt the value of discipline, was that not better than for them to be left to play in the gutter and become little reds or potential criminals?

Many of the railways were electrified, all were clean and comfortable and ran to the minute. before Fascism the trains were dirty, often hours late and sometimes did not arrive at all. Before Fascism roads were a by-word in Italy. Under Fascism there were magnificent roads built all over the country. Slums were swept away by the square mile. Everywhere comfortable modern buildings were erected with electric light and modern sanitary arrangements.

There was practically no unemployment, no detail was too small or unimportant to go into if it was for the welfare of the people. After work people were encouraged to enjoy themselves. Clubs for dancing and sports were set up everywhere, also other kinds of recreation such as reading, arts and crafts of various kinds. There was no drunkenness and little serious crime. People enjoyed a personal freedom unknown in England!

The decent citizen had nothing to fear but everything to gain from fascism. It was, as it is today, only the idle scrounger, the parasite, the political elite and the criminal who feared fascism. If Mussolini hadnt let himself be dragged into war  how different things could of been today.

Gary Raikes