Fascism is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascism is also a corporatist economic ideology. Historians and political scientists disagree on a precise definition, however; some would omit one or more of the preceding themes, while others would add many more. Fascists advocate the creation of a single-party state. Fascists believe that nations and races are in perpetual conflict whereby only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and by asserting themselves in combat against the weak. Fascist governments forbid and suppress criticism and opposition to the government and the fascist movement. Fascism opposes class conflict and blames capitalist liberal democracies for creating class conflict and in turn blames communists for exploiting class conflict.
Following the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II and the publicity surrounding the atrocities committed during the period of fascist governments, the term fascist has been used as a pejorative word.
Facism in the World
Nazism, short for National Socialism, is the political ideology of the National Socialist German Workers PartY that ruled Germany from 1933 until 1945. The term national socialist is also a descriptive term used to refer to the Austrian National Socialism of a similar ideology, as well as several puppet states under Nazi control, including; the Arrow Cross of Hungary, the Ustaše of Croatia (also heavily influenced by Italian Fascism), and Rexism of Belgium. The Nazis came to prominence in Germany's Weimar Republic through democratic elections in 1932; their leader Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany the following year, subsequently putting into place the Enabling Act, which effectively gave him the power of a dictator. Hitler's book detailing the national socialist ideology Mein Kampf, was authored during the mid-1920s. The NSDAP announced a national rebirth, in the form of the Third Reich nicknamed the Thousand Years Empire, promoted as a successor to the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire.
After Mussolini's successful March on Rome in 1922, Hitler gained profound admiration of Mussolini and shortly after Mussolini gained power, the Nazis presented themselves as a German version of Italian Fascism and through their media outlets constantly compared their movement with Italian Fascism and compared Hitler to Mussolini. Nazi member Hermann Esser proclaimed, "In Bavaria too we have Italy's Mussolini [sic]. His name is Adolf Hitler."
In addition, the Nazis attempted to copy the Italian Fascists' March on Rome with a "March on Berlin" to topple what they saw as a "Marxist" government leading Germany (in reality a non-Marxist, social democratic government was in government at the time) and during their march, they would overthrow "red" governments in the German states. A month after Mussolini had risen to power and amid claims by Hitler and the Nazis that they were equivelant to Mussolini the Italian Fascists, Hitler's personal popularity in Germany began to grow and large crowds beginning to attend the Nazi rallies, German media began to pay attention to Hitler's activities with the newspaper Berlin Lokal-Anzeiger featuring a front page article about Hitler, saying "There are a lot of people who believe him to be the German Mussolini".
In private, Mussolini himself did not appreciate Hitler or the Nazis as he saw them as merely imitators of Italian Fascism and when Mussolini met with the Italian Consul in Munich prior to the failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, he stated that he thought the Nazis were "buffoons".
Nazi official Joseph Goebbels credited Italian Fascism with starting a conflict against liberal democracy which the Nazis supported, saying,
The march on Rome was a signal, a sign of storm for liberal-democracy. It is the first attempt to destroy the world of the liberal-democratic spirit[...] which started in 1789 with the storm on the Bastille and conquered one country after another in violent revolutionary upheavals, to let... the nations go under in Marxism, democracy, anarchy and class warfare..."
Although the modern consensus sees Nazism as a type of generic fascism, some scholars, such as Gilbert Allardyce, Zeev Sternhell and A.F.K. Organski, argue that Nazism is not fascism – either because the differences are too great, or because they believe fascism cannot be generic. A synthesis of these two opinions, states that German Nazism was a form of racially oriented fascism, while Italian fascism was state-oriented. Nazism differed from Italian fascism in that it had a stronger emphasis on race, especially exhibited as antisemitism, in terms of social and economic policies. Though both ideologies denied the significance of the individual, Italian fascism saw the individual as subservient to the state, whereas Nazism saw the individual, as well as the state, as ultimately subservient to the race. Mussolini's fascism held that cultural factors existed to serve the state, and that it was not necessarily in the state's interest to interfere in cultural aspects of society. The only purpose of government in Mussolini's fascism was to uphold the state as supreme above all else, a concept which can be described as statolatry. Where fascism talked of state, Nazism spoke of the Volk and of the Volksgemeinschaft.
Roger Griffin, who is a leading exponent of the generic fascism theory wrote:
It might well be claimed that Nazism and Italian fascism were separate species within the same genus, without any implicit assumption that the two species ought to be well-nigh identical. Ernst Nolte has stated that the differences could be easily reconciled by employing a term such as 'radical fascism' for Nazism. The establishment of fundamental generic characteristics linking Nazism to movements in other parts of Europe allows further consideration on a comparative basis of the reasons why such movements were able to become a real politicial danger and gain power in Italy and Germany, whereas in other European countries they remained an unpleasant, but transitory irritant...
