Fascism and Communism have much in common. Both have a totalitarian, single party regime headed by an all-powerful leader. The party is above the individual and any rights of the individual. For both of these ideologies, armed conflict is the means of choice to achieve their perceived “national interest”. Both these ideologies are expansionist in their approach to their neighbours.
Fascism and Communism have their differentiating characteristics too. In fascism, the leader is unchallenged numero uno and the leader’s goal is to enhance national pride. In Communism, the party is the bedrock of the nation and the national goal is the survival and strengthening of the party and spread of its ideology over the globe. While communism does not believe in the right to private property and freedom of trade and business, Fascism believes in the rise of corporates that pay obeisance to the party and the state. Communism promotes the idea of class struggle and builds a vision where the past will be incinerated and the future will rise, like the mythical Phoenix, from its ashes. Fascism, on the other hand, propagates a glorious past and hopes to march from the present decadence to that glory again.
Instead of class struggle, Fascism believes in struggle among races and a superior race that will dominate the world. Fascism has a preferred religious ideology that merges into the political ideology transforming “others” into enemies to be exterminated. The differences are stark and one is not mistaken for the other.
Fascism is visible in some periods in ancient Rome but its full development was seen in Italy under Mussolini where this term was coined. It was derived from the Latin fascis (bundle), and ancient Etruscan and then Roman symbol of power that depicted a bound bundle of sticks with an axe. It was initially adopted as the symbol of Mussolini’s National Fascist Party. Interestingly, it stands behind the podium in the chamber of the US Congress. It symbolises bound unity and the might of the state apparatus.
USSR was founded as a Communist state under the ideologue Lenin but developed many characteristics of a Fascist state under Stalin. Many writers call his period “Red Fascism”. Usually the Chairman or the General Secretary of the party holds the de facto power in Communist states while there is a titular de jure president. At the end of his term and life, Stalin abolished the post of General Secretary but Khrushchev brought it back as First Secretary. Later, Brezhnev restored the original designation. The General Secretary used to draw his power from the Politburo and this arrangement continued until the USSR imploded in 1989. Leaders that came after Stalin ran the USSR as a communist state and Stalin remained the sole aberration.
When we come to China, its founder ideologue Mao was communist to the core. His powerful personality cult notwithstanding, Mao could not be accused of corporatism. He remained the paramount leader of the party and the nation without holding any formal office in the state. In contrast, Xi Jinping dons all possible hats in the party and the State, He is the President of the country, Chairman of the party, General Secretary of the party, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and a lot more in between and around. He has a titular Prime Minister Li Keqiang, hardly a familiar name. Xi’s position is fairly comparable to Hitler, the sole supreme Fascist leader. He had designated himself the Führer of the National Socialist Party as well as the Reich Chancellor under the slogan “Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Führer” or One People, One Nation, One Leader. Hermann Göring remained the titular president.
Hitler’s dream was to create world’s most powerful military-industrial complex establishing strong ties with private industries. He used economic policies to create a vast war machine in a short period of time. Following in Hitler’s footsteps, Xi created the Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development (CCIMCD) and designated himself its Chairman. The power of this commission is to use China’s economic policies and civilian technologies to boost the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) prowess. On July 21, 2016, the Central Military Commission (of which Xi is Chairman) issued a document titled “Opinion on the Integration and Development of Economic Construction and National Defence Construction” to create an advanced national defence technology industrial system through economic policies.
China has always tilted in favour of the Han majority. During Xi’s watch, however, the atrocities on minorities have reached levels comparable to Hitler’s infamous “Final Solution” to what he called the Jewish Question. The Uighurs of western China have experienced mass surveillance, mass incarceration in what are euphemistically called Vocational Education and Training Centres, extraction of slave industrial labour from “successful” trainees, and even organ harvesting from living prisoners. Some estimates project a figure of up to two million Uighurs detained and indoctrinated to force them to assimilate into the majority Han. This assimilation into the majority race sometimes takes unusual forms. During the present writer’s visit to Tibet, an unwritten policy was noticed under which government jobs, contracts and housing were reserved for Han Chinese or mixed-race persons. Young Tibetans girls, lured by this policy were going for Han husbands, thereby mitigating to some extant the deficit of Chinese girls of marriageable age caused by the One-child Policy. The UK’s Daily Mail reported on November 4, 2019 that in Xinjiang, once the Uighur head of a family is sent for indoctrination, hs wife is required under a mandatory surveillance program to “invite” an official into her house for monitoring for up to six days at a time during which period the official lives, eats and sleeps with the family. The program’s name “Pair Up and Become Family” reveals its true purpose of having more mixed breed offspring in that region which will “promote ethnic unity”. It brings immediately to mind the Nazis’ eugenics program titled “National Socialist Racial Hygiene” for selective breeding of a pure Aryan master race.
Other religious minorities like Christians have also faced the brunt of China’s intolerance of differences. The Guardian reported on January 13, 2019 that in China, churches are being closed, pastors are being jailed and scriptures are being rewritten in an effort to “sinicise” Christianity that would follow the bidding of the party. The plight of Falun Gong members is no different and there are credible studies of organ harvesting from extra-judicially detained followers of this sect. China has a huge organ transplant program with more than 20,000 transplants every year but it is claimed by the state that these are all from “voluntary donors”. All this reminds one of Nazi Doctor Josef Mengele, who used to screen prisoners into groups for work, for the gas chamber and for his cruel medical experiments. All these facts lead to the unambiguous conclusion that China under Xi is a Fascist state and the so-called Communist Party of China is now a Fascist party with Xi as its Führer.
Xi has once again displayed inhumanity towards the Chinese by welding shut their doors to contain the virus infections. He has played with the lives and happiness of the rest of humanity by permitting international flights out of China while banning domestic flights, thereby infecting every country on the globe. All these facts taken together should convince even a die-hard sceptic that China under Xi has clearly crossed the proverbial Rubicon to move from a Communist state to a Fascist state. Until that nation and its multi-headed leader mend their ways to again become a member of civilised humanity, China deserves to be treated as a pariah state and not as a responsible country deserving to be permanent member of the Security Council.