Anarchism is a unique political philosophy that emphasizes on stateless societies. According to Anarchism, societies will govern themselves as autonomous institutions. The earliest proponents of anarchism claimed that the modern state to be undesirable and even harmful (Fine 1955). Unlike other political philosophies like Marxism, Anarchism does not have a single ideology or a set of beliefs. Instead, it flows like a liquid thought. The ideas that are advocated by Anarchism and its very name generate a number of misconceptions among people. Some people out rightly dismiss Anarchism as a meaningless system in which there will be nor order in the society and everybody will be free to do whatever they want to do. They view that Anarchism to be against civilization. In simple words, Anarchism is often equated with chaos. Misconceptions regarding anarchy are augmented due to the negative coverage that the anarchy get in mass media channels like television and radio. Compounding to the confusion around the term is the fact that many people who claim they to be anarchists do not even understand the meaning behind the philosophy of Anarchy. Another main reason for the misconception regarding the political philosophy of Anarchy is that a number of people and organizations with extremist views quae their ideologies with anarchy. However, one simple fact that is not known to many people is that many proponents of anarchy reject terrorism outright. The reason for this is that anarchists believe that terrorism always leads negative results. They opine that even when successful, anarchism often leads to bad results in the long-term in the form of deteriorating law and order situation. Another argument in support of the argument that Anarchism does not equal to chaos is that, Anarchists do not reject the advancements of the modern age that make the life of a man easy like science and technology. But there is a common misconception among a number of analysts that anarchism equals to primitivism.
Over period of time, many thinkers of the philosophy like Bakunin, Rocker, and Proudhon have emphasized that Anarchism does not mean a rejection of the organization. Rather, they have claimed that it is all about an overwhelming preoccupation with the organization. A preoccupation with the way in which society should be organized around the principles of anarchism like equal social justice and complete liberty to individuals. For a period stretching to about a century, the advocates of anarchy have been arguing that the hierarchical organization which coerces individuals to things that they may not like should be reformed where people enjoy absolute freedom (Springer 2011). Anarchists have time and again claimed that the highly centralized organization should be replaced with the one that does not have any hierarchies where people rely on mutual aid and cooperation between themselves.
To conclude, Anarchism is not an ideology that is not necessarily equal to chaos. It is just a form of political ideology that wants to increase the freedom of human beings through an innovative system. Creating proper awareness regarding this innovative system is the only way in which people can be made to realize the importance of this system.
Fascism is another radical political ideology that gained a lot of importance in the recent past. It is a political philosophy that based on the principles of radical authoritarian nationalism. Influenced by the movement of national syndicalism, Fascism gained momentum during the period between the two world wars. The proponents of fascism try to merge the right wing politics with some extreme left wing elements. Despite the attempts of some political scientists to put fascism on par with some extreme right wing elements, others disagree with it and opine that fascism is a unique political ideology. Another important reason for the growth of fascism during the early 20th century was the defeat of a number of major European powers in the hands of other major western powers like UK and USA. Advocates of Fascism are of the opinion that democracy gives too many rights to the people (Fredman 1994). Too much freedom to the people gives rise to a number of problems. In order to solve these troubles, Fascism advocated a rule where the state frames the laws and policies, all the people need to follow the state without questioning its authority. On the other hand, Nazism is a political ideology that was practiced by a single party in Germany. It advocated the principles of scientific racism under which the Aryan race is held to be supreme and is destined to dominate the world (Duriez and Hiel 2002). Nazis also practiced anti-Semitism as a party ideology. They believed in extinguishing the Jewish race in the world through labour camps where Jews were exterminated systematically. Some other ideologies that were believed by Nazis were social Darwinism (a variant of Darwin’s ‘origin of species’) and hierarchy of races.
A major mistake that is being committed by a number of analysts is equating fascism and Nazism. They opine that both of them are the same and draw upon each other ideology. But it needs to be remembered that despite the obvious similarities between the two systems and shared ideologies both Fascism and Nazism are two different ideologies. When compared on a broader scale it is clear that Fascism is a broader ideology which wanted to curb the democratic rights of people in order to give supreme rights to the state. Fascists did not have any specific hatred towards any specific race. While developing their ideology, Nazis have extensively borrowed from all the major authoritarian ideas of the day including Fascism. But they included some more rules to their ideology. To conclude, Fascism is a generic ideology, while Nazism is a specific ideology with specific goals of its own.
In view of the above arguments, it can be safely argued that all Fascists are not Nazis. Being a narrow ideology it is true that Nazis believed in the philosophy of Fascism. But it is not true that all Nazis are not fascists. The main reason for the confusion regarding both these ideologies is the lack of awareness among the people.
Alfred Baumler is one of the leading ideologists of Nazism during the early twentieth century. He was a professor of political science at the prestigious Berlin University. His views on Nazism were formed due to the influence of morphology of history and philosophy of life ideas. He came out with the Friedrich Nietzsche philosophy to bring legitimacy to the ideals propounded by Nazis. Friedrich Nietzsche philosophy was accused of being the cause of the many atrocities committed by the Nazis during the Second World War. His philosophy was based on the idea of the Aryan superiority over all the other races in the world and upon the need to curb the growth of other races like Jews. In order to propagate his ideals, he wrote a number of books like Political Educator in the year 1931 and Aesthetics in the year 1934. Mostly forgotten now, his books were last published in the year 1990 by a right wing growth in Italy (Nietzsche and National Socialism, n.d.). By the end of the Second World War, Alfred quit from the post of professorship at the Berlin University.
Swastika was the main symbol used by Nazis in their quest towards global domination. Swastika has its origin in India where it was has a meaning related to well-being in Sanskrit. Swastika was widely used by the followers of all the major religions of ancient India like Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. After the western travellers took it to the west, it was also used as a positive in many western countries. But the symbol was forgotten by the early 19th century. By the early 20th century, Swastika has seen quiet resurgence as it was embraced by both the governments and commercial organizations. Even by the early 20th century, Swastika was seen as a symbol of Aryan culture. As Nazis believed in the superiority in the supremacy of Aryan race, it made them to formally adopt it as their official symbol. It is ironic that what used to be a symbol of positivity, is now perceived by many as pure symbol of evil.
Fasces is the official symbol of Fascism. Fasces is a round bundle of wood pieces that are bound together with rope. An axe is also placed in the middle which symbolises power. Just like the Swastika of the Nazis, the Fasces has its origins in an external civilization. Its origins could be traced to the Etruscan civilization from where it was transferred to the ancient Roman civilization. In the ancient Roman culture, the Fasces symbolised the power of a magistrate. During the rise of Fascism, Mussolini used Fasces to signify the supreme power of the state over its subjects. Fasces was later used in many other cultures like America on its coins. A unique thing about the Fasces is that it did not lose its value unlike the symbols of other symbols of other repressive systems in the world like the Swastika of Nazism.
Duriez, B, & Hiel, AV 2002, The march of modern fascism. A comparison of social dominance orientation and authoritarianism, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 32, no. 7, pp. 1199-1213.
Fine, S 1955, Anarchism and the assassination of McKinley, The American Historical Review, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 777-799.
Fredman, S 1994, Ezra pound and Italian fascism, History of European ideas, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 818-819.
Nietzsche and National Socialism, n.d. Available from: <http://library.flawlesslogic.com/nns.htm>. [18 February 2015].
Springer, S 2011, Public space as emancipation: Meditations on Anarchism, radical democracy, neoliberalism, and violence, Antipode, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 525-562.