- uploaded: May 24, 2011
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The term "fascism" has become a universal epithet for anything bad. In 2005, scholar Richard Griffiths stated that the term fascism is the most "misused, and over-used term of our times." In particular, fascism is frequently considered synonymous with white power, though many non-white and racially mixed countries have had fascist governments at one time or another, including Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Zaire.
The defining features of fascism are nationalism (including economic nationalism), corporatism (including economic planning), totalitarianism (including dictatorship and social interventionism), and militarism. According to the Doctrine of Fascism: "The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist Stateâ€”a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all valuesâ€”interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people." The philosophy is summarized by the Italian fascist mottoes "Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State," "Believe, Obey, Fight," "The book and the musket - make the perfect Fascist," and "War is to man as motherhood is to woman."
During its heyday, fascism was marketed as the "Third Position" between communism and capitalism. In Italy, the symbol of fascism was a bundle of rods tied around an axe, which symbolizes the solidarity and strength of a fascist state. The word "fascist" comes from the Italian word fascio, which means a bundle or union.