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Totalitarianism is a
form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department ...
and a
political system In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such ...
that prohibits all opposition parties, outlaws individual opposition to the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
and its claims, and exercises an extremely high degree of control and regulation over public and private life. It is regarded as the most extreme and complete form of
authoritarianism Authoritarianism is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a mon ...
. In totalitarian states,
political power In social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refe ...
is often held by
autocrats Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power over a state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps fo ...
, such as
dictator A dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power. A dictatorship A dictatorship is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the c ...
s and absolute monarchs, who employ all-encompassing campaigns in which
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence an audience and further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a pa ...
is broadcast by state-controlled
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement fo ...
in order to control the citizenry. It remains a useful word but the old 1950s theory was considered to be outdated by the 1980s, and is defunct among scholars. The proposed concept gained prominent influence in Western anti-communist and McCarthyist political discourse during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span ...
era as a tool to convert pre-
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
anti-fascism Anti-fascism is a political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo  and are o ...

anti-fascism
into post-war
anti-communism Anti-communism is a political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo  and are o ...

anti-communism
. As a
political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones." Formerly applied prim ...
in itself, totalitarianism is a distinctly
modernist Modernism is both a philosophical movement A philosophical movement refers to the phenomenon defined by a group of philosophers A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and ...
phenomenon, and it has very complex historical roots. Philosopher
Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British , and . One of the 20th century's most influential , Popper is known for his rejection of the classical views on the in favour of . According to Popper, a ...

Karl Popper
traced its roots to
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thoug ...

Plato
,
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For cit ...
's conception of the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
, and the political philosophy of
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
, although Popper's conception of totalitarianism has been criticized in academia, and remains highly controversial. Other philosophers and historians such as and
Max Horkheimer Max Horkheimer (; ; 14 February 1895 – 7 July 1973) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdo ...

Max Horkheimer
trace the origin of totalitarian doctrines to the
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link= ...
, especially to the anthropocentrist idea that "Man has become the master of the world, a master unbound by any links to nature, society, and history." In the 20th century, the idea of absolute state power was first developed by
Italian Fascists Italian Fascism ( it, fascismo italiano), also known as Classical Fascism or simply Fascism, is the original fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, ...
, and concurrently in Germany by a jurist and
Nazi Nazism ( ), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about th ...
academic named
Carl Schmitt Carl Schmitt (; 11 July 1888 – 7 April 1985) was a German jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessarily with a formal ...
during the
Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic (german: Weimarer Republik ) was the German state from 1918 to 1933 when it functioned as a federal constitutional republic. The state was officially named the German Reich (german: Deutsches Reich, link=no, label=none), ...
in the 1920s. , the founder of Italian Fascism, defined fascism as such: "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." Schmitt used the term ''Totalstaat'' () in his influential 1927 work titled ''
The Concept of the Political ''The Concept of the Political'' (German: ''Der Begriff des Politischen'') is a 1932 book by the German philosopher and jurist Carl Schmitt Carl Schmitt (; 11 July 1888 – 7 April 1985) was a German jurist A jurist is a person with expert ...
'', which described the legal basis of an all-powerful state. Totalitarian regimes are different from other
authoritarian Authoritarianism is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a mon ...
regimes, as the latter denotes a state in which the single power holder, usually an individual dictator, a committee, a
military junta A military junta () is a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of ...
, or an otherwise small group of political elites, monopolizes political power. A totalitarian regime may attempt to control virtually all aspects of social life, including the economy, the education system, arts, science, and the private lives and morals of citizens through the use of an elaborate
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of ...
. It can also mobilize the whole population in pursuit of its goals.


Definition

Totalitarian regimes are often characterized by extreme
political repression Political repression is the act of a state entity controlling a citizenry by force for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing the citizenry's ability to take part in the political life of a society ...
, to a greater extent than those of authoritarian regimes, under an undemocratic government, widespread
personality cultism Personality is defined as the characteristic sets of behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences) is the Action (philosophy), action ...
around the person or the group which is in power, absolute
control over the economy Economic interventionism, sometimes also called state interventionism, is an Economic policy, economic policy position favouring government intervention in the Market (economics), market process to correct market failures and promote the Public i ...
, large-scale
censorship Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by governments ...

