The Vague Regime of Fascism
Fascism vs Communism and Democracy
Since it was founded as a political ideology in the early twentieth century by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, nobody—even experts—can clearly define what fascism really means. The system is so complex that even major Fascist states differ from one another in terms of philosophy and structure. And it has several debatable definitions lying around, albeit most agreeing that it is authoritarian.
Indeed, fascism is a form of political dictatorship with one body ruling the entire country. It is the governing ideology that led Germany, through the hands of Hitler and Mussolini, to conquer nearby countries and eventually sparked the beginning of World War II.
Derived from the Italian word “fascio,” which means a bundle or a group of rods, fascism does not support individualism and puts the interest of the state or nation before anything else.
In order to get a clearer grasp of the system, let us compare it with two of its most opposed ideologies, which sit at the other end of the political spectrum.
Fascism vs Communism
These two opposing ideologies both have dictatorial government system albeit differ in philosophy. Communism promotes classless society, which means wealth and power is spread all throughout its people, mostly benefiting the working class. Equality between genders and all people is upheld and common ownership of the tools of production is promulgated. Fascism, on the other hand, asserts the opposite. Fascist regimes believe in the nature of social hierarchy and elitism. They have a system which favors the wealthy and the common people obtains little or no power. While Communism believes in common ownership of property, Fascism promotes private ownership. Being dictatorial in nature, both ideologies are placed at far opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Fascism vs Democracy
Fascist states oppose democracy. They do not believe in individual freedom and oppress people, stripping them off their individual rights. Democrats share the same beliefs with communists as well in terms of upholding equality and do not agree with classist ideologies that all fascists advocate. The clear difference between the two lies in its governance. Fascist regimes only have one governing party that holds authoritative control over a state. They exert extreme nationalistic conducts by putting the state above the people. On the other hand, democracy is a people government run by officials who serve their people instead of the other way around.
Two things are clear with fascism: It dictates full control over a state and put it above anything else and has fixed principles regarding social order and hierarchy. In other words, a fascist nation strives to achieve their ultimate goal: to make the nation stronger, more powerful, and more successful through authoritarian rule.
Varied views and opinions, though, are thrown all over by historians, political experts, and laypersons.
Some say it is a type of political action and others say it is a mass movement. There are even some who suggest that it is more on feelings than philosophical ideas. What makes it hard to define, however, is its adaptability—taking on the country’s individual characteristics leading to a varied form of administration.
Orwell, George. 1944. “What is Fascism?” Essays and articles, Last modified September 24, 2015. Accessed July 23, 2018. http://www.orwell.ru/library/articles/As_I_Please/english/efasc.
Squadrin, Giulia. 2017. “Difference between Socialism and Fascism.” Ideology, Last updated July 18. Accessed July 24, 2018. http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/politics/ideology-politics/difference-between-socialism-and-fascism/.
Szalay, Jessie. 2017. “What is Fascism?” Culture, January 24. Accessed July 23, 2018. https://www.livescience.com/57622-fascism.html.