Fascism is an ideology based on the concept of force and total compliance to the tunes of the authority. It is regarded as a philosophy, principle, and organization of the aggressive nationalist and anti-communist dictatorship.
It started as a movement in Italy in 1922 and came to an end in 1943 under Benito Mussolini. The ideology condemns both capitalism and socialism, rejects peace, democracy and the rule of law and rather glorifies war.
Features of Fascism
- Fascism as an ideology encourages aggressive nationalism;
- In a Fascist state, the political leader is supreme, respected and even worshipped;
- The leader makes all laws. Rights and authority are derived from him;
- This system does not give room for the existence of any form of opposition. Where there is an opposition, it is usually destroyed by force;
- The state has absolute control over all aspects of a citizen’s life e.g. religion, education, etc.
- Political participation is reserved for the elite, while the majority are excluded;
- Fascism rejects popular views, the law of God and religion in general. It seeks to glorify war, which is believed to be the only means to peace.
- What is fascism?
- Highlight 4 features of fascism.
Nazism is a type of totalitarianism practised in Germany under Adolf Hitler between 1933 and 1945. It is a political ideology, which strongly believes that the German race is superior to the individual.
It also believes in a ‘national being based on the unity of blood’. The state has full control over the activities and personal liberties of the citizens, as the leadership is always right.
Features of Nazism
- The leader is always right and he controls all powers of government;
- There is only one political party – the Nazist political party;
- The leaders of the political party were automatically the leaders of the government;
- The government owns and controls the mass media;
- Oppositions were not allowed, while labour unions and other forms of pressure groups were prohibited;
- Government controlled the economy centrally;
- The rule of law and fundamental human rights were not recognized;
- The use of force and brutality to oppress the people was a major feature of a Nazist government.
Totalitarianism is a form of government, which involves absolute control of persons, ideas and properties by the government. It is also referred to as Authoritarianism. It allows only one political party to control and exist in the state.
Under this form of government, the citizens are the properties of the state; the mass media and the laws are meant to favour the tune of government. Citizens must obey the rulers at the expense of their fundamental human rights. Examples include the Nazist government in Germany and the Fascist rule in Italy.
Features of Totalitarianism
- There is a supreme authority which controls everything;
- There is one dominant political party which controls the state and there is no room for any opposition;
- Force and brutality is used to rule the masses;
- The presence of an autocratic government leads to the absence of the rule of law;
- The government controls the mass media;
- There is the existence of a single ideology and philosophy.
- What is Totalitarianism?
- Give 5 features of totalitarianism.
GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS
- What is Nazism?
- What is the dominant theme of the Nazist government?
- What is the aim of Totalitarianism?
- Why is there no room for opposition under a Totalitarian regime?
- The idea of Fascism originated in ____ (a) Britain (b) Germany (c) Italy
- The idea of Nazism was based on ____ (a) equality before the law (b) superiority of the German race (c) the supremacy of the law over all persons
- Which of the following distinguishes a state from a nation?
(a) Population (b) sovereignty (c) territory
- In a capitalist state, those who sell their labour for money are called the ____
(a) Bourgeoisie (b) proletariats (c) peasants
- An economic system based on hierarchical ownership of land is called ____
(a) Socialism (b) Communalism (c) Feudalism
- In a tabular form, in five ways compare a democratic and a fascist state.
- Explain the guiding principles of Nazism.