Fascism Vs Marxism Differences and Similarities

The Fascism vs Marxism essay aims at making comparisons and contrasts between the two economic and political systems, highlighting their pros and cons. In this article, we will analyze the similarities and differences between the two terms.

Fascism

Fascism is an autocratic political movement that lays more emphasis on a centralized and nationalistic governmental system rather than individual interests. This political ideology/philosophy encompasses monolithic features, that is, it has an unchanging structure that is rigid in nature. This structure gives no room for individual variation. Nations under this political system are regimented and are often under the control of an autocratic ruler.

Fascists believe that democracy is an obsolete system and their point of view is that it is necessary to mobilize society under a single party or a totalitarian state. They believe that this is a necessary tool for getting a nation prepared for armed conflicts and an effective response to economic difficulties.

Fascism meaning

The word fascism originated from an Italian word, Fascio, meaning bundle. Based on the fascist ideology, a bundle means a group of individuals that are bound together as one. This is because the system emphasizes nationalism above individualism.

Historically, Benito Mussolini concluded that democracy was a system of government that had failed. Because of this, he decided to form fascism in 1915. He stated that it is not reasonable for individuals to have the right and freedom to express their views. Mussolini as well did not support the existence of different political parties. He stated that the fascist political system should organize the people under the state, so he created the single-party fascist state.

Fascism is generally an authoritative and dictatorial system that possesses a forcible suppression of opposition and a strong societal regimentation. This political ideology strongly opposed democracy, anarchism, Marxism, and democracy.

Usually, a powerful leader, usually a dictator, is in charge of this system of government. As the nature of fascism is, martial law is prominent as it encompasses members of the fascist governing party. They aim at forging national unity and maintaining a stable and orderly society. Fascists are in strong opposition to the saying, “violence is automatically negative in nature”. They see imperialism, political violence, and war as the basic tools for achieving national rejuvenation or beneficial changes.

Who is a fascist?

A fascist refers to a person who advocates for a mixed economy with the purpose of achieving economic and national self-sufficiency through the adoption of perfectionist and interventionist economic policies.

Fascism pros and cons

A)Advantages of fascism

National welfare

Fascism places its priority on the welfare of the nation, focusing on improving the nation as a whole. Here, the government channels its funds towards improving national defenses and ensuring that adequate weapons, trained soldiers, and armed vehicles are made available for the defense of the nation against foreign invaders. The government also spends funds towards the improvement of cultures such as building national landmarks and museums. They do this to preserve the culture of the nation and make it appear impressive to other nations.

Socio-economic equality

Fascism looks towards initing people and doing away with socio-economic classes to create equality among every individual. Since the government is fully in control over everyone, the rich may have to give away their wealth for redistribution among the poor.  In theoretical terms, this should help in dissolving both the upper and the lower classes to make everyone equal.

Quick decision-making process

Decision-making processes are swift in a fascist rule. This is because there is no need to go through various complicated procedures that are bound to cause delays. This is because power is in the hands of a single authority. In this case, a dictator can make decisions in specific areas of the government which include crime control and traffic management. A dictator’s decisions undergo swift implementation. With this, a nation can move forward easier without any form of delay which will benefit the nation.

Improves peace and order

In this system of government, there is usually no place for burglary and theft. Since the government is in control of everything, it can decree heavy penalties for such crimes. Alongside discouraging crimes, fascism provides for peace and order in a country.

promotion of national pride

so far, fascist countries have enjoyed national pride such as the Italians who were proud that they belong to their nation. The Germans also believed that fascism restored national pride. This is a system that bases on national supremacy thereby encouraging national pride.

Dissolution of social stratification

Power is concentrated in the hands of a central authority that is in charge of a country’s economic and political activities. By implication, all factors of production remain under the control of a central authority. This, in turn, leads to an equal redistribution of resources thereby nullifying class distinctions and stratification.

B) Disadvantages of Fascism

Abuse of power

In a system of government where a dictator is in power, there is usually a straight pathway to the abuse of power. A single person is in control of the entire nation and this is dangerous to the nation. No matter the good intentions an individual has, human nature is bound to take the lead thereby causing one to have a sense of superiority over everyone else. The inherent desire of a dictator is to possess power and the ability to possess it without anyone trying to question him. This will lure him towards using his position of authority to satisfy his selfish desires rather than the interests of the masses and the nation. The dictator in this case will use his power to abuse certain groups especially those he dislikes for certain reasons. He can favor his close relatives, family, and friends.

