reply to post by Scurvy
An excellent summary Scurvy! There is an interesting point that you didn't mention though, which concerns the idealistic "definition" of fascism
and the actual
implementation of fascism.
The two largest "failures" of fascism are exemplified by Italy and Germany during the 30's and 40's (earlier perhaps, but generally concerned with
these 2 decades). However, these examples were let down by the usual problem of fascism which is the absence of a distinct social policy contrasting
with the presence of specific ideology in developing a national identity.
It could be argued that it was the failure of specific policies of Nazi Germany that caused the failure of fascism rather than anything specifically
to do with fascism itself (especially since its definition is so ambiguous).
Fascism can use methods of capitalism and (traditional) socialism to effect its ends, however, the largest point of contention is the scope of
definition of the "social class" - that is, that group which fascism has been introduced to serve.
In Nazi Germany the delineation was very clear, based on racial grounds. However, this is not a "given" aspect of fascism - again, this is an issue
of "implementation" against "idealism".
If we consider a society where everybody puts in their share and each receives their share according to a supposed "equality" measure, then this is
well within the boundaries of fascism, as it is with socialism.
If we consider the ideals of capitalism, which is predicated on the inequality of workers as opposed to "investors" and the supremacy of "finance"
above the human condition, then we have to question whether it really is the best implementation of democracy.
Fascism in itself is not necessarily mutually exclusive with democracy - although each implementation of it has been regarded as a "dictatorship"
because singular individuals have aspired to represent the masses which are defined as the "choosen people".
Although not defined as a "buzz word" until Mussolini came along, fascism has been around for many many years in one form or another. The whole
ideal of "Moses and the chosen people" could be considered to fascist, the Roman empire under the Emperors could be considered fascist. Most forms
of feudalism could be considered fascist.
Whether or not people would be better off under a fascist regime is a somewhat moot point since there has never been a recent implementation that
failed specifically because of fascism rather than other ideological or policy aspects.
That is a bit of a hard pill to swallow but basically a sound argument. Now, a more salient question would be whether one would wish to be a member
of a "fascist" society that is run by the same guys that run the capitalist society. I believe the answer to that would be a resounding "No" and
rightfully too. Fascism is an ideal, but mankind is just too selfish and primitive in civilisation to make it work properly.