Jason Stanley, a philosopher at Yale University, has recently written a book called How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them. He was interviewed on the Vox website.
His take on fascism is that it isn’t a system of government so much as a system of politics. In the interview, he summarizes fascism better than I’ve ever seen it done. See if this looks familiar.
In the past, fascist politics would focus on the dominant cultural group. The goal is to make them feel like victims, to make them feel like they’ve lost something and that the thing they’ve lost has been taken from them by a specific enemy, usually some minority out-group or some opposing nation.
This is why fascism flourishes in moments of great anxiety, because you can connect that anxiety with fake loss. The story is typically that a once-great society has been destroyed by liberalism or feminism or cultural Marxism or whatever, and you make the dominant group feel angry and resentful about the loss of their status and power. Almost every manifestation of fascism mirrors this general narrative.