Historic Misconception: Fascism Vs. Socialism.

When most individuals hear “Socialism”, they think of Communist Russia. When most individuals hear “Fascism”, they think of Nazi Germany. Russia and Germany were archrivals in the Second World War. Adolf Hitler viewed the Communism of Russia as Naziism’s ultimate enemy.

Because of these historical circumstances, many people come to a sincerely flawed conclusion: that Fascism and Socialism are totally opposite ideologies.  Indeed, Fascists are typically labeled as “Far-Right” while Socialists are labeled as “Far-Left”. This implies that they are absolute opposite ideologies.

A common myth on the origins of Fascism is that it was the “capitalist response” to the rise of Communism, and that it represented some ideal of Capitalism on crack. Certain Left-wing social historians jeeringly refer to Fascism as “Capitalism’s dirty little secret” and accordingly pin the blame of WWII and the associated atrocities on some imagined form of Ultracapitalism.

This is pure baloney, from start to finish. The historiography of Left-Wing thought is rife with such ill-conceived notions as these. To set the record straight: Fascism and Socialism, far from being opposites, are two sides of the same coin. They are ideologies far more similar than different.

In a Socialist society, the government owns the means of production. All profits and proceeds go to the State’s coffers. Bureaucrats are in charge of production and make all the decisions. Under Socialism, the State directly controls all processes of production at all levels, from start to finish.

In a Fascist society, the government does not own the means of production, but they still exert control over the atmosphere of production. Businesses are privately owned, but highly regulated and controlled, typically in the name of the “national interest”. Fascist states generally utilize a complex system of regulations, price controls, and import/export quotas to favor certain businesses and industries deemed to be in the “national interest”. The governments of these nations will also order industries to produce certain goods they deem necessary, such as military or industrial equipment. The profits and proceeds go to whoever owns the business, but with a great deal of taxation being paid to the state.

Comparing the two ideologies, you will notice that Fascism is basically a soft form of Socialism. Under Socialism, the State owns the means of production and absorbs all profit. Under Fascism, the State does not own the means of production, but exercises ultimate authority over production and the firm’s ability to do business. Under both systems, the State is the ultimate authority over production. Under both systems, the bureaucrats will always get what they want in the end, in spite of any worker’s or business-owner’s protests.

We can see that Fascism and Socialism are not opposite ideologies. They are merely two dueling interpretations of the same school of thought. Fascism is not its own monolith; it is a branching-off of Socialism. Instead of being tagged as “Far-Right”, Fascism would be more correctly tagged as “Soft-Left”. The full name of the most notorious form of fascist thought, German Naziism, is “National Socialism” for a good reason; it was intended as a modified form of Socialism.

This should be obvious to everyone. Study the history of Fascism. Benito Mussolini, the progenitor of Fascism as a rigorous idea, began his political life as a straight-up Marxist. After leading an interesting early life during one of the most socially-disrupted eras in history, Mussolini shifted from being a believer in the solidarity of the working class to instead believing in the solidarity of nationality (in his case, Italian nationality). However, in no way did Mussolini abandon his Socialist roots. Quite the contrary, Mussolini’s entire economic agenda in Italy was based on Socialist ideas, to include extensive business regulation and a massive welfare state. He was still a Socialist, but instead of fighting for a worldwide proletarian revolution, he fought for Italian supremacy and empire.

Fascism and Socialism are not opposites. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were not opposites; they were bickering ideological brothers. The hatred between self-avowed fascists and socialists is a form of figurative sibling rivalry, and nothing more. If you ever hear an individual proclaim that Naziism and Fascism were capitalist reactions to Communism, know that this individual subscribes to a foolish view of history.

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One Comment on “Historic Misconception: Fascism Vs. Socialism.”

  1. gman1234 March 26, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    Finally, someone wrote it! Nazism and Bolshevism share most ideologies and governing mechanisms. Both despise competition, especially from each other. Both require a tight tyranny in order to operate. Private property ownership is extremely limited in one and abolished in the other. Both have a nasty habit of finding convenient scapegoats on which to blame all of society’s ills. Elimination of scapegoats and enemies perceived or real is for each, top priority.

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