Sternhell views National Socialism as separate from fascism:
Fascism can in no way be identified with Nazism. Undoubtedly the two ideologies, the two movements, and the two regimes had common characteristics. They often ran parallel to one another or overlapped, but they differed on one fundamental point: the criterion of German national socialism was biological determination. The basis of Nazism was a racism in its most extreme sense, and the fight against Jews, against 'inferior' races, played a more preponderant role in it than the struggle against communism.
The Iron Guard was an antisemitic fascist movement and political party in Romania from 1927 to 1941. It was briefly in power from September 14, 1940 until January 21, 1941. The Iron Guard was founded by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu on 24 July 1927 as the "Legion of the Archangel Michael" (Legiunea Arhanghelul Mihail), and it was led by him until his death in 1938. Adherents to the movement continued to be widely referred to as "legionnaires" (sometimes "legionaries"; Romanian: legionari) and the organization as the "Legion" or the "Legionary Movement" (Mişcarea Legionară), despite various changes of the (intermittently banned) organization's name.
It was strongly anti-Semitic, promoting the idea that "Rabbinical aggression against the Christian world" in "unexpected 'protean forms': Freemasonry, Freudianism, homosexuality, atheism, Marxism, Bolshevism, the civil war in Spain, and social democracy" were undermining society.
Radical nationalism in Russia refers to far-right extremist nationalist movements and organizations. Of note, the term "nationalist" in Russia often refers to radical nationalism. However, it is often mixed up with fascism in Russia. While this terminology does not exactly match the formal definitions of fascism, the common denominator is chauvinism. In all other respects the positions vary over a wide spectrum. Some movements hold a political position that the state must be an instrument of nationalism (such as National-Bolshevik Party, headed by Eduard Limonov), while others (for example, Russian National Unity) resolve to vigilante tactics against the perceived "enemies or Russia" without going into politics.
Historically, the first prototype of such groups started with the Black Hundreds, then were quickly extinguished by the Soviet regime's anti-nationalistic policies. A new surge of this kind of activism was a byproduct of perestroika and glasnost, including neo-Soviet groups that called for a return of Soviet communism, and white supremacist movements heavily influenced by European and American groups. Several groups such as Pamyat made an effort to combine pre-revolutionary Russian traditionalism with neo-fascism, although they are not as predominant as the aforementioned pro-Soviet and white supremacist groups.
Radical nationalism (to the extent of fascism) in Russia is often connected with Stalinism:
Special sympathies for the RNE (i.e. Russian National Unity) are shown by the Stalinists, who remain possessed by a sadomasochistic dream of iron fists and labour camps, and who are not much troubled by the ideological sauce with which these delights are served up. It is no accident that at demonstrations today, portraits of Stalin are to be seen alongside swastika flags. Oppositionists who in organisational terms are quite impotent look with great respect on the tightly marshalled nazi ranks.
(Russian Fascism and Russian Fascists by Kirill Buketov)
In 1997, the Moscow Anti-Fascist Center estimated there were 40 (nationalist) extremist groups operating in Russia. The same source reported 35 extremist newspapers, the largest among these being Zavtra.
In addition to small extremist groups, some mainstream political parties like Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party and the Rodina bloc also engage in campaign of radical nationalism or xenophobia. On November 6, 2005, Rodina was barred from taking part in the December elections to the Moscow Duma following a complaint that its advertising campaign incited racial hatred. The advertisement in question showed dark-skinned Caucasian immigrants tossing watermelon rinds to the ground and ended with the slogan, "let's clear our city of trash". It garnered much controversy and opinion polls predicted that Rodina would come second with close to 25% in the December vote. Rogozin appealed the decision, but the ban was upheld on December 1, 2005.
Liberal political parties and human rights groups struggle to oppose these developments.
The term Italian Fascism denotes the authoritarian nationalist Fascismo political movement that ruled Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943 under leader Benito Mussolini. The term Fascism comes from the Word Facismo, and dates back variously to January 1915 when the "Fascist Revolutionary Party" was created and 1919 when Benito Mussolini launched his movement in the Piazza San Sepolchro 9 in Milan.  The English fascism derives from the Italian fascio ("league"). Italian Fascism is considered a proper noun, and thus is capitalised; generic fascism is lower-case. Italian Fascism is considered the model for the other fascisms, yet there is no agreement about which aspects of structure, tactics, culture, and ideology represent the "fascist minimum" core. Similar political movements appeared worldwide, including German Nazism, under Adolf Hitler, other movements in Europe, Japan, and Latin America between World War I and World War II. These groups, prior to World War II saw themselves as sharing a common ideology. Specifically Portugal with its "Clerico Corporativist regime" and Spain with its uneasy alliance between explicitly Fascist Falangists, Clerical Fascists, and Franco; both explicitly embraced their own variants of Fascism as did Germany under Hitler, Austria under Dolfuss, and other countries prior to World War II. After the failure of Hitler's Germany most of these countries distanced themselves from Fascism in order to avoid falling along with Hitler's Nazism, and some even from the term Fascism. Although Fascism for many only denotes only Italian fascism, the word often is used to describe like ideologies and political movements.
