What fascism really is

Hitler and Mussolini, the last people who practiced fascism.

Fascism gets thrown around a lot by people when they don’t like something or someone. Even George Orwell stated such in his article “What is Fascism?

It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.

Yet underneath all this mess there does lie a kind of buried meaning. To begin with, it is clear that there are very great differences, some of them easy to point out and not easy to explain away, between the régimes called Fascist and those called democratic. Secondly, if ‘Fascist’ means ‘in sympathy with Hitler’, some of the accusations I have listed above are obviously very much more justified than others. Thirdly, even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist’ in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it. By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.

But Fascism is also a political and economic system. Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? Alas! we shall not get one — not yet, anyway. To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.”

The definition of fascism

Fascism, as described by the Library of Economics and Liberty, is socialism with a veneer of capitalism. The government that practices fascism is one that controls the resources that the corporations need to operate. There is no entrepreneurship. The land and people are controlled by the government, so business has to do as the government wants or they go under. The government sets up planning boards to decide what needs to be produced. Under fascism, there are steep taxes and a lot of public works projects.

How is the public treated

There is no opposition allowed. There are no real freedoms. The government puts down even the most peaceful of protests. Income is taxed heavily, as is business. Everything is done for the state. The police are made into a paramilitary force that enforces statism and nationalism. There is cleansing both of unwanted ethnic groups and any political thought not in line with what the government wants. The main push is that the government will force everyone to be in harmony with one another.

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