Comparison of the fiscist and nazi regimes ran by benito mussolini and adolf hitler
Comparison of Fascist and Nazi regimes, and impact on modern day Italy
The better part of the twentieth century, especially the time around the world wars was dominated by two prominent schools of thoughts – Fascism and Nazism. Both saw a boom during the time of Second world war, when Mussolini and Hitler, their respective founders and then faces, teamed up to wage war against the Allied forces, which ultimately led to one of the bloodiest wars ever fought in history.
Where there are numerous similarities and dissimilarities between fascism and Nazism, one can see that both had their origin under similar circumstances. When one talks about the immediate rise of fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany, one finds three common denominators that underline both.
Firstly, both the countries were nationally frustrated. In the First World War, Italy had suffered one of the major blows through the death of almost 600,000 nationals, in addition to monetary loss. Moreover, the treaty of Versailles, signed just after the end of the first world war to prevent any more from happening, snuffed Italy by assigning it only S. Tyrol, when the original promise had been that of a significant part of land. The same treaty, on the other hand, completely obliterated Germany’s position and ability to function as a country. Not only did the country lose 7 million soldiers, but also a major part of its land. Additionally, any form of self-defence and self-determination was denied to Germany, leaving its people bankrupt, war weary, and staring down the face of long term poverty CITATION Eng15 p 1-2 l 16393 (Engage with ease staff 1-2).
Secondly, there was a growing fear of communism in both Italy and Germany before Mussolini and Hitler came to power. By 1919, over two million workers, peasants and lower class employees in Italy were penniless and hungry due to the closure of numerous war factories. This acute need became the strength of the communist party, which captured land and took over industries, thus inciting fear in other land owners, industrialists, and even the Church. When Mussolini overthrew the communist regime, he automatically gained the support of the above factions CITATION Eng15 p 2 l 16393 (Engage with ease staff 2).
While communism was not as powerful in Germany as in Italy, it still was a large concern for the middle class, who were already suffering under an extremist right regime. Hitler and his nazi party took advantage of the fear, and convinced people of the foils of a revolution. Then, during the 1933 elections, when the Reichstag building was burned down, Hitler seized the opportunity by having the police overthrow the communist party and declare himself supreme in charge, by bullying the new Reichstag into submission CITATION Eng15 p 2-3 l 16393 (Engage with ease staff 2-3).
Lastly, both regimes had an acute disdain of democracy. In fact, both the fascist and nazi regimes were founded on the beliefs that neither the right nor the left could give them any reprieve from social, political and economic unrest. They believed that relying their trust into one man would lead them to glory and expansion. Even when Mussolini and hitler were in power in their respective regions, both went to extreme measures to make sure that there were no chances of the rise of another enemy anywhere in their countries CITATION Eng15 p 3 l 16393 (Engage with ease staff 3).
Similarities between facism and Nazism
One of the primary similarities between facism and Nazism is the nature of both dictatorships, wherein both the dictators, Mussolini and Hitler that is, showed through a show of power that they deserved to be in charge, and were adamant that their countries remained under one supreme, unchallenged power CITATION Ric86 l 16393 (Richards).
In fact, Mussolini and Hitler were both increasingly independent leaders, averse to being controlled by either their parties or their supporters. Both ruled with a mixture of fear, oppression, propaganda, and foreign adventure. Additionally, both employed heavy censorship and violence to prevent the rise of any and all opposition. Both fascism and Nazism believed that neither political party could provide them with the type of governance that they needed, and thus presented themselves as a third way out CITATION Ric86 l 16393 (Richards).
However, both regimes owe a lot of their spread and popularity to the support they received from both the industry and the common people. The national armies and the industries were both strong supporters of each dictator in his own country. Not only this, they banked on their respective charismatic and propaganda images to rally people to their sides – it was for this reason that only the Fuhrer, that is Hitler, and the Il Duce, that is Mussolini, could stress the national importance of any issue, or take up debate on topics like development, integrity and freedom CITATION Pea82 l 16393 (Peacock).
Their image and power was such that a huge part of the populace rallied behind them. Moreover, many of them justified the dictators’ influence on their lives, thus automatically putting the parties above others due to popular vote. Those who opposed the same quickly changed to conform themselves to the popular thinking CITATION Ric86 l 16393 (Richards).
Foreign policy and war in facism and Nazism, and the similarities
By the end of the 1930s, both Hitler and Mussolini had become obsessed with the dreams of foreign expansion. They believed that the only way to establish a long lasting regime was to build their empires. Mussolini looked towards the Balkans, Mediterranean and north Africa, whereas Hitler towards Europe and Russia CITATION Pea82 l 16393 (Peacock) CITATION Ric86 l 16393 (Richards).
However, both regimes would have faced opposition from the people, who were finally seeing some normality after a long time. The only way for the dictators to remain in power was to make people believe that the wars were being fought for the populace’s good. This is why they militarized the societies themselves CITATION Ric86 l 16393 (Richards) CITATION Pea82 l 16393 (Peacock).
By employing propaganda, promoting education, and bringing about an industrial revolution, wherein factories were set up and employment was created for all, both the nazi and fascist regimes managed to convince people of their ideologies while also preparing the young man who was thought of as ideal to fight in a war – disciplined, educated, self-sufficient and devoted to the leader CITATION Ric86 l 16393 (Richards) CITATION Pea82 l 16393 (Peacock).
To their citizens themselves, many thought that their leaders were finally looking towards restoring their national pride, decimated and lost after the First World War. Unaware of the dictators’ ulterior motives, many people thus supported the two until loss and poverty befell them as a result of another war CITATION Pea82 l 16393 (Peacock) CITATION Ric86 l 16393 (Richards).