Absence of freedom of speech

This political system deprives the ordinary person of enjoying the freedom of speech. It has zero-tolerance for any form of opposition or criticism. If anyone openly criticizes and opposes a dictator, he may get imprisoned or even face a death sentence. This ceases the existence of the priority of human rights. A dictator does whatever he wishes to those who do not support him since the nation is under his control. This causes the ordinary man to get scared of expressing his feelings as no one wants to face execution. This system possesses a high level of military and autocratic ideologies. It has no respect for liberty thereby making the authority trample on individual rights.

Wealth gap

In the fascist government, the gap that exists between the rich and the poor tends to increase. The system theoretically creates a pathway for equality as it erases all forms of class divisions. This is absolutely not the case in reality. the rich can do whatever they wish to do in order to retain their wealth. This class of people can make deals with the dictator just to remain in the upper class. The ordinary man will be left with no choice but to go according to the wishes of the government. This will not allow the people to attain a better future and will further push them to poverty.

Damage to the country’s economy

The economy of a country flourishes oftentimes because of the free entrance of foreign investors, this is not the case under fascism. The government control over all industries scares foreign investors away from fascist economies. They certainly will be unable to start a business in such countries. If they must start a business, then they must follow strict rules such as paying a huge amount of money to gain a license.

Financial trouble

Potentially, fascist countries may end up in financial trouble since foreign investors are absent. A country will crash if there are no investors to help sustain the economy. Fascist governments oftentimes spend their funds on military defense while leaving a small portion of the national wealth on essential projects such as healthcare, education, and agriculture.

Disregard for international law

Usually, fascism does not have regard for international laws. In other words, it violates the standards of international law.

Marxism

Marxism is an economic, social, and political concept that critically examines the impact capitalism has on labor, productivity, and economic development. This concept was named after Karl Marx. The theory advocates for a worker revolution to overturn capitalism in the favor of communism. Marxism argues that revolutionary communism comes about as a result of class struggles and conflicts particularly between the working class and the capitalists. These economic relations that exist in a capitalist economy are clearly stated in the theory. The Marxist theory focuses basically on class conflicts and struggles between the working class and the capitalists. The concept comprises the Marxist theory of class conflicts and Marxian Economics.

Karl Marx explained that the power relationships that exist between the working class and the capitalists have inherent exploitative characteristics. Because of this, class struggles and conflicts are inevitable. He concluded that these class struggles will lead to a revolution in which the working class would overthrow the capitalists and seize control of the economy.

Who is a Marxist?

A Marxist is someone who supports or agrees with the political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They are basically concerned with the struggles of the middle class and the lower class workers as well as economic inequality. The Marxist’s major goal is an economic revolution that results in a classless economy with an equal distribution of resources.

Marxism pros and cons

1) Advantages of Marxism

True equality

Although many have considered Marxism as communism, the concept helps in creating true equality. The theory lays more emphasis on human rights. Equal gender roles, access to education, and the availability of healthcare facilities are the factors that form part of the Marxist foundation. Karl Marx proposed that equality should exist before the law as well as social services where everyone has an equal opportunity and say. His theories are opposed to all forms of gender-based discrimination. By implication, every individual should have equal access to these needs regardless of their jobs, activities, or residence.

Protects unions’ rights

The Marxist ideology helps to encourage the people to come together and establish unions that will aid people to stand up for their rights. This aims at preventing any individual from experiencing exploitation from his manager or the capitalists. This, in turn, outs a system of checks and balances in place to facilitate the achievement of maximum production. There is a common belief that Marxism does not exploit workers and Marxists believe it to be a great idea of forming unions.

Rare debt

People come together to achieve success, both individuals and communities. While farmers work to produce crops and livestock, doctors work towards providing health services, producing firms work towards providing finished goods, etc. While people come together to meet the needs of one another, the government distributes the resources that are necessary. This chain of activities is helpful in reducing the tendency of public debt.

Societal benefits

The theory of Marxism considers society as a whole which helps to enhance societal benefits. It recognizes every social force that partakes in the system including different group powers. The act of laying emphasis on the impact of class struggles on society is an effective tool in explaining the societal change. This helps in organizing every society under capitalism where capitalists maximize profits together with the working class.

