Neo-Nazi groups flourished in the early 1990s after German re-unification led to high unemployment in the former East Germany.

Tom Stoddart/Getty Images

Neo-fascism

Today, governments that ascribe to some traditionally fascist ideals like racial purity and the dominance of State interests now pursue these ideals in forms like:

  • Anti-immigration laws
  • Small, progressive limitations on civil rights in the name of giving a democratic state more power to protect the populace from external aggressors
  • Isolationist foreign policy
  • Government intervention in means of production to secure the state from shortages and economic downturns.

One fascist value that's now universally rejected is that of military aggression for conquest's sake. That ideal was never successfully transformed into a more middle of the road philosophy.

However, the fall of true fascism in 1945 didn't destroy the movement. Neo-fascism (sometimes "neo-Nazism" if it's specifically based on the views of Hitler) is alive and somewhat well. Mostly, neo-fascism is a variety of small, separate movements through the world that espouse the ideals of power, supremacy and ethnic purity. These groups don't have the power to pursue the military component of fascism, but they do sometimes maintain the violence.

Neo-fascists took responsibility for the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995; a series of bombings in Germany in the 1990s targeting immigrants; and several bombings in London in 1999 against racial minorities and homosexuals. On the other hand, there are neo-fascist movements that are strangely sensitive in their pursuit of fascist ideals. Some espouse of a "love of difference" instead of a belief in racial supremacy. They claim to want to prevent inter-racial mingling because difference is a good thing, not because one race is better than another [source: Encyclopeadia Britannica].

While neo-fascism is widespread, so far it hasn't become powerful enough to take hold in any significant way. But not for lack of trying. Neo-fascists attempt to gain support and power the same way other political groups do: legitimate political involvement, literary publications and all sorts of Internet marketing.

For lots more information on fascism and other political philosophies, look over the links on the next page.­