censorship
and
mass surveillance Mass surveillance is the intricate surveillance of an entire or a substantial fraction of a population in order to monitor that group of citizens. The surveillance is often carried out by local and federal governments or intelligence agency, gov ...
systems, limited or non-existent
freedom of movement Freedom of movement, mobility rights, or the right to travel is a human rights concept encompassing the right of individuals to travel from place to place within the territory of a country,Jérémiee Gilbert, ''Nomadic Peoples and Human Rights'' ...
(the freedom to leave the country), and the widespread usage of
state terrorism State terrorism refers to acts of terrorism Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in the context of war ...
. Other aspects of a totalitarian regime include the extensive use of
internment camps Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or intent to file charges. The term is especially used for the confinement "of enemy citizens in war War is an intense armed conflict between states ...
, an omnipresent
secret police Secret police (or political police) are intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstr ...
, practices of
religious persecution Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or a group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs or affiliations or their lack thereof. The tendency of societies or groups within societies to alienate or r ...
or
racism Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to inherited attributes and can be divided based on the superiority Superior may refer to: *Superior (hierarchy), something which is higher in a hie ...

racism
, the imposition of
theocratic Theocracy is a form of government in which a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polytheistic relig ...
rule or
state atheism State atheism is the incorporation of positive atheism or non-theism Nontheism or non-theism is a range of both religious and nonreligious attitudes characterized by the absence of espoused belief in a God God, in monotheistic thought, ...
, the common use of death penalties and
show trials A show trial is a public trial Public trial or open trial is a trial (law), trial that is open to the public, as opposed to a secret trial. It should not be confused with a show trial. United States The Sixth Amendment to the United States C ...
, fraudulent elections (if they took place), the possible possession of
weapons of mass destruction A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a nuclear, radiological File:Radioactive.svg, upThe international symbol for types and levels of ionizing radiation (radioactivity) that are unsafe for Radiation shield, unshielded humans. Radiation, ...
, a potential for state-sponsored
mass murders Mass murder is the act of murdering a number of people, typically simultaneously or over a relatively short period of time and in close geographic proximity. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI defines mass murder as murdering four or more ...
and
genocides Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic group, ethnic, nationality, national, race (classification of humans), racial, or religion, religious group—in whole or in part. A term coined by Raphael L ...
, and the possibility of engaging in a
war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

war
, or
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
against other countries, which is often followed by
annexation Annexation (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, ...
of their territories. Historian
Robert Conquest George Robert Acworth Conquest (15 July 1917 – 3 August 2015) was a British historian and poet. A long-time research fellow at Stanford University , mottoeng = "The wind of freedom blows" , type = Private university, Private research u ...
describes a totalitarian state as a state which recognizes no limit on its authority in any sphere of public or private life and extends that authority to whatever length it considers feasible. Totalitarianism is contrasted with
authoritarianism Authoritarianism is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a mon ...
. According to Radu Cinpoes, an authoritarian state is "only concerned with political power, and as long as it is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty." Cinpoes writes that authoritarianism "does not attempt to change the world and human nature." In contrast,
Richard Pipes Richard Edgar Pipes ( pl, Ryszard Pipes; July 11, 1923 – May 17, 2018) was an American academic who specialized in Russian and Soviet history. He published several books critical of communist regimes throughout his career.Kenez, Peter, and Rich ...
stated that the officially proclaimed
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of ...
"penetrating into the deepest reaches of societal structure, and the totalitarian government seeks to completely control the thoughts and actions of its citizens."
Carl Joachim Friedrich Carl Joachim Friedrich (; ; born June 5, 1901, Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million ...
wrote that " totalist ideology, a party reinforced by a
secret police Secret police (or political police) are intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstr ...
, and monopolistic control of industrial mass society are the three features of totalitarian regimes that distinguish them from other autocracies."


Academia and historiography

The academic field of Sovietology after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
and during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span ...
was dominated by the "totalitarian model" of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
, stressing the absolute nature of
Joseph Stalin ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgians, Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who governed the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953. He held power both as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952 ...
's power. The "totalitarian model" was first outlined in the 1950s by
Carl Joachim Friedrich Carl Joachim Friedrich (; ; born June 5, 1901, Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million ...
, who posited that the Soviet Union and other
Communist state A communist state, also known as a Marxist–Leninist state, is a one-party state that is administered and governed by a communist party guided by Marxism–Leninism. Marxism–Leninism was the Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Uni ...
s were "totalitarian" systems, with the
personality cult Personality is defined as the characteristic sets of behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors. While there is no generally agreed upon definition of personality, most theories focus on mot ...
and almost unlimited powers of the "great leader" such as Stalin. The "revisionist school" beginning in the 1960s focused on relatively autonomous institutions which might influence policy at the higher level. Matt Lenoe described the "revisionist school" as representing those who "insisted that the old image of the Soviet Union as a totalitarian state bent on world domination was oversimplified or just plain wrong. They tended to be interested in social history and to argue that the Communist Party leadership had had to adjust to social forces." These of "revisionist school" such as J. Arch Getty and Lynne Viola challenged the "totalitarian model" approach to Communist history, which was considered to be outdated by the 1980s and for the post-Stalinist era in particular, and were most active in the former Communist states' archives, especially the
State Archive of the Russian Federation The State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) (russian: Государственный архив Российской Федерации (ГАРФ)) is a large Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federa ...
related to the Soviet Union. According to
John Earl Haynes John Earl Haynes (born 1944) is an American historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past a ...
and
Harvey Klehr Harvey Elliott Klehr (born December 25, 1945) is a professor of politics and history at Emory University. Klehr is known for his books on the subject of the United States, American Communism, Communist movement, and on Soviet Union, Soviet espionage ...
, the historiography is characterized by a split between "traditionalists" and "revisionists." "Traditionalists" characterize themselves as objective reporters of an alleged totalitarian nature of
communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communism
and Communist states. They are criticized by their opponents as being
anti-communist Anti-communism is a political movement and ideology opposed to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet U ...

