Fascism is a word used a lot these days, but it’s notoriously ill defined, to the extent it appears to mean different things to different people. Furthermore, the definition seems to be substantially different depending on ones political stance. And even the use of the word is politicized with the leftist tendency to accuse everyone to the right-wing of being a fascist, the right-wing tendency to deny this and cry about communist propaganda, and the absurdity of beliefs by self-described fascists that all compete to shape the popular definition of fascism.

What is fascism?

According to Wikipedia, fascism is;

Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

Fascism – en.wikipedia.org

Fascism as a term was first used by Mussolini in 1915, and as defined by him is a very generalized type of right-wing state power, opposed to liberalism, socialism, and democracy.

Granted that the 19th century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the 20th century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ‘right’, a Fascist century. If the 19th century were the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the ‘collective’ century, and therefore the century of the State.

Mussolini in his Doctrine of Fascism

This is pretty much the base definition of fascism, and very easy to equate to most right-wing, anti-liberal, anti-socialist, authoritarian leaders, like a certain orange man, many European populists, and other assorted dictators.

Later in the 20th century the Nazi party basically redefined the idea of fascism to be more specific, since they added their concepts of ethno-nationalism and racialism to their political ideology.

Since the Nazis therefore, it has been held as fact by many that you can’t have fascism without racism, and fascism is often used as a synonym for white supremacy. Now while it is true that white supremacists are fascists, racism is not inherent to the original concept of fascism itself.

What isn’t fascism?

It practically goes without saying that the term is widely misused. Since the Axis powers were at the time of WW2 the only fascists around, propaganda by the allied powers directly targeted the term as a catchall snarl word.

In 1944 George Orwell wrote that “… the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless … almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’ …”

This predictably resulted in a situation where the term fascist can be used as a pejorative perfectly legitimately without any actual fascism being involved at all. Such is the power of language.

Since the two are not synonyms, it is possible for a racist to not be a fascist, but it’s worth noting that since these views often go together there is substantial overlap. The same thing applies to pretty much any viewpoint specifically restricted to the right-wing of politics.

So what about the fascists?

Sadly in today’s world there are a lot of actual fascists around. By the classical definition, many leaders and politicians are undoubtedly fascist. By the more limited Nazi definition there are still significant groups of generally open neo-fascists, alt-right, natsocs, and the inexhaustible army of internet edgelords that just think Hitler was the coolest man to ever the walk the earth, except of course for their favorite modern strongman, who is “going to finally do what Hitler started”.

Is there a need to be concerned?

Yeah probably. Swear allegiance to Antifa today!


  1. Btw.

    But what the problem is for you to make wikilivres.org to run properly? You have time to write this article… but do not have time to answer me for my emails with my asking for your help?

    Now the site dosn’t work anymore. From long time…

    I have been asked what the problem is from my colegues but I haven’t recevied any answer from you.

    It is you who have the keys to server so nobody else can fix the problem.



    • Yeah there isn’t much I can do there except wait for the new database to finish importing from the last backup.

      Because as I explained to Poetlister, the database crashed, and is irrecoverable.

      Also since a bunch of people decided it would be funny to bombard my inbox with many reams of unwanted emails, the probability is whatever you sent me went straight to the spam folder.


  2. Next month past… Is there any hope to recover wikilivres or it is definitely a dead service?

    In my opinion 2 months it is more then enough time to recover any service for somebody who want this…

    Regards Electron


  3. Fascism special in what you should call the Rheinland, the country’s where the river Rhein is flowing, is still a highly charged term. The wounds of the second world war are fresh, and the cicatrice are still anywhere.

    You must be very extreem careful to use the term Fascisme in these country’s. This Volkskrant article (in Dutch) shows those cicatrice very well.



  4. Yeah, use the word with the classical meaning, people start yelling. Fascism (in the original meaning) exists in polarity with individualism, anarchism, or more generally freedom. The extremes in this spectrum are severely dysfunctional. Socialism is generally collectivist and, when authoritarian is simply fascism in another guise, where “collectivist” means more than merely “cooperative.”

    Collectivism is not Bad, but can be counter-survival for the group where the freedom of individuals is destroyed without necessity. So there is always a tension. Too much freedom, it becomes license and can harm the collective and if push comes to shove, the collective is bigger and will win in the end. Too little, and “enterprise” dies. Collectivism without clear traditions (which may take millenia to establish) tends to strong-leader forms of organization. As well, collective decision-making processes may be too inefficient to function under conditions of war. Strong-leader societies tended to dominate collective, tribal societies, possibly for this reason, but themselves became unstable when leaders died. The modern trend is entirely to hybrid societies, that attempt to balance central control with established freedoms, but . . . the dialectic remains and “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” and one might say the same about order and social structure. The forces of destruction are not dead and will assert themselves.


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