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Nancy Phan

U.S. History
Period 1
Mr. Culbertson
7 April 2014
Totalitarianism: Compare and Contrast Essay
Totalitarianism was first developed in the 1920s. It is characterized by a strong and
extreme form of authoritarian government that seeks to control all aspects of public and private
life through coercion and repression. Various totalitarian systems, however, have different
ideological goals. For example, Nazi Germany, under Adolf Hitler (1933-1945), attempted to
establish the superiority of the Aryan race through German National Socialism or Fascism. On
the other hand, the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin (1924-1953), sought the establishment of a
classless society through Communism. Even though communism and fascism are on opposite
sides of the political spectrum and the totalitarian system and have different ideals, once facts of
each system is revealed, they seem more similar than different in their political ideals and
First of all, although communism is under the totalitarianism system, they stand apart in
the political and economic ideologies. Communism is a system of social organization established
by Karl Marx in the 20th century, which gained support across much of Europe under the control
of the Bolshevik Party, led to the Russian Revolution and the creation of the Soviet Union, the
first Marxist state. Communism is an attempt to solve problems of injustice among a society by
artificially making the poor richer and the rich poorer by taking money from the rich and
providing it to the poor, thus equalizing the social status of the people. In a totalitarian

government, total control is present in the state, while communism has no sort of total control,
but hold an all-powerful society. Totalitarianism can also be termed as monarchism where the
individuals have no share in the decision-making. In contrary, communism thinks in terms of the
society as a whole in which the community takes all major decisions. Communism believes in
the common ownership of everything and the community is the sole owner of all resources and
the means of production . On the other hand, Totalitarianism is a system, which believes in the
state ownership and the state control all resources.
Secondly, fascism is another political system similar to the totalitarianism political
system. Fascism also refers to a single party where the state hold all of the power. The name was
first used by the party started by Benito Mussolini called Fasci di Combattimento, who ruled
Italy from 1922, until the Italian defeat in World War II. . People who support such political
system grasp the idea that a state can remain powerful and almighty as long as the leadership is
strong and a single person is governing all the issues of the state. Violence is also promoted
through fascists governments for the purpose of creating a powerful nation. Fascism was a
political ideology that originated in Italy and has been transferred to Germany soon after. In its
relationship with the totalitarian government system, the state is being governed by a single
political party. On the other hand, totalitarianism is a political system in which the power to
make all decision of the state is in the control of an individual. Fascism uses the mass
communication and media which is controlled by state to spread propaganda.Alternatively,
totalitarianism oppresses the rights of an individual through the use of power. Fascism rejects the
liberal doctrines of individual rights and representative government, yet it advocates broad
popular participation in politics and may use propaganda to drive its power. While Mussolini
focused on conquest primarily to show the strength of the State, Hitler made conquest more of a

race issue. Hitler strived to unite the entire Aryan race, a supposed master race from northern
European descent because he believed that with the Aryan race united under his rule, they could
conquer the world.
Communism and fascism are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. Their major
differences lie in their economic and social characteristics, but they do share many similarities in
the political aspect. Soviet communism and German fascism are, in fact, very unlike each other.
Communism pursues international goals, which is shown in Stalins strive to push the Soviet
Union to be a leading economic power. Fascist leaders pursue goals limited to their own nation.
A communist society strive to have no social classes, which is why private ownership of land or
property is not supported. Contrarily, fascism is very much class-based, as seen in Hitlers views
of race superiority. Though the goals of these two governmental systems differ, the methods used
to achieve these goals are similar. First of all, both systems consist of a dictatorial one party rule.
Under each government, citizens are expected to be entirely devoted to the state, which glorifies
military and war. Their rights are nonexistent, the media is censored so that they only are aware
of what the government wants them to know, youth groups are created to indoctrinate and foster
support in the younger newer generations, and secret police organizations are present to
reinforce state rules. In fascist Germany, citizens that did not fit the ideal image set up by the
dictator, Adolf Hitler, were sent to concentration or death camps fascist believed in racial
superiority. Through these examples, communism and fascism relate in the political aspect and
their approach to reach their goals even though they are at the opposite ends of the totalitarian
If I were to live in a communistic society, I would have a similar with probably equal pay
like other individuals around me, since the wealth is distributed equally in a communistic society

and social status do not exist. All means of production will be managed by the state and I wont
be able to own my own personal business or produce any of my own goods since the state would
own everything. I wouldnt be able to practice my own personal belief or religion because it is
not allowed in order to support the ideals of the state. My individual rights, such as speech, press,
since there would be total control over press and I would be punished if I speak anything against
the state and its ideals. Since I am younger, I would probably be forced to be apart of a youth
group organized by the state in the attempt to indoctrinate the ideals of the state and probably be
taught to glorify military and war. Propaganda would surround me in attempt to gain support of
the people through false comments and ideas made up by the government in hope for more
support. If I were to oppose the government and their ideals, I wouldnt be able to to create any
unions or organize or be apart of strikes and protest because I would be badly punished. All in
all, life would be very difficult and strained with no slight evidence of individual freedom. I am
sure that things were much worse for the individuals who had to live in such a society in the 20th
century that had to deal with the suffering of a communistic and/or fascist rule. I am aware that
in many countries are still under the totalitarian rule today and can never imagine all the
struggles they have to go through every single day.