I learned a few things in college. One of them was a checklist of identifying characteristics of fascism. There are certain ingredients in fascism that make it undeniably fascist. Not all fascist societies had all the ingredients, but they are key to identifying the system in question.
It's a weird analogy, but think of asian cuisine. You see stir-fry chicken dishes all over east Asia. But if the dish has lemongrass in it, you know it is southeast Asian.
It is similar with political systems. You could examine two similar systems that have a totalitarian, military junta in-charge, a strong propaganda infrastructure, and state-ownership of industry. You're pretty sure one of them is communist. But if the other has added flavors such as xenophobia, constant scapegoating of immigrants and ethnic minorities, and an explicit rape/humiliation claim to motivate and anger the people, then that one is fascist.
Case in point: