The Similarities and Differences between Benito Mussolini and Josef Stalin

Essay by DavidLouis March 2009

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David Sitt 2T


Throughout history dictators have arisen from all over. Josef Stalin and Benito Mussolini are two of the most significant dictators in history. Both of them tried to establish a totalitarian government but had many similarities and differences in obtaining that goal. Totalitarianism is when the government holds complete control of the citizens and industries.

The way these two ruled politically was extremely similar. Mussolini tried to control the Italians' thoughts, feelings, and actions. Like Mussolini, Stalin tried to control every aspect of the Soviets' lives because he believed it would make communism stronger for him. Both of these dictators also used propaganda as an aid. Propaganda is like advertisement. Mussolini would advertise Italy's greatness while Stalin used it to maintain control. Stalin used the arts in order to get people to appreciate him. Mussolini used violent propaganda such taking their freedom of speech away and their freedom of the press.

He would choose what they could say or write in a newspaper. They look like they were very similar dictators.

Benito Mussolini and Josef Stalin seem to have ruled by the same principles but they were in fact very different. Mussolini believed in fascism, which is the belief that the well being of the nation was above all even if it meant the loss of the people's rights. Everything, like social labor unions were put under the states control. Stalin believed in communism, which is the idea of a society where all property was publicly owned and each person works and gets paid according to their abilities and needs. If something were created in the community, for the community, it would truthfully belong to the state. Mussolini also glorified war in Italy. He tried to return Italy to the glory of the Roman Empire. The Soviet Union's military did grow but that was seen as an economic aspect rather than a social aspect.

All of the things that dictators have done over time have been similar. Some have had one or two distinctions but you can see the same end result in these dictatorships. Josef Stalin and Benito Mussolini had comparable methods, like using totalitarianism, as well as some divergent ones. Stalin used communism while Mussolini used fascism. Also, both armies grew but for different reason. Italy's army grew because war was glorified while the USSR's army grew for economic gain. Both leaders' were under different circumstances and were both able to succeed.