What’s the Difference Between Fascism, Socialism, and Communism?

What’s the Difference Between Fascism, Socialism, and Communism?
David Schlecht

With all the confusion out there today on the part of the Chronically Confused Conservatives of our times, I though I would try to put together  a simple comparison of the three terms they confuse the most for Democracy.


Let’s start with the most easily confused. Fascism.

Fascism is best described as a merging of corporate and government interests. In simpler terms, it’s when corporations have taken over the government. This is also called a Oligarchy because the wealthy control the entire country. Mussolini states that the corporations were the most important part of a country and that the government should work with them to make a better country. He created this merger and called it Fascism to differentiate it from Socialism.

One of the signature characteristics of Fascism is “belligerent nationalism.” This is the practice of saying our country is exceptional and don’t you dare tell me otherwise.

Another, more modern term for Fascism is Corporatism.

Well, if Fascism isn’t Socialism, then what is Socialism?


Socialism is where people are directly involved in the production of goods and services, things like cooperatives where the workers are the owners of the businesses. This doesn’t mean the government owns and manages the businesses. The business exists for the sake of providing for society, or the social good.

We’ve posted here many times about the socialistic bent of America’s forefathers. Socialism was such a fundamental inclination that our government is defined as “We The People.”

The corporatists in America try to hide this fact and purposely confuse socialism with fascism and communism.


The easiest way to think of Communism is the requirement that private property is not allowed. No one owns anything. Everything is owned by the government. The general idea is that the people, in turn, own the government. But in practice, this obviously doesn’t work, at last not in large scale.

However, it’s important to realize that Communism works quite well in some small communities.

So, now, tell me, which of these three best describes America, today? Do we outlaw private property (Communism)? No, so I guess that one is out. Do we encourage public ownership of businesses and services (Socialism)? Heck, we don’t even want to allow unions, let alone shared profits and management, so I guess this one is out as well. So what is left? Are we becoming Fascist? Do you see the corporate media spouting belligerent nationalism? Are we constantly threatening and invading other countries because we’re somehow special? Does the corporate media sell us on invading one country after another?

Have corporations taken over our government? Are we told to oppose any welfare or services for the people while we’re told that corporations should have unlimited influence over our government and have unlimited corporate welfare?

Even if you’re a rabid tea bagger only firing on half your cylinders, you can’t deny the fact that the Republican party is the party that is Fascist and they’re succeeding at bringing this country down the road of Fascism.

Does “We The People” sound like anything the Republican party wants to give more power to? In fact, isn’t that the party that is working overtime to disenfranchise millions of potential voters? Oh, my gosh, I guess they are.

6 thoughts on “What’s the Difference Between Fascism, Socialism, and Communism?”

  1. For a great read on this issue and to help dispel some of the many many lies out there, read Thom Hartmann’s article on Fascism. It’s not new but is full of valuable informaion.

  2. This comment came from Jeff after commenting was closed:

    I read your article about the differences of fascism, socialism and communism. You might want to do some research on what fascism really is. It is led by one leader, like Hitler or Mussolini did, with absolute authority and businesses may be privately owned but the state dictates what and how much they produce. And your article left out Free Markets, which we are barely hanging on to now. Just saying.

    1. It’s unusual to have comments reopened on older posts but this one caught my attention.

      Let me start by saying that, yes, Mussolini’s Fascism had a strong leader and a dictator fills that position quite nicely. But, it isn’t a requirement that can’t be overcome. In other words, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it doesn’t really matter what color it is, now does it?

      Getting to the recommendation of further research, I have done considerable research on this topic and continue to learn every day. But, it all comes back to the same old principles. This is from Wikipedia, which isn’t one of my favorite references but it’ll do in this case:

      The Corporate State and its Organization (p. 133)

      The corporate State considers that private enterprise in the sphere of production is the most effective and usefu [sic] instrument in the interest of the nation. In view of the fact that private organisation of production is a function of national concern, the organiser of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction given to production.

      State intervention in economic production arises only when private initiative is lacking or insufficient, or when the political interests of the State are involved. This intervention may take the form of control, assistance or direct management. (pp. 135-136)

      In fact, when Mussolini took power, one of the first things he did was to dissolve parliament and create of congress of corporations.

      In 1938, Mussolini finally got his chance to bring fascism to fruition. He dissolved Parliament and replaced it with the “Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni” – the Chamber of the Fascist Corporations. Members of the Chamber were not selected to represent particular regional constituencies, but instead to represent various aspects of Italian industry and trade. They were the corporate leaders of Italy.

      The one point you make about Fascism needing a dictator is repeated often enough that many people prefer to use the term Corportist when referring to today’s US government. But in all reality, it’s just the same old Fascism with a different color.

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