Thanks to it, Italy again speaks to the world and the world listens to Italy. It is a great task and a great deed and it demands great efforts. To carry it through, we must, each one of us, free ourselves of the dross of ideas and mental habits which two centuries of foreign intellectualistic tradition have heaped upon us; we must not only take on a new culture but create for ourselves a new soul. We must methodically and patiently contribute something towards the organic and complete elaboration of our doctrine, at the same time supporting it both at home and abroad with untiring devotion. We ask this effort of renovation and collaboration of all Fascists, as well as of all who feel themselves to be Italians. After the hour of sacrifice comes the hour of unyielding efforts. To our work, then, fellow countrymen, for the glory of Italy!
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[Footnote 1: Translated from the Italian.]
[Footnote 2: “civitates quae non reguntur ab uno dissenionibus laborant et absque pace fluctuant. E contrario civitates quae sub uno rege reguntur pace gaudent, iustitia florent et affluentia rerum laetantur.” (De reg. princ. I. c. 2).]
[Footnote 3: “ideo manifustum est, quod multitudo est sicut tyrannuus, quare operationes multitudinis sunt iniustae. ergo non expedit multitudinem dominari.” (Comm. In Polit. L. III. lectio VIII).]
[Footnote 4: Rivista internazionale di filosofia del diritto V. 351.]
[Footnote 5: Montemayor. Riv. Int. etc. p. 370.]
[Footnote 6: della unita italiana. Scritti, Vol. III.]
[Footnote 7: I sistemi e la democrazia. Scritti, Vol. VII.]
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For the Italian nation the World War was the solution of a deep spiritual crisis. They willed and fought it long before they felt and evaluated it. But they willed, fought, felt and evaluated it in a certain spirit which Italy’s generals and statesmen exploited, but which also worked on them, conditioning their policies and their action. The spirit in question was not altogether clear and self-consistent. That it lacked unanimity was particularly apparent just before and again just after the war when feelings were not subject to war discipline. It was as though the Italian character were crossed by two different currents which divided it into two irreconcilable sections. One need think only of the days of Italian neutrality and of the debates that raged between Interventionists and Neutralists. The ease with which the most inconsistent ideas were pressed into service by both parties showed that the issue was not between two opposing political opinions, two conflicting concepts of history, but actually between two different temperaments, two different souls.