Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fascism Defined

The Musical Patriot Turns Teacher In complex topics it is usually best to start with a definition. The term "fascism" has become a loaded word surrounded in hubris and confusion. However, it is a legitimate word and term in the English language. I like the Oxford Dictionary's definition best. According to the Oxford Dictionary, fascism is:
an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. •(in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice. The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43), and the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach...
This information is useful in that it allows for somewhat different forms and practices from one country or region to another, yet all share common characteristics. Later in this series I will talk more about economic organization. But for now, it is clear that fascism involves heightened authoritarianism, including a controlled social organization. The form of the authoritarian organization is left somewhat open by Oxford. In America, fascism has been seen primarily as an autocratic form of government headed by a dictator. While this has historically been true in Europe, fascism involves other kinds of control besides dictatorship. Eventually I plan to throw some light on these other aspects of fascism and ultimately show what allows a dictatorship to take hold in a nation. Coming Soon: Fascism gets a foothold in Italy

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