Helps with capitalism

In situations whereby large multinationals become dominant in the world’s entire economy, capitalists would state that the future lies with small businesses or small is beautiful. However, we can consider the fact that the youthful phase of capitalism has gone beyond recall. As far as Marxism is concerned, it is not possible to avoid monopoly in a capitalist economy, where larger and small capitals yield the same result. Presently, monopolies and multinationals seem to take wide possession of the world which gives them the access to achieve economies of scale, which gives them the ability to manipulate prices, gather large sums of money, and influence government policies. the theory has been able to predict that monopoly was inevitable where the free market was standard.

2) Disadvantages of Marxism

Elimination of private ownership concept

The ideology of Marxism tries to eliminate the concept of private ownership of property. Here, the state provides a place for everyone to live because they are part of the community as well as contribute to the growth and common welfare of the community. This implies that no one has control over where he lives or what he does to contribute to societal growth. The theory proposes the abolition of private property ownership and business ownership. This will make it impossible for individuals to take advantage of opportunities because extra efforts and hard work will yield no added advantage or reward.

Tries to abolish religion

Though Marxism permits religion, it does not allow individuals to practice religion in an organized manner. this is because of the fact that that religion will certainly place one group of people in a superior position over another which will violate the principle of equality proposed by Karl Marx. So in essence, there would be no organized form of religion as he believed that people used religion as a yardstick of controlling others. This makes the people not have the freedom of openly choosing their spirituality.

No opportunities for entrepreneurs

Oftentimes, there is no place for entrepreneurship under Marxism. By implication, those individuals who seem to have their own business enterprises are still working under the government. This means that no individual can have his own business enterprises such as sole proprietorships, corporations, limited liability companies, or even partnerships because the government is in total control of everything.

Negative effects on education

Marxism negatively affects the system of education. Here, the educational sector will only implement the educational system that is under the absolute control of the government. It is the state that determines the teaching methodology, curriculum construction, and the system of conducting an examination. No other educational agency has the right or permission to control the system of education, whether they are local or regional. Economics occupies a sensitive position in the curriculum under the Marxist theory. This makes the educational sector look at economics as the cornerstone of all human activities though this perspective is not factual. This eventually results in the neglect of the creative faculty of children.

It can lead to communism

When Marxism occurs, there is a high tendency for communism to result because a notion exists that this philosophy can be a resultant effect of dictatorship. It tends to not provide any room for individualism and this, in turn, creates a dangerous society without any form of motivation or incentive. Equality where every individual would have access to fair treatment theoretically sounds great but even at that, the individual is still out of the focus of this system.

Fascism vs Marxism

Fascism vs Marxism similarities

The Fascism vs Marxism similarities tries to analyze the areas of similarities between the economic, social, and political ideologies. These areas of similarities are;

  • State control of resources
  • No opposition
  • Anti-capitalism
  • Dictatorship
  • Ownership and control
  • Natural resource endowment
  • Religion
  • Same view of production
  • Economic impact

State ownership and control of resources

Both fascism and Marxism involve state control of resources. That is, the government controls every productive resource. Although Marxism has to do with the gradual outgrowing of capitalism, the government thereafter controls factors of production. In essence, the public sector is prominent in both systems.

No opposition

When capitalism eventually transits into communism, there will be no opposition and criticisms. This is because anyone who opposes or openly criticizes a communist government will face imprisonment or even a death sentence. The same thing applies to fascism where there is zero tolerance for opposition and criticism.

Anti-capitalism

Both fascism and Marxism are opposed to capitalism because they abolish the ownership of private property in one way or the other. The systems abolish private control of factors of production.

Dictatorship

Fascism is dictatorial and totalitarian in nature. Marxism proposes the emergence of communism will however turn out to adopt a dictatorship rule. They both involve a single-party dictatorship rule.

Natural resource endowment

The two systems believe that every part of the world has a unique natural resource endowed by nature. They also believe that these natural resources are useful to the economy of a country as they contribute to the running of an economy.

Religion

Both fascism and Marxism permit religion. The slight difference is that fascism in itself is a nationalistic religion while Marxism does not allow the organized practice of religion. The two ideologies did not totally abolish religion.

Same view of production

They both see production as a vital mechanism for running an economy.

Economic impact

Fascism has an impact on an economy as well as Marxism does. These effects can either be positive or negative depending on their applications.

Fascism vs Marxism differences

Fascism vs Marxism comparison chart

The chart below summarizes the differences between fascism and Marxism.