anti-communist
, even fascist, in their eagerness on continuing to focus on the issues of the Cold War. Alternative characterizations for traditionalists include "anti-communist", "conservative", "Draperite" (after
Theodore DraperTheodore H. "Ted" Draper (1912–2006) was an American historian and political writer. Draper is best known for the 14 books he completed during his life, including work regarded as seminal on the formative period of the American Communist Party, t ...
), "orthodox", and "right-wing." Norman Markowitz, a prominent "revisionist", referred to them as "reactionaries", "right-wing romantics", and "triumphalist" who belong to the "
HUAC The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HCUA), popularly dubbed the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), and from 1969 onwards known as the House Committee on Internal Security, was an investigative United States Congressional co ...
school of
CPUSA The Communist Party USA, officially the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), is a in the established in 1919 after a split in the following the . The history of the CPUSA is closely related to the and communist parties ...
scholarship." "Revisionists", characterized by Haynes and Klehr as
historical revisionists In historiography, the term historical revisionism identifies the interpretation (disambiguation) , re-interpretation of a historical account. It usually involves challenging the wikt:orthodox, orthodox (established, accepted or traditional) view ...
, are more numerous and dominate academic institutions and learned journals. A suggested alternative formulation is "new historians of American communism", but that has not caught on because these historians describe themselves as unbiased and scholarly, contrasting their work to the work of anti-communist "traditionalists", whom they term biased and unscholarly. According to William Zimmerman, "the Soviet Union has changed substantially. Our knowledge of the Soviet Union has changed as well. We all know that the traditional paradigm no longer satisfies, despite several efforts, primarily in the early 1960s (the directed society, totalitarianism without terror, the mobilization system) to articulate an acceptable variant. We have come to realize that models which were, in effect, offshoots of totalitarian models do not provide good approximations of post-Stalinist reality." According to Michael Scott Christofferson, "Arendt's reading of the post-Stalin USSR can be seen as an attempt to distance her work from 'the Cold War misuse of the concept.'" Historian John Connelly wrote that ''totalitarianism'' is a useful word but that the old 1950s theory about it is defunct among scholars. Connelly wrote: "The word is as functional now as it was 50 years ago. It means the kind of regime that existed in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Soviet satellites, Communist China, and maybe Fascist Italy, where the word originated. ... Who are we to tell Václav Havel or Adam Michnik that they were fooling themselves when they perceived their rulers as totalitarian? Or for that matter any of the millions of former subjects of Soviet-type rule who use the local equivalents of the Czech ''totalita'' to describe the systems they lived under before 1989? It is a useful word and everyone knows what it means as a general referent. Problems arise when people confuse the useful descriptive term with the old 'theory' from the 1950s." The totalitarian model perspective of equating
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
and the
Soviet Union under Stalin The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
is considered to be long discredited.


Politics


Early usage

The notion that totalitarianism is total political power which is exercised by the state was formulated in 1923 by
Giovanni Amendola Giovanni Amendola (15 April 1882 in Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ; grc, wikt:Νεάπολις, Νεάπολις, Neápolis), from grc, Νεάπολις, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-larges ...
, who described
Italian Fascism Italian Fascism ( it, fascismo italiano), also known as Classical Fascism or simply Fascism, is the original fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism ...
as a system which was fundamentally different from conventional
dictatorship A dictatorship is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...
s. The term was later assigned a positive meaning in the writings of
Giovanni Gentile Giovanni Gentile (; 30 May 1875 – 15 April 1944) was an Italians, Italian neo-Hegelianism, Hegelian Idealism, idealist philosopher, educator, and fascist politician. The self-styled "philosopher of Fascism", he was influential in providing an ...

