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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Many hold the view not only that Soviet communism and Italian fascism were close ‘totalitarian’ cousins, if not twins like Stalinism and Nazism, but also that the threat of communism begat fascism in its Italian, German, and other European guises. This article compares Stalin's Soviet Union with Mussolini's Fascist Italy, with occasional asides on fascist Germany. Close inspection of Italian fascism and Soviet communism, on a historical basis rather than abstract, political science principles, suggests that their similarities were more apparent than real. The rise of fascism in its Italian and other European manifestations was, in good part, a response to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and its shock waves in Europe after the First World War. But fascism, like communism, was also a radical reaction to the crises that racked European states and societies in the aftermath of that traumatic, total war.

Keywords: Stalinist state, Bolshevism, totalitarianism, Soviet communism, Nazism, fascist Germany

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