Table summarizing the differences between fascism vs Marxism
Basis for comparison Fascism Marxism
Definition An autocratic political movement that lays emphasis on a centralized snd nationalistic government above individualism. A social, economic, and political concept that was named after Karl Marx and critically examines the impact of capitalism on labor, productivity, and economic development.
Philosophy The state has to gain glory through constant war and conquest.  Revolutionary communism results from class struggles and conflicts particularly between the working class and the capitalists.
Ideas There is a union existing between the business and state where the state tells the business what to do. The existing power relationships between the working class and the capitalists are exploitative in nature.
Political system A single authority of one charismatic leader. A gradual transition to communism.
Private property Nominally permitted Elimination of private property
Religion Nationalistic religion Organized practice abolished
Rights and free choice The individual is meaningless Collective rights rather than individual rights.
Equality Equality but with a superior nation Absolute equality
Distribution of wealth The system theoretically creates a pathway for equality as it erases all forms of class divisions. This is absolutely not the case in reality. Equal distribution of wealth and equal access to needs.
View of war War is good for the nation and the state. Military conflicts/war are not essential.
Growth National growth, military development, and national pride. Societal growth
Formation of union Absent Present

 

Differences between fascism and Marxism explained

Philosophy

Fascism believes that the state has to gain glory through constant war and conquest. The system believes that the past was glorious and the state can therefore experience renewal. The individual is without value outside the role he plays in promoting national glory.  On the other hand, Marxism believes that revolutionary communism results from class struggles and conflicts particularly between the working class and the capitalists.

Ideas

Under fascism, there is a union existing between the business and state where the state tells the business what to do with nominal private property ownership. For example, corporatism in Italy and national socialism in Germany, central planning of the national economy. The Marxist idea on the other hand states that the existing power relationships between the working class and the capitalists are exploitative in nature amounting to class struggles which in turn will cause the working class to rebel, overthrow the capitalists, and seize control of the economy.

Political system

While in fascism, there is a single authority of one charismatic leader, Marxism involves a gradual transition to communism.

Private property

Although private property is nominally permitted under fascism, it has to benefit the present administration. That is, the government will not permit private ownership if it does not benefit the state. On the other hand, Marxism tries to eliminate the ownership of private property with the aim of equalizing everyone in society.

Religion

Fascism itself is a nationalistic religion while under Marxism, the organized practice of religion is abolished as it goes against the idea of equality that Karl Marx proposed.

Rights and free choice

Fascism regards the individual as meaningless, it rather focuses on national pride and supremacy. Marxism on the other hand emphasizes collective rights rather than individual rights, it looks forward to meeting public needs and societal welfare.

Equality

Under fascism, there is equality but with a superior nation. In other words, equality is not absolute, the system emphasizes gender roles. This means that equality in a fascist nation is theoretical. Under Marxism, there is absolute equality as the system opposes gender-based discrimination. Also, there should be no upper class or lower class.

Distribution of wealth

Fascism theoretically creates a pathway for equality as it erases all forms of class divisions. This however is not the case in reality. the rich can do whatever they wish to do in order to retain their wealth. This class of people can make deals with the dictator just to remain in the upper class. The ordinary man will be left with no choice but to go according to the wishes of the government. This will not allow the people to attain a better future and will further push them to poverty. On the other hand, Marxism provides for an equal distribution of wealth and equal access to needs.

View of war

Fascism regards war as a factor that is good for the nation and the state. On the other hand, Marx and Engels did not regard military conflicts as an essential issue for the understanding of their own time. This is contrary to economic war.

Growth

Fascism focuses on national growth, national pride, military development, ammunition, armed vehicles, etc. Marxism on the other hand focuses on societal growth, that is, growth for both society and the public.

Formation of union

Under fascism, no union exists as it is highly dictatorial. No expression of views and there is no formation of unions to stand up for their rights. On the other hand, Marxism provides for the formation of unions that can collectively stand up for their rights.

Frequently asked questions

What is Marxism in simple terms?

Marxism, in simple terms, refers to an economic, social, and political concept named after Karl Marx, which critically evaluates the impact of capitalism on labor, productivity, and economic development.

What does fascism mean in simple terms?

Fascism simply refers to an autocratic political movement that emphasizes a centralized and nationalistic system of government above individual interests, possessing monolithic characteristics.

What does Marxism believe?

Marxism believes that the existing power relationships between the working class and the capitalists are exploitative in nature amounting to class struggles which in turn will cause the working class to rebel, overthrow the capitalists, and seize control of the economy.

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