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Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, widely known as Benito Mussolini, was an Italian journalist and political revolutionary who rose to power in the 1920s, becoming the prime minister of the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 to 1943. Mussolini established the first fascist regime and he's widely known as an historical example of authoritarianism and dictatorship. In meme culture, Mussolini is usually subject of parodies, captions and references to his facial expressions, physical appearance, military campaigns or his own death.
Rise To Power
A hardcore Marxist and socialist during his youth, Mussolini's political views shifted after the First World War. On November 9th, 1921, Mussolini created the National Fascist Party and in late October 1922, he lead a march on Rome to rule Italy. King Victor Emmanuel III handed power to Mussolini on October 29th, making him prime minister, and known as "Il Duce" ("The Leader"). Mussolini's fascist revolution inspired political leaders in other countries to start their own fascist rises to power, most notably Francisco Franco in Spain, Oswald Mosley in Great Britain, Adolf Hitler in Germany and Plaek Phibunsongkhram in Thailand.
Governance And Military Campaigns
Mussolini's Fascist state utilized imprisonments, economic deprivation, discrimination, and other forms of coercion to rule over Italian citizens. Thousands of Italians were deported to island internment colonies and small villages in southern Italy. Mussolini's 1935 invasion of Ethiopia utilized gas bombs on the Ethiopian people.
Under Mussolini, the Kingdom of Italy was involved militarily in various conflicts, such as the Spanish Civil War, the Pacification of Libya and the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. Mussolini's Italy joined as an ally of Hitler's Nazi Germany and one of the major Axis powers during World War II. Mussolini was deposed by Victor Emmanuel III in 1943 after the Allies made their way through Italy.
On April 1945, a fascist convoy escorting Mussolini and his mistress Claretta Petacci was ambushed near the village of Dongo by local communist partisans as it was headed for the Swiss border. The partisans captured the couple and executed them via a firing squad. Mussolini and Petacci's corpses were brought to Milan, where they were brutalized to disfigurement by a mob and hung upside down in the Piazzale Loreto, alongside other executed fascists.
Use in Memes
Meme captions about Mussolini can be traced back to the early 2000s, with a notable mention and appearance in 2005's viral video, song and animation The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, in which he's amongst various pop culture characters who team up to defeat Chuck Norris together. The appearance of Mussolini in video parodies and memes started to become more common in the 2010s. A parody video in which Mussolini is featured in one of the anime openings of Nichijou, titled "【VIVA】ファシストのどーどーたいじょー【IL DUCE!】" was uploaded on Japanese website niconico by B@imo on September 13th, 2011. The video received 36,700 views and 58 hearts in 11 years. The video parody was uploaded on YouTube by KeluMocy exactly 4 years later on September 13th, 2015, but titled "touryou benito mussolini", with a link to the original in the description. The YouTube video received over 1,865,000 views and 52,000 likes in 8 years (shown, below).
On October 10th, 2014, a video titled "Benito Mussolini Spaghetti", which mirrored the style of Hitler's Downfall Parodies was uploaded by Dirk Steyn, and received over 403,000 views and 8,100 likes in 8 years (shown, below).
On December 10th, 2014, a video titled "Benito Mussolini Dramatic Look" was uploaded on YouTube by Cristian, and received over 749,500 views and 17,000 likes in 8 years (shown, below).
On May 31st, 2018, a Ditty video showing a Mussolini reaction image and referencing the Italian invasion of Greece was uploaded on YouTube by Visio, and received over 4,630,000 views and 193,000 likes in 4 years (shown, below).
On April 14th, 2022, Adrian Gray Comedy uploaded on his YouTube channel a comedy short titled "Mussolini's Hitler Obsession | Forgotten History". The video went viral, receiving over 7,178,500 views and 511,000 likes in one year (shown, below).
On October 17th, 2018, Reddit user Vericost47 posted a Steamed Hams meme on r/memes referencing Mussolini's escape (shown below, left). The post garnered over 105 points in 4 years. On August 27th, 2020, Redditor Balkan-Federation posted a Nobody: meme complaining about the lack of Mussolini memes (shown below, center). The post garnered over 405 points in 2 years. On October 25th, 2020, a GIF Caption showing a sped-up Mussolini walking up to the camera was uploaded by byeguys64 on Tenor (shown below, right).
Jim Carrey and Alessandra Mussolini Twitter Feud
Jim Carrey and Alessandra Mussolini Twitter Feud refers to an argument between actor Jim Carrey and Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, over a piece of art Carrey posted to Twitter showing Benito Mussolini and his mistress Claretta being hung by their ankles after Mussolini was overthrown.
 Newgrounds – The Ultimate Showdown
 niconico – 【VIVA】ファシストのどーどーたいじょー【IL DUCE!】
 YouTube – touryou benito mussolini
 YouTube – Benito Mussolini Spaghetti
 YouTube – Benito Mussolini Dramatic Look
 YouTube – Mussolini invades greece
 YouTube – Mussolini's Hitler Obsession | Forgotten History
 r/memes – Mussolini WW2
 r/HistoryMemes – Everyone ignores the potential of Mussolini
 Tenor – Higuys Higuyscd32 GIF
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May 07, 2023 at 06:11PM EDT
May 08, 2023 at 12:17AM EDT
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