Proletarian nation

Proletarian nation was a term used by 20th century Italian nationalist intellectuals such as Enrico Corradini and later adopted by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini to refer to Italy and other poorer countries that were subordinate to the western imperialist powers. These powers were described by Mussolini as "Plutocratic Nations" (nazioni plutocratiche).


  • Strasser and his associates had responded to the socialist appeal of the times, but ‘not as to the call of the proletarian class but of proletarian nations.’
  • As early as 1930, Fascist theoreticians had begun to speak of an internazionale fascista, a pan-fascist union of kindred have-not or proletarian, nations. By 1935, Fascist maintained that Fascism recognized that the ravages of war and depression in Europe could only be undone by international ‘antiplutocratic’ reconstruction and argued, as a consequence, that Fascism was to be both ‘patriotic and international at the same time.’
    • A. James Gregor, The Ideology of Fascism: The Rationale of Totalitarianism, New York: NY, The Free Press (1969) p. 356
  • Michels, like Olivetti, conceived Italy’s proletarian nationalism to be revolutionary, indeed, Marxist in essence. More than that, Michels was prepared to identify national interests and national sentiments as factors of primary historical and socialist importance—a conviction that was to provide the vindication for our century’s first national socialism.
    • A. James Gregor, Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship, Princeton University Press (1979) p. 72
  • In October and November 1937, Mussolini spoke of a ‘necessary alliance’ with Germany and Japan in anticipation of what he conceived an inevitable conflict between the ‘proletarian nations’ and the ‘sated’ industrial powers.
    • A. James Gregor, Giovanni Gentile: Philosopher Of Fascism, Transactions Publishers (2004), p. 82
  • Mussolini insisted that Fascism was the only form of ‘socialism’ appropriate to the ‘proletarian nations’ of the twentieth century.
    • A. James Gregor, Phoenix: Fascism in Our Time, New Brunswick: NJ, Transaction Press (2009) p. 191
  • We are the proletarian people in respect to the rest of the world. Nationalism is our socialism. This established, nationalism is founded on the truth the Italy is morally and materially a proletarian nation.
  • [I]f the League of Nations must be a solemn ‘swindle’ of the rich against the proletarian nations to fix forever the actual conditions of the world equilibrium, let’s look each other well in the eyes. I understand perfectly that arrived nations can establish these awards which ensure their opulence and their actual dominant position. But this is not idealism: this is profit and interest.
    • Benito Mussolini as quoted in Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini's Italy, Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi University of California Press (1997) p. 163
  • Some of the similarities and parallels include: Frequent recognition by Hitler and various Nazi leaders (and also Mussolini) that their only revolutionary and ideological counterparts were to be found in the Soviet Union . . . [and the] espousal of the have-not, proletarian-nation theory, which Lenin adopted only after it had been introduce in Italy.
    • Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism, 1914-1945, University of Wisconsin Press (1995) pp. 210-211
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