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One of the first things readers are presented with is a poster. These posters are everywhere in Oceania. They are a normal, constant reminder of citizens’ purpose, to serve the government and a fear tactic to keep people under control. There are additional posters plastered on the walls of Winston’s city later, but all send the same messages: the government is constantly surveilling its people, and outsiders are evil and are something to unite against. Near the middle of the book, there is Hate Week, Seven Days of Hate Week is a massive celebration dedicated to hating what the government decides is unorthodox. It unites the people of Oceania by creating a common enemy, and a united people is far easier to control than a divided one. Hate Week also sets the accepted standard for behavior. Mussolini’s propaganda worked in much the same way. It riled up its targets to keep them loyal to the government.

Middle-class fascists in particular flocked to volunteer for the militias. The Blackshirts, who wore black shirts as part of their uniform, was an Italian paramilitary similar to Hitler’s Schutzstaffel. Originating from a scattered group of “action squads” in 1919, the Black Shirts attacked and killed communists, Catholics, and trade unionists, among others. When Mussolini finally took power, the Black Shirts became an official, government-supported organization. They hunted down anything vaguely anti-fascist, including communist newspapers and communist politicians. Additionally, boys participated in extracurricular government programs meant to ensure the children’s loyalty to the state. In 1984, there were no militias, aligning with Julia’s idea that there was no war in Oceania. There is, however, the Thought Police and the Spies. The Thought Police are a secret organization of Party members who seek out unorthodox citizens to arrest them. They operate expansive surveillance systems and monitor citizen activity. The Thought Police, whether they are actually watching or not, have the advantage of fear. Their paranoia-inducing methods prevent any rebellion before it happens, which aligns with the Party principle of crimestop. While the Thought Police are more high-tech and invasive than the Black Shirts, they share a common cause: to find and destroy any opposition to the government. The Thought Police

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1984 also has an equivalent of Mussolini’s youth groups. According to Winston, Oceania’s children By teaching the children at a young age, the youth know only the Party. Mussolini’s youth groups worked in the same way. The Spies and Mussolini’s child followers created perfect conditions among the people to ensure an orthodox, loyal future. The Thought Police the Spies and Italy’s Blackshirts and youth groups targeted the core of society, working from the inside as secret agents and molding the future to their liking.

From the insides of society, spies rooted out people who might oppose the government, whether they were real threats or not. OVRA was certainly not the only spy group in fascist Italy, and many fascists not involved in the government took part in attacks on people who did not support fascism or Mussolini. Most of these people were communists ranging from politicians to newspaper owners. In 1922, soon after Mussolini achieved a place in government as a deputy in Parliament, fascists burned down the offices of socialist and communist officials. In 1926, after Mussolini seized full government power, all communist and socialist parliament members were removed from office, with the communists even being arrested. Catholic Boy Scouts were replaced with the aforementioned fascist youth groups. Fascism does not fit neatly into today’s liberal or conservative spectrum, but they did see the communists as their number one enemy, though Mussolini himself once considered himself a socialist. By taking out communists and similar socialists, Mussolini also took out people who might have resisted his rule. The Party uses similar tactics. Mentioned throughout the text are bygone opposers of the Party. Beginning a story of three men arrested by the government, it is stated That Julia, Winston observes, This reveals that there were, once upon a time, dissenters among the Party. The first leaders of the Revolution were probably like-minded people, but since only Big Brother was left, it can be assumed that either Big Brother, through the Party, changed his approach to governing. With this change came the need to rid Oceania of other political factions. With the death of the other revolutionaries, no one was left to challenge him. The “ideological battles” were fought by dissenters who ultimately vanished. The Part and Mussolini’s Fascist Party rid themselves of any weakness in their beliefs by killing anyone who differs from the government’s idea of a good citizen.

A result of these political purges is assassination, a classic, surefire way to get rid of someone unwanted. As previously stated, fascists hunted down communists and socialists, especially politicians. One assassination victim in particular was key to the fascist takeover of the state. Giacomo Matteotti was a socialist politician and a member of the Italian Parliament. As Mussolini’s fascists gained power and popularity, Matteotti reprimanded them to the Chamber of Deputies. Two weeks later on June 10, 1924, Matteotti was kidnapped and murdered by a group of fascists. The discovery of his body two weeks later sparked the Matteotti Crisis. Italians knew that fascists were responsible for the crime, but parliament was nearly powerless to pursue the suspects in court. As public opinion of the fascists plummeted, Mussolini openly took responsibility for the murder. His opponents, however, were too weak to challenge him. Not long after the Crisis, Mussolini took full power in an authoritarian state. In Oceania, similar assassinations occur regularly. As mentioned before, the political battles before Big Brother fully came to power resulted in many politicians being executed. The execution of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford is the definition of political murder. The Party did not want people with different political beliefs in their country, so they killed them. There is, however, an added extra layer to this, unique to Oceania.

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