Giovanni Gentile
, Italy's most prominent philosopher and leading theorist of
fascism Fascism () is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europ ...

fascism
. He used the term ''totalitario'' to refer to the structure and goals of the new state which was to provide the "total representation of the nation and total guidance of national goals." He described totalitarianism as a society in which the ideology of the state had influence, if not power, over most of its citizens. According to , this system politicizes everything spiritual and human: "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." One of the first people to use the term ''totalitarianism'' in the English language was the Austrian writer
Franz Borkenau Franz Borkenau (December 15, 1900 – May 22, 1957) was an Austrian writer and publicist. Borkenau was born in Vienna en, Viennese , iso_code = AT-9 , registration_plate = Vehicle registration plates o ...
in his 1938 book ''The Communist International'', in which he commented that it united the Soviet and German dictatorships more than it divided them. The label ''totalitarian'' was twice affixed to
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
during
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, Winston Churchill in the Second World War, during the Second World War, ...

Winston Churchill
's speech of 5 October 1938, before the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
in opposition to the
Munich Agreement The Munich Agreement ( cs, Mnichovská dohoda; sk, Mníchovská dohoda; german: Münchner Abkommen) was an agreement concluded at on 30 September 1938, by , the , the , and the . It provided "cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territ ...
, by which France and Great Britain consented to Nazi Germany's annexation of the
Sudetenland The Sudetenland (; ; Czech and sk, Sudety) is the historical German name for the northern, southern, and western areas of former Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918– ...

Sudetenland
. Churchill was then a
backbencher In Westminster parliamentary systems, a backbencher is a member of parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency. In many countries with Bicameralism, bicameral parliaments, this ...
MP representing the Epping constituency. In a radio address two weeks later, Churchill again employed the term, this time applying the concept to "a Communist or a Nazi tyranny." José María Gil-Robles y Quiñones, the leader of the historic Spanish
reactionary In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such a ...
party called the
Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right The Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas (Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Rights), more commonly CEDA, was a Spanish political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's el ...
(CEDA), declared his intention to "give Spain a true unity, a new spirit, a totalitarian polity" and went on to say: "Democracy is not an end but a means to the conquest of the new state. When the time comes, either
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
submits or we will eliminate it." General
Francisco Franco Francisco Franco Bahamonde (; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general who led the Nationalist forces in overthrowing the Second Spanish Republic The Spanish Republic ( es, link=no, República Española), commonly ...

Francisco Franco
was determined not to have competing right-wing parties in Spain and CEDA was dissolved in April 1937. Later, Gil-Robles went into exile.
George Orwell Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950) known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed ...

George Orwell
made frequent use of the word ''totalitarian'' and its cognates in multiple essays published in 1940, 1941 and 1942. In his essay " Why I Write", Orwell wrote: "The and other events in 1936–37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for
democratic socialism Democratic socialism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ab ...
, as I understand it." He feared that future totalitarian regimes could exploit technological advances in surveillance and mass media in order to establish a permanent and worldwide dictatorship which would be incapable of ever being overthrown, writing: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." During a 1945 lecture series entitled "The Soviet Impact on the Western World" and published as a book in 1946, the British historian E. H. Carr wrote: "The trend away from individualism and towards totalitarianism is everywhere unmistakable" and that
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
was by far the most successful type of totalitarianism as proved by Soviet industrial growth and the
Red Army The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army,) frequently shortened to Red Army, was the army and air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links= ...
's role in defeating Germany. According to Carr, only the "blind and incurable" could ignore the trend towards totalitarianism. In ''
The Open Society and Its Enemies ''The Open Society and Its Enemies'' is a work on political philosophy by the philosopher Karl Popper, in which the author presents a "defence of the open society against its enemies", and offers a critique of theories of teleology, teleological hi ...
'' (1945) and ''
The Poverty of Historicism ''The Poverty of Historicism'' is a 1957 book by the philosopher Karl Popper, in which the author argues that the idea of historicism is dangerous and bankrupt. Publication ''The Poverty of Historicism'' was first written as a paper which was rea ...
'' (1961),
Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British , and . One of the 20th century's most influential , Popper is known for his rejection of the classical views on the in favour of . According to Popper, a ...

Karl Popper
articulated an influential critique of totalitarianism. In both works, Popper contrasted the "
open society Open society (french: société ouverte) is a term coined by French philosopher Henri Bergson in 1932 and describes a dynamic system inclined to moral universalism.Thomas Mautner (2005), 2nd ed. ''The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy'' Open soci ...
" of
liberal democracy Liberal democracy, also referred to as Western democracy, is the combination of a liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a L ...
with totalitarianism and posited that the latter is grounded in the belief that history moves toward an immutable future in accordance with knowable laws.


