It doesn’t take much to convince people to embrace fascism, especially in an environment where people are afraid and unsure of the future (sound familiar? *cough* covid *cough*). But even in a healthy environment people can still be easily drawn into a fascist mindset. Sloganeering, a push for communal thinking, and a casting out of dissenters are just some of the signs that you’ve entered into fascist territory.
I remember when I was in high school, learning about WW2 Germany. Our teacher showed us a short film called The Wave. The film is based on a true story in which a California high school teacher conducted an experiment on his students. The experiment is known as The Third Wave Experiment, and in just five days the teacher turned his history students into a bunch of loyal fascists. It’s quite fascinating. It’s an older film, and it’s a bit cheesy, but it is worth watching…
Often when people think of the left wing/right wing political scale, they think of far left types of governments as being communism or socialism, while a far right example would be fascism. But that is not accurate.
The further right you go on the scale, the smaller the government gets. A libertarian, for example, who wants private schools, private healthcare, private road building, etc., would be quite far right on the political scale with the government being responsible for very little, and private citizens being responsible for much.
So, not only will you find communism and socialism at the extreme left end of the scale, but you will find fascism there as well, as fascism requires a large controlling government structure. The only real difference between communism and fascism is that fascism allows for private ownership while the government still controls the economy. What then, would lie at the far right? It would be no government, or anarchy.
It’s understandable, though, to mistakingly place fascism at the far right, as an anarchy can very quickly morph into a fascist dictatorship. In an anarchy, where individuals control everything, it’s just a matter of time before some of those individuals become very powerful, and, in order to maintain their power, they will have to actively oppose the rise of any others to the same level of power. Boom — there’s your fascist dictatorship. So, there is a wormhole from the far right (anarchy) to the far left (dictatorship).