Difference Between Fascism and Socialism

Fascism vs Socialism

Fascism and Socialism are two schools of thought that show some difference between them when it comes to their principles and concepts. Fascism is an authoritarian, nationalistic political ideology. On the other hand, socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are either owned by the state or owned commonly but cooperatively controlled. This is the main difference between the two terms. The difference that arises at the core idea of fascism and socialism makes them two whole different ideologies. However, if you put that fact aside, you will see that both fascism and socialism are ideologies where strict rules are applied to the members of the society.

What is Fascism?

Fascism is a government led by a dictator who controls every aspect of the society putting the wealthy minority on top. Fascism supports totalitarian single-party state. Fascism is for establishing physical education, indoctrination, and family policy as the various means of mobilization of a nation. It is interesting to note that fascism was founded by Italian national syndicalists during World War I. though fascism does not believe that a class conflict can bring about a change, it believes that a class conflict can harm the integrity of the country. So, they took steps to prevent class conflicts by becoming mediums between classes.

As a matter of fact, fascism supports the use of paramilitary groups or organization to fight the opponents. Fascism is described as anti-communist, anti-democratic, anti-parliamentary, anti-liberal, anti-individualist, and anti-conservative too. It does not support materialism and hierarchy. It is important to know that fascism opposes liberalism to a great extent.

It is interesting to note that the word fascism is derived from the Latin ‘fasces.’ It is a symbol of the authority of the civic magistrate in Rome. In fact, this symbol suggested strength through unity. Thus, fascism aims at strength through unity. Moreover, fascism was discussed at length in the past by historians, political scientists, and other scholars.

Difference Between Fascism and Socialism

Flag of Italian Fascism

What is Socialism?

Socialism is an economic system wherein all the means of production are owned by the public. As the means of production are owned by the public, there is no social division where one class earns a lot while another class suffers with no money. So, socialism believes in production for use. Hence, socialism recommends direct allocation of economic inputs to reach economic goals and human needs. According to critics, the word socialism finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share.

Socialism bases its belief on the class conflict. It is the class conflict that is going to change the society. According to socialism, the general public put a stop to the class conflict by overthrowing the minority who has the power to the means of production. Once that is done, and the means of production becomes the property of everyone, there is no longer a class conflict. The government certainly does not have to act as mediums between classes as there are no classes anymore.

 Fascism vs Socialism

What is the difference between Fascism and Socialism?

• Definitions of Fascism and Socialism:

• Fascism is a government led by a dictator who controls every aspect of the society putting the wealthy minority on top.

• Socialism is a government made for people which takes its actions according to the general public.

• Type of Ideology:

• Fascism is an authoritarian, nationalistic political ideology.

• Socialism is a political ideology where state or public ownership of means of production can be seen.

• Ownership of the Means of Production:

• In fascism, means of production were owned by the minority of the society which was the wealthy few.

• In socialism, means of production were owned by the public or the government.

• Class Conflict:

• Fascism denies that class conflict can bring about a social change.

• Socialism bases its belief on the class conflict. According to socialism, it is the class conflict that is going to change the society.

• Belief in God:

• Fascists believed in God very much.

• Socialists were atheists. Socialists did not believe in God.

• Relationship:

• Fascism is the opposite of Socialism.

• Number of Political Parties:

• Both fascism and socialism had one party political systems.

These are the important differences between fascism and socialism.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Flag of Italian Fascism via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Socialism via Pixabay (Public Domain)
  • Stop Controlling Me

    Im glad he includes the following: “socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are either owned by the state or owned commonly but cooperatively controlled.” Since many people forget this.

    Would be best to add examples such as Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany (fascism) as opposed to late 20th century Europe (socialism), and how they apply.

    This entry needs a conclusion/summary. The last paragraph doesn’t make sense and is, anyways, non sequitur.

    • Matthew Morrison

      Fascism is pretty much a right-wing ideology. It is where America is heading thanks to 30+ years of unfettered capitalism and trickle-down economic (Reaganomics). “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross,” – Sinclair Lewis

      • Michael Griffith

        Right and Left are opposites. Is North Korea “Right-wing?”

        The Far Right of the gov’t spectrum is Anarchy. The Far Left is complete Totalitarianism.

