Fascism is a far-right movement that preaches national renewal by means of the destruction of the liberal society, the suppression of the left and the adoption of an authoritarian state run along ultranationalistic lines.
When these discussions about “what is fascism” arise, as they have so often over the last few months, I am reminded of Nixon’s statement “We are all Keynsians now”. How about “We are all fascists, now.” Even people objecting to the GOP and Trump being “fascist” use the same elements of control to oppose him.
You have, however, misphrased the key element of fascism; that is, the elevation of the state above the individual. The “liberal society” being destroyed are those elements who would support documents such as the Bill of Rights. Fascists TAKE power from the people and store it in government institutions; to Svetlana’s point, that’s also a characteristic of communism.
And a common theme of the current version of the American left, it should be said. If you want to remove economic power from the individual (higher taxes) and decision making from businesses (heavy regulation) and the ability of the people to protect themselves (gun control) how can it be said that you want power to rest in the hands of the people?
The suppression of leftists is one of the key promises of fascism, its single most important animating feature wherever it appears.
Certainly, but see above. The current crop of “leftists” in the US would not have bothered the German fascists in the least. All they would have to do is channel their energies.
They aren’t some proletarian revolutionary movement; they come to power and then rule by allying themselves with established conservative elites, including the big capitalists in these societies, and though fascism is definitely not about economic policy (directly contrary to the socialists), they impose what is arguably a form of capitalism (directly contrary to the socialists). And on into infinity.
It seems necessary here to remind everyone that the name of Hitler’s party was the “National Socialists”. He believed in private ownership of businesses (key point here) as long as those businesses did what they were told. IOW, a heavy regulatory environment. You make toys? We need bullets. Retool your line or we’ll take your business. But don’t worry, we’ll pay you for your bullets. :-)
It’s a particular kind of far-right movement.
Well, indeed. But as you infer above, you must excise the economic component when you measure it. Because a fascist government is free market and for private ownership only when it suits them; the communists and socialists are a bit more honest about the matter.
If you combine the political behavior and the economic behavior, fascism is very difficult to place on a single line axis between “right” and “left”.