Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What is Fascism?

Fascism is a totalitarian nationalist political ideology and mass movement that is concerned with notions of cultural decline or decadence, and which seeks to achieve a millenarian national rebirth by exalting the nation or race, as well as promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.

Various scholars attribute different characteristics to fascism, but the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: nationalism, militarism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, class collaboration, populism, collectivism, statism, social interventionism, and economic planning. Fascism strongly opposes communism, democracy, and individualism along with opposition to classism, liberalism, socialism, and conservatism (taking into account that fascists made alliances with conservatives more often than other groups). Though nationalist in nature, fascist movements have sought alliances with each other in different countries on common beliefs, such as opposition to communism.

Some authors reject broad usage of the term or exclude certain parties and regimes. Following the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II, there have been few self-proclaimed fascist groups and individuals. In contemporary political discourse, the term fascist is often used by adherents of some ideologies as a pejorative description of their opponents.

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