Scholars address fascism either as political ideology and mass movement or as political regime, but there is no universally accepted definition and no consensus with regard to its origins, attributes, or manifestations. In the post–World War II (WWII) world, fascism and fascist became two terms pejoratively used to describe any (real or perceived) authoritarian, conservative, or right-wing regime, policy, or person, which further complicated any attempt at a universal definition. The term fascism originates from the Italian fascio and the Latin fasces, meaning a bundle of rods tied around an ax, and it symbolizes discipline, authority, and strength through unity. Fascist states were notorious for surveillance of its citizens and suppression of many individual privacy rights. This entry provides a brief review of the history ...

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