What were the similarities between Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini differed greatly on how to manage the economy but were in complete agreement about how they should run their government:  with complete control.  Both leaders were absolute dictators that used propaganda and indoctrination to influence the citizens to support them. Those in the community that would not be influenced or brainwashed by propaganda were dealt with harshly.  Mussolini and Stalin utilized secret police forces to deal with perceived dissension in an extrajudicial manner.  This meant the secret police could arrest citizens without trial or simply execute them on the spot.  Both regimes outlawed all other political power and stripped citizens of individual rights.  Another similarity between the two is that they created a cult of personality in which the leader was to be adored and feared above everything else.  While these two leaders had different socio-political ideologies and would end up on opposite sides of World War II, they had much more in common than either of them would have liked to admit.