Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Churchill on Mussolini

'I could not help being charmed, like so many other people have been, by his gentle and simple bearing and by his calm, detached poise in spite of so many burdens and dangers.' Mr Churchill declined to discuss Fascism in its national aspect, he said: 'Different countries have different ways of doing the same thing...If I had been an Italian, I am sure that I should have been whole-heartedly with you from start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism. But in England we have not yet had to face this danger in the same deadly form...But that we shall succeed in grappling with Communism and choking the life out of it – of that I am absolutely sure.'

Extracts from press statements made by Churchill, January 1927 (Churchill Papers, CHAR 9/82B), after a visit to meet Mussolini. For a brief run down on Churchill, see here.



At 12:51 pm, Anonymous Keir said...

Well, you have to put this quote in context. No-one knew what Mussolini was really made of a mere 5 years after he was invited to tak power by the King, but the USSR became increasngly a region o gulags, torture, purges and slave labour. And this was just before the horrors post-Kirov assassination.

At 1:00 pm, Anonymous Keir said...

As for the negativity about Churchill (whose bust is proudly hanging in my classroom here in Beijing) may I enquire as to the alternative to our history had he been kept in the wilderness? For all his imperialism you throw at him, he was willing to sacrifice it to fight a far, far greater evil rather than do the devil's deal with Hitler to give him a free hand in oppressing Europe for the continued security of our overseas Empire. Your link speciously comaparing him to Blair and Bush of all people immediately has me consider this site a shrill contrarian rather than a balanced, objective analyst. Next there will be articles denouncing Lincoln as a racist demagogue and other such things about great men who lived long ago in different eras.
I do of course think there is merit in your attitude (Churchill did advocate gassing the Kurds among other terrible things) but in the end, thank God we had him leading us against Hitlerism and Stalinism.

At 3:34 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Sorry keir, but I would have rather lived in Russia for the first five years after the revolution than in Mussolini's dictatorship.

Churchill did not want to fight Mussolini at all - he admired him even into the late 1930s. It may have been ok being in Britain under Churchill than in Russia under Stalin, but for those in British colonies there was little to chose between British 'democracy' and Hitlerism or Stalinism.

On Churchill, see also here.

At 9:16 am, Anonymous mauri shoes said...

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At 1:18 pm, Blogger Groggy Dundee said...

You would rather have lived in Russia during a time of civil war, foreign invasion and mass starvation? You Bolsheviks must be gluttons for punishment.


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