My fascistograph index would rank the following as the vital, core factors and roots of fascism in a society, from the most important powers at the top down.
1. A hardcore, totalitarian party masquerading as the people’s party, but secretly working totally with the rich and powerful corporations, uniting them under the party. [Fascism, unlike communism and other forms of socialism and so on, is above all a corporatist form of totalitarianism.]
2. Stroking mass vanity with big lies – “Germany over all,” “America is the greatest nation in the world.” And mass greed and lust for power with utopian promises of free money and endless prosperity and great conquests over nature and nations
3. Infiltration secretly by the party of all major institutions at the top by secret take-overs, threats, bribes, co-optation, etc.
4. Secret media content control in many ways by the ruler[s]
5. Imperial powers, party powers, the ruler principle
6. Massive, powerful secret police under direct control of the ruler[s], spying, black ops,
7. Secretly taking over the traditional laws and institutions, hollowing them out and refilling the empty forms with fascist ideology
8. Filling the government secretly with party hacks and puppets from top to bottom
9. Politically correct education and mass-mind training from early age [pre-school onward]
10. Foreigners, racial or religious or party groups or others used as “evil and secret witches” to stoke terror and blood lust for wars, used as threats and as conquests to fuel vanity and hubris. [Germany and the US. Used the "communists" as witches to inspire terror and hate and blood lust in their early rise to power, then used religious-race groups, foreign enemies, drug fiends destroying the nation, etc.]
Fascist regimes follow this general index of core factors. But they differ widely in specific, public details. Germany was very different in public from Italy, Mexico, etc. But their core was roughly the same, though the rose to power in somewhat different ways, ranking the index factors somewhat differently.
Note that factors often mistakenly seen as core factors of fascism, such as “racism,” are common but not really core factors. The rulers use racism when it is useful and shun it when it is not. Hitler and the US used racism blatantly in later years. Hitler had screamed against the Jews in Mein Kampf, but most people did not take it too seriously until later. The US fascist system grew by incorporating poor blacks and browns, raging against the “commie witches” and “drug fiends” and “Russian witches” and “Chinese witches” and “Iraqi witches” and on and on, but recently has become virulently anti-Islam, treating that as a “racial taint,” though technically it is religious, not racial.
Needless to say, there has been vast historical and political argument about what the real fascism is. Much of this has been ideological. The historical truth is clearly that there are different forms of monarchy, democracy, fascism, communism and so on. There are common, core factors in such categories when used correctly, empirically [historically], but there are always important variations. The US fascism system pretends to be drastically different from German and Italian fascism, but is a corporatist, totalitarian, party system masquerading as the “welfare state” for all the people and so on down the index. The US Is much more like Italian, Mussolini, fascism than like Hitler’s ruler-dominated party.
I have thought endlessly about this core issue for most of my adult life, but I do not pretend to be a ruler dictating such things. There are good arguments for different rankings of the core index factors, certainly because there have been real historical differences in fascist systems, like in democracy systems. I have used the Nazi, Italian, and US fascist systems as my main historical examples for constructing this core index and have used the US as the most important fascist system, since it is the one that threatens all of mankind today.
America is mankind’s existential threat – a doomsday threat with immense, world shattering arsenals of weapons of mass destruction of every kind, from thermonuclear weapons to utopian financial central planning of money.