FASCISM— MEANING, FEATURES, ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Fascism is a system of government in which the government has almost absolute control over all activities of citizens and is led by a dictator.

It is a form of government that supports a one-party system, an extreme form of nationalism, and the exaltation of the state.

Fascism can also be defined as a right-wing totalitarian ideology that gives the state unlimited authority over every aspect of the national life of citizens.

Fascism is often characterized by an aggressive form of nationalism, one-party dictatorship and intense militarism.

Citizens cannot disagree with the government under fascism. Nothing the government does is ever questioned.

Fascism originated in Italy under Benito Mussolini.

Characteristics of Fascism 

1. Existence of strong nationalism: In fascism, there was intense and continuous nationalism in the state.

There were flags everywhere. Patriotic sayings, symbols, slogans, and songs are frequently used by citizens.

2. No political opposition: Fascism forbids or intolerances political opposition.

Force is frequently used by fascist governments to repress political criticism or opposition.

3. Subordination to state: Fascism advocates for the subordination of individuals to the state so that the interest of the state can be advanced.

Individual rights were superseded in fascism by state rights. Citizens' liberty was taken away.

4. It is undemocratic: The tenets of fascism are undemocratic. Opposition is not tolerated under fascism, which is undemocratic.

Furthermore, there is the absence of free and fair elections in fascism as elections are usually marred by large-scale rigging.

5. Centralized economy: Under fascism, the state essentially owns and controls the means of production and distribution.

The economy is centralized as the state plan and managed the means of production. 

6. Single-party dictatorial rule: The head of a fascist government has total control over the legislative, judicial, and executive arms of government.

Every power and authority comes from the leader.

Additionally, there is only one party in fascism because of the intense animosity for the opposition.

7. Military values: Citizens were heavily inculcated with military virtues like bravery, prompt obedience to authority, and discipline.

Also, the system was modified to accommodate military organizations' outer trappings, such as Roman salutes and paramilitary uniforms.

Even when there were clear-cut, widespread internal problems, the military and its members still received more praise.

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Advantages of Fascism

1. Reduces class animosity: By advancing socioeconomic equality, fascism lessens class animosity.

2. Highly productive system: Fascism was a highly productive system.

For instance, fascism contributed to the material prosperity of Italy, where it was practised from 1919 to 1943.

Fascism's adoption also happens to coincide with Adolf Hilter's Germany's infrastructural development and rise in industrial production.

3. Speedy decision-making: Because the leader has total control over the state, decisions were made quickly under fascism.

Fascism does away with the bureaucratic processes that are prevalent in other systems of governance.

Quick decision-making helps to avoid delays in developing and implementing policies that are advantageous to the economy.

4. Promotes nationalism: Countries that operated fascism saw an improved level of nationalism.

Citizens in fascist countries generally have a sense of identity and patriotism towards their country.

For instance, many Italians were patriots and felt a sense of pride in their homeland throughout Mussolini's rule.

They were overjoyed to have Italian citizenship.

5. Improve peace and order: Military virtues like prompt and obedient loyalty to authority were taught to citizens under fascism.

As a result, the majority of people follow the laws that the government enacts.

Additionally, people are deterred from committing crimes by the government's overzealous use of force because they worry that the authoritarian ruler will punish criminals harshly.

Indeed, the fascist government was successful in fighting crime and reducing it as much as possible

For instance, the Silician mafia's activities were significantly reduced under the fascist regime of Italy.

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Disadvantages of Fascism

1. Utter disregard for human rights: In fascism, individual rights were subjected to state rights.

The government was very autocratic and could do as they so wish. 

The government had a reputation for denying citizens' rights, including the right to free speech.

2. It did not stand the test of time: As a result of its inherent disadvantages, fascism did not stand the test of time.

It was short-lived and ended with the second world war.

3. Disregard for international law: Fascism has utter disregard for international law.

The fascist government did not cooperate with international norms and standards.

In violation of international law, it carried out genocides, massacres, mass murders, and forced sterilizations.

4. Abuse of power: Due to the concentration of power in the hands of one individual, abuse of power is an inevitable

The leader has the power to act however he pleases, even if it violates citizens' basic human rights.

Indeed, most fascist leaders were able to use the system to further their own goals rather than the interests of the country.

A fascist leader and his family, for example, might engage in corruption and other self-enriching schemes without being held accountable.

5. Negative effect on the economy: Fascist governments generally own the means of production.

The pace at which the economy grows or operate is determined by the fascist leader.

The economy may suffer if the fascist leader has the necessary economic knowledge and skills

Also, foreign investors are usually discouraged from investing in fascist economies because the government has a firm grip on all economic activities in the economy.

Foreign investors who want to make investments in a fascist economy must abide by stringent economic rules and regulations and risk abrupt changes in governmental policy.

Foreign investors, being apprehensive of all this risk and dangers in investing in the economy, may decide against putting their money at risk and investing in the fascist economy.

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Conclusion

We just learned about the meaning, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of Fascism. 

To recap, fascism is a system of government characterized by centralized, totalitarian leadership and strong resentment towards the opposition.

The benefits of fascism include increased productivity, a decline in class conflict, and an improvement in peace and order.

On the flip side, fascism has a lot of drawbacks, such as total disrespect for fundamental human rights, the misuse of power, and complete disregard for international law.

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