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Fascism is a term used to describe authoritarian nationalist political ideologies or mass movements that are concerned with notions of cultural decline or decadence and seek to achieve a millenarian rebirth by exalting nation or race, and promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.


[ad. It. fascismo, f. fascio bundle, group: see FASCI and -ISM.]

The principles and organization of Fascists. Also, loosely, any form of right-wing authoritarianism.

depreciative (chiefly Brit.). In extended use (usu. with preceding modifying word): the advocacy of a particular viewpoint or practice in a manner perceived as intolerant or authoritarian. Cf. body fascism n. at BODY n. Additions, health fascism n. at HEALTH n. Additions.

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1921 19th Cent. July 148 The Fascismo was born in the provinces, where the extremistic menace was stronger. 1922 Q. Rev. Jan. 148 A section of the Press..now veered completely round to the cause of Fascism. The Fascist terror increased in intensity. 1923 Contemp. Rev. Jan. 44 We do not want Fascismo in this country. Ibid. Nov. 557 Fascism in Germany will never be more than one of several factors. 1925 Weekly Westm. Gaz. 10 Jan. 320/2 The outrages which have been associated with Fascism have gradually alienated much of the support which it won two years ago. 1934 tr. K. Heiden's National Socialism xvii. 354 The electoral victories all over Europe with which the Labour Parties have replied to German Fascism. 1936 Discovery Dec. 378/1, I have strongly criticised modern education and the methods of handling youth generally as inculcating excessive respect for authority and thereby conducing to the growth of Fascism. 1939 A. COBBAN Dictatorship v. 124 In March 1919..Fascism was still..a revolutionary and socialist movement, hostile to the monarchy, to finance, and to parliamentary government, demanding social reform and workers' control, but separated from the other branches of the socialist movement by its intense nationalism. 1965 L. VENNEWITZ tr. Nolte's Three Faces Fascism II. ii. 87 Maurras was the first man in Europe who as a thinker and a politician drove conservatism beyond the limits dividing it from incipient fascism. 1971 Tablet 26 June 616/2 (title) The ghost of Fascism.

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[1939 D. THOMAS Let. July (1987) 389, I think that to fight, for instance, the fascism of bad ideas by uniforming & regimenting good ones will be found, eventually, to be bad tactics.] 1973 Times 13 Oct. 14 There is a fundamental fascism of the left which is the real problem in the universities: they are theologically right, as they believe, and you are so wrong that you should even be denied the freedom to speak. 1974 B. HODDESON Porn People vii. 121/1 You get a sort of monosexual fascism that takes place, that says, ‘this is how you'll ball.’ 1994 Daily Tel. 20 Dec. 17/3 The new health 'n' safety fascism..has demanded measures on track and trains which could not have been envisaged at the time when the cost was first projected. 2003 Independent 4 Mar. 19/2 This hysterical response to the interbreeding of the ruddy duck with the protected white-headed duck reflects a rather puerile, ‘anoracky’ fascism, and is misguided on several counts.

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