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Portal:Fascism

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Introduction

Benito Mussolini (left) and Adolf Hitler (right), the fascist leaders of the Kingdom of Italy and Nazi Germany, respectively

Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before spreading to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes to the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and the total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilians and combatants. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war. The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence, war and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky (national economic self-sufficiency) through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far-right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th-century fascist movements.

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Getulio Vargas (1930).jpg
Getúlio Dornelles Vargas was a Brazilian lawyer and politician, who served as President of Brazil during two periods: the first was from 1930–1945, when he served as interim president from 1930–1934, President from 1934–1937, and dictator from 1937–1945. After being overthrown in a 1945 coup, Vargas returned to power as the democratically elected president in 1951, serving until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the longest of any President, and second in Brazilian history only to Emperor Pedro II among heads of state. He favored nationalism, industrialization, centralization, social welfare and populism – for the latter, Vargas won the nickname "The Father of the Poor". Vargas is one of a number of populists who arose during the 1930s in Latin America, including Lazaro Cardenas and Juan Peron who promoted nationalism and pursued social reform. He was a proponent of workers' rights as well as a staunch anti-communist. Vargas was brought to power by political outsiders and the rank and file of the Armed Forces in the Revolution of 1930, a reaction to his loss in elections earlier that year. His ascent marked the end of the Brazilian Old Republic and São Paulo-Minas alliance dominated coffee with milk politics. He successfully influenced the outcome of the Brazilian presidential election of 1934, and used fears of a Communist uprising to institute an authoritarian corporatist regime in 1937 known as the New State, modeled off of Mussolini's Italy and Salazar's Portugal. Vargas went on to appease and eventually dominate his supporters, and pushed his political agenda as he built a propaganda machine around his figure.

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Libyan rebel leader Omar Muktar under arrest by Italian colonial forces in Libya.

Cyrenaican rebel leader Omar Mukhtar (the man in robes with a chain on his left arm) after his arrest by Italian armed forces in 1931 at the end of the Pacification of Libya, an Italian colonial campaign of repressing indigeneous Libyan resistance to Italian colonial rule that occurred from 1928 to 1932. Fascist Italy authorized the use of concentration camps, deliberate targetting of civilians, and ethnic cleansing, resulting in mass deaths of the population of the region of Cyrenaica in Libya. Fascist Italy's ethnic cleansing in Libya was aimed at allowing Italian settlers to take the territories and property formerly held by indigenous Libyans.

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Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini, "Diuturna"

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