The history of communism and fascism review

The history of communism and fascism

The two movements have been known to share a lot in terms of their history and even ideologies. Both are clearly seen to have been established after the First World War in order to create a new world political order that would not plunge blocks or continents into such a gruesome war as was WWI. Both ideologies loathed the domination of the bourgeoisie and wanted to recruit people to the new utopia that made all members of the society equal. Both the systems put totalitarianism into action. It was Lenin’s step of kick starting totalitarianism in October 1917 that brought into existence totalitarianism as we know it today. Both movements initiated the insurrection of the masses in politics and diminished the significance of individuals in politics. As stated by Hobsbwan E., (nd: Pp 29) “revolution swept across central and south-eastern Europe in the autumn of 1918, as it had swept across Russia in 1917…No old government was left standing between the borders of France and the sea of Japan. Even the belligerents on the victorious side were shaken… ” These two gave way for all forms of totalitarian ideologies and thinking that shaped the 20th Century. Further, Robert Paxton (nd: Pp28) points out at WWI as the most central cause for the thriving of the fascist movement. He indicates that “The experience of WWI was the most decisive immediate pre-condition for fascism. The successful campaign to bring Italy into the war in May 1915 (the ‘radiant Nay’ of Fascist mythology) first brought together the founding elements of Italian Fascism.” Further he notes that “…the great war by itself suffices to explain both Fascism and Bolshevism” (Robert Paxton (nd: Pp29).

Both fascism and communism are a form of religious conviction where man considers more his relationship with the superior law with an aim that transcends the particular individual and lifts him up to the level of conscious belonging to a spiritual society. Robert Paxton indicates that fascism was seen as “A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a massed-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.” (O’Malley J.P., 2012)

In both the fascism and communism, there was that sense of shared common bond in the idea of leadership, belief in ultra-nationalism and their dislike for liberalism. Both the movements had the totalitarian approach and liberal thinking was not allowed and divergent ideologies were not welcome. In communism, the totalitarianism as an ideology and practice were totally imbibed into the party line and on the other side, fascism had all the ideas were derived from the magnetic personality of the infallible leader. This meant that in both fascism and communism, the ideologies and decisions that guided the party or the movement were widely sourced or dictated by an individual who was trusted with steering the party. As indicated in the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1845: Pp15) , “…the most general phase of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within the existing society, up to the point where that war breaks into an open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.” This shows the doctrine of the communist party and the belief that they had in totalitarian leadership and war even unto violence if need be.

Both political movements had similar underlying problem which was the absolute adherence and commitment to the guiding ideologies which were seen to give human beings the illusion of identity, of morality, of dignity yet at the same time making it easy for them to part with these tenets.

Both Mussolini and Hitler were leaders with ideologies that had roots in the progressive movements of the turn of 20the Century. They both believed in the philosophy of pragmatism, that thought is tool that needs and can be used to inspire action and change. They believed that the reality can be molded and knowledge can be harnessed for social betterment. Both leaders charmed their way into the hearts of many of their citizens, who were convinced to view their dictatorship as a necessary and useful social experiment. In as much as both the ideologies described themselves as being diametric opposites, in a matter of fact, the two ideologies were similar and only had to portray themselves as opposites in order to survive. They both had a socialistic origin.


Hobsbwan E., (nd). The Age of Total War.

O’Malley J.P., (2012). Communism and Fascism: The Reason They Are So Similar. Retrieved September 30, 2018 from

Robert Paxton (nd). The Anatomy of Fascism: Creating Fascist Movements.

Marx & Engels (1848). Manifesto if the communist Party.


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