fascism vs communism

I recently saw the movie Pan’s Labyrinth and began to wonder the difference between communism and fascism. I was taught in high school that on the political spectrum communism is an extreme “leftist” ideology while fascism is a “right-wing” one. This doesn’t state much, except that they are somehow polar opposites.

So, a definition is in order:
American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition – Cite This Source
fascism [(fash-iz-uhm)]

A system of government that flourished in Europe from the 1920s to the end of World War II. Germany under Adolf Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, and Spain under Franco were all fascist states. As a rule, fascist governments are dominated by a dictator, who usually possesses a magnetic personality, wears a showy uniform, and rallies his followers by mass parades; appeals to strident nationalism; and promotes suspicion or hatred of both foreigners and “impure” people within his own nation, such as the Jews in Germany. Although both communism and fascism are forms of totalitarianism, fascism does not demand state ownership of the means of production, nor is fascism committed to the achievement of economic equality. In theory, communism opposes the identification of government with a single charismatic leader (the “cult of personality”), which is the cornerstone of fascism. Whereas communists are considered left-wing, fascists are usually described as right-wing.

Apparently the differences are:

5 thoughts on “fascism vs communism

  1. I always said (half jokingly) that some of the crazy political extremists, putting on their three ring circus show in the bubble world of government, were so far to one side of the political spectrum that they had actually managed to wrap around to the other extreme without realizing it. Looking at your more textbook study of the subject, it appears as though it is a true supposition after all.

  2. Hi David, Came across the blog today looking for stuff to say when i introduce you tonight at your speaking engagement.

    You might find the book “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins an interesting read. Whether you believe it or not, it’s definitely interesting reading and can make you think more about some of these issues.

  3. Let me guess, you are an american? Communism is a classless, STATELESS society. If it is not without a state and without a class – it can not be communism.

  4. Communism is an ideal state without exploiting/exploited class. it is mostly about equality although historically, Communism was tried in totalitarian culture and severely attacked by bourgeois class driven nations.

    Fascism is to believe the authority of religion,rightful power of the state.

    Dictatorship is shown on both sides. Some Communist ideology adhere to that class dictatorship is inevitable to quell seemingly endless ‘bourgeious’ dictatorship at least for the time being, until people wake up and put up a fight.

    Right-wing historians and their leaders always intentionally mix up ‘class-dictatorship’ with Fascist dictator.

    For me, the more I understand every-deepening problems of current society, the more I inclined to learn more about Communism. If you want to know more, I recommend to read any of eastern-europe/soviet/korean/spanish/chinese/african history books of communism era. It will broaden up your horizon of ken.

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