Fascism is a right-wing philosophy that commemorates a state or race as a natural community surpassing all other loyalties. It puts emphasis on a legend of racial regeneration following a period of demolition. Fascism, thus, calls for a religious revolution against signs of immorality such as selfishness and cupidity. It seeks to eliminate alien forces and associations that intimidate the ordinary society.
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It tends to rejoice in masculinity, youth, spiritual unity and the regenerative supremacy of violence. It supports racial superiority principles, ethnic harassments, imperialist extension and genocide. Fascism may incorporate a type of internationalism based on ethnic or ideological unity across nationwide boundaries. Typically, fascism promotes open male dominance, though it may at times espouse female unity and new opportunities for females of the privileged state (Griffin 150).
The approach of Fascism to politics is termed as both populist and elitist. It is regarded as populist in the sense that it seeks to stimulate persons against alleged oppressors. It is termed as elitist since it treats the will of its people as personified in a chosen group or one ultimate leader, from whom power proceeds downward. Fascism also seeks to systematize a cadre-led group movement to seize state authority.
It compulsorily subordinates all fields of the community to its ideological hallucination of natural community, usually via a totalitarian state. As an association and as a government, fascism makes use of mass associations as a system of amalgamation and control. It also utilizes planned violence to repress opposition, though the scale of aggression differs widely (Renton 34).
Fascism is antagonistic to Marxism, conservatism and Liberalism though it makes use of concepts from the three. It rebuffs the policies of class struggle and employee internationalism as coercions to state unity. It, however, takes advantage of real grievances in opposition to capitalists and property-owners through racial scape goating. Fascism declines the noninterventionist doctrines of personal autonomy and political pluralism (Griffiths 89).
Typically associated with the Nazi movement and with Hitler’s rule in Germany, Fascism has quite short yet rather impressive historical record. However, there is certain inconsistency in associating Hitler’s reign with the epoch of fascism, since Hitler’s politics itself was based on Nazism, which is quite a different movement. However, according to Griffiths, the issue has rather clear and understandable explanation for the confusion.
The movement aimed at intertwining the Church, the State and the Party into a single entity, which, supposedly, could make the state stronger and eventually turn it invincible to the attacks of the enemies (Griffin) was narrowed to the epoch of the totalitarian regime of Benito Mussolini, as Griffin marked:
The word fascism here, however, is the anglicized form of the Italian proper name fascimo (henceforth to be referred to as ‘Fascism’). To apply it to phenomena outside Italy is to change the status of the word: it becomes a generic term. (1)
However, when applied to the German totalitarian regime in 1933-1945, fascism obtains a different palette of meanings, changing the idea of fascism and shaping it into a new ugly and immense power. As Griffin said,
If Italy’s proto-fascism could be pictured as a few rivulets or trickles of ultra-national sentiment whose confluence was only made possible by the interventionist crisis, then Germany’s evokes a meandering network of tributaries which had still to find a common channel by the time the First World War broke out. (85)
Hence, fascism has a number of faces. Splitting into various types, it was bruising until the WWI broke out. However, even the WWI could not put an end to the hatred and rivalry, since the results of the treaty did not satisfy the Central Powers (Griffin 231).
Socialism is a financial system in which production means are both owned by the nation or community and managed cooperatively. Socialism is a form of communal association that is based on joint integration and self-management. The chief aim of socialism is social fairness and wealth allocation based on one’s contribution to the community.
It leads to an economic organization that serves the needs of the community as a whole. Socialism is based on production for consumption and the allocation of economic products to meet financial demands and human needs. In socialism, bookkeeping is based on material resources, physical size and a direct assessment of labor and time.
Products are distributed via markets and income allocation is based on the policy of personal merit. As a political association, socialism involves a wide range of political beliefs that vary from reformism to radical socialism. Supporters of socialism promote the nationalization of production means, allocation and exchange as an approach for executing socialism. Social democrats, however, promote public management of resources in the market economy (Fleming 92).
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Socialism deals with a materialistic point of view and a perception that individual behavior is shaped by the communal environment. It holds that societal mores, beliefs, cultural attributes and financial practices are social conceptions and are not the possessions of an absolute natural law.
Socialists claim that socialism leads to human social association up to the degree of modern technological capacity. They assert that capitalism, as a system of allocating wealth, is outdated since it puts both power and riches within a small section of the community. It is, therefore, clear that socialism is the only system to sensibly deal with people fighting against themselves and the natural world (Mill 79).
It is quite peculiar that most people erroneously associate Socialism with Communism, as Fleming notes. However, Fleming emphasizes that the two ideologies are not necessarily to be intertwined into a single entity. As the historian mentions, the two can exist independently, which proves that Socialism is not intertwined with Communism:
Although the collapse of the Soviet empire (in the late 1980s and early 1990s) has tended to discredit communism, socialist ideas (at least in a moderate form) are accepted and praised, even by politicians and journalists who claim to defend the free market. (16-17)
It is essential to mark that the development of socialist ideas is typically split into two epochs, which are the era before the French Revolution and the era after the French Revolution, as Fleming (13) emphasizes.
Indeed, it is essential to mark that the French Revolution has considerably enhanced the development of the socialist ideas, not to mention the fact that it was in the revolutionary France where the famous Equality, Liberty, Fraternity motto was born to be further on spread all over the world as the fundament of a stable and healthy society.
Tracking the differences between the pre-Revolution Socialism and the post-Revolution Socialism, one can see the main landmarks of the ideology development and specify the changes that have been made to the socialist ideas throughout its evolution.
Fleming, Thomas. Socialism. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008. Print.
Griffin, Roger. The Nature of Fascism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print.
Griffiths Richard. Fascism. London: Continuum, 2005. Print.
Mill, Stuart. On Socialism. New York: Cosimo, 2009. Print.
Renton, Dave. Fascism: Theory and Practice. London; Sterling, Va.: Pluto Press. Print