Fascism (broad sense)

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Fascism, in a broad sense, is a term used to describe various nationalist movements that arose initially out of the generation radicalised by the First World War.


One example of such a nationalist movement is Italian Fascism (fascism in a narrow sense). These movements positioned themselves as the radical centre or third position, in opposition to both communist socialism and liberal democratic laissez-faire capitalism. Some of these movements came to power in Europe, notably the fascists in Italy and the National Socialists in Germany. The Spanish regime of Francisco Franco, which outlasted World War II, is usually not considered to have been fascist or to have changed into a non-fascist regime.

How to classify the movement on the left-right spectrum has been frequently discussed, with supporters of the different views citing different inspirations and aspects of the movement(s) as support for their views. A significant part of the movement originated in national syndicalism, but it came to place a strong focus on hierarchy and order. Another stated influence was integralism and corporatism. Egalitarianism was explicitly rejected, as was class conflicts, with strong emphasis placed on building a shared national community and solidarity.

Some of the views associated with the movement held that the European race and civilisation was in a process of catastrophic decline (such as through the effects of harmful ideologies and dysgenics) and could only be regenerated through revolutionary changes and heroism.

Some politically correct sources claim that totalitarianism and pro-violence views are very important characteristics of fascism. See the articles on Totalitarianism and National syndicalism, in particular the section "National syndicalism, fascism, and violence".

"Social fascism"

The communist Soviet Union during the 1930s used the derogatory term "social fascism" to describe social democracy and similar ideologies, claiming that they were at this time variants of fascism, because of argued similar economic and social policies (but much less nationalist), and that were seen as preventing the communist revolution from occurring.


"Neo-fascism" is a term applied to various nationalist movements after World War II. Due to the association with National Socialist Germany, the term is considered derogatory, is often used as a form of guilt by association, and may be applied to nationalist movements with few similarities with the fascist movements that existed before and during World War II. The term may even be applied as a form of guilt by association to groups and individuals that are not nationalist, but only want to reduce the mass immigration or have some other less politically correct view.

See also