The term fascism was derived from the ancient Italian word fasces which meant the axe headed rods that were used to symbolize the authority and sovereignty of the Roman Empire. Fascism was among the forces that were produced during the 19th century. It emerged in Italy in the year 1919 and it catapulted Benito Mussolini who was the leader into premiership after three years and it lead to the creation of new political dictatorship which started in 1925. Fascism aimed at combining the strong nationalism with an aggressive style of activism characterized by anti-materialism, idealism and violence. According to the scholars, there was both left and right influences on fascism as a social movement and it attracted support from the political right (Multilingual Archive). On the other hand, Nazism is a term referring to a political ideology and the regime of Adolf Hitler which was in power in Germany since 1933 to 1945. The Nazism's major emphasis was on the racial superiority of the Aryan people, the elimination of the Jews who were inferior, aggressive foreign policy in relation to the eastern European nations and the importance of the head of state, Adolf Hitler. This paper compares and contrasts the Italian Fascist and German Nazi ideologies, institutions, and practices. It also accounts the similarities and differences.

Similarities of Italian Fascism and German Nazism

The Nazism and the Italian fascism had a common aim of national rebirth or regeneration. The two leaders Mussolini and Hitler who were authoritarian inspired the popular support. The two movements were ultra-nationalistic based on the ideas of their national supremacy and justification of the military conquest. They also had similar enemies of communism and liberalism. The various styles such as the love of parades and the wearing of uniforms were similar in both movements. Both the Nazis and the fascists employed modern technology which assisted them in speeding the wars and they took the advantage of the radio and cinema technologies to spread propaganda. Despite the new technologies, they were very conservative in their attitude towards modernization such as living in cities and they preferred the lives in rural areas. In the two movements, women were idealized as mothers and makers of the homes. Fascism and Nazism maintained their revolutionary nature until the time they were tamed be being established in power. Lastly, both movements enlisted the support of the industrialists and land owners and they all used territory conquests in order to gain room for expansion (Macdonald, H. 1999).

Differences between Italian Fascism and German Nazism

Even if the two movements were related theoretically, their various practices were different. The differences between the two movements are depicted in the fields of racialism, nature of the State, tradition and modernity and foreign policy objectives. Racialism was very strong in the ideology of Nazism but less in Fascism ideology. For instance, Mussolini claimed to be anti-Semite and he ridiculed the Nazism racial theories referring to them as ridiculous and unscientific. The issue that racism was un-Italian was common and the Italians reacted to the introduction of the racial laws that they were under the influence of the Germany. The ideology of the Nazis was biologically based and the 1924 biography of Hitler (Mein Kampf) was a clear statement of his ideological convictions. Hitler had an anti-Semitism which originated from the theories of conspiracy concerning the Jewish but Mussolini did not express such suspicion. On the other hand, the Italian fascism was developed on the cultural grounds. For instance, it was highly glued to the prestigious past of the Roman Empire (Macdonald, H. 1999).

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The Germany' policy objectives were many and they were based on the racially prejudiced attitudes towards the Eastern European slaves and the Jews while the Italian foreign policy objectives were based on the expansionary nationalism which were aimed at acquiring more territories in Balkans. The Italian military were always prepared for wars which pointed to the achievements of the Fascist regime in the economy. On the other hand, the Germany army had been reamed but their efforts in wars were affected by the problematic decision making processes within their state. This is so because the military strategies were affected by the interventions of Hitler in the activities of the army (Fascism 6).

Practically, Mussolini never achieved power on Hitler's scale in order to achieve his totalitarian state vision. While Mussolini was contending to the monarchy constitutional obstacles, Adolf Hitler never had any constitutional obstacles after the year 1934. This portrayed the Italian fascism picture as more tolerant as compared to the Germany's Nazism. The rate of imprisonments and arrests due to political crimes was not high in Italy and the general treatment for the political offenders was not much severe as compared to Germany. For example, the Jews prosecutions in Italy after the year 1938 were not thorough in the Nazis. Finally, the cultural oppressions were much in Germany as compared to the ones in Italy (Kallis, A. 2002).

The Italian Fascists identified themselves with modernity rather than tradition. They highly recognised the backwardness of their economy relative to Germany and UK and they believed that the technical progress would be accelerated under the fascist regime. On the other hand, the Nazis realized that in order to fight a large scale war, they had to do it through getting the support of the big industrialists through modern technology (Fascism 6).

An account for the above similarities and differences

Fascism was a response to some problems that were inherent in structure of the politics around which was characterized by the adoption of the universal suffrage development of the political parties and crisis of political organizations. The similarities and differences shows that two movements were expressions of the bourgeoisie and the sole desire of having societies that are organized in ways that could be able to favour the continued social ascent. Through the differences, it is seen that Adolf Hitler was the best example in the way he used the police in enforcing and implementing his rules a factor which ensured that there was no opposition in the country. Further, the shift in Italian relationship with fascism corresponds with the growth of the Italian fears about the Nazis ideas of the new European orders (Baldoli, C. 2003).


In conclusion, the fascism and Nazism can be seen as similar based on goal sharing. The goal in Italy and Germany was to rise to power that could enhance the creation of national unity by repressing the enemies and incorporation of both genders and classes into highly mobilized societies. It is evident that in the two cases, the main objective was to create authoritarian governments which were characterized by leaders with absolute powers. The common fear of communism and horrors of the Second World War could lead to the rise of power. The instability due to lack of territorial gains was the major support for the fascists and it is seen that Hitler gained much support from the antidemocratic forces.

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