Cold War

In ''
The Origins of Totalitarianism ''The Origins of Totalitarianism'', published in 1951, was Hannah Arendt's first major work, wherein she describes and analyzes Nazism and Stalinism as the major totalitarian political movements of the first half of the 20th century. History ' ...
'',
Hannah Arendt Hannah Arendt (, also , ; 14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975) was a German-born American political theorist. Her many books and articles have had a lasting influence on political theory and philosophy. Arendt is widely considered one of ...
posited that
Nazi Nazism ( ), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about th ...
and
Communist regime A communist state, also known as a Marxist–Leninist state, is a one-party state A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state gover ...
s were new forms of government and not merely updated versions of the old
tyrannies A tyrant (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following peri ...
. According to Arendt, the source of the mass appeal of totalitarian regimes is their
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of ...
which provides a comforting and single answer to the mysteries of the past, present and future. For Nazism, all history is the history of race struggle and for
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
all history is the history of
class struggle Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class warfare, is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, socia ...
. Once that premise is accepted, all actions of the state can be justified by
appeal to nature An appeal to nature is an argument In logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit=possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative, translit=logikḗ)Also related to (''logo ...
or the law of history, justifying their establishment of authoritarian state apparatus. In addition to Arendt, many scholars from a variety of academic backgrounds and ideological positions have closely examined totalitarianism. Among the most noted commentators on totalitarianism are
Raymond Aron Raymond Claude Ferdinand Aron (; 14 March 1905 – 17 October 1983) was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning ' ...
, Lawrence Aronsen,
Franz Borkenau Franz Borkenau (December 15, 1900 – May 22, 1957) was an Austrian writer and publicist. Borkenau was born in Vienna en, Viennese , iso_code = AT-9 , registration_plate = Vehicle registration plates o ...
,
Karl Dietrich Bracher Karl Dietrich Bracher (13 March 1922 – 19 September 2016) was a German political scientist and historian of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. Born in Stuttgart, Bracher was awarded a Ph.D. in the classics by the University of Tübingen in 194 ...
,
Zbigniew Brzezinski Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski ( , ; March 28, 1928 – May 26, 2017), or Zbig, was a Polish-American Polish Americans ( pl, Polonia amerykańska) are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United State ...
,
Robert Conquest George Robert Acworth Conquest (15 July 1917 – 3 August 2015) was a British historian and poet. A long-time research fellow at Stanford University , mottoeng = "The wind of freedom blows" , type = Private university, Private research u ...
,
Carl Joachim Friedrich Carl Joachim Friedrich (; ; born June 5, 1901, Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million ...
,
Eckhard Jesse Eckhard Jesse (born 16 July 1948 in Wurzen Wurzen () is a town in the Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as ...
, Leopold Labedz,
Walter Laqueur Walter Ze'ev Laqueur (26 May 1921 – 30 September 2018) was a German-born American historian, journalist and political commentator. He was an influential scholar on the subjects of terrorism and political violence. Early life Walter Laqueur was ...
,
Claude Lefort Claude Lefort (; ; 21 April 1924 – 3 October 2010) was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdo ...
,
Juan Linz ''Juan'' is a given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a as well, and differentiates that person from the other members of a group (typically a ...
,
Richard Löwenthal Richard Löwenthal (April 15, 1908 – August 9, 1991) was a German journalist and professor who wrote mostly on the problems of democracy, communism, and world politics. Life Löwenthal was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of Ernst and Anna Lö ...
,
Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British , and . One of the 20th century's most influential , Popper is known for his rejection of the classical views on the in favour of . According to Popper, a ...

Karl Popper
,
Richard Pipes Richard Edgar Pipes ( pl, Ryszard Pipes; July 11, 1923 – May 17, 2018) was an American academic who specialized in Russian and Soviet history. He published several books critical of communist regimes throughout his career.Kenez, Peter, and Rich ...
,
Leonard Schapiro Leonard Bertram Naman Schapiro (22 April 1908 in Glasgow Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lon ...

Leonard Schapiro
and Adam Ulam. Each one of these described totalitarianism in slightly different ways, but they all agreed that totalitarianism seeks to mobilize entire populations in support of an official party ideology and is intolerant of activities that are not directed towards the goals of the party, entailing repression or state control of the business, labour unions,
non-profit organizations A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in contrast with an entity that oper ...
, religious organizations and minor political parties. At the same time, many scholars from a variety of academic backgrounds and ideological positions criticized the theorists of totalitarianism. Among the most noted were
Louis Althusser Louis Pierre Althusser (, ; ; 16 October 1918 – 22 October 1990) was a French Marxist philosopher Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical m ...
,
Benjamin Barber Benjamin R. Barber (August 2, 1939 – April 24, 2017) was an American political theorist {{unreferenced, date=June 2015 A political theorist is someone who engages in constructing or evaluating political theory, including political philosophy ...
,
Maurice Merleau-Ponty Maurice Jean Jacques Merleau-Ponty (; 14 March 1908 – 3 May 1961) was a French Phenomenology (philosophy), phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. The constitution of meaning in human experienc ...

Maurice Merleau-Ponty
and
Jean-Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (, ; ; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French people, French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary criticism, literary critic. He was one of the key ...

