The main difference between fascism and dictatorship is that fascism is a mass political movement that emphasizes extreme nationalism and militarism, while dictatorship is a form of government where the leader of the country possesses absolute power.
Fascism and dictatorship are two political ideologies that are very different from liberal democracies. Fascist regimes often tend to have dictatorial leaders. This is why there is so much confusion between fascism and dictatorship. However, it’s important to note that not all dictatorships are fascist.
Key Areas Covered
Authoritarian, Dictatorship, Fascism, Fascist, Nationalism
What is Fascism
Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian political regime or movement characterized by extreme nationalism, militarism, centralized autocracy, and a dictatorial leader. Belief in a natural social hierarchy, forcible suppression of opposition, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the race and nation, and strong regimentation of society and the economy are some notable characteristics of fascism. Fascism is a mode of government that is totally different from liberal democracy, which supports competitive elections, political dissent, and individual rights.
Fascist regimes are typically revolutionary since they advocate the overthrow of existing systems of government and the persecution of political enemies. But when it achieves its goals and comes into power, such a region may become highly traditional on issues like social hierarchy, the role of women, and obedience to authority. In fact, fascism came into prominence in Europe in the 1920s and 1930. The most notable examples of fascist regimes are Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party (from 1933 to 1945) and Bennito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party in Italy (1922 to 1943).
What is Dictatorship
A dictatorship is a form of government where one person or a group of persons possess absolute power. In such a government, the leader or leaders have few or no limitations. They are not held accountable for their actions and are free to do as they want. Moreover, the leader of a dictatorship is known as a dictator. Dictators can limit citizens’ freedom and rights, including their right to education, right to free speech, and right to follow a religion they prefer. We can also define dictatorship as a lack of democracy.
Power structures in dictatorships vary, but some key features that define the power structure in a dictatorship are a single leader or a small group of leaders, limited political pluralism, and limited mass mobilization. The dictator or the leader exercises broad power over the government and society. Meanwhile, the individuals that are necessary to carry out the dictator’s rule form an inner circle in the dictatorship. They also make up a class of elites and hold a degree of power within the government, and receive many benefits. This inner circle may include military officers, party members, and even friends and family of the dictator. Furthermore, dictatorships can be classified into various types, including military dictatorships, absolute monarchies, one-party dictatorships, and personalist dictatorships.
Difference Between Fascism and Dictatorship
Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian political regime or movement characterized by extreme nationalism, militarism, centralized autocracy, and a dictatorial leader, while a dictatorship is a form of government where one person or a group of persons possess absolute power.
In fascism, the state holds power, whereas, in a dictatorship, the dictator holds absolute power.
Fascism is always characterized by extreme nationalism, but dictatorship is not.
In a fascist regime, nothing is more important than the state, but in a dictatorship, the most important party is the dictator.
In a fascist regime, the ruling government makes all the decisions, whereas, in a dictatorship, the dictator makes all the decisions.
Fascism is a mass political movement that emphasizes extreme nationalism and militarism while dictatorship is a form of government where the leader of the country possesses absolute power. Extreme nationalism and militarism are the two most notable features of fascism, but these are not always observed in fascism. Thus, this is the main difference between fascism and dictatorship.
1. “Democracy Index 2020” By JackintheBox – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Mussolini and Hitler 1940 (retouched)” By Unidentified photographer – (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia