Unlike most other forms of government and social organizations, fascism is fairly new. However, it has garnered a lot of prominence in the short time it has been around. In simplest terms, fascism is a type of government and social organization. However, it has been heavily criticized due to the fact that it is very radical, authoritarian, and nationalistic.
Fascism rose to prominence in the early 20th-century Europe and was led to regimes such as Benito Mussolini’s in Fascist Italy, Adolf Hitler’s in Nazi Germany, and Ante Pavelic’s in Fascist Croatia. In fact, fascism actually originated with Benito Mussolini’s reign in Italy.
Fascism actually borrowed various theories and terminology from socialism but the end product was very different from socialism. For example, instead of socialism’s focus on class conflict, fascism focuses on conflict between nations and races. Fascism is also a very authoritative regime, where the government, usually under a dictator, oppresses the people, strips away their rights, and keeps them suppressed through acts of violence and strict laws that govern them.
Fascism is also highly nationalist, where the regime touts the important of its nation or at times race over all others. Here, the nation or race is considered to be supreme and better than the other, which some might claim gives their nation the right to rule over all others. Some fascist regimes may even seek to eradicate the other nations and/or races through war and genocide. See the example of Nazi Fascism.
Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation and it believes that stronger nations have the right and necessity to expand their territory by displacing weaker nations. Fascism also does not allow anyone to question the beliefs and actions of the government, its leaders, and especially the dictator, under penalty of harsh punishments or even death.
Fascism is directly in opposition to liberalism, Marxism, and traditional conservatism. It is often placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum, however, several academics disagree with this.