There were also other similarities, one of which was the way the industry in both the countries grew. Mussolini came to power on the backs of industrialists, and private land owners, who supported for a major part of his rule. Just like him, Hitler believed in the private ownership of the land, and furthered the setting up of factories to help them manufacture weapons and thus create propaganda for the positivity of war. Both Mussolini and Hitler, however, used the factories and industries as tools for their higher plans, and made sure that the industrial revolution in both Italy and Germany expanded in favour of the dictatorship CITATION Pea82 l 16393 (Peacock).
Differences between fascism and Nazism
One of the major differences between the two schools of fascism and Nazism is where each of these regimes lay emphasis. Fascism believes in power to the state, where Nazism believes in power to the race. Unlike fascism, which was more open to adopting the minority cultures in its country as long as the proponents of the said cultures renounced their beliefs and adopted to that of fascisms, the nazi regime believed in the existence of only one superior race. All other races had to be obliterated or either serve the master race CITATION Sam14 p “par. 15” l 16393 (Samuels par. 15).
Even the concept of nationalism differs in the two regimes. While both promoted the spreading of the national culture, fascism was more accepting of the proponents of other, minority cultures, as mentioned above. However, it wanted only to exterminate the culture itself, and not the people. Nazism, however, adopted an extremist strategy, wherein all promoters of the minority culture were killed CITATION Sam14 l 16393 (Samuels).
What this set the stage for, apart from the war, was Hitler’s own hatred and propaganda against the jews, who suffered greatly at the hands of the Nazis during the time of the second world war. Apart from his conquests in other countries, the german army rained havoc on the Jew minorities, both in the conquered states and back home. hitler was also famous for the atrocities that Jew populations were subjected to in his concentration camps, where they were segregated from families, and made to work for very little food, clothing and necessities. Additionally, most were regularly beaten, or subjected to acid and fire pits, often as punishments, or even to make place for the new people to come.
In short, the Nazism was seen a vessel to promote the supremacy of the German race. The state was, in the simplest of terms, completely totalitarian. It sided with neither but itself.
Another difference, additionally, lies in the way the industries in both countries expanded. Where Mussolini relied on the expansion of large scale industries in order to gain and retain the support of industrialists, the Nazi regime discouraged the same. Until the commencement of the Second World War, Nazis in Germany promoted the idea of small scale industries and private business, as opposed to the large scale expansion they switched to after they entered into war. This led to a great number of people rallying behind Hitler, since many of them were farmers, peasants, and department store owners whose businesses were being threatened by the rise of large industries CITATION Sam14 p “par. 51-52, 75-77” l 16393 (Samuels par. 51-52, 75-77).
One of the reasons why the Nazi party propagated the rural way of life as a reflection of the quintessential German and valued way of life was that unlike the Fascists, the Nazis were not as popular with the industrial class in Germany. Thus, by gaining the support of the common population, they were able to balance the scales and create a strong followership CITATION Sam14 p “par. 51-52” l 16393 (Samuels par. 51-52).
Fascism in modern Italy
In his article Fascism lives on in Italy seven decades after the end of Mussolini’s rule, Michael Day criticized Italy’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi for making an appearance at Holocaust memorial, and saying that apart from his views on racial segregation, Mussolini had done an admirable job at being a dictator in many other ways. The prime minister’s party, additionally, finds its roots in a neo-fascist school of thought CITATION Day13 p “pars. 1-3” l 16393 (Day pars. 1-3) .
While most people regard Mussolini’s rule as a black mark on Italy’s history, there are some who regard his leadership as a time ideal for the middle class. Many believe that it was during his reign that amenities and necessities were available to the common people. Public services were easily available, and were better in quality. There was order, and crime was down under the fascist regime, at least until the commencement of the Second World War, which once again plunged the country into acute poverty and a civil war CITATION Day13 p “par. 3” l 16393 (Day par. 3).
Every year in modern day Italy, calendars with Mussolini’s visage make an appearance. Their sales, too, seem to be increasing. Mussolini often also makes an appearance in the racist groups that seem focused on neo-fascist propaganda, football, and also the ambitiously political movement known as CasaPound CITATION Day13 p “par. 5-6” l 16393 (Day par. 5-6).
Besides that, modern Italy has progressed well beyond the thought process of assigning all power to one man. Since the end of the second world war, there has been a huge change in the ideology the people: they now regard Mussolini as a dictator who did nothing but set up the stage for their country to fall into even more perilous time than before.
Today, there are little to no supporters of neither the fascist nor the nazi regimes. The actions of both are regarded as extreme to the point of being cruel, and are opposed by numerous on grounds of human rights. Democracy is now the thought process in both regimes, although many feel that the present younger generation should at least know about their national history and parties, and the price the world had to pay for supporting them.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Day, Micheal. Fascism lives on in Italy seven decades after the end of Mussolini’s rule. 3 April 2013. Web. 22 November 2015.
Engage with ease staff. Journal 61- COMPARISON BETWEEN FASCIST ITALY and NAZI GERMANY. n.d. Web. 22 November 2015.
Kasumba, Maxon. “Comparison between Fascism of Italy and Nazism of Germany.” Rwanda Education Commons, July 2011. Web Document.
Peacock, H. L. A history of modern Europe. Heinemann, 1982. Print.
Richards, Denis. An Illustrated History of Modern Europe, 1789-1984. Longman , 1986. Print.
Samuels, L. K. Hitler and Mussolini: History’s Dirty Little Secret . 28 Feb 2014. Web. 22 November 2015.