Fascism refers to the philosophy of having a dictator rule the country, with the dictator having full power over the people and having the ability to suppress those who oppose and criticize him. It also refers to a government that follows the principles of the fascism philosophy. Fascists do not believe in liberal democracy; rather, they prioritize totalitarianism and military citizenship to help the country prepare for armed conflict and economic struggles.
The word “fascism” comes from the Italian word “fascismo”. This, in turn, is derived from the word “fascio”, which means “a bundle of rods” and refers to the fact that a bundle of rods is more difficult to break than a single rod. The term “fasci” is derived from this word and is used to refer to Italian political groups that lean toward the political left.
Fascism has been around since the 1880s, although it gained prominence during World War I as the philosophy that was practiced by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Since then, fascism has existed in many forms around the world, although not all of these governments openly call themselves fascists.
Fascism has gained a negative connotation, although its philosophy also has several positive aspects to it. Read on to know more about the advantages and disadvantages of fascism.
List of Pros of Facism
1. It prioritizes the welfare of the country.
One of the best things about fascism is that it focuses on the improvement of the country as a whole. Government funds will be spent on increasing the nation’s defenses and ensuring it has enough weapons, trained soldiers, and armed vehicles to defend itself against foreign invaders. The government will also spend money on cultural improvements (which can including making more museums and building national landmarks) to preserve the nation’s culture and make it appear impressive to other countries.
2. It promotes socio-economic equality.
Fascism aims to unite the people by getting rid of socio-economic classes and creating equality among everybody. Since the government is in full control of everybody, it can demand that the rich give up their wealth so it can be distributed among the poor. Theoretically, this will result to the dissolution of the upper class and lower class and make everyone in the country equal to each other.
3. It speeds up the decision-making process.
In a fascist government, there’s no need to jump through bureaucratic hoops since one person is in control of everything. The dictator can make a decision about a certain aspect of government (such as traffic management or crime control), and his decision will be implemented right away. As a result, the country can move forward without any delays and enjoy the benefits of progress and modernization.
4. It improves peace and order.
Common crimes like theft and burglary usually have no place in a fascist government. Since the government is in full control of everything, it can decree heavy punishment for these crimes, discouraging people from committing them and maintaining peace and order in the country.
List of Cons of Fascism
1. It paves the way to the abuse of power.
Fascism hands over the control of the entire nation to one person. This can be dangerous since, no matter how well-intentioned a person can be, human nature can still take over and cause him to feel entitled and superior to everybody. His inherent desire for power and his ability to have it without question can push him to use his position to do things for his own benefit and not for the nation’s.
What’s even worse is that it’s not only the dictator who will abuse power. His family, his close friends, and his political allies can also abuse their position to fill their coffers and get what they want.
2. It prevents people from enjoying free speech.
As mentioned above, fascism does not tolerate criticism and opposition. Those who do criticize and openly oppose the dictator can be imprisoned or, worse, sentenced to death. At this point, human rights are no longer a priority and, since the entire country is under the control of the dictator, he can do whatever he wants with those who do not support him. This can leave ordinary people afraid to practice free speech and express their feelings and opinions, since doing so can result to their incarceration or death.
3. It can widen the divide between the rich and the poor.
Theoretically, fascism can pave the way to equality among the people since it can erase the divisions between socio-economic classes. However, in reality, this doesn’t always happen. Rich people will do everything to retain their wealth and status, which can lead them to making deals with the country’s dictator just to stay in the upper class. Poor people, meanwhile, have no choice to follow what the government wants them to do, which can prevent them from striving towards a better future and further ensnare them in poverty.
4. It can damage the country’s economy.
Many countries nowadays flourish because foreign investors can freely enter their economy and contribute to its growth and development. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in fascist nations. The fact that the government has full control over almost all industries can discourage foreigners from investing and starting businesses in the country since they will have to abide by overly strict rules. They may also have to pay large amounts of money to get the government’s permission to start their company.
5. It can be used to abuse certain groups of people.
The dictator and his allies can use their power to abuse people they don’t like for whatever reason. This happened in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. Hitler, who ruled the nation during the time, believed that Jews were “subhumans” and saw them as socially undesirable, and he used his power to kill millions of Jews simply to eradicate them from the country.
6. It can drain the country’s funds.
Fascist nations can potentially end up in financial trouble. As mentioned above, the country’s economy can take a nosedive because of the lack of investors. Fascist dictators usually spend most of the country’s funds on military defense, leaving only a small portion for other essentials like agriculture, healthcare, and education.
Fascism has both pros and cons, and these must be weighed carefully before a nation decides to adopt the fascist philosophy.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.