Totalitarianism is a state power system based on total state control over all spheres of society and human life. The starting point of the totalitarian model is the declaration of some supreme goal in the name of which the political regime persuades and forces society to give up all traditional political, legal, and cultural models.

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At the same time, the masses unite not through positive awareness of common interests but based on negative self-identification. Totalitarianism can be seen as a phenomenon of industrial mass society of the 20th century, since the practical implementation of total state control over all aspects of society and the activities of individuals became possible only in the 20th century thanks to the development of technology, the spread of mass communication and the appearance of effective methods of manipulating mass consciousness, primarily through propaganda. Despite these objective trends, totalitarianism emerged only in certain countries.

Despite many common characteristics, it is preferable not to equate political systems such as Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, and Soviet Communism, which have different social origins, social functions, and goals. The idea of the domination of totalitarian regimes is not the control of society as such, but the movement itself. In this sense, the goal of totalitarianism is the organization of society for the total reorganization of society, a program of implementation based on an unshakable belief in an imaginary world whose state will never be achieved.

Example of Totalitarianism government system

After World War II, attempts were made to justify totalitarianism as an independent system of government, distinct from all other forms of political repression as despotism and dictatorship and based on fundamentally new structures and mechanisms. Totalitarian movements with a totalitarian ideology, demanding total loyalty from their members, were able to master the state structure and extend forms of totalitarian governance, effectively abolishing the state. This is what happened with Bolshevik Communism in the USSR and Hitler’s National Socialism in Germany. In other cases, on the contrary, after seizing power, they merged with the state structures, giving rise to one-party dictatorships of the fascist type, as happened in Italy and some other countries of Southern Europe.

Other Politic Archetypes

Confederations and federations ; Rural communities ; Empire ; Supranational ; Sovereign state ; Chiefdom ; Unitary ; Military Dictatorship ; Tribalism ; Totalitarianism ; Technocracy ; Theocracy ; Socialism ; Republicanism ; Plutocracy ; Populism ; Politeia ; Ochlocracy ; Oligarchy ; Monarchy ; Moderatism ; Meritocracy ; Libertarianism ; Liberalism ; Kleptocracy ; Fascism ; Feudalism ; Federalism ; Despotism ; Democracy ; Communism ; Colonialism ; Capitalism ; Bureaucracy ; Aristocracy ; Eco-Anarchу ; Anarchy

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