Conservatives are often labeled "fascist." This is a slur and is false.
Liberals drop the “F” word on conservatives, accusing them of being "fascist". They assert that fascism is on the right of the political spectrum, along with capitalism. They admit that socialism and communism are on the left. They sometimes assert that a “far-right conservative” is akin to Hitler. Nothing could be further from the truth – it is much more akin to the theories of the Left.
Facism is variously defined in dictionaries. The Oxford Dictionary gives a short and totally false definition: “an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.” This sentence was probably constructed by a stoned, liberal, British professor.
Merriam-Webster’s is less polarized but equally deceptive: “: a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government.” and a second: “: very harsh control or authority.” This merely describes any dictatorship, which can be left or right-wing.
WordReference.com also asserts that facism is right-wing. “1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism 2. any ideology, movement, programme, tendency, etc, that may be characterized as right-wing, chauvinist, authoritarian, etc. 3. prejudice in relation to the subject specified: body fascism”
There is something of a consensus that “right-wing” includes the Nazis of Germany and the Italian Facists. Look up “right-wing” vs. “left-wing” in Wikipedia and you’ll get a long dissertation which places those groups within the “right-wing.” Perhaps, in the past, there was more truth in the assumption. But, let’s take a look at (pardon the expression) – history.
Facism began in Italy, followed soon after by the Nazi movement in Germany. The end of World War I left two very damaged nations, Germany and Italy, which had fought on opposing sides. Both countries were left with devastated economies – with many surviving army veterans unemployed, including many wounded ones who needed ongoing medical care. Inflation and unemployment were rampant. Communist, socialist, and capitalist parties vied for power. The existing governments were weak and unable to correct the many problems. In Italy, a socialist newspaper columnist gained public attention: Benito Mussolini. He attacked his own party, claiming the socialists didn’t do enough for veterans, and broke away. The Facists organized around him, and under his guidance began marching in demonstrations, wearing uniforms and carrying weapons, because there was often violence against them. They became known as the “Black Shirts.” Consisting of many army veterans, they must have been very intimidating. They took power in 1922, although Italy technically remained a monarchy. Mussolini was very competent, greatly improving the economy, and Italy regained prosperity and status in the world under his leadership.
Adolf Hitler rose to power, again with many army veterans, by following the same pattern. His “Brown Shirts” demonstrated and intimidated more and more as they grew in influence. The Nazi rise was made possible by the age and weakness of the aging President von Hindenburg, and in 1933 Hitler became Chancellor by devious means.
Note that both the Italian and German fascist parties were splinter groups of the socialists. The notion that those fascists were “right-wing” probably came about because they were opponents of the traditional socialists (and everyone else who didn’t believe as they did.)
Like socialists, the early fascists took control of all means of production and the economy but did not end private property ownership. Personal freedom was greatly curtailed. Individuals were expected to totally serve the state, which controlled every aspect of life. In short, they were totalitarian regimes, more so in Germany than Italy, with few discernable differences from Communist societies such as Russia under Stalin and China under Mao.
To return to the slur of calling conservatives “fascist”, if you understand conservatives and libertarians, you know “fascist” is the exact opposite of what they truly are. People of the right want small, efficient government, personal freedom, individual responsibility, and a free-running capitalist economy that provides jobs for everyone willing to work. Calling conservatives "fascist" is an example of the leftist practice of describing someone else as you yourself actually are.