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Fascism

Fascism can be defined as non-democratic and a dictatorship which is totalitarian in nature. It was the ideology of the Italian Fascist party under Benito Mussolini. Totalitarian dictatorship comprised of two elements:

(a) Authoritarianism:
This implies that the authority of the ruling group or individual is unlimited, despotic, and lacks the checks of any constitution. Such authority is unlimited in terms of accountability. It maintains its powerful position by methods of violence and terror, full exploitation of propaganda monopolised by the regime and by what may be referred to as brain-washing.

(b) Statist:
By the word Statist we mean that the State controls everything including all facts of the individual’s life. Right from the life including the family and the thoughts of individuals, are all subjected to management by the State as far as it is humanly possible. All types of regime which practice totalitarian dictatorship, have a highly developed ideology which covers all aspects of man’s existence.

Characteristics of Fascism

1. Anti-Materialism:
Unlike socialism and communism which is materialistic, fascism is anti- materialistic. The apologists of fascism give and elaborate spiritual interpretation of history which is quite in opposition to capitalist materialism.

2. Authoritarianism:
Fascism uses all modalities to retain or maintain itself in power regardless of all odds. Authority here is usually unilateral as it is from top to the bottom.

3. All-Inclusiveness:
Here everything belongs to the State including the individual – The individuals’ thoughts and actions are teleguided by the State. The State is the all important factor and it comes first before anything else.

4. Extreme Nationalism:
All means are used to protect the image of the State whether the means used are foul or fair.

5. Aggressive Nationalism:
This simply means the use of aggression through war to achieve the desired goal. All fascists believe in war.

6. Sentimentalism:
Emotional sentiment plays a great part in any fascist rule. Fascist regimes look back on past history and glories and tread on those same old paths.

7. Violence:
Fascists make good use of violence and warfare coupled with propaganda to achieve their aims. The idea that the end justifies the means is greatly emphasised.

8. Secret Police:
In fascism there is no belief in democracy or the rule of law. The use of invisible army, secret police mercenaries in the achievement of its objectives is a common affair. Also, included in this area are informants who are widely used.

9. Fundamental Human Rights:
In terms of social and economic policies, fascist regimes believe on what the State can get from the individual and less concerned with what the individual can get from the state.

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