Fascism is an economic system that marries the state to business, where business holds the title but state holds control.The idea that religious people cannot make thoughtful arguments is belied by R C Sproul Jr's commentary on fascism's true nature (audio at the link):
Some of you, though I trust not all of you, are familiar with what we call “Godwin’s law.” This is a particular law which is born out of empirical study of the Internet and it holds that, given enough time, any and all internet arguments will eventually involve some side of the argument accusing the other side of the argument of either being like Hitler or of being a Nazi. The corollary to that is that the first one to make that observation loses the argument.Related: Mitt Hitler and Double Standards: Godwin's Law Applies to Thee, But Not to Me
… The problem is, however, that because we don’t know what fascism is, and because we associate it with a bunch of accidental trappings to it, we miss it when it comes us.
Fascism, first and foremost, is an economic theory. It has precious little to do with the horrors of the Holocaust, it has precious little to do with world conquest, and it certainly has nothing whatever to do with goose stepping and “heil hitler” signs and all the other kinds of stock bad-guy things that we get from Nazi Germany.
Fascism is an economic system that is distinguished from socialism or communism in a very narrow way. Don’t forget that, while we like to present fascism as the hard right on the political spectrum and communism as the hard left on the political spectrum, fascism is a socialistic concept. The name “Nazi” stands for the “National Socialist Party.” What distinguishes the fascists and the communists is not socialism or not-socialism but rather national socialism versus international socialism.
There is also this critical distinction: communism exists as a theory that suggests that the only way to have economic justice is not merely to divvy up the fruit of production equally among all members of society, but that it is about ownership of the means of production. This has to be universal or ultimately in the hands of the state. The state owns the means of production.
Fascism disagrees with that. Fascism is a system that affirms that private individuals certainly may own property, they certainly may own the means of production, the tools and the factory, the ways in which things get made. What defines fascism however is that while individuals may own property or the means of production, control of that property and the means of production remains in the hand of the state.
Now if we know much at all about what ownership is, what property is, we would recognize that essential to the concept of “property” is control. If you control my car, you drive it, you fill it with gas when you want to fill it with gas, you change the oil when you want to change oil, but you let me hold onto the title in my file cabinet at home then I don’t really own that car, you own that car. Ownership requires control. Fascism then is that system that maintains the facade of private property, but what you end up having is this bizarre marriage of business and state. Where the business is protected by the state, the business is shielded from competition, guaranteed of profits but ultimately controlled by the state.
Does this, I wonder, sound awfully familiar to anyone? Fascism allows us to own property, but it tells us what we have to pay those who work inside our factory. It tells us what percentage of this material we must include in the thing that we make. It tells us how many hours people are allowed to work. It tells is this and it tells us that until finally you are left with the obvious conclusion that the state owns what we think we own because it controls all that we have.
Friends, we don’t have a socialist economy here in United States, despite all the squawking and screaming about President Obama. Nor do we have a free market, despite what we would like to believe or what we once might have enjoyed. What we are living in, economically speaking, is fascism where property is held privately in name only, but controlled by an army of bureaucrats from the central government.
This is one reason why we are called to love and to seek liberty because fascism is a betrayal and assault upon the right of property–a right which was given to us by God Himself. That is what our founding documents say and, more importantly still, that is what the ten commandments say. Fascism isn’t just bad economics, it is theft.