Fascism and Masonry
Benito Mussolini and his collaborators developed a well-rounded philosophy for the Fascist party, which, though never collected or stated in one book, was a unified body of theory; it consisted of a statement of the Fascist program, an exposition of its theories along with a defense of them, an attack on what Mussolini called democracy, liberalism, parliamentarianism, etc. (he had Scarcely more than a vestige of knowledge about the United States or of demoeracy, and little more about England and France; excepting when hiding out in Switzerland he spent his life in middle-class Italian circles); and an attempt to make Fascist theory look like a continuation or fulfillment of what Mussolini believed the "ideology" of Rome to have been.
Regular Freemasonry had never had Lodges in Fascist Italy (there were a large number of irregular Lodges and of political clubs masquerading as Masonry) but Masonic ideas had infiltrated the country; there is no shadow of doubt that Mussolini shaped more than one of his dogmas with an eye on those ideas. (The greatest book, and most brilliantly written, thus far published on Fascism, is Goliath, by G. A. Borgese: Viking Press; N. Y.; 1937. Dr. Borgese is guilty of an error in one of his references to Freemasonry: he says that it has "an Eighteenth Century ideology" Freemasonry was centuries old before 1700. It has no "ideology" neither now nor ever.)
It is one of the pleasures of the warfares of the mind to admire one's enemy. Even Thomas Aquinas paid a soldier's tribute to Avicenna and Averroes. But no Mason can admire the books put out by the Fascist Anti-Masons, either Italian or French, because they are rehashes of three or four old Anti-Masonic books which the Rev.George Oliver reviewed and criticized in 1856. Prof. Robison had a mind like Marshal Ptain's, simple, amiable, and treacherous; the Abbe Barruel was credulous, his book consisting of scraps of gossip picked up in provincial papers. Yet the Abbe Gruber, Nesta Webster, Bernard Fa, Rosenberg the so-called "Black Balt," and the rest bring out the arguments and allegations of Robison and Barruel and state them and print them one after another after they had been stated and printed thousands of times ever since the days, incredibly enough, of our Revolution!
They are flat, stale, and unprofitable, and unutterably wearisome--the Abbe Gruber who had done the same chore of threshing the same straw for the Catholic Encyclopedia privately expressed his disgust, and regretted in his old age that he had not been more honorably- minded in his youth. Even a Mason could think up a better set of arguments against Masonry than the scribes to whom the Fascists paid the salaries, better, and certainly more original, and also a great deal more brilliant.
(A Fascist Anti-Mason is also a man before he is a Fascist and ought to be able to keep hold of his own intellect, and be able to use it a little; the penalty he had paid in the eyes of his foes for failing to do so is the derisive one that his books were reviewed and answered a century before they were written. See The History of Masonic Persecution, edited by the Rev. Kxeorge Oliver; New York; James W. Leonard & Co.; 1850 It will be found as Vol. VIII in the Universal Masonic Library; in Vol. VII of the same collection see list of Anti-Masonic movements active in the 1850's.)
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