Defining fascism

From time to time MRAs, others in the manosphere, and supporters are called fascists.

The term Fascist is notoriously difficult to define. Two definitions, narrow and broad are offered here and it is proposed that any reasonable definition must be bounded by these two.


The narrowest possible definition is membership in the Italian National Fascist Party. Using this definition the ideology of Fascism is easy to define because it can be found in the manifesto of the party.


Most broadly a fascist could be seen to be an adherent to Italian fascism, Nazism, the ideology of Francisco Franco in Spain, or someone that seeks to re-establish a very similar system. In this context fascism can be seen as nationalist, dictatorial and corporatist. Fascists argue that democracy is fundamentally flawed and doomed to fail. Unlike communists and socialists, fascists do not seek to nationalise industry, preferring for private enterprise to continue to operate. Fascists do expect, however, that private enterprise be entirely subordinate to the state and support state initiatives.

Even the broadest possible definition of fascism does not intrinsically include opposition to immigration or xenophobia since these were no more prevalent in Fascist Italy or Spain under Franco than contemporary states. Benito Mussolini did eventually start persecuting Jews in Italy but only did so under pressure from Adolf Hitler.

Nor does the broadest possible definition of fascism include an aggressive foreign policy since Fascist Italy’s attempts to expand were modest for the time, and Franco’s Spain made no attempt to expand at all.


Definitions broader than the broad definition above are meaningless.

Some may disagree with the inclusion of Spain under Franco as a fascist state. The aim here is to produce as broad a definition of fascism as possible that is still meaningful. This demonstrates that the definition of fascism falls far short of the manner in which the term is used today.

Even if Spain under Franco was fascist, no fascist state has lasted more than a few decades so the long term prospects for such a system remain untested.

We may yet see the re-emergence of fascism in the 21st century but it won’t be coming from the manosphere.

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