The nature of Mussolini's dictatorship was somewhat different to those of Hitler and Stalin. For one thing, he was never able to exert complete control over his party. The Italian Fascist Party was comprised of a number of powerful regional leaders who exerted extraordinary influence over state policy once Mussolini...
The nature of Mussolini's dictatorship was somewhat different to those of Hitler and Stalin. For one thing, he was never able to exert complete control over his party. The Italian Fascist Party was comprised of a number of powerful regional leaders who exerted extraordinary influence over state policy once Mussolini came to power.
Even if these leaders stepped out of line, as they often did, Mussolini was often reluctant to move against them for fear of what might happen. And this was no idle fear. Mussolini was eventually removed from power by the Fascist Party's Grand Council after a long and fractious meeting that went on far into the night.
This would never have happened to either Hitler or Stalin. They wielded absolute power over their respective parties, and they were therefore never in any real danger of being toppled by their subordinates. Both Hitler and Stalin used their parties as instruments of power, which they wielded ruthlessly. In Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union the state controlled everything. This wasn't the case in Fascist Italy, where the state's reach wasn't quite as widespread despite the official rhetoric.
Mussolini was never as secure in his power as Hitler and Stalin. He had to keep a close watch on Fascist Party leaders and the army, which owed its loyalty to the King. Stalin never had the problem of potential disloyalty, at least not until after he liquidated most of the Red Army's senior generals in a series of particularly ruthless purges.
Hitler never really trusted his senior generals, regarding them as conservative establishment figures lacking in Nazi fervor. Hitler had wiped out the leadership of the SA in a sop to the German Army, whose senior generals feared their replacement by the stormtroopers as a kind of political armed force. Eventually, however, Hitler would come to regret that he was never able to create his own equivalent of Stalin's Red Army. He did not have a faction of the army so fanatically dedicated to the cause of National Socialism as the Red Army was to the USSR's communism.
All three dictators used utterly ruthless means to cement their rule. Violence, intimidation, and murder were all hallmarks of their respective regimes. That said, it was generally easier for most ordinary people In Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to escape punishment from the state so long as they kept their heads down and did as they were told.
The same could not be said of the Soviet Union under Stalin. Even the most fanatically loyal of Stalinists could end up being shot or sent off to a prison camp on trumped-up charges. Stalin was a deeply insecure, paranoid individual who saw plots against him everywhere. His security services were given arrest quotas to fill, and they often filled them with the names of ordinary members of the public who by no stretch of the imagination were guilty of any political crimes.