• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

During the 20th century, the political doctrines of Socialism and Fascism saw widespread support and implementation in many nations.

Extracts from this document...


During the 20th century, the political doctrines of Socialism and Fascism saw widespread support and implementation in many nations. Paralleling their rise was the popular myth that they were distinct and contrary systems of government. Upon further examination, however, it becomes quite clear that they really stand for the same core beliefs. In practice, both systems lead to death and destruction through the systematic stripping away of individual, economic, and political rights from the populace. The conclusion that Fascism and Communism are really the same thing can be made by looking closely at two 20th century dictators, Hitler and Stalin. The idea that Communism and Fascism were opposites reached its peak 1930's. During this time, the fear of Communism gripped Europe. Anyone who could offer protection from the threat of Communism quickly gained credibility with the people. Hitler and Mussolini both rose to power by offering protection against the Communists. The burning of the Reichstag caused mass hysteria in Germany and allowed Hitler to seize power. The "March on Rome" in Italy allowed Mussolini to gain power in the same manner. Conversely, Stalin managed to push his agenda by fostering fear of impending invasion by imperialistic western forces. When explaining his reasoning behind his first 5-year plan he states: The task of the five-year plan was to create all the necessary technical and economic prerequisites for increasing to the utmost the defence capacity of the country, enabling it to organize determined resistance to any attempt at military intervention from abroad, to any attempt at military attack from abroad. ...read more.


My father... carried a communist card and wore a fascist Falangist uniform in Spain at different moments in the 1930s. A historical example of the similarities Fernandez-Armesto is talking about can be found by comparing Hitler's rule in Nazi Germany and Stalin's rule in Soviet Russia. Both Hitler and Stalin shared the goal of attaining power. To this end, they quickly set about redirecting all the power that existed in the country and centering it in themselves. The press along with the education system was transformed into a propaganda machine. To maintain complete control over the populace secret police were established. The SS of Germany and the NKVD of Soviet Russia terrorized the populace into submission. All the property of the state became the property of the party. Stalin seized all private property while Hitler simply enslaved the individuals that owned private property as he explains: Of what importance is all that, if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the Party, is supreme over them regardless of whether they are owners or workers. All that is unessential; our socialism goes far deeper. It establishes a relationship of the individual to the State, the national community. Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? ...read more.


Not only were the tactics used by Stalin and Hitler alike, but the consequences of those tactics were also. At the root of Fascism and Communism is the idea that the group is superior to the individual. Morality was reduced to a question of whether or not a particular action benefited the group. In the name of the Aryan Race, or the Proletariat, anything, or anyone, could be sacrificed to the cause. Entire segments of the population was wiped out in both nations. The Kulaks of Russia and the Jews of Germany were all but eliminated. Mass murder was also used during the purges of both nations. The death toll of Stalin's regime is measured at 42 million of his own citizens. Hitler murdered 20 million during his reign. By looking at their regimes it should be quite clear that there is no difference between Communism and Fascism, the only thing both have to offer is a blood bath. While many historians are recognizing the similar nature of Fascism and Communism even today two systems of government are still thought of as differing significantly. With the events of World War 2, and the years preceding it, an ever fading memory to the public at large the Fascism/Communism dichotomy is bound to be revived. It is, therefore, important to recognize that the only alternative to Communism, or Fascism, is freedom, not a different kind of dictator. Jesse Ritcey "Socialism and Fascism, One System" History 12 Block B 05/10/07 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Hitlers Germany

    guilt and responsibility of the generation of Germans who shaped the Third Reich. Very little is served by arguing that the biological extermination of the Jews was a copy of the class extermination practiced by the Communists" and that "Auschwitz did not result in the first place from inherited anti-Semitism

  2. Features of Fascism

    Mussolini, as mention previously was formerly a socialist but abandoned the party when he discarded the pacifist line and joined the army to fight in the First World War. Mussolini was an atheist and had no religious programmes on the fascist agenda.

  1. Evaluate historical comparisons of Hitler and Stalin and their regimes

    The book provided the earliest insights into what Hitler and Stalin had in common. Arendt believed that the two were in fact totalitarian dictators, meaning that they not only relied on violence and terror but more importantly on propaganda to enforce their regimes and retain control.

  2. IB 20th Century History

    Needless to say, the guidelines and expectations imposed upon the peasants led them to feel constricted and resentful towards the State. As resentment for the Soviet leadership mounted, it became increasingly common for Stalin to control the "anti-Soviets" via force and violence.

  1. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    purges were probably supporters of Stalin and the Communist Party.[40] The first of few private trials came as a result of the Kirov murder, resulting in the murderer and all believed conspirators to the murder being given long prison sentences in a first trial, prior to the change in the criminal procedure.

  2. Adlof Hitler and Joseph Stalin were the two of the most powerful dictators in ...

    He built slave and labour camps for these people. Hitler and Stalin had huge impact on their countries as a result of mass murder. They gained incredible discipline and respect from the people. Everyone was forced in work to boost the economy; this increased the output of the country.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work