Definition of Fascism

Feb 2019
1,020
Serbia
While this has probably been discussed before I have decided to ask the question again.

Many leaders, states and parties that are considered Fascist, primarily in the interwar period had some common characteristics and goals. However many of them were very different from each other. An example is Mosley compared to Hitler, they are both considered Fascist for obvious reasons yet many, if not most of their ideas and policies were vastly different from each other. Mosley might be a bad example as he never came to rule a country and we never saw how his policies would be implemented or if he would've stuck to his claims. Mussolini also had his differences with the 2, it seems that Hitler was the only major Fascist leader that had the idea of racial supremacy to such an extreme. The Japanese were also different from the aforementioned examples.


Common characteristics that I'm able to see between them all and the others I haven't mentioned are: high nationalism, a cult of personality centered around the national leader, suspension of political and press freedom, militarism, ( To different degrees depending on the state or the condition of the state.) usage of political violence, (Blackshirts, Gestapo and other such paramilitary groups.) opposition to Marxism, Liberalism and other left-wing ideologies and aggressive foreign policy. (For most but not all.)

With all the similarities and differences between the fascist leaders and states, is there a single definition to what can be considered fascism or is it just an umbrella term that connects many different parties and sub-ideologies?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,759
Authoritarian rule which is based on force (rather than a traditional , religious, constitutional etc, facism makes a cult of violence and will) The recognizes no impediment or restriction (legal or otherwise) to the will of the Government
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,770
Australia
Authoritarian rule which is based on force (rather than a traditional , religious, constitutional etc, facism makes a cult of violence and will) The recognizes no impediment or restriction (legal or otherwise) to the will of the Government
This, with the further definition that any authoritarian government can be defined as fascist, no matter if they use religion, socialism, communism or any other belief as their ideology.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,759
This, with the further definition that any authoritarian government can be defined as fascist, no matter if they use religion, socialism, communism or any other belief as their ideology.
All totalitarian regimes tend to be similar.

But facism, makes a cult and justification of "might makes right" there's sort of a naked honesty about it, it rejects traditional authoritarian structures, monarchy, religion as being weak. Fascism is authoritarian, but modernist and revolutionary rather than traditional and conservative.


In real terms it's rule by thugs,.
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
Fascism is what happens when a conservative just doesnt give a **** about anything anymore.

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As @pugsville has repeatedly pointed out, Fascism is hierarchical, and cares quite a lot about "order". It is also secular, in the sense that what it tends to glorify and uphold as sacred are usually very profane concepts, quite different from other older right wing movements (in a way, there haven't even been any right-wing movements before Fascism).

You could also be maximally autistic and simply say that "Fascism is an ideology that arose in Italy in the 1920s, connected to corporatist and authoritarian [...]". You could actually connect the Fascist movement to the aesthetic "Futurist" movement in Italy from almost the same time. There are some similarities: both like movement, speed, machineline construnts in both metaphorical as well as real terms.

In some ways, answering the question "What is fascism" is a lot more difficult than answering the question "What is Communism/ Marxism". Fascism is much more particularist, and there wasn't a coherent "fascist" movement during the 20th century the same way there was a coherent communist one, as defined by the COMINTERN. There also isn't as clear a theoretical superstructure for it, compared to communism.

I would also make the case that Fascism is in some ways a lot more benign than Communism however (compare the kill count for the two ideologies) because it is much more honest, and somewhat more measured in its goals. While fascism is definitely very brutal, it is not insane and unnatural the same way communism is. But that is a whole other discussion.

One interesting question you could ask is, does National-Socialist Germany fit the bill of what "fascism" is? Or is it a somewhat different - but no doubt related - animal? I am more inclined to the later view, but it is of course interesting to debate
 
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