I think a good way to start off a look at fascism is to look at the root: fasces.
Fasces are a bundle of wooden sticks with an axe blade emerging from the center, which is an image that traditionally symbolizes summary power and jurisdiction, and/or "strength through unity".In other words the root of fascism is government power. The power to make people behave the "right" way. In the modern sense it is the exaltation of government power. The idea that government force is the answer to most questions.
We have two sets of fascists in America. A division of labor from the Progressive (among the people who brought you alcohol prohibition) idea that one party should stand for both economic and personal morality (as they defined it). Today we have the economic fascists party and the moral fascist party. And both of those groups believe they are opposed to each other. Too funny.
Cross Posted at Classical Values