Definitions — Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition,
While fascism is defined as a product of the far-right it is just as evident in the far-left.
For me, fascism is associated with arrogance, racism and extreme authoritarian control. It divides and labels people. It promotes one group of people above others (even within nations) and sets up mechanisms for suppression and oppression.
Fascism is hierarchical. It sets up a powerful elite and establishes a means of crushing opposition, controlling the people and pumping out propaganda. It runs on fear and deploys secret police, torture and death.
There is no real difference between the way far-right Nazi parties, such as Hitler, Mussolini and Franco operated to that of far-left organisations such as with Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. They all worked on creating division, exterminating enemies, using fear, deploying propaganda, suppressing all opposition and suppressing the population.
We still operate tribally. We like to elect ‘strong’ leaders who put forward policies in black and white. These leaders often appear strong because they are psychopaths or sociopaths.
Much as school bullies attract sycophantic groups of henchmen and henchwomen who they use to help exert their power, fascist politicians attract both henchmen and followers who put their policies into action.
One has to wonder at the mentality of these people. One can see the attraction for those high up but there are similar benefits for those further down the organisation. They are part of the organisation. They have power over others. They are safe, rewarded and have power. Hence the secret police, the torturers, the executioners, the propagandists, the spokespeople, troops and their families feel superior and secure.
Fascism seems to be the default state for human politics. We see democracies such as the present-day USA and UK drifting towards it with Trump and Johnson. It is evident in Russia, with Putin, In China, North Korea and Brazil.
Fascism exists in many forms and can be an insidious force infiltrating the most benign governments. The Johnson government is showing fascistic tendencies – arrogance and superiority, control of the media, suppression of opposition, creation of division, ignoring of the law, move towards a one-party state.
We have to be forever vigilant.