Although communism in theory differs significantly from fascism, in practice, the two ideologies are nearly identical. The many similarities include the pervasiveness of nationalism, statism, totalitarianism and militarism. Both communist and fascist governments have employed propaganda, military rule and execution of political dissidents.
There is one notable difference between communism and fascism: communism arose as political philosophy with a distinct metaphysics and theory of history; it existed as only an ideology for over half a century before being put into practice. Fascism, on the other hand, arose as a series of policies and political attitudes held by nationalists of various countries during the 20th century.
Despite being very different to fascism on paper, communism as a political reality shares many features. Nationalism is key to both ideologies. Members of a country have a firm and unfailing devotion to their homeland, whether it be Germany or Russia. This extreme patriotism justifies the conquest and destruction of ideologically opposed nations.
This nationalism also contributes to a totalitarian state dominated by a single party. A strong, charismatic leader assumes supreme control over political affairs. In the case of fascism, he is considered the representation of the nation. In the case of communism, his supremacy stems from his role as symbol of the party.
In order for the ruling party to maintain its autocratic control, the government transforms the country into a police state dominated by the military. The population is closely monitored and pacified by means of propaganda. Groups and individuals whose opinions do not align with the national leadership are removed, often through execution or assassination.