To treat fascism as a social movement in a transnational context is to buck the trend in studies of so-called ‘generic fascism’. The purpose of the latter is to derive a ‘model’, ‘definition’, or ‘ideal-type’ of fascism from observation of its primary ‘case’, the Fascist movement in Italy, perhaps supplemented with features of German National Socialism. This model would capture the essence of the phenomenon and its dynamic and permit us to recognize ‘cases’ of fascism even where protagonists rejected the label. Theories of generic fascism suffer from general and specific problems. Generally, they exaggerate the explanatory power of models of any type and they take for granted that ‘cases’ of fascism are national variants of the same essence. They also harden concepts that were contested and fluid in practical politics. Specifically, and directly relevant to this essay, models of generic fascism rely unwittingly on understandings of social action derived from late nineteenth-century crowd psychology, from which social movement theory has—in principle—liberated itself.