You ever notice how often the right-wing authoritarian types, e.g. Glenn Beck, misuse the word “fascist” as a generic smear to mean “I don’t like the left’s ideology”? PalMD has put together possibly the best modern example of an actual fascist movement.
There are good reasons to use this term more carefully, to apply it judiciously. But to do this, we have to understand what it really means. The term itself arose out of Italy and described a totalitarian regime that had little else in common with Nazism. That doesn’t mean it cannot be applied to other political systems. As Eco has pointed out, many of these systems share common features, or share common ideals or origins. But recognizing these, especially in the early stages of a movement can be difficult. It was not so difficult in Nazi Germany, with its explicit inculcation of the entire population beginning at birth, but Nazism is not the only type of fascism.
Fascism, while populist in a sense, does not have to originate in “the people”. As Eco noted of Italian Fascism:
The Fascist Party was born boasting that it brought a revolutionary new order; but it was financed by the most conservative among the landowners who expected from it a counter-revolution.
And you really need to read it to understand how dead-on he is. Who’s he talking about? The socialists? The rampaging horde of immigrants? The “pseudo-Muslim” in office? The “most conservative among the landowners” ought to tip you off (especially now that I’ve also linked the words to some proof of such), but you really need to read the whole post to get an idea exactly how airtight a case PalMD makes for his assertions.
Well done sir.