Jean-Paul Sartre
. They thought that totalitarianism was connected to Western ideologies and associated with evaluation rather than analysis. The concept became prominent in the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, Northern America, and Australasia.
's
anti-communist Anti-communism is a political movement and ideology opposed to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet U ...

anti-communist
political discourse during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span ...
era as a tool to convert pre-war
anti-fascism Anti-fascism is a political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo  and are o ...

anti-fascism
into postwar anti-communism. In 1956, the political scientists
Carl Joachim Friedrich Carl Joachim Friedrich (; ; born June 5, 1901, Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million ...
and
Zbigniew Brzezinski Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski ( , ; March 28, 1928 – May 26, 2017), or Zbig, was a Polish-American Polish Americans ( pl, Polonia amerykańska) are Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United State ...
were primarily responsible for expanding the usage of the term in university social science and professional research, reformulating it as a paradigm for the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
as well as
fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, are politics further on the right of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political right, particular ...

fascist
regimes. Friedrich and Brzezinski wrote that a totalitarian system has the following six mutually supportive and defining characteristics: # Elaborate guiding
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of ...
. # Single mass party, typically led by a
dictator A dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power. A dictatorship A dictatorship is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the c ...
. # System of terror, using such instruments as violence and
secret police Secret police (or political police) are intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstr ...
. # Monopoly on weapons. # Monopoly on the means of communication. # Central direction and control of the economy through
state planning A planned economy is a type of economic system where investment To invest is to allocate money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with th ...
. In the book titled '' Democracy and Totalitarianism'' (1968), French analyst
Raymond Aron Raymond Claude Ferdinand Aron (; 14 March 1905 – 17 October 1983) was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning ' ...
outlined five criteria for a regime to be considered as totalitarian: # A one-party state where one party has a monopoly on all political activity. # A state ideology upheld by the ruling party that is given status as the only authority. # State information monopoly that controls mass media for distribution of official truth. # State controlled economy with major economic entities under the control of the state. # Ideological terror that turns economic or professional actions into crimes. Violators are exposed to prosecution and to ideological persecution. According to this view, totalitarian regimes in Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union had initial origins in the chaos that followed in the wake of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and allowed totalitarian movements to seize control of the government while the sophistication of modern weapons and communications enabled them to effectively establish what Friedrich and Brzezinski called a "totalitarian dictatorship." Some social scientists have criticized Friedrich and Brzezinski's totalitarian approach, commenting that the Soviet system, both as a political and as a social entity, was in fact better understood in terms of
interest group Advocacy groups, also known as special interest groups, use various forms of advocacy Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social institutions. Advocacy include ...
s, competing elites, or even in
class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an analytical concept used differently f ...
terms, using the concept of the ''
nomenklatura The ''nomenklatura'' ( rus, номенклату́ра, p=nəmʲɪnklɐˈturə; la, nomenclatura) were a category of people within the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federal ...
'' as a vehicle for a new
ruling class In sociology, the ruling class of a society is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the ...
(
new class New class is used as a polemic term by critics of countries that followed the Soviet-type Communism to describe the privileged ruling class of bureaucrats and Communist party functionaries which arose in these states. Generally, the group known in ...
). These critics posit that there is evidence of the widespread dispersion of power, at least in the implementation of policy, among sectoral and regional authorities. For some followers of this pluralist approach, this was evidence of the ability of the regime to adapt to include new demands; however, proponents of the totalitarian model stated that the failure of the system to survive showed not only its inability to adapt but the mere formality of supposed popular participation. German historian
