What was fascism?
The word itself is problematic. For many, especially those of a Marxist bent, it was an attempt to divert working people from the real cause of their problems. For other, it was a vehicle for anti-Semitism and conspiracy thinking in general. For others still, as George Orwell noted, it was, and still is, a crude insult: “something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class” (Orwell, 1944).
How did fascists define this word? For Benito Mussolini, it was a reaction to liberalism:
We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ‘right’, a Fascist century. If the 19th century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the ‘collective’ century, and therefore the century of the State. (Mussolini, 1933)