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Prior to 1914, Mussolini was a committed socialist. <ref>John Whittam. ''[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0719040043/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0719040043&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=e4bbe537193f219127ba43a1cb7de8eb Fascist Italy]''. (Manchester, England; New York, New York, USA: Manchester University Press, 2006). p. 165.</ref> However, when the socialists adopted a policy of neutrality in World War One, Mussolini opposed it and was later expelled from the party <ref> Whittam, p. 166</ref>
. Mussolini was a well-known journalist and had strongly advocated for Italy’s entrance into the war in his newspaper, in 1914. Mussolini was an Italian Nationalist, and he wanted to unify his country, he regularly employed nationalist rhetoric that portrayed Italy as a great power to eliminate regional loyalties that had kept the country divided despite the official unification of the country in 1871.
When Italy did enter the war on the side of the Allies in 1915, Mussolini volunteered and served with distinction on the front. He was severely injured in 1917 and was forced to leave the army.<ref>Whittam, p. 117.</ref> Mussolini, like Hitler, Mussolini was deeply influenced by the war, and he came to believe that war was essential for a nation, as it would allow it and its people to achieve greatness. Later on, as leader of Italy, he would seize every opportunity to become involved in war and conflict. The war also confirmed Mussolini in his belief that action mattered more than debate and reason, and this was central to his fascist ideology, in turn, this led to the glorification of violence.<ref> Kallis, Aristotle. 2000. ''[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415216125/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0415216125&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=7f886345b5e4f3a16e2fc31dab010522 Fascist Ideology]''( London, Routledge 2000)p. 45.</ref>