There were similarities between Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini. One similarity is that both leaders were dictators who had total control of the government, and both men used propaganda to spread their ideas. Mussolini, on the one hand, used propaganda to restore the Italian sense of nationalism. He promised to return Italy to the glory days of the Roman Empire. He also promised to give the Italian people many things, such as social security, jobs, and the protection of private property. Mussolini also used violent propaganda to take away the rights of the people, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Stalin, then, also used propaganda to control the people of the Soviet Union. Stalin used the arts as a way to get people to like him by showing him in positive and in flattering ways. Cities were renamed to honor him, and history books gave him a greater role in the Russian Revolution. In both countries, speaking out against the government or against the government leaders was met with harsh consequences. Secret police existed in both countries to help keep the people under control and to squash any opposition to the government.
Both men believed in totalitarianism, even though it served different purposes for them. Stalin believed in communism while Mussolini believed in fascism. The military grew under both men, again, for different purposes. Mussolini glorified war while Stalin used the military for economic gain.