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Origin of fascism
OTHER WORDS FROM fascisman·ti·fas·cism, nounpro·fas·cism, noun
Words nearby fascism
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does fascism mean?
Fascism is a system of government led by a dictator who typically rules by forcefully and often violently suppressing opposition and criticism, controlling all industry and commerce, and promoting nationalism and often racism.
The word is sometimes capitalized, especially when it specifically refers to the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini in Italy from 1922 to 1943, or authoritarian systems similar to his, including those of Adolf Hitler in Germany and Francisco Franco in Spain.
Fascism can also refer to an ideology based on this form of rule, or to the use of its methods. More broadly, fascism is used to refer to any ideology or movement seen as authoritarian, nationalistic, and extremely right wing, especially when fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism.
The term fascist can be a noun referring generally to someone who has such views, or, more specifically, to a member of such a government or movement. Fascist can also be used as an adjective describing something involving or promoting fascism.
Apart from their literal (and often capitalized) use to refer to the regime of Mussolini, the words fascism and fascist are typically used negatively as a criticism of such practices and ideologies—fascists typically avoid calling themselves fascists due to the negative history associated with the terms.
That history includes the rise of fascism in the 1920s and ’30s, the Holocaust perpetrated by Hitler and the Nazis, and other atrocities and oppression committed under fascist regimes. Interest in the history of fascism and the word itself has increased in the 21st century, along with a global rise of nationalism and movements associated with fascism.
Where does fascism come from?
The first records of the word fascism in English come from around the 1920s. It comes from the Italian fascismo, from fascio, meaning “political group.” Mussolini formed these small political groups into a political party, Partito Nazionale Fascista—the National Fascist Party. Fascism and the Italian fascio ultimately derive from the Latin fascis, meaning “bundle” (the plural form is fasces). In ancient Rome, fasces consisted of a bundle of rods with an axe blade sticking out. This was used as a symbol of a government official’s power. The Italian fascists brought back the fasces as a symbol of their brand of nationalism, which became known as fascism. The suffix -ism indicates a doctrine or set of principles.
As an ideology, fascism typically centers around extreme nationalism and an opposition to democracy and liberalism. In practice, fascism revolves around a ruler who uses absolute power to suppress the individual freedom of citizens, making everyone completely subject to the power of the state. To achieve this, fascism often uses violent methods for political ends. In the context of a fascist government, this often involves the use of the military against citizens.
Fascist leaders typically gain support by appealing to people’s nationalism and racism, especially by promoting suspicion or hatred of people that they label as foreigners or otherwise cast as illegitimate citizens—as Hitler did with the Jews in Germany. Such leaders often reinforce these themes among their followers with rallies and mass parades (developing what’s sometimes called a cult of personality).
Fascism is often considered a form of totalitarianism, in which the government controls almost every aspect of ordinary life. (Some left-wing forms of government, such as forms of communism, are also considered to be totalitarian.)
Today, the terms fascist and fascism are often applied in a general way to practices that resemble those of military dictatorships, especially when based on nationalism, racism, and authoritarian rule.
What is antifascism?
Antifascism is active opposition to fascism. Those who actively oppose fascism can be called antifascists. The first antifascist groups were those opposed to the rule of Mussolini, but there have been many others since then. The term antifascist is the basis of the word Antifa, which typically refers to a movement that opposes fascism.
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What are some other forms related to fascism?
What are some words that share a root or word element with fascism?
What are some words that often get used in discussing fascism?
How is fascism used in real life?
The word fascism is used in both specific and general ways to refer to fascist governments and the types of methods used by them. It’s typically used in a critical way due to the violence and racism associated with fascism.
“American fascist energies today are different from 1930s European fascism,” writes Sarah Churchwell. “But that doesn’t mean they’re not fascist, it means they’re not European and it’s not the 1930s.” https://t.co/kB0AUosyQE
— The New York Review of Books (@nybooks) June 23, 2020
Why did my grandfather choose to become a Fascist? He joined Mussolini’s party after returning from the front in WW1. I ask historian Gianluca Scroccu in my film ‘Fascism in the Family’. What was Fascism then and could it be resurfacing now?Details in thread #FascismInTheFamily pic.twitter.com/ofYHFBVPgE
— Barbara Serra (@BarbaraGSerra) June 27, 2020
Cowles’ “Looking for Trouble” is the best book you’ll ever find about the 1930s rise of fascism in Europe as it’s happening pic.twitter.com/sBNwnpIkeQ
— Pat Bagley (@Patbagley) June 16, 2020
Example sentences from the Web for fascism
Which was the right thing to be, after all, because communism is as illiberal as fascism.Lauren Bacall Was Deeply Liberal and Deeply Anti-Communist|Michael Tomasky|August 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The mirror-image systems of communism and fascism promised to solve problems quickly through command and control.
Therefore, Western supporters of the protests, like John Mccain, are agitating on behalf of violent Ukrainian fascism.
Putin says the events in Kiev signal the return of fascism to Europe, even as he foments anti-Semitic sentiment at home.Bernard-Henri Levy: Ukraine’s Revolutionaries Are Not Fascists|Bernard-Henri Lévy|February 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And then he sort of collapsed it into a rise of fascism, and SS pastiche groups.The Cast of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ Says Wes Anderson Is a Genius Hardass|Nico Hines|February 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Fascism also transports this anti-pacifist spirit into the life of individuals.
Fascism has now attained in the world an universality over all doctrines.
Fascism discovers sovereignty to be inherent in society when it is juridically organized as a state.
What Fascism does not countenance is the collectivistic solution proposed by the Socialists.
Fascism learns from him not only its doctrines but its action as well.
British Dictionary definitions for fascism (1 of 2)
noun (sometimes capital)
Word Origin for fascism
British Dictionary definitions for fascism (2 of 2)
Cultural definitions for fascism
A system of government that flourished in Europe from the 1920s to the end of World War II. Germany under Adolf Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, and Spain under Franco were all fascist states. As a rule, fascist governments are dominated by a dictator, who usually possesses a magnetic personality, wears a showy uniform, and rallies his followers by mass parades; appeals to strident nationalism; and promotes suspicion or hatred of both foreigners and “impure” people within his own nation, such as the Jews (see also Jews) in Germany. Although both communism and fascism are forms of totalitarianism, fascism does not demand state ownership of the means of production, nor is fascism committed to the achievement of economic equality. In theory, communism opposes the identification of government with a single charismatic leader (the “cult of personality”), which is the cornerstone of fascism. Whereas communists are considered left-wing, fascists are usually described as right-wing.