Fascism is political doctrine opposed to democracy and demanding submission to political leadership and authority.
A key principle of fascism is the belief that the whole society has a shared destiny and purpose which can only be achieved by iron discipline, obedience to leadership and an all-powerful state.
Fascism first developed in Italy, under the leadership of Benito Mussolini and later influenced the development of German fascism in the Nazi movement led by Adolf Hitler.
While fascism increases the power and role of the state in society and suppresses free trade unions and political opposition, it preserves private ownership and private property.
Fascism is a form of extreme right-wing ideology that celebrates the nation or the race as an organic community transcending all other loyalties. It emphasizes a myth of national or racial rebirth after a period of decline or destruction.
To this end, fascism calls for a "spiritual revolution" against signs of moral decay such as individualism and materialism, and seeks to purge "alien" forces and groups that threaten the organic community.
Fascism tends to celebrate masculinity, youth, mystical unity, and the regenerative power of violence. Often, but not always, it promotes racial superiority doctrines, ethnic persecution, imperialist expansion, and genocide. At the same time, fascists may embrace a form of internationalism based on either racial or ideological solidarity across national boundaries.
Usually fascism espouses open male supremacy, though sometimes it may also promote female solidarity and new opportunities for women of the privileged nation or race.
Fascism's approach to politics is both populist--in that it seeks to activate "the people" as a whole against perceived oppressors or enemies--and elitist--in that it treats the people's will as embodied in a select group, or often one supreme leader, from whom authority proceeds downward.
Fascism seeks to organize a cadre-led mass movement in a drive to seize state
power. - Matthew N. Lyons (Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort).
Liberty from oppressive government intervention in the daily lives of its citizens, from illicit searches and seizures, from enforced religious values, from intimidation and arrest for dissenters; and liberty to cast a vote in a system in which the majority ruled but the minority retained certain inalienable rights.
Equality in the sense of civic equality, egalitarianism, the notion that while people differ, they all should stand equal in the eyes of the law.
Fraternity in the sense of the brotherhood of mankind. That all women and men, the old and the young, the infirm and the healthy, the rich and the poor, share a spark of humanity that must be cherished on a level above that of the law, and that binds us all together in a manner that continuously re-affirms and celebrates life.
This is what fascism as an ideology was reacting against_and its support came
primarily from desperate people anxious and angry over their perception that their social
and economic position was sinking and frustrated with the constant risk of chaos,
uncertainty and inefficiency implicit in a modern democracy based on these principles.
Fascism is the antithesis of democracy. - remember.org/hist.root.what.html