WHAT IS FASCISM?
Fascism is a form of right - wing totalitarianism that celebrates the nation (and sometimes the race) above all other things. Fascism, along with Communism, is the idea that the state is supreme over the individual. Its ideology even emphasizes subordination of the individual to the state. Violence being perceived as a creative force is a major and pertinent trait of Fascism. In defense of Fascism, some philosophers said that ¨the will is prior to and superior to the intellect of reason¨.
The name is derived from the Latin fasces, a symbol of authority and unity in ancient Rome. It looks like a bundle of sticks tied to an axle rod. The word ¨Fascism¨ was first used by Benito Mussolini to describe the type of government he established in Italy in the 1920s.
Fascism believes in national (or racial) ¨rebirth¨ after a period of economic decline. It often revolts against ¨moral decay¨ like individualism and materialism. Fascism typically emphasizes masculinity, youth, unity, and violence. Sometimes, it advocates racial superiority, ethnic persecutions, and genocide. Fascist leaders may endorse internationalism, occasionally based on race. Fascism often involves male supremacy, but can also promote new opportunities for females of the privileged nation or race. Politically, Fascism aims to unite ¨the people¨ against perceived threats.
Fascism, though not always called Fascism in other countries,has been in Germany, Japan, South Africa, Italy, Argentina, and others. In Germany, it was called ¨National Socialism¨. Nazi Germany even created their own form of Fascism, Nazism, which has totalitarian and racist policies, and an emphasis on propaganda.
During the 1920s and 1930s Fascism typically attacked liberalism, individuality, science, and reason, among other things. Fascists in Europe in particular often sought to restore tradition. For example, Mussolini wanted to restore Ancient Rome. There was a heavy emphasis on action, rather than planning, which appealed to some WWI veterans who wanted action in the government. European Fascist leaders typically rebelled against the existing social order. In fact, Hitler broke the Treaty of Versallies in order to conquer more land for Germany and to produce U-boats. Fascists struggled for unity to overcome class divisions.
Although Italy and Germany both succumbed to Fascism, totalitarianism was more popular in Nazi Germany. Many economic problems (caused mainly be the Treaty of Versallies and the Great Depression) resulted in the citizens of Germany to look for a new leader. Hitler gained popularity by finding many scapegoats to blame (including Communists) and promoting anti-Semitism for postwar economic problems.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NAZISM AND FASCISM
Hitler attempted to emulate Mussolini in many ways, and politics was one of them, however, there were still things Hitler did differently. For instance, Nazism is a form of Fascism, but is much more racist. While Fascism is more concerned with unifying the ¨supreme state¨, Nazism is more concerned with unifying the ¨supreme race¨. In fact, Nazism considered an advanced nation as just a means for the advancement for the ¨supreme race¨.
HITLER AND MUSSOLINI: THE TWO MOST INFAMOUS FASCIST LEADERS
Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany both had strong police forces that repressed dissent, promoted regime - friendly propaganda, infrastructure projects that helped the economy, youth indoctrination programs, and they both violently conquered countries (Italy conquered France and Ethiopia and Germany conquered most of Europe).
Hitler admired Mussolini, especially his ¨March on Rome¨-- a 1922 protest that led to Mussolini coming to power as Prime Minister of Italy. However, while Mussolini´s attempted overthrow of the government succeeded, Hitler's failed and resulted in his imprisonment for treason. he gained power in Germany nearly a decade later.
Hitler and Mussolini politically respected one another and were allies in WWII as two thirds of the Axis Powers. Germany offered to assist Italy in its Abyssinian Crisis during the 1930s. Hitler influenced Mussolini to join the Axis Powers by sending a vast and impressive array of military supplies to Italy in September 1937. In the 1920s, Mussolini provided financial aid to the ascending Nazi party, and although Mussolini allowed S.S. and S.A. men to train with his own army, and praised Hitler´s rise, he was secretly scornful of Hitler and said negative things about Mein Kampf and his ideologies.
After their first meeting in Venice, June 1939, they both thought less of each other, but propaganda conveyed a great friendship between the two.
Mussolini longed to rebuild the glory of Ancient Rome, and scoffed at Hitler´s ¨Aryan race¨ remarks. Mussolini was a white - supremacist, but not quite an anti - Semitist, and he did not pursue a ¨pure race¨ or become focused on ethnic or religious identity like Hitler did. In fact, he even allowed some Jews to take refuge from Hitler in Fascist Italy.
Mussolini was ousted from office in 1943, murdered, along with his wife in 1945, and then their corpses publicly displayed for onlookers to desecrate and ridicule.
Hitler and his wife committed suicide, and had their bodies respectfully carried away by Nazis for burning.