The word, fascism, has its root in the Italian word, ‘Fascine‘ which means a ‘bundle of Royal sticks’. These sticks were carried by the Roman Emperors as a symbol of dictatorial authority. Thus fascism means autocracy or dictatorship where all the powers of the government or state are held by one person alone. He believes in the ‘doctrine of divine Rights’. Nobody can dare or has the right to oppose him or his policies. Such a rule or Fascism was established by Mussolini in Italy after the First World War.
Main Features of the Fascist Movement:
Anti-democratic- ‘Fascism’ supported dictatorship. As such it was against democracy.
Supporter of One Leader- It was in favour of the dictatorship of one party and one leader. Once Mussolini remarked ‘All parties must end, must fall’.
Superiority of State/Government- It preferred the state/government to the individual. Its slogan was “The individual exists only for the society”.
Stress on Nationalism- It laid stress on nationalism rather than internationalism.
Hostile to Capitalism- This movement was hostile to capitalism. The capitalists had a hold over the Italian government and were least worried about the welfare of the workers and the farmers.
Hostile to Socialism and Communism- Mussolini started organizing armed bands against the socialists and the communists.
Empowering of the State- It was in favour of building armed strength to enlarge the power and prestige of the state.
Champion of Imperialism- The Fascists glorified war. They believed in the policy of expansion and aggressive foreign policy. According to their views, the expansion of the nation is a prerequisite for their survival.
Meaning of Nazism:
Nazism means Hitler’s most barbarous dictatorship. It emphasized staunch and stern nationalism and extolled imperialism and war.
Main Features of the Nazi Movement:
The State is above all- The people exist for the state and not vice-versa.
Glorification of Great Leader- It supported the ending of all sorts of Parliamentary institutions.
Glorification of War- It had all praise for the use of force and glorified war.
Eradication of Liberalism- It supported the complete annihilation of socialism, communism and liberalism.
Hostility towards German Laws- It preached bitter hostility towards the German laws which brought about economic misery.
Against Party Formation- It was deadly against the formation of parties and opposed all sorts of oppositions.
Expansion of the German Empire- Its main objective was the expansion of the German Empire and to recapture the colonies which were occupied by Germany before the war.
Growing German Influence- Its major objective was the increase in the all-pervasive influence of Germany. It also aimed at making Germany’s military more powerful.