The political word "Fascist" also comes from this root. The "Fascis" or bundle of sticks was a symbol of legal authority in ancient Rome. A Senator had a cadre of lictors, essentially bodyguards and police officers, who would deliver miscreants to him for judgment. They carried the fascis as they preceded him on his daily rounds.
When Benito Mussolini's Fascist Party came to power in Italy in 1922, he wanted to link his own regime's existence with the glories of the past, and lend to his comic-opera empire overtones of the great Roman one (and hence to liken Mussolini to the Emperors). As part of this public-relations campaign, he strewed images and symbols of ancient Rome—including the fascis—liberally throughout his propaganda. Since then "Fascist" has generally come to mean any authoritarian regime, especially non-Socialist or non-Communist ones.
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