Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion.
― Friedrich Hayek
― Friedrich Hayek
In the past, people from countries like Russia, China, Cuba, and Vietnam have seen communism from close quarters, while people from Italy, Germany, and Japan have had a first-hand account of fascism. Others find the 2 concepts confusing, because despite being at the opposite ends of the political spectrum, communism and fascism have a few things in common.
For starters, both originated in Europe. Both had dictatorial tendencies and advocated one party rule. Both were in favor of total control of the press.
And lastly, both morphed into utterly repressive systems and finally ran their course. Having said that, there were a whole lot of differences between the two, which is why communism lies at the far left of the political spectrum and fascism at far right.
Difference Between Communism and Fascism
The term communism is derived from the French word 'communisme', meaning common, while the term fascism is derived from the Italian word 'fascio', meaning bundle. While that is not actually a difference as such, it does form the basis of the communism-fascism debate, and therefore, should be taken into consideration when differentiating between the two.
Concept Communism is a socioeconomic structure based on the social movement and political ideology that advocates the need to abolish class structure and calls for a common control of the property. In other words, it advocates the need of a stateless egalitarian society.
Proponents: Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Stalin, Mao Zedong Fascism is a political ideology revolving around the concept of authoritarian nationalism, which advocates the need to organize a nation based on the corporatist perspectives and values. Simply put, it advocates authoritarian nationalism.
Proponents: Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Based on Communism is by and large based on the Communist Manifesto―the political manuscript written by Karl Marx (the founder of modern communism) and Friedrich Engels.
Fascism is largely based on La dottrina del fascismo (The Doctrine of Fascism), an essay written by Mussolini himself. Political ideology As a political ideology, communism is considered a branch of socialism, and yet it usually takes the form of totalitarianism.
Fascism, on the other hand, has a right-wing ideology. In fact, it is considered an extreme right in the left-right political spectrum. Social structure In communism, everyone is equal. All the individuals in the society have equal rights on resources and in decision making. Thus, communism is believed to be inclined towards equality.
Communists believe that class structure is totally eliminated. In fascism, the state is the supreme entity, such that there is no one above it. As it highlights state control, fascism is widely believed to be inclined towards authoritarianism or dictatorship.
Fascists advocate the need of a strict class structure to prevent chaos. Religion Communists believe in humanism and seek to eliminate religion. Fascists, on the other hand, are in favor of state-sponsored religion. Followers Communism struck a chord with the lower and working classes, especially those who didn't have property.
That made sense because private ownership of land or property was not permitted in communism. Fascism struck a chord with the upper and middle classes, especially those who owned property and feared a leftist revolution.
Peak period Communism reached its peak after the Bolshevik Revolution of Russia of 1917. Fascism reached its peak between 1919 and 1945, with Benito Mussolini at the forefront. Political movements
The very fact that communism denies the existence of a state, which happens to be the supreme entity in fascism, shows that they are two different concepts, despite their similarities. While one is radical, the other is socialist.
Even the basic concepts on which both these ideologies are based are conflicting, thus making it obvious that they are by no means the two sides of a same coin that many people believe them to be.