Fascism is an authoritarian, nationalistic ideology that places a higher value on the state and the nation than it does on the individual. The state should run the economy and should repress political opposition, according to fascism. A single person frequently referred to as a dictator, is in charge of the fascist government and has total authority over both the state and its people. Fascism frequently encourages racism and xenophobia and places a strong emphasis on national identity and solidarity.
What is Fascism?
Far-right authoritarianism, known as fascism, aims to establish a centralized, totalitarian state under the control of one party or leader. Nationalism, militarism, and the repression of political dissent are highlighted by fascism. It encourages a market economy with tight governmental regulation.
Aggressive nationalism, anti-Semitism, anti-communism, and anti-Semitism, or the idea that some ethnic or racial groups are superior to others and should be dominant, are features of fascism. Fascists reject democracy and the concept of individual rights; instead, they support a powerful, single-person, centralized government. Additionally, they support tight controls on the media and education, and they frequently employ propaganda to manipulate the populace.
Italian political theorist Benito Mussolini created fascism in the early 20th century, and it was implemented in his country during the 1920s and 1930s. World War II saw the development of fascism throughout Europe, and Nazi Germany’s fascist government, led by Adolf Hitler, was a significant player in the conflict.
Origins of Fascism
Italian political theorist Benito Mussolini created fascism for the first time in the early 20th century. According to him, the needs of the state should come before those of the nation and the state, and each person’s rights should be respected to the extent possible. He also opposed the notion of class conflict and advocated for a “corporatist” state in which people were grouped or “corporates” according to their line of work or industry.
The Fasci di Combattimento (Fascist Party) was established by Mussolini in 1919 and promoted a strong centralized government, aggressive nationalism, anti-Semitism, anti-communism, and anti-Semitism. He organized the “March on Rome” in 1922, at which time they overthrew the government and installed a fascist regime in Italy.
Additionally, the fascist philosophy spread throughout Europe, especially in Germany, where it was embraced by the Nazi party, which Adolf Hitler led. Due to the important role played by Nazi Germany’s fascist administration, fascism had a significant impact on World War II.
Criticism of Fascism
Scholars, politicians, and activists have harshly attacked fascism for its totalitarian tendencies, support of nationalism and racial superiority, and disrespect for the rights and liberties of the individual.
- Fascism is frequently criticized for being totalitarian, where the state dominates society and represses dissent. Fascism, according to its detractors, results in the repression of individual liberties and rights as well as the degradation of democracy.
- Nationalism and the idea of racial supremacy are frequent criticisms of fascism. Fascism is frequently linked to anti-Semitism, the persecution of minorities, and other behaviours that have resulted in violations of human rights and genocide.
- Fascism is also frequently criticized for its militarism and aggressive foreign policy, which have resulted in war and aggressive military expansion.
- Fascism is also criticized for its economic policies, which are sometimes described as corporatist. In a corporatist economy, the state and private enterprises collaborate closely at the expense of people’s rights and liberties.
Principles of Fascism
The following are some fascist principles:
- Nationalism: Fascists hold that the demands of the country should come before individual rights and that the country is the ultimate authority. They encourage abrasive nationalism and frequently employ propaganda to foster a sense of belonging and national pride.
- Authoritarianism: Fascists oppose democracy and favour a powerful, centralized administration run by a single person or group. To keep the populace under control and silence political dissent, they frequently deploy propaganda.
- Militarism: Fascists advocate for a powerful military and frequently employ it to bolster their power both at home and abroad.
Fascists frequently advance the notion that one race or ethnicity is superior and persecute those they view as inferior, particularly Jews and communists.
- Corporatism: Fascists frequently classify people into “corporations” depending on their professions or industries in order to foster a sense of cohesion and solidarity among the various groups.
- Control of the media and education: Fascists frequently employ propaganda to subdue the populace and crush political opposition, and strong control over the media and education is a key tool in achieving this objective.
- Economic policies: Fascists frequently want a capitalist economy with tight state regulation. They frequently support self-sufficiency, protectionism, and public works initiatives.
Features of Fascism
The following are some important features of fascism:
- Authoritarian rule: In a fascist society, a single individual or a small group of individuals hold absolute power over the government and the people.
- Economic state control: The state has a substantial role in managing and guiding the economy in a fascist society. This can involve heavily regulated private firms, protectionist trade policies, and state-controlled sectors.
- Suppression of political opposition: In a fascist society, censorship, incarceration, or violence are frequently used to silence political opposition.
