What Socialism, Fascism, Nazis and Liberalism have in common

January 28th, 2009
By Bill Colias © 2009 FreeMarketNow.org

Most people define these terms using left and right politics. However, this is not helpful in understanding their inherent nature. A better way of looking at it is in terms of Collectivism vs Individualism. The problem with collectivism is that more power is given to the state by making state rights more important than individual rights. Socialism does this by advocating state or collective ownership and a fair or equal distribution of wealth. Fascists and Nazis (otherwise known as National Socialists) encouraged private ownership of property or industry, but those industries were heavily controlled through state regulations.

All these systems Socialism, Fascism, and the Nazis were popular movements in their countries, and also had popular international support. Mussolini and FDR both wrote how they admired each others politics before WWII. All these systems tried to provide for the common good through state control, but this comes at the expense of individual rights.

Liberalism in the US supports some regulation of business and other economic interventionism they believe to be in the public interest. Examples of this kind of intervention are welfare, government-imposed minimum wages and other government interference with individuals freedom of contract. This kind of interference regulate businesses beyond forbidding force and fraud, and take away our individual rights.

The more individual rights are sacrificed for state rights, the more liberty and choice is taken away from individuals. States sometimes justify this by saying that its patriotic thing to do, or in some way for the common good. Sometimes individual rights taken away in exchange for welfare or some other state service. Remember that these are populist movements and individuals in these states often give up their rights willingly.

Collectivism and Individualism