Socialism, Communism, and Fascism: One of these things is not like the other
Glenn Beck, the one man who has benefited most from Reagan's destruction of mental healthcare.
You see above you the primary proponent of incorrect information about Nazis, Socialists, and Communists. As a Socialist, this drives me insane! I don't expect much from a disc-jockey cum madman pundit. Lets be clear: he is bat-shit crazy, period. He shouldn't be seen as a reliable source of any information, at all.
So now onto the meat of the article, what are these political ideologies and how do they differ? Nazi stands for National Socialism, so that means it's just socialism, right? And we don't like Hitler or Stalin, so they are the same, too, right? Wrong-o my friend, wrong-o.
*Socialism an incredibly wide field of beliefs, from democratic socialism to even Christian socialism. It's an umbrella term, if you will. But it always involves public or collective ownership, government run protections and social welfare programs for the working class/middle class. It is different from capitalism because capitalism relies on boom and bust, while socialism demands that the government/ruling group take control of the economy on some basic level to assure continuity of resources. This varies greatly between each group. Think of "...I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Even Jesus was worried about the poor folks.
*Communism is seen by Marx as being the eventual end of Socialism met. It's the end of private property and classes. The idea of Communism comes in it's truest form from the pamphlet the "Communist Manifesto" as published by Marx and Engles. It stresses that the bourgeoisie (the rich, landowners) have everything anyway and the only way for the proletariat to gain anything is through taking land and property away and having it for everyone. They do not support race, national boundaries, or religion. Communism in it's actual form has never existed. China, USSR, Cuba...all socialist, not communist. A communist country would be completely democratic, no private property, etc. Dictators need not apply.
*National Socialism, Nazism and Fascism are the focus of the needs of a paticular nationality being more important than any other. Two very important aspects have to do with the economic system: Corporatism, and Nationalism. Corporatism is where corporations run pretty much everything and an eventuality of capitalism. There are no small businesses because they can't compete and the corporation provides for all needs of employees as they see fit. There are no regulations. The other important aspect is Nationalism: pride for one's nation and race trumps all other things, including religion. Fascism was invented by Mussolini and adapted by his avid fan, Hitler. Nazi Germany was truly that. And hate is part of the game; by targeting another group (in both cases, the Jews), the "national race" can use them as slaves or at least as a scapegoat for previous problems. Unlike Communism which doesn't recognize race or religion, Nazism makes race the capstone of the very party. Religion can thrive in Nazism, as long as it goes along with the government. Democracy is equated with anarchy.
Another important thing to note is that Fascism/Nazism is a RIGHT WING movement while Communism is a LEFT WING movement. They have both used each other as a justification. Hitler used the scare of communist revolution to gain votes, as Stalin used the fear of Nazi insurrection upon the Soviet Union. Bitter enemies, not bed mates.