Quote: Churchill on Fascism

In 1927, Winston Churchill, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, visited Italy and, at a press conference in Rome, gave what is regarded as his fullest endorsement of Fascism. This quote is routinely edited, paraphrased, and distorted according to the political agenda of those who cite it. In essence, it is a balanced and logical statement, and shows a keen insight into one of the main problems of the time, the recent enfranchisement of a poorly educated working class, with little stake in society, who were susceptible to Leftist demagoguery.

If I had been an Italian I am sure I would have been wholeheartedly with you from start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passion of Leninism. But in England we have not had to fight this danger in the same deadly form. We have our own way of doing things. But that we shall succeed in grappling with Communism and choking the life out of it – of that I am absolutely sure.

I will, however, say a word on an international aspect of Fascismo. Externally, your movement has rendered a service to the whole world. The great fear which has always beset every democratic or working-class leader has been that of being undermined or overbid by someone more extreme than he. It seems said that continual progression to the Left, a sort of inevitable landslide into the abyss, was characteristic of all revolutions. Italy has shown that there is a way of fighting the subversive forces which can rally the mass of the people properly led, to value and wish to defend the honour and stability of civilized society. She provided the necessary antidote to the Russian poison. Hereafter, no great nation will be unprovided with an ultimate means of protection against cancerous growths, and every responsible labour leader in every country ought to feel his feet more firmly planted in resisting levelling and reckless doctrines. The great mass of the people love their country and are proud of its flag and history. They do not regard these as incompatible with a progressive advance towards social justice and economic betterment.

20th of January, 1927, Rome, as reported in The Times.

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