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During Benito Mussolini’s reign, he and his Fascist regime utilized political intelligence, propaganda, and Mussolini’s own charismatic demeanor to form a cult of personality. This personality cult was used to perpetuate Mussolini as Il Duce and Italy as a Fascist state, while presenting Il Duce as a mythic hero who could do no wrong. The “Cult of the Duce” was in many aspects the unifying force of the Fascist regime, and acted as a common denominator for various political groups and social classes in the Fascist party and Italian society. Through massive organized rallies, early teachings with revised textbooks in elementary schools, and various forms of media propaganda, the “Cult of the Duce” was created, and presented Fascism with a model of centralized power and authority that solely revolved around the mythical and spectacular authority of one man, Il Duce. The emergence of the “Cult of the Duce” was to create an idealized, heroic, and at times god-like public image of the Italian dictator. The focus of this operation was to prove Mussolini as the sole Fascist savior of Italy and to gain the support and loyalty of the Italian people. Declining post war conditions helped develop a need for the “Cult of the Duce”; “The parliamentary paralysis, social disorder, and economic difficulties of the first years after the Great War greatly enhanced the popular appeal of a youthful and energetic politician like Mussolini who projected the image of a “strong man” capable of rescuing the nation, restoring stability, and leading the Italian people into a glorious new era”(Cardoza, 75). The Fascist “Cult of the Deuce” demanded that Mussolini embodied both the physical presence and the virtues of the New Italian by becoming a poster boy for his people. “His propagandists ceaselessly touted his qualities of strength, discipline, courage, virility, and stamina, pointing to…...

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