But that's really a side issue. What Vulture mainly reacts to is this post [link], where I argue that fascism is a tool that came into being as a direct result of the communist threat. Yes, that's a gross oversimplification, but it has validity. And I pause here to point out the obvious, that most people the liberals and neocons call "fascists" are nothing of the kind. Fascists are defined as Mussolini and his followers and their ideology. Nobody can argue with that. Then, you can add those people and movements that explicitly consider themselves imitations of Mussolini's fascists, like the National Socialists in Germany, the British Union of Fascists, the Lapua Movement in Finland, Engelbert Dollfuß' austrofascists, the Iron Guard in Romania, and, most lately, George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party. More dubious is designating Franco's Falange movement as fascist, which is based more on his connection with the Axis than with his actual ideology, which has too much Christian sensibility in it to be truly fascist.
Another dubiousness is George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party, which is often said not to be really Nazi — which needs a more restrictive definition than that for "fascist" — but just a standard right-wing American movement that used Nazi symbolism to attract attention. I believe some such criticism can be found in Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven's Escape from Hell [link].
Regardless of other truths about it, I continue to contend that fascism arose as a reaction to communism. In the interwar period, it became clear that liberal democracy was ineffective in resisting communism, as were most other government forms. On the simplest level, the fascists knew that if the communists used street thugs to break up meetings of their political opponents, they needed their own street thugs both to protect their own meetings and to break up communist meetings. Fascists had no qualms about using communist methods to fight communism.
And, at this point, due to Vulture's critique, I modify my previous assertion that "fascism is a tool" to "fascism is a political system, a dogma, a belief system, a guide to life, and a paradigm for reality, and can also be used as a tool."
But enough about all that. Clearly, there's more to fascism than I know, so I direct you to Vulture, who will teach us all about the phenomenon. This is from:
Fascism assumes that the universe is governed by strife. Does anybody else see a downside to such an assumption? [link]
There's a lot more, mainly in a long essay by Umberto Eco dealing with fascism, and who should know better than he? He writes a hell of a novel, anyway. So continue to read here [link].
Quibcag: the illustration is a version of the Italy mascot from Hetalia: Axis Powers (Axis Powers ヘタリア).