The multiplicity of meanings and connotations with which the word “fascism” is used remains a fertile source of confusion and misunderstanding. The clearest and least controversial usage is as a referent to what we may call “classical fascism”—that is, the movement in interwar Italy led by Benito Mussolini, who was the first to coin the term “fascism,” and by extension the movements in other countries that closely modeled themselves on the Italian prototype. By the standards of customary political discourse, however, this usage is an extremely narrow one, not even encompassing German national-socialism, which never referred to itself as fascist. 1 It is, in any case, patently inadequate to an investigation of a society so far removed in space and time from interwar Italy as post-Soviet Russia. We therefore need a more broadly applicable definition of generic fascism.