- Fascism: Fascism frequently promotes the notion of a superior nation or race and emphasizes the value of national identity and solidarity.
- Militarism: Fascism frequently encourages aggressive military expansion and the exaltation of the armed forces.
- Racism and anti-Semitism: Numerous fascist regimes have pushed racist and anti-Semitic ideologies, frequently resulting in the persecution of minority communities.
- Corporatist economic theory: The fascist economic theory is predicated on the notion of an alliance between the state, big business, and labour unions.
Following are a few examples of countries led by fascist governments:
- From 1922 to 1943, Benito Mussolini led Italy.
- From 1933 to 1945, Adolf Hitler served as the nation’s leader.
- Francisco Franco led Spain from 1939 to 1975.
- Up until the end of World War II, Japan was governed by the military.
- Some historians have characterized the Saddam Hussein dictatorship in Iraq as having fascist features.
What is Communism?
The political and economic ideology known as communism aims to create a classless, stateless society in which all citizens own and control the means of production. In the middle of the 19th century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels developed the idea of communism because they believed that capitalism—an economic system in which private individuals own the means of production—leads to the exploitation of the working class by the capitalist class.
The fundamental tenet of communism is the elimination of class inequalities and the exploitation of one class by another in favour of universal access to the means of production and distribution of commodities and services. The state would own and manage the means of production in a communist society, and products and services would be distributed in accordance with local requirements.
In order to create a society without classes, communism calls for the abolition of the state as well as the elimination of private property. The ultimate goal is to create a society where there is no need for any type of authority or government and where everyone collaborates to meet everyone’s needs.
Origins of Communism
The work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the middle of the 19th century is where communism first emerged. Marx, a German philosopher, economist, and journalist, created the communist theory in response to the Industrial Revolution’s economic and social conditions.
Marx and Engels presented their ideas for a classless, stateless society in which the means of production are owned and managed by the people as a whole in “The Communist Manifesto,” which was published in 1848. They held the view that the capitalist class exploits the working class as a result of capitalism, the economic system in which private persons possess the means of production. They also thought that in order to eliminate capitalism and create a classless society, a communist revolution was required.
Later communist theorists, including Vladimir Lenin, refined and developed Marx’s views and tailored them to the unique circumstances of Russia in order to help spark the communist revolution there in 1917. The labour movement and anti-colonialism are two more movements that have been influenced by communism.
Principles of Communism
The main principles of communism are as follows:
- Elimination of private property: According to communists, class divisions and the exploitation of one class by another are largely caused by private ownership of the means of production. As a result, they support ending private property and establishing collective ownership of the means of production.
- Collective ownership of the means of production: In a communist society, the state would own and manage the means of production and distribute products and services in accordance with local needs.
- Elimination of social classes: Communists seek to abolish social classes by establishing a society devoid of them because they feel that they are a significant source of inequality and exploitation.
- Creating a planned economy: Communists support the establishment of a planned economy in which production and distribution are managed by a central organization rather than by free market forces.
- The State’s Demise: According to communists, the state should be abolished since it serves as a tool for the ruling class to preserve its dominance and oppress the working class.
- Internationalism: Communists support a world revolution to bring about a classless society because they hold that the working class knows no boundaries.
- Proletarian Revolution: According to communist theory, the revolution that would create a communist society will be led by the working class, or “proletariat.”
Features of Communism
The following are some important features of communism:
- Common ownership: In a communist society, the community as a whole, rather than specific people or for-profit businesses, owns and controls the means of production (such as factories, land, and resources).
- Elimination of social classes: The ultimate aim of communism is to establish a classless society in which there are no disparities between rich and poor, capitalist and worker, and in which everyone cooperates for the common benefit.
- Proletariat dictatorship: In a communist society, the working class controls politics through a proletariat dictatorship. In other words, the working class controls the government and decides how society is administered.
- Collective decision-making: Important decisions are decided collectively by the community in a communist society rather than by specific leaders or groups of leaders.
- Economic equality: All members of society receive an equal share of the resources and riches in a communist society. This aims to end poverty and guarantee that everyone has access to the resources they require to lead fulfilling lives.
- Internationalism: Communism advocates the belief that workers worldwide should band together and cooperate with one another.
A country whose government respects communism’s ideals as a political and economic system is said to be a communist nation. Common ownership of the means of production, the abolition of social classes, and a proletariat dictatorship are frequently included in this. Several nations that have been cited as being communist include:
- Sputnik Union (1922-1991)
- China (1949- present)
- Cuba (1959- present)
- Laos Vietnam (1975- present)
- North Korea (1948- present)
Advantages of the Communist Society
- Economic equality: According to this theory, all members of society receive an equal share of the resources and wealth in a communist society. This aims to end poverty and guarantee that everyone has access to the resources they require to lead fulfilling lives.
