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
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:
- communism seeks state ownership of productio n
- communism seeks economic equality
It also goes onto say that communism opposes a charasmatic leader, but isn’t that exactly what Chavez is? An interesting article on the subject
Nowadays, I am fully convinced that political ideology, if it has a spectrum, is circular in its geometry. I reckon that the far left and far right are conjoined at a single point on this vicious circle. And it is not a matter of “well, they are both ‘totalitarianisms’.” It goes deeper than shared attributes. Take it or leave it: communists are fascists, and vice versa.