'Fascism' vs 'Communism': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on September 1, 2023

Are you looking for an explanation of the difference between 'fascism' vs. 'communism?' I can help!

Here is a quick answer: 

  • 'Fascism' is a noun that means to prefer a centralized autocratic government with a dictator that suppresses opposition. 
  • 'Communism' is a noun that means a system where everything owned by the people is owned in common, and no one has personal property but instead shares everything. 

There is more to learn, though. So, keep reading this guide, which contains definitions, pronunciations, and examples of both terms. 

What is the Difference Between 'Fascism' vs. 'Communism?'

'Fascism' and 'communism' are both deviations from democracy, but they adhere to different beliefs. The major difference is that 'fascism' allows people to own personal property or privately produce goods and offer services as long as it benefits the regime and nation as a whole

In a communist society, there is no personal property. Instead, everything is owned by the community and shared as the members of society need it. Most people are opposed to either of these forms of government. 

Some examples of 'fascism' include: 

  • Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler
  • The Italian Fascist Party led by Benito Mussolini 
  • The Spanish Nationalists led by Francisco Franco

Examples of nations with 'communism' include: 

  • China
  • Laos
  • Cuba
  • North Korea
  • Vietnam

When and How to Use 'Fascisim' vs. 'Communism'

Now that you have an idea of the difference between 'facism' vs. 'communism' here are some tips for when and how to use them. 

  • Use 'fascism' to describe a nation with an autocratic dictatorship. 

For example, you could say: 

The people opposed fascism in their nation. They'd lived in a democratic government their entire lives. 

  • Use 'fascism' when referring to the systems implemented in a fascist party. 

As an example, you might say: 

Under Benito Mussolini, fascism was rampant in Italy for more than 20 years, from 1925 to 1945, when the dictator was overthrown. 

  • Use 'communism' to describe a nation in which people own everything in common. 

So, I might say: 

Communism is often accepted by people who have very little and opposed by those who have extensive wealth or personal property. 

  • Use 'communism' when discussing a country that has a communist government or leadership. 

For example, you could say: 

Communism is still prevalent in several nations today, including China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, and Laos. 

Definition of 'Fascism': What Does 'Fascism' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'fascism' is a noun that means: 

  • A political belief, system, movement, philosophy, or regime that exalts its nation and often a specific race over individuals in the nation and that supports an autocratic government with a dictator who suppresses opposition 

It can also mean: 

  • The exercise of or tendency towards an autocratic dictatorship

Origin of 'Fascism' 

The word 'fascism' was coined by the fascist Italian leader Benito Mussolini in 1919 to describe his political party. The word comes from the Italian word fasces, which means bundle or group. 

Synonyms and Similar Words to 'Fascism' 

  • Communism 
  • Tyranny
  • Nazism 
  • Autarchy 
  • Absolutism 
  • Tsarism 
  • Totalism 
  • Despotism
  • Oppression 
  • Caesarism 
  • Big Brother
  • Monarchism 
  • Monocracy 
  • Czarism 
  • Domination
  • Monocracy 
  • Totalitarianism 

Definition of 'Communism': What Does 'Communism' Mean?

The same dictionary defines 'communism' as a noun that means: 

  • A system where everything is owned in common and distributed as needed

It can also mean: 

  • A system that eliminates personal property
  • A doctrine based on Marxian socialism and Marxist-Leninism, which was the official ideology of the Soviet Union 
  • A totalitarian government that has a single authoritarian 

Synonyms and Similar Words to 'Communism'

  • Marxism 
  • Stalinism 
  • Leninism
  • Liberalism 
  • Dictatorship
  • Despotism 
  • Tsarism
  • Authoritarianism 
  • Totalitarianism 
  • Totalism 
  • Fascism 
  • Leftism 
  • Nazism 
  • Autocracy
  • Radicalism
  • Autarchy
  • Tsarism 
  • Tzarism 
  • Czarism 
  • Caeserism 
  • Absolutism 
  • Sovietism 

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Fascism' vs. 'Communism'

Pronunciation is an important aspect of language whether you are learning English as a second language or a native speaker trying to improve your writing skills. 

So, here is a guide you can reference for pronouncing 'fascism' vs. 'communism.'

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'fascism': 


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'communism': 


Sample Sentences Using 'Fascism' vs. 'Communism'

Before you leave, read these sample sentences so you can see more ways to use ‘fascism’ vs. ‘communism.’


  • Some would say that Benito Mussolini was the father of fascism
  • Italy is not the only nation to experience fascism
  • Some of the most recognizable governments that implemented fascism include Germany and Italy. 
  • My great-grandparents immigrated to the United States to escape fascism under the rule of Mussolini. 
  • Adolf Hitler was the evil leader of the Nazi party, which implemented fascism and imprisoned millions of Jewish people during the Holocaust


  • Communism is usually opposed in a democratic capitalist society. 
  • In a nation that supports communism, capitalism is not allowed
  • People living in China live under the rule of leaders who openly support and practice communism.  
  • My friend’s parents from Taiwan often tell them about the communism they experienced there when they were growing up. 
  • The problem with communism is that the government controls when and how much food, gas, and other necessities you receive. 


  • I do not support any government that practices fascism or communism
  • Citizens of some nations have been subjected to fascism and communism
  • While most people oppose fascism and communism, there are some supporters of both political systems. 

Review of the Difference Between 'Fascism' vs. 'Communism' 

After covering so much information, reviewing what you learned is a good idea. So, here is a quick recap of the difference between ‘fascism’ vs. ‘communism’

  • ‘Fascism’ and ‘communism’ are nouns for government systems deviating from democracy and capitalism. 
  • ‘Fascism’ is a political method or practice in which an autocratic dictatorship runs the government, however, people are allowed to personally own and produce products as long as they benefit the regime and nation. 
  • ‘Communism’ is a type of government in which the wealth of the nation is owned and shared by everyone equally. 

While you should be an expert on the difference between ‘fascism’ and ‘communism’ after reading this entire post, you can always return for a quick review of this lesson if you forget. 

You can also verify the meanings of hundreds of commonly misused terms in the confusing words section here. Each post contains a brief and detailed explanation of the terms it covers, as well as definitions, pronunciations, and examples. 

So, they are also an excellent way to expand your vocabulary and improve your writing skills. 

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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