Exploring the Differences Between Communism and Fascism

sepia photo of Hitler and Stalin side-by-side main

At a quick glance, history tells us that communism and fascism share many characteristics. The most notable leaders for each were Stalin and Hitler respectively. Both men employed totalitarian methods of ruling. They used censorship and terrorism to annihilate opponents, and both engaged in empire-building. So are these two types of government the same? The short answer is no. 

Main Ideas of communism

Communism is a political and economic philosophy that advocates (favors) the collective ownership of resources as well as the distribution of wealth according to each individual’s contribution. The core idea behind communism is that all individuals should have equal access to basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. Additionally, there should be a system in place to ensure fair wages and job security. While there are various interpretations of communism, its main purpose is to create an egalitarian society where everyone has an equal share in the production and resources.

Communism in the Soviet Union

Communism in the Soviet Union was a form of Marxism-Leninism, a branch of communism based on the ideas of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. The Soviet Union saw the collectivization of industry, land, and property with state control over resources and production. 

People were given jobs based on their qualifications but wages were fixed regardless of work done or performance. This system was intended to create an equal society, where all individuals had access to basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing while eliminating inequalities in wealth and power. However, this system often led to corruption, economic stagnation, and political oppression due to its lack of incentives for innovation or individual productivity.

What is Fascism?

Fascism is a form of authoritarian government that promotes extreme nationalism and a rejection of individual rights in favor of an all-powerful state. Some of its characteristics are: autocratic leaders, oppressive laws, and strict adherence to traditional values. 

The most famous example of fascism was the Nazi regime in Germany during World War II. Fascism encourages aggressive behavior towards perceived enemies and seeks to eliminate any dissent or other forms of opposition. It relies heavily on propaganda and censorship to ensure its message is not challenged. As a student, it’s important to understand fascism and its implications so you can gain an informed opinion about this type of government.


Fascism in Germany and communism in the Soviet Union shared some common traits. Both governments sought to control every aspect of citizens’ lives and instill a sense of national pride through propaganda. Both imposed strict regulations on individual freedoms, with limited dissent allowed. Additionally, both systems promoted state control over resources and production and rejected personal autonomy. Finally, both systems had leaders who held absolute power with their decisions being final and unquestioned.


Although there are similarities between fascism in Germany and communism in the Soviet Union, there are some notable differences. Fascism in Germany was largely based on nationalist ideologies while the communist system of the Soviet Union was rooted more in Marxist-Leninist ideology. Additionally, while the Nazi regime sought to control every aspect of citizens’ lives, the Stalinist government of the Soviet Union did not always exercise such extreme control. Finally, while Nazi Germany implemented a racial hierarchy, communist ideology is based on class struggle and equality among all citizens regardless of race or gender.

Read about the pros and cons of communism here.

Why Did Hitler Hate Communism?

Hitler and the Nazi party viewed communism as a threat to their power, particularly because it rejected their nationalist ideals. They believed that communism was an ideology of the weak, promoting equality and democracy which they viewed as antithetical to their vision of a powerful state with absolute authority. Additionally, they feared the spread of communism from the Soviet Union due to its proximity, believing that its expansion would threaten German sovereignty.

Teach and Thrive

A Bronx, NY veteran high school social studies teacher who has learned most of what she has learned through trial and error and error and error.... and wants to save others that pain.

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