- Collective decision-making: Important decisions are decided collectively by the community in a communist society rather than by specific leaders or groups of leaders. This may result in a society that is more just and equal.
- The end of unemployment: Since the government controls the means of production in a communist society, private ownership of firms is unnecessary. As a result, there are no longer any unemployed people.
- More social security: In a communist society, the government is in charge of meeting all of the citizens’ requirements, including housing, healthcare, and education. Individuals and families may feel more secure as a result of this.
- Better access equality to resources: In a communist society, the government regulates the allocation of resources, which might result in greater access equality to resources like food, housing, and healthcare.
Disadvantages of the Communist Society
- Lack of incentives: Because resources and wealth are allocated equally in communist societies regardless of effort or productivity, people are frequently not motivated to work hard or develop. This may result in a lack of drive and slow economic progress.
- Inefficient resource distribution: In a communist society, the government controls the distribution of resources, which can result in inefficient resource distribution because decisions are made primarily on political rather than economic factors.
- Lack of political freedom: Political opposition is suppressed and the government controls all facets of life, including the media and the educational system, in a communist society. This may result in less political democracy and reduced freedom of speech.
- Lack of customer choice: Because the government regulates production and distribution, there is frequently limited consumer choice in a communist society. This may result in a lack of choice and high-quality products and services.
- Lack of innovation and entrepreneurship: Because private ownership is prohibited in communist societies, it is difficult for people to take chances and launch their own firms. This may result in a lack of entrepreneurship and innovation, which could impede economic progress.
- Human rights violations: In reality, many communist regimes have been linked to violations of human rights, including the repression of political opposition and the use of force to hold onto power.
Role of the State in Communism and Fascism?
In both communism and fascism, the state plays a very different role.
Communists believe that the state should only be used as a short-term means of establishing a classless society and overthrowing the capitalist system. The ultimate objective is for the state to “wither away” as society degenerates into a classless, stateless entity. Theoretically, a state or government would not be required in a fully evolved communist society.
In fascism, a powerful centralized government run by a single leader or party is viewed as the ultimate authority. The state is utilized to advance the objectives of the country and the ruler and is considered as a means in and of itself. In order to preserve authority, political opposition is frequently suppressed, and individual rights are prioritized before state needs.
Impact of Communism and Fascism on the Current Politics
Political ideologies like fascism and communism have had a tremendous impact on world history and are still present in today’s politics.
Communism was initially practised in Russia in 1917 and eventually extended to other nations, including China, Cuba, and Vietnam. It argues for the shared ownership of property and the means of production. The emergence of communist regimes in a number of nations, which prompted important social and economic reforms, including the collectivization of agriculture and the nationalization of industries, is one of communism’s long-lasting effects on world history.
However, the adoption of communism also resulted in severe violations of human rights, such as political repression, camps for forced labour, and mass murder. Additionally, economic stagnation and poverty were frequent outcomes of communist administrations’ economic policies.
Communist governments in Eastern Europe came to an end with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, but the legacy of communism still affects politics in some nations, like China and Cuba, where communist parties are still in power.
The political ideology of fascism, on the other hand, places a great emphasis on nationalism and racial supremacy and calls for a powerful, single-person, centralized government. The most well-known fascist regimes were those in Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler.
The atrocities performed during World War II, such as the Holocaust, in which millions of Jews and other minorities were slaughtered by the Nazi regime, have had a lasting impact on world history. Additionally, millions of people died in the war as a result of the aggressive expansionist ambitions of fascist administrations.
Fascist groups and ideals were widely discredited after World War II, although certain far-right political parties and movements still support them. The growth of far-right and nationalist movements, which have been connected to xenophobia, racism, and anti-Semitism, in a number of nations is an example of how fascism continues to influence contemporary politics.
Difference Between Communism vs. Fascism
|Common ownership of the means of production underpins the economic system.
|Built on a state-run and privately owned economic system
|Working class control over government is achieved through a proletarian dictatorship.
|Political dominance possessed by a despot or authoritarian government
|class divisions are gone.
|A strong focus on national identity and frequent racism and xenophobia
|Cooperation between countries and internationalism
|Strong nationalist orientation and frequently harsh foreign policy
|Stressing equality and doing away with social classes
|Placing a strong emphasis on how one class or group is superior to all others