Fascism and Socialism: What’s the Connection?

A commentator on EconLog has a great, succinct comment in a thread produced by economist David Henderson’s post on fascism and communism. Long explains the difference between the two:

I think it has always been clear among most objective historians that there is little difference between fascism and communism. My take has always been that “fascism” was the word that leftists use to smear rightism as potentially dictatorial. Rightism *is* potentially dictatorial, but the end result is no different than dictatorial leftism.

That’s one reason among many that I like Mises’ terming fascism “socialism of the German pattern,” and communism “socialism of the Russian pattern.” It’s linguistically a little clunky, but still makes for a great terming of the concepts.

Jacques Delacroix has gone to great lengths to explain this concept as well here at NotesOnLiberty. For more on the similarities (and confusion) between fascism and communism, see Fascism Explained and How ’bout Communism?

3 thoughts on “Fascism and Socialism: What’s the Connection?

  1. For further research on this topic I would LvMises book “Omnipotent Government” in which he elaborated wonderfully which are the similarities and differences within Socialism and Fascism. You will be able to see how interventionism, economic nationalism and economic planning continue being the agenda of our governments.

  2. This is an important topic because the myth persists that fascism and socialism somehow lie at opposite extremes of the political spectrum when in fact the differences between them are superficial. The Nolan chart, http://www.nolanchart.com, lays out a much more realistic political spectrum.

  3. The difference between fascism and democratic socialism resides in the fact that representative institutions matter a great deal: The UK under Labor is not the Soviet Union at the same time and never would have been. The difference between fascism and authoritarian socialism is…? Beats me again! There must be a difference that matters to some scholars and to no one else. Reminds me of an expression I wish I had invented: “The narcissism of tiny differences.”

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