Just so I'm clear on this question - after hearing it again bandied aboot, on Hartmann... I KNOW that fascism means the merger of governmental and corporate powers, as in prewar Italy. Although this occurred also in Germany somewhat, (I KNOW), that NAZIsm does not fit this definition. Hartmann says that NAZIsm was, instead, a mass cult. Well - it was a cult of Arianism and racism, and perverted Nietzscheism and Wagnerism and Hegelism - and it COULD have taken a better course and been a Hessian and Einsteinian cult, (something like Germany today) - but it was a cult entirely underwritten by global corporations and families. To say a NAZI type cult can't happen again, since it was something sociological, is really naive. One stream of definition of fascism is simply government RULE BY FORCE, most likely in cahoots with major corporations. As far as I'm concerned, NAZIsm was a form of STATISM - with all the oppression and STASIS that implies, and it became FASCISM when it expanded its rule by force.
Here's the problem with making the egghead distinction that fascism was only as Hartmann defines it, corporations + government: It is in the nature of capitalism that this combination INEVITABLY LEADS TO RULE BY FORCE. Corporations use government to end regulations, gaining free reign to expand well into the commons and into information and media and into personal privacy and rights, in order to extract it's sustenance of profit. And therefore they ultimately require government to enforce their intrusions. Capitalism unregulated is ultimately theft and murder. Now WHY would corporations align and conspire in the first place? Because they are now, or inherently, DYSFUNCTIONAL - meaning that they can't make a decent profit in the game field, and now they need special favours. They need to cheat. They need to wipe out other competitors, such as small businesses, unions, environmental restrictions, the free choice of individuals, and I SAY: exogenous capitalism itself. They have one goal, stated or not, which is political CONTROL. Control, after all, is what money brings. And when money weakens as a tool, the switch is over to political means for control. Precisely because the nation's economy, with them in it, is dysfunctional and dying. Where progressive alternatives and technologies are badly needed to revive the economy, established megacorps entrench and BLOCK this progress, which is not of their direction. And WHY would government align and conspire with the megacorps? Because the public philosophy or wealth has corroded. The people are falling out of control. Taxes are not enough. Megacorps offer the perfect opportunity and means to exact compliance and to impose control. Government isn't so much interesting in building a prosperous future for all than in maintaining its politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats in comfortable control. It is all a conspiracy to convolute, self-retard, go backwards - DESTROY - so long as select power is enhanced. And the public philosophy, or the social psychology, now weak, looks up to these bastards in identification and emulation. So, fascism leads to rule by force. Fascism BEGINS as rule by force through insidious taxes, fees and demands, and ends in petty games where thousands of lives are snuffed out. How hard is that to understand?
And here's why NOT calling NAZIsm "fascism" is a bad choice. NAZIsm represented the National Socialist Party, which was premised in Marxist theory that corrupt capitalism should give way to communism, via a phase or two of socialism. Workers unite. This party, however, was hijacked by Hitler's Brownshirts, and converted into a politically fundamentalist, right-wing party, which based itself on an Hegelian idea that the economy could be transformed by reference to, and synthesis via, IDEALS or ABSOLUTES, such as ideals of racial supremacy. This is different to the Marxist dialectic, which is grounded in physical materialism, as represented by LABOUR, being the referential absolute. NAZIsm is top-down, true Socialism is bottom-up, through the assistance of proper state apparati. Of course, so-called "corporate socialism" is something different, corporatism, or fascism, or statism - and a very perverse apparatus indeed. Even libertarianism which allows the emergence of such corporatism through deregulations can use concepts of liberalism in supporting this development, but it is neither liberal nor libertarian. It is not socialism.
When we say that NAZIsm was not fascism, then, we support the idea that NAZIsm was a socialist movement and that is NOT something I think any liberal progressive believes, but which many on the right choose to believe, and announce from high heaven. NAZIsm was more related to feudalism than it was to classical liberalism, libertarianism, OR SOCIALISM. So I am quite OK with calling NAZIsm FASCISM. Finally, I have no problem withe the idea that states based on socialistic ideas and policies may devolve into RULE BY FORCE, as in China or North Korea today. (Indeed, Italian fascism in Spain and Italy first arose out of the Anarcho-Syndicalist movement, while there emerged a bit of a falling-out). And that too may be considered fascism, especially if it involves a conspiracy with megacorps, as in China. North Korea is plainly a military state too poor to even afford to be called fascism - as rule by force is not the only factor defining my idea of fascism. Most political scientists today would probably describe China and North Korea as examples of STATISM. I agree. Prewar NAZI Germany was also STATISM. And many would say that the U.S.A. is as well. In the CORPORATISM form. When it comes down to it, whatever the ideology, when corporations merge with governments, and VICE VERSA, the result become statism, and most likely fascist statism eventually. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
My strict definition of "fascism" is this: When corporatism rules by force.