Civilized nations throughout the world have struggled to come to terms on the ideal system to govern the people of their country. The difficulty has primarily been based on whether the structure should be designed in order to serve the individual or the whole. Naturally one would assume that a balanced combination of the two is what makes the most sense, but unfortunately that has never resulted in a fair and just system that can honor the individual citizens in the most equitable manner. Perhaps it is much too difficult to find an ideal solution due to human nature, which tends to fulfil the selfish agenda regardless of circumstances.In the most basic terms, this is why the various political systems of governing nations have emerged. These administrative styles have not always bode well among the people, and have created global tension between nations as well. Some of the most infamous of these include Communism and Fascism. The following discussion will examine the characteristics of the Communist and Fascist systems, as well as what each of these groups would declare as problematic with the Liberalism.
The foundational belief of the communist philosophy envisions the absolute disintegration of the class system, where each citizen owned nothing for themselves because the government ensured the well-being of the people as the primary goal. “The Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx and Frederick Engel presented in 1848 provides ample evidence to support the movement towards a communist regime. The divisions of class that have existed from the earliest days have proven to create imbalance in equitable sharing of resources, which Communism aims to extinguish (Marx and Engel 1848). During the era of Marx and Engel, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat were the two primary classes that most individuals fell into. The bourgeoisie who once grew to the middle class position, eventually evolved into a ruling class that benefitted from the majority of the work done by the proletariats who were the working class. An important factor is pointed out in “The Communist Manifesto” regarding the vicious cycle that would eventually force the working class to become disgruntled as they watched the bourgeoisie gain tremendously by the hard work put in by the proletariat, which would ultimately result in a revolt (Marx and Engel 1848). Communist had immense disdain for the Capitalist system and free market as practices that did not serve the greater majority.
With an ongoing cycle of the divided classes creating unjust imbalances among society, the idea for removing a class structured society was the motivating factor for communism. One could concur that the original vision of communist ideals were grounded in the most fair and equal balance of wealth to be shared by each member of society. To imagine a country where no gap among the rich, middle-class, or poor exist because the entire country would contribute and share in the wealth no more or less than his or her neighbor. If there were a feasible option for the individual to feel honored within the communist system, it could have proved to work quite well to remove so many of the societal issues that many nations such as the United States still face.
Fascism also shared the views of classism, capitalism, and the free-market economy as a problematic practice to be avoided at all cost. The fascist philosophy placed complete power and domination into the hands of the dictator, the sole leader, who was assumed to be the most capable individual to decide what is best for the majority. Benito Mussolini stated it very clearly in The Italian Encyclopedia (1934), “Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace” (para.1). Some may consider the views of fascist leaders quite harsh in their belief of war as a necessity for the most superior to rise (Mussolini, 1934). Fascist leaders, such as Hitler and Mussolini had very specific ideals of what types of people would help make up a strong and “worthy” group of citizens, therefore despising all individuals that did not fit their “mold.” One could state “survival of the fittest” to be a theory fully embraced by the fascist leadership.
The Problem with Liberalism
Considering the philosophies of the Communist and Fascist groups, one can quickly assume that Liberalism would appear extremely flawed from the communist and fascist perspectives. The liberal ideology honors the freedom of the individual citizens to choose as he or she wishes, without the government interruptions. A communist society is completely committed to equality among all citizens, which would make the freedoms of liberalism impossible to honor. As stated in The Communist Manifesto, the democratic system is bound to perpetuate the imbalance associated with the class systems of the bourgeoisie and proletariat due to the free market economy that is inevitable according to the liberal ideology (Marx and Engel 1848). The Fascist see liberalism as an issue that would weaken the group when no limitations or rules are placed on fighting for the strongest entities to rise (Mussolini, 1934). To conclude the point on the issues of liberalism based on the communist and fascist ideology, Private Donald Fraser’s journal excerpt shows the heavy sentiment of the Canadian liberal mindset that would never work under the communist or fascist structures; the excessive emotional state of the liberal would destroy what the communist and fascist work to build (Fraser, 1915).
After examining the main features of communism and fascism, one can see the challenges that are present for the various methods that have been implemented throughout history on what system is best to govern a nation. The concepts of both communism and fascism have aspects that one can see as useful for the ideal civilization, but unfortunately human nature and greed tend to taint the attempts of any style of administration. One could say that the problem lies in the inherent liberal within each human being that will always manipulate circumstances towards his or her own personal benefit. So long as the conversation on balance of individual and whole remains to be explored, there may come a time when a system of governing society could emerge that collects aspects of communism, fascist, and liberalism to find aa “utopian-like” civilization where everyone has complete equity and freedom.
Fraser, Donald. Canadian Expeditionary Force: Selections from My Daily Journal. 1915. Print.
Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto: With Related Documents. 1848.
Mussolini, Benito. "What Is Fascism?" Italian Encyclopedia, 1932. Print.