Fascism and Nazism are often conflated or seen as one and the same thing by modern commentators. However, while there are similarities between these two ideologies as they are based on similar perceptions of social reality, there are also important differences that need to be considered.
In order to understand these two movements, their similarities and differences, one has to understand that both emerged as a reaction to certain social and political factors in history. Fascism arose in the early part of the Twentieth Century in Europe. (Fascism and its Political Ideas) The rise of this ideology was in essence a reaction to many events and changes in Europe at the time – which included the rise of socialism and communism. “It was a response to the rapid social upheaval, the devastation of World War I, and the Bolshevik Revolution.”(Fascism and its Political Ideas) These were also factors that were instrumental in the rise of German National Socialism or Nazism in Germany. Therefore, in the first instance, both Italian Fascism and German Nazi ideology had similar roots in a response to forces and events in history.
Fascism is essentially a system of thought or ideology that believes in a dictatorial way of governance and an integration of all the institutions in society under a central ideological head. The culture the national identity is perceived as being the most important aspect of society, transcending all individual freedom and expression in both Fascism and Nazism.
Both of these ideologies are also very authoritarian and militaristic. A general description of fascism serves to clarify these similarities clear. “Fascism is a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.” (The Origins of the Bush Regime in Hitler's Th...