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Fascism is a political and social movement born in Italy through Benito Mussolini following World War I. It's a totalitarian and nationalist movement whose doctrine (and similar growing in other countries) receives the name of fascist.
Fascism has been proposed as a third way towards liberal democracies (such as the North American) and socialism (USSR). In addition to the regime of Mussolini in Italy, those of Adolf Hitler's Germany and Francisco Franco's Spain are also considered fascist.
Fascism is based on a powerful State which claims to embody the spirit of the people. The population must therefore go see nowhere else other than the State, which belongs to a single party. The fascist State exercises its authority through violence, repression and propaganda (including the manipulation of the educational system).
The fascist leader is a leader who is above common men. Mussolini was auto-désigne Il Duce, which derives from the latin Dux ("General"). It is leaderships Messianic and authoritarian, with a power that is exercised in a unilateral manner and without asking the opinion of that whatsoever.
In Germany, fascism is associated with Nazism. This movement had a strong racial component, which proclaimed the superiority of the air race and that was the extermination of other communities, such as Jews, Gypsies and blacks.
Neo-fascism and neo-Nazism repeat the attitudes of the originating movement (violence, authoritarianism), while they deny or minimize the crimes committed by these groups throughout the 20th century.