Uploaded by lovebug88 on Feb 25, 2004
Totalitarianism is a system of modern autocratic government and ideology in which all social, political, economic, intellectual, cultural, and spiritual activities are subordinated to the purposes of the rulers of a state. The state involves itself in all aspects of society, including the daily life of its citizens. A totalitarian government controls the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population, removing the distinction between state and society. The primary concern of the community is the citizen’s duty to the state and the goal of the state is to make the existing society perfect.. Various totalitarian governments, however, have different ideological goals. For example, the communist regimes of the Soviet Union, under Stalin and People’s Republic of China, under Mao wanted “universal fulfillment of humankind” through the establishment of a society with no classes. Germany, on the other hand, attempted to establish the superiority of the Aryan race.
Although totalitarian states have many differences they have several characteristics in common, such as: the existence of an ideology that deals with all aspects of life and outlines means to attain the final goal and a single mass party through which the people are assembled to gather energy and support. The party is led by a dictator and the members of the ruling party become the elite of the nation. The party leadership controls the government system, which includes the police, military, communications, and economic and education systems. The people are often oppressed and terrorized by the police if they oppose the government. The dictator uses their secret police to maintain control over their nation. The use of propaganda helps the dictators to keep people on their side and in their own control. They make themselves look a good, prosperous, confident leaders that could help them achieve what they were looking for. In a totalitarian country, the state is the master, and individual its servants. Almost all totalitarian leaders are responsible for many of the worst horrors of the twentieth century.