Mussolini could be a warmonger or a pacifist, depending entirely on what helped him at the moment. In the decade before the First World War, Benito spent time in jail for protesting the war policies of the Italian government. At first, Benito opposed Italy entering the First World War. Later he, as the most important Marxist in Italy, would urge Italy to enter an utterly unnecessary war against Austria, guided by his amoral world view, his own interest in glory, and, it appears, money.
Hear what Mussolini said at the time that the Italian Socialist Party expelled him: “It is necessary to assassinate the party in order to save socialism.... Proletarians, come into the streets and piazzas with us and cry: ‘Down with the corrupt mercantile policy of the Italian bourgeoisie and demand war against the empires responsible for the European conflagration: long live the war of liberation of the peoples!” The Duce of Socialism in Italy, a title he had earned from Italian Marxists before the First World War began, later became the Duce of Fascism in Italy.
Benito Mussolini was always a radical Marxist, even during his Fascist years. The maxim that guides Marxism most truly is “the worse, the better.” That meant entering the war, fighting a bloody and unnecessary campaign against Austria and watching oceans of Italian blood that flow down the alpine ridges where brave young men for three years threw themselves against entrenched Austrian positions, was good because it made conditions worse — conditions that could be exploited.
After the First World War ended, Mussolini was known for a time as the “Lenin of Italy,” and he openly admired Bolshevism in Russia. This is probably not what the British intelligence services were intending to get from their paid agent. His Fascist Party openly proclaimed itself in the post-war elections as a party of the Left. But what was Mussolini really?
Well, he was anything that would give him power and glory. He was a friend of Jews and a supporter of Zionism (at one point.) American Jews actually selected him in 1933 as one of the 12 best friends of Jews in the world. After Hitler came to power, Fascists were the principal military obstacles to Nazi advances in Central Europe. Once Hitler came to power, the Duce threw in his lot with the Nazis.
Mussolini also considered himself “Defender of Islam,” and Fascist symbols splashed throughout the major cities of Egypt. His Ethiopian campaign was presented as a war to liberate Moslems trapped within the Ethiopian Empire. He also potrayed his Ethiopian campaign as a humanitarian war to end the slave trade in Ethiopia, which was flourishing.
In the first months of the Second World War, Mussolini was profoundly hostile to the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. He made sure that atrocity stories from Poland were reported by the Italians to the democratic press. When Russia attacked Finland in late 1939, Fascist Italy defied Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia and helped the Finnish military forces.
All these contortions, which fit no common pattern except amoral self-interest, have long since been lost in rewritten history books and other datum cast into the memory hole. Mussolini, like Stalin, like Mao, like Hitler, and like every other atheist megalomaniac of the Left, was ultimately for himself and nothing else. The British may have felt they made a good investment in renting him for awhile, but in the long term nihilists like Mussolini are always bad investments.