Difference between Fascism and Communism

Many may think these two socioeconomic political systems are very similar to each other, which is quite far from the truth. On the contrary, one actually opposes the other.


Fascism vs Communism

Experts have long debated what fascism really is and what it stands for. The various interpretations of fascism make it even harder to pin down a universal definition. Wikipedia defines fascism as “a form of radical authoritarian nationalism,” which suggests a system of governance that enforces extreme authoritarian and nationalistic rule.

While there are many interpretations surrounding fascism, some concepts do stand out from one of its common definitions. One is the rejection of ideals promoted by liberalism, communism and conservatism. Fascism has always been known to promote authoritarian policies that granted a fascist state the capability to drastically change society by regulating the economy. One of the most distinguishing features of fascism is its nationalistic views. It holds that social, political and economic issues can be solved by instituting a national rebirth and putting the nation or their race above everything else.

Fascism promotes a one-party system (totalitarian) and flatly rejects a multi-party state. Its supporters believe in a state-controlled economy that allows both public and private ownership of the means of production. It sees the working class and private owners as one, and as in conflict with “parasites” of society such as corrupt political groups, financial capital and weak people.

Communism is a political, economic and social system that promotes a resource-based, humane society where money has no value and operates without any form of state control.

Communism is based on Marxism, which blames capitalism for the widening gap between the working class and the private owners of factories and natural resources (means of production). This conflict would bring about a class struggle with the working class gaining control of the means of production, paving the way for socialism.

Capitalism would still play an important role in realizing the communist state. Social ownership of factories, industries and natural resources would benefit society and fund advancements in technology.

The last stage is the realization of the communist state. Here, government will cease to exist. Money will no longer have value. The line that separates the working class and the ruling class is erased to usher in a classless society where each and every person is deemed equal. In a perfect world, production and distribution of goods would be based according to one’s needs and contribution according to one’s ability. Profit for the accumulation of wealth is discarded and would no longer be in effect.

Fascism vs Communism

So, what’s the difference between fascism and communism? Fascist states have always criticized and rejected communist ideals. Where fascism believes in an elite group of individuals to lead their country, communism proposes the working class should rule, or at least in theory. Fascism rejects capitalism but allows private ownership as long as economic activity is centered on strengthening the state. Communism allows capitalism to operate until the time when it is no longer needed.

As opposed to the communist ideals of a classless state, fascism believes that every member of society has a designated role that would never change.

Comparison Chart

Fascism Communism
Believes in a ruling party composed of aristocrats and elite individuals Believes in the rule of the working class
Assigns specific tasks to members of society Promotes a classless society
Rejects capitalism Believes capitalism is needed until a communist state is fulfilled


This video further explains the difference between the two.