      • Viator16

        Just the opposite is true. America is heading toward communism. There is no “unfettered capitalism” in America. It there were, the country wouldn’t be $17 trillion in debt and 100 million people in America wouldn’t be out of work. Socialism has failed wherever it has been tried.

      • bpolhemus

        “Thirty years of unfettered capitalism?”

        How about “175 years of unfettered capitalism leading to the greatest economic expansion and unparalleled prosperity in world history, followed by gradual FETTERING of capitalism as government gradually came to control – unconstitutionally – more and more of the former private sector leading to economic stagnation?”

        There, fixed. Go back to school and tell your professor he’s a fucking ignoramous.

  • Viator16

    The Nazis were socialists. The Communists certainly fit the definition of fascism. So the distinctions that are being made here are bogus. They simply don’t work. Both systems are totalitarian. If individual rights, including property rights, are usurped by a government, does it really matter if it is fascist or socialist? The end result is the same.

    • http://www.ravtechnet.com/ Michael J Foy Sr

      They both were one party one dictator totalitarian states. That made them both Right Wing and radicals. They both claimed to be Socialist. Neither claimed any democratic or personal liberty values except for the very few at the top of the “party”. The higher up you moved the more bennies you received. They were both Fascist as was Mussolini’s Italy and Franco’s Spain.

    • james steele

      the theory of communism is different than those that have claimed to have achieved the theory. the basic theory of communism is that the poverty stricken destroy everyone’s property, then everyone is poverty stricken and they come together to survive without classes, eliminating class division. some native american tribes didn’t believe in ownership, and thus the tribe lead by an elder decided distribution of things. this was the closest there has been to communism, early protestant settlement came close as well as the village council technically owned everything and had absolute authority. leftists tend not to acknowledge this as these are considered the basis for right wing ideology, and they were primitive systems that were very divided between those with power and those without (the division wasn’t due to money, but popularity). the nomadic native americans that followed this path retained liberty due to the ease of a group leaving if they didn’t like being in the tribe to form their own tribe, and the ease of returning if they changed their minds. the celts had a society that had such freedoms, both had issues with their people breaking off and raiding other people then returning to the safety of the group bring wealth with them. socialism is about the group that works owns what they work with, sharing in the profit together. state sponsored socialism tends to be state owned enterprises in which the money returns to the state and then is given out by the state to the people. fascism is an atheist nationalist ideal that has the state control everything, and has total authority. as fascist government controls everything they can dictate what gets paid to the workers and thus forcing socialistic ideals on an enterprise. fascism doesn’t have to technically own anything, they just make all decisions, which is how mussolini gained support of the capitalists during his rise to power. the government can still have elections, nazi germany suspended proper voting during the war (which conveniently coincided with their consolidation of power) and had plans for a proper election in 1947 (who knows if this would have happened if the nazis had won the war). the point is that communism is very specific and has never (probably can’t) been achieved, fascism is a bit broader, socialism is incredibly broad. liberal socialism is what europe today follows, the state is responsible for the citizen’s health, education, sustenance, and freedom. the national socialist nazi platform advocated the state is responsible for the citizen’s health, education, work, and morals. anyone can see there is clear overlap between the two, mussolini’s fascism had less in common with today’s popular version of socialism, but was still fascist, and still advocated that the workers shared in the decisions of the enterprise in which they worked (as allowed by the state). less obvious forms of socialism would be public roads or schools, which most of the world has, fascism is too specific for such bite sized things to be fascist, but if it was broader, then having a national army would be a bite sized example of fascism, which most of the world has. fascism is on a level with marxism or maoism, socialism is on the level with nationalism and liberalism. the first group is too specific of political ideology to be taken in bite sized chunks and retain its identity, while the second grouping is broad and allows mixing to form new ideologies. in other words national socialism may be fascist, or it might not be depending on how you mix it, and fascist marxism is a bogus concept. communism is on the level with utopia or group mind, a concept that will most likely always be just a concept. something can be communistic, just like something can be utopian or group minded, in other words it can have similarities to the concept, without achieving the concept, though these are relativistic terms and only applies so long as it is compared to things that are less like the concepts than the thing you are calling communistic or utopian. once you start comparing two things with equal similarities to the concept the term no longer holds meaning.

  • Cheryl Everman

    Socialism is NOT an economic system. The opposite of communism is capitalism. Take an economic class.