Karl Dietrich Bracher Karl Dietrich Bracher (13 March 1922 – 19 September 2016) was a German political scientist and historian of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. Born in Stuttgart, Bracher was awarded a Ph.D. in the classics by the University of Tübingen in 194 ...
, whose work is primarily concerned with Nazi Germany, posited that the "totalitarian typology" as developed by Friedrich and Brzezinski is an excessively inflexible model and failed to consider the "revolutionary dynamic" that for Bracher is at the heart of totalitarianism. Bracher posited that the essence of totalitarianism is the total claim to control and remake all aspects of society combined with an all-embracing ideology, the value on authoritarian leadership and the pretence of the common identity of state and society which distinguished the totalitarian "closed" understanding of politics from the "open" democratic understanding. Unlike the Friedrich and Brzezinski definition, Bracher said that totalitarian regimes did not require a single leader and could function with a
collective leadership Collective leadership is a distribution of power within an organizational structure. Communist examples China Collective leadership in China and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is generally considered to have begun with Deng Xiaoping in the lat ...
which led the American historian
Walter Laqueur Walter Ze'ev Laqueur (26 May 1921 – 30 September 2018) was a German-born American historian, journalist and political commentator. He was an influential scholar on the subjects of terrorism and political violence. Early life Walter Laqueur was ...
to posit that Bracher's definition seemed to fit reality better than the Friedrich–Brzezinski definition. Bracher's typologies came under attack from Werner Conze and other historians, who felt that Bracher "lost sight of the historical material" and used "universal, ahistorical concepts." In his 1951 book ''
The True Believer ''The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements'' is a non-fiction book authored by American philosopher Eric Hoffer. Published in 1951, it depicts a variety of arguments in terms of applied world history and social psychology ...
'',
Eric Hoffer Eric Hoffer (July 15, 1902 – May 21, 1983) was an American moral and social philosopher. He was the author of ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the to rec ...
posited that mass movements such as fascism, Nazism and Stalinism had a common trait in picturing Western democracies and their values as
decadent The word decadence, which at first meant simply "decline" in an abstract sense, is now most often used to refer to a perceived decay in standards, morals, dignity Dignity is the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake ...
, with people "too soft, too pleasure-loving and too selfish" to sacrifice for a higher cause, which for them implies an inner moral and biological decay. Hoffer added that those movements offered the prospect of a glorious future to frustrated people, enabling them to find a refuge from the lack of personal accomplishments in their individual existence. The individual is then assimilated into a compact collective body and "fact-proof screens from reality" are established. This stance may be connected to a religious fear for Communists. Paul Hanebrink has posited that many European Christians started to fear Communist regimes after the rise of Hitler, commenting: "For many European Christians, Catholic and Protestant alike, the new postwar 'culture war' crystallized as a struggle against communism. Across interwar Europe, Christians demonized the Communist regime in Russia as the apotheosis of secular materialism and a militarized threat to Christian social and moral order." For Hanebrink, Christians saw Communist regimes as a threat to their moral order and hoped to lead European nations back to their Christian roots by creating an anti-totalitarian census, which defined Europe in the early Cold War. Saladdin Ahmed criticized Friedrich and Brzezinski's book as lending itself to anti.communist propaganda "more easily"; for Saladdin, " ilosophically, their account of totalitarianism is invalid because it stipulates 'criteria' that amount to an abstracted description of Stalin's USSR, rendering the notion predeterministic" by positing that "all totalitarian regimes have 'an official ideology,' 'a single mass party led typically by one man,' 'a system of terroristic police control,' a party-controlled means of mass communication and armed forces, and a centralized economy." According to Saladdin, this account "can be invalidated quite straightforwardly, namely by determining whether a regime that lacks any one of the criteria could still be called totalitarian. If so, then the criterion in question is false, indicating the invalidity of their account." Saladdin cited the military dictatorship of Chile as a totalitarian example that would not fit under Friedrich and Brzezinski's defining characteristic, commenting that "it would be absurd to exempt it from the class of totalitarian regimes for that reason alone."


