(1) armed politics (In 1920, Hemingway defined Mussolini's Fascists as an armed political party);
(2) the credo
in action that political and economic and (most importantly) military might makes right, or, to put it more perfectly, that, since God loves people made of the right stuff and, to prove his love,
gives unto them physical and economic and political and military strength,
their strength is the revealed proof of their god-approved
superiority over others and therefore THEIR STRENGTH IS THEIR LICENSE
(i.e. their god-given might makes and proves them right) to trick or trample, brutalize, and exploit
or kill others to benefit themselves, i.e mystic rightness earns real-world
might which makes and proves its possessors right in every real-world arena;
(3) (merely conveniently but also inevitably) a justification for the otherwise irrational anointment of a chosen tribe. Since the benefits of fascism accrue mainly to insiders, but fascism
by nature needs an army of suckers out front, to cheer for speeches
and die in battle, who can be cynically used yet trusted to carry
guns; and since the best recruits for that necessary army are insecure
lumpen who need to feel important (as if they were made of the "right stuff,"
too), in order to thrill, recruit, hypnotize, and psychologically
blind and bind enough such dumb followers to form that army, insiders just about have to oratorically share the glow of god-favor with their tribes, so fascism and the definition of fascism obviously HAVE TO include the concept of a chosen TRIBE, reinforced by a circus of flags and uniforms and drums and marching and hysterical tribal spirit (i.e. patriotism) and, under the table but still obviously (like the looting franchise pirate captains gave their crews), the implied licensing of bullies in the ranks to rob, rape, kill, hurt and torture anyone outside the tribe or perceived traitors within the tribe randomly, gratuitously or for real or made-up reasons, as they wish.
Fascism, as I am defining it, parallels Darwin's implicit theory that nature
rewards and justifies strength, Ayn Rand's pseudo intellectual crackpot theory of objectivism, the capitalist belief that competition is
self-evidently good and that the winners are the good guys because
they won while the losers are contemptible, and (you may find this ironic but I don"t) both the puritan ethic and all holy wars.
There are enough parallels to fascism in a range of human
social and half-ass philosophical modes to suggest that fascism is both genetic and rational (in a twisted way). And, zooming the discussion focus in on the rational coffee shop crowd that actually discusses things (in the context of my own better-than-Marxist view of modern human history as a slow revo/evo-lutionary movement out of the jungle toward civilization), assuming most fascists only follow a few much smarter or more cunning leaders, my fourth definition of fascism may be the inside best:
(4) Fascism IS the philosophical or insane excuse of the muscular, realistically selfish, often intelligent, sometimes even openly or secretly atheist (though actually always religious), admittedly courageous human predators (i.e. pig mystics or realists) who resist progress toward what they consider prissy do-gooder too-restrictive civilization, because they prefer the exciting risk and freedom of the jungle and the jungle ethic that lets them take what they want (get rich in fact) and either dominate and use other people or maneuver them out of the way (or kick them out of the way if need be).
AN IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTIC: Mussolini's black shirted muscle boys campaigned by going around beating people up, especially communists, and though it's not part of the definition, it's as reliable an identifying factor as a rattlesnake's apparent insane fury that fascists always both instinctively and expediently despise communists, because the communists are offensively smarter than them and inconveniently espouse equality.