Critically examine the basic principles of fascism.


CSS Solved Political Science Past Paper 2020 I Critically examine the basic principles of fascism.

The following question is attempted by Miss Durr e Shahwar Khan, the top scorer in CSS Political Science papers. Moreover, the answer is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. This solved past paper question is uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

Question breakdown

In this question, the examiner has asked you to critically examine the basic principles of fascism. So, first of all, you will give a brief introduction. Next, you will elaborate on the principles of fascism. Then, you will give a critical analysis followed by a conclusion.


1- Introduction

2-Principles of fascism

  • ✓ Staunch Nationalism
  • ✓ Leadership Principle
  • ✓ Right-wing ideology
  • ✓ Opposition to parliamentary democracy
  • ✓ Opposition to Marxism
  • ✓ Opposition to political and cultural liberalism
  • ✓ Ruthless dictatorship
  • ✓ Militarism
  • ✓ Favours violence and war
  • ✓ Fascism believes in a totalitarian state
  • ✓ Protection of corporate power
  • ✓ Suppression of labour-power
  • ✓ Economic regulation
  • ✓ Imperialism

3- Critical Analysis

4- Conclusion



Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian ultra-nationalism that was developed in Italy in the post-world war I (WWI) period as a reaction against socialism and the economic distress, which prevailed in the country after the war. Some of the basic principles of fascism are nationalism, dictatorship, militarism, the negation of parliamentary democracy and marxism, opposition to liberalism, and individualism. Moreover, fascism favours the totalitarian concept of the state and believes in the supremacy of the military, economic regulation, and imperialism.

Principles of fascism

Following are the principle of fascism.

  • Staunch nationalism
    Nationalism is the first and most fundamental principle of fascism. Fascism holds that a nation remains vulnerable, weak, and enslaved, as long as individuals of foreign and inferior races, cultures, and religions coexist with a superior race, which constitutes the vast majority of the state. Consequently, this coexistence causes cultural and racial conflicts, within a nation, which ultimately erode a nation’s foundation. A country, according to the fascist definition, is a group of people who share a common ancestry, religion, and culture and who constitute the majority of the population in a particular geographical territory. Only individuals of such a nation, according to fascists, can share a spiritual and emotional relationship, and with the land where they dwell.

Benito Mussolini issued the following proclamation in 1922

“The nation, for us, is more than a physical location; it is also a spiritual being.”

  • Leadership Principle
    Fascism believes in the leadership of a single charismatic leader, having absolute and unchallenged authority.
  • Right-wing ideology
    Furthermore, on the political spectrum, fascism falls on far-right ideology, advocating: racial and ethnic purity, limited individual freedom, and religious fundamentalism.
  • Opposition to parliamentary democracy

Moreover, fascism is a staunch opponent of democracy. Parliamentary institutions are disdained in fascism. Fascists criticize parliamentary institutions as: corrupt slow-moving, and stupid. Democracy, to fascists, is a decaying corpse. Moreover, parliaments are viewed as nothing, but talking shops, incapable of producing anything significant and completely useless in times of crisis and urgency.

  • Opposition to Marxism
    Fascism strongly opposes marxism,

“The elimination of socialism and everything resembling it”


Benito Mussolini, as a fascist, made his first appearance by unleashing blackshirts’ armed squads on labourers and peasants. Marxism talks about a classless society, however, fascism maintains;

“We defend the hierarchy of classes. Everyone knows that there will always be different social levels; the strong and the weak, the rich and the rich and the poor, the governing and the governed”

  • Opposition to political and cultural liberalism
    Additionally, fascism condemns political liberalism for giving preference to individuals over the state and for limiting the power of the state. Furthermore, fascism criticizes cultural liberalism, claiming that it encourages: selfishness, individualism, and moral relativism, hence, undermining traditional morality.
  • Ruthless dictatorship
    Besides, fascism contains all the elements, which give rise to ruthless dictatorship.
  • Militarism
    Moreover, fascism advocates military virtues such as, bravery, courage, discipline, physical strength, unquestioning obedience, and complete submission to authority.

“A minute on the battlefield is worth a lifetime of peace.”

  • Believes in Totalitarian State
    In addition to promoting a despotic authority and vehemently opposing liberal democratic institutions, fascism also advocates a totalitarian state. Fascism maintains that the state has the right to control all spheres of the individual’s life. The state is considered supreme in social, economic, and political fields.

 “All within the state, nothing outside the state.”

  • Favours violence and war
    Furthermore, violence is the fundamental characteristic of fascism. There is state-sponsored violence in the fascist states. Moreover, fascism regards war as inevitable.

“Live by the sword, die by the sword.”

Adolf Hitler
  • Protection of corporate power
    Fascist leaders come to power with the support of the capitalist and industrial classes. Thus, the fascist regime creates a favourable environment for them.
  • Labour power is suppressed
    Additionally, fascist regimes consider organized labour-power as the biggest threat; hence, either labour unions are entirely eliminated or severely oppressed in the fascist state.
  • Economic Regulation
    Besides, economic activity is regulated in the fascist states. It allows private profit, as long as it is for the benefit of the state.
  • Imperialism
    Last but not least, Imperialism, according to the fascists, is a need, as well as a hallmark of a vigorous and vibrant nation. As stated in the Italian Encyclopedia published in 1932:

“For fascism, the growth of empire, that is to say, the expansion of the nation is an essential manifestation of vitality, and it is opposite a sign of decadence.”

Critical Analysis

Fascism, a political ideology, is extremely violent and militant in nature, and it has resulted in immeasurable agony and devastation around the world, but most notably in the European continent. During their respective eras, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler were the two most popular fascists. They also happened to be the most despised historical figures in the eyes of the majority of civilized people. Moreover, fascism is considered one of the main causes of world war II (WWII). Hence, this ideology must be opposed as it’s highly violent and had caused the death of 50 million people.


In a nutshell, fascism is an inherently brutal, fundamentally inhumane, and potentially destructive political ideology, based on the principles of violent militarism, nationalism, imperialism, dictatorship, elitism, and totalitarianism.

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