Falangism is a form of fascism founded by José Antonio Primo de Rivera in 1933, emerging during the Second Spanish Republic. Primo de Rivera was the son of Miguel Primo de Rivera who was appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain by Bourbon monarch Alfonso XIII of Spain; José's father served as military dictator from 1923—1930. In the Spanish general election, 1931 the winners were socialists and radical republican parties; Alfonso XIII "suspend(ed) the exercise of royal power" and went into exile in Rome. Spain went from a kingdom into a far-left republic overnight. A liberal Republican Constitution was written, giving the right of autonomy to regions, stripping the nobility of juristic status and stripping from the Catholic Church its schools.
In this environment José Antonio Primo de Rivera was inspired by Mussolini and Italy. Primo de Rivera founded the Falange Española party; referring to Ancient Greek military formation phalanx. A year later Falange Española merged with the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista party of Ramiro Ledesma and Onésimo Redondo. The party and Primo de Rivera presented the Falange Manifesto in November 1934; it promoted nationalism, unity, glorification of the Spanish Empire and dedication to the national syndicalism economic policy, inspired by integralism in which there is class collaboration. The manifesto supported agrarianism, to improve the standard of living for the peasants of the rural areas. It supported anti-capitalism, anti-Marxism, repudiated the latter's divisive class war philosophy, and was directly opposed to the ruling Republican regime. The Falange participated in the Spanish general election, 1936 with low results compared to the far-left Popular Front, but soon after increased in membership rapidly, with a membership of 40,000. José Antonio Primo de Rivera wrote in the Falange Manifesto:
We reject the capitalist system, which disregards the needs of the people, dehumanizes private property, and transforms the workers into shapeless masses that are prone to misery and despair. Our spiritual and national awareness likewise repudiates Marxism. We shall channel the drive of the working classes, that are nowadays led astray by Marxism, by demanding their direct participation in the formidable task of the national State.
Flag of the FET y de las JONS party.Primo de Rivera was captured by Republicans on 6 July 1936 and held in captivity at Alicante. The Spanish Civil War broke out on 17 July 1936 between the Republicans and the Nationalists, with the Falangistas fighting for Nationalist cause. Despite his incarceration Primo de Rivera was a strong symbol of the cause, referred to as El Ausente, meaning "the Absent One"; he was summarily executed on 20 November after a trial by socialists. General Francisco Franco, already the leader of the rebel Nationalists took over the leadership of the Falangists, even though he was less ideological than his predecessor. Franco's focus at this time was the push for victory in the war, and important flows of material came from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.
A merger between the Falange and the Carlist traditionalists who support a different line of the monarchy to that of exiled Alfonso XIII took place in 1937, creating the FET y de las JONS, a more traditionalist, conservative party than the original Falagnists, and one which is desribed by some "authentic" Falangists as a move away from the party's original fascist principles. Franco balanced several different interests of elements in his party, in an effort to keep them united, especially in regard to the question of monarchy.
The ideas of Falangism were also exported, mainly to parts of the Hispanosphere, especially in South America. In some countries these movements were obscure, in others they had some impact. The Bolivian Socialist Falange under Óscar Únzaga provided significant competition to the ruling government during the 1950s until the 1970s. Falangism was significant in Lebanon through the Kataeb Party and its founder Pierre Gemayel. The Lebanese Falange fought for national independence which was won in 1943; they became significant during the complex and multifaceted Lebanese Civil War which was largely fought between Christians and Muslims.
Rexism was a fascist political movement in the first half of the twentieth century in Belgium. It was the ideology of the Rexist Party (Parti Rexiste), officially called Christus Rex, founded in 1930 by Léon Degrelle, a Walloon. The name was derived from the Roman Catholic social teachings concerning Christus Rex, and it was also the title of a conservative Catholic journal.
The ideology of Rexism called for the moral renewal of Belgian society in conformity with the teachings of the Church, by forming a corporatist society, and abolishing democracy. The Rexist movement attracted support mostly among the Walloons; it had a counterpart on the Flemish side in the Vlaamsch Nationaal Verbond, or VNV. Rexism soon began to ally itself with the interests of Nazi Germany and to incorporate Nazi-style antisemitism into its platform after Adolf Hitler's rise to power, and got financial support from German interests, while ties to the Roman Catholic Church were increasingly cut off one-sidedly by the Belgian bishops. Some former Rexists went into the underground resistance against Nazi Germany, after they had come to see the Nazis' somewhat anticlerical and very anti-Semitic policies enforced in occupied Belgium (although others, notably José Streel, simply withdrew from political activity as a result of this). Most Rexists however proudly supported the occupiers and assisted Nazi Germany in its endeavors wherever they could.