Post-Cold War

Laure Neumayer Laure Neumayer (born 1973) is a French political scientist. She is a maîtresse de conférences at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher edu ...
posited that "despite the disputes over its heuristic value and its normative assumptions, the concept of totalitarianism made a vigorous return to the political and academic fields at the end of the Cold War." In the 1990s,
François Furet François Furet (; 27 March 1927 – 12 July 1997) was a French historian and president of the Saint-Simon Foundation, best known for his books on the French Revolution. From 1985 to 1997, Furet was a professor of French history at the University o ...
made a comparative analysis and used the term ''
totalitarian twins A number of authors have carried out comparisons of Nazism and Stalinism in which they have considered the similarities and differences of the two ideologies and political systems, what relationship existed between the two regimes, and why both of ...
'' to link
Nazism Nazism ( ), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about th ...

Nazism
and
Stalinism Stalinism is the means of governing and policies which were implemented in the Soviet Union from 1927 to 1953 by Joseph Stalin. It included the creation of a one-party totalitarian police state; rapid industrialization; the theory of socialis ...
.
Eric Hobsbawm Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm (; 9 June 1917 – 1 October 2012) was a British historian of the rise of industrial capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership Private property is a legal designation for ...

Eric Hobsbawm
criticized Furet for his temptation to stress a common ground between two systems of different ideological roots. In the field of Soviet history, the totalitarian concept has been disparaged by the "revisionist school" historians, some of whose more prominent members were
Sheila Fitzpatrick Sheila Fitzpatrick (born June 4, 1941) is professor Professor (commonly abbreviated as Prof.) is an Academy, academic rank at university, universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally ...
, J. Arch Getty, Jerry F. Hough, William McCagg, and Robert W. Thurston. Although their individual interpretations differ, the revisionists say that the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin was institutionally weak, the level of terror was much exaggerated, and to the extent that it occurred, it reflected the weaknesses rather than the strengths of the Soviet state. Fitzpatrick posited that the Stalinist purges in the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
provided an increased
social mobility Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between Social stratification, social strata in a society. It is a change in social status relative to one's current social location ...
and therefore a chance for a better life. In the case of
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
, Eli Rubin posited that East Germany was not a totalitarian state but rather a society shaped by the confluence of unique economic and political circumstances interacting with the concerns of ordinary citizens. Writing in 1987,
Walter Laqueur Walter Ze'ev Laqueur (26 May 1921 – 30 September 2018) was a German-born American historian, journalist and political commentator. He was an influential scholar on the subjects of terrorism and political violence. Early life Walter Laqueur was ...
posited that the revisionists in the field of Soviet history were guilty of confusing popularity with morality and of making highly embarrassing and not very convincing arguments against the concept of the Soviet Union as a totalitarian state. Laqueur stated that the revisionists' arguments with regard to Soviet history were highly similar to the arguments made by
Ernst Nolte Ernst Nolte (11 January 1923 – 18 August 2016) was a German historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and writes ...
regarding German history. For Laqueur, concepts such as modernization were inadequate tools for explaining Soviet history while totalitarianism was not. Laqueur's argument has been criticized by modern "revisionist school" historians such as
Paul Buhle Paul Merlyn Buhle (born September 27, 1944) is a (retired) Senior Lecturer at Brown University Brown University is a private university, private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the ''College in the ...
, who said that Laqueur wrongly equates Cold War revisionism with the German revisionism; the latter reflected a "revanchist, military-minded conservative nationalism." Moreover,
Michael Parenti Michael John Parenti (born September 30, 1933) is an American political scientist, academic historian and cultural critic who writes on scholarly and popular subjects. He has taught at American and international universities and has been a guest l ...

Michael Parenti
and
James Petras James Petras (born 17 January 1937) is a retired Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York and adjunct professor at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Saint Mary's University, Halifax (former city), Nov ...
have suggested that the totalitarianism concept has been politically employed and used for anti-communist purposes. Parenti has also analysed how "left anti-communism" attacked the Soviet Union during the Cold War. For Petras, the
CIA The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as "The Agency" and "The Company", is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. ...

CIA
funded the
Congress for Cultural Freedom The Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) was an anti-communist advocacy group founded in 1950. At its height, the CCF was active in thirty-five countries. In 1966 it was revealed that the CIA was instrumental in the establishment and funding of the ...
in order to attack "Stalinist anti-totalitarinism." Into the 21st century, Enzo Traverso has attacked the creators of the concept of totalitarianism as having invented it to designate the enemies of the West. According to some scholars, calling
Joseph Stalin ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgians, Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who governed the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953. He held power both as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952 ...
''totalitarian'' instead of ''authoritarian'' has been asserted to be a high-sounding but specious excuse for Western self-interest, just as surely as the counterclaim that allegedly debunking the totalitarian concept may be a high-sounding but specious excuse for Russian self-interest. For , totalitarianism is a polysemic concept with origins in
Christian theology #REDIRECT Christian theology #REDIRECT Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christia ...
and applying it to the political sphere requires an operation of abstract schematism which makes use of isolated elements of historical reality to place
fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, are politics further on the right of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political right, particular ...

fascist
regimes and the Soviet Union in the dock together, serving the
anti-communism Anti-communism is a political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo  and are o ...

anti-communism
of
Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span ...
-era intellectuals rather than reflecting intellectual research. Other scholars, among them F. William Engdahl,
Sheldon Wolin Sheldon Sanford Wolin (; August 4, 1922 – October 21, 2015) was an American political theorist {{unreferenced, date=June 2015 A political theorist is someone who engages in constructing or evaluating political theory, including political philos ...
, and
Slavoj Žižek Slavoj Žižek ( ; ; born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian philosopher, a researcher at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Arts and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the Univer ...
, have linked totalitarianism to
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
and
liberalism Liberalism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals ...

liberalism
, and used concepts such as
inverted totalitarianism The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin coined the term inverted totalitarianism in 2003 to describe what he saw as the emerging form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generall ...
, totalitarian capitalism, and
totalitarian democracy Totalitarian democracy is a term popularized by Israeli historian Jacob Talmon, Jacob Leib Talmon to refer to a system of government in which lawfully elected representatives maintain the integrity of a nation state whose citizens, while granted ...
. In ''Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?: Five Interventions in the (Mis)Use of a Notion'', Žižek wrote that " e liberating effect" of General
Augusto Pinochet Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (, also , , ; 25 November 1915 – 10 December 2006) was a Chilean Army Captain general#Chile, General, politician and military dictatorship, military dictator who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, first as the ...

Augusto Pinochet
's arrest "was exceptional", as "the fear of Pinochet dissipated, the spell was broken, the taboo subjects of torture and disappearances became the daily grist of the news media; the people no longer just whispered, but openly spoke about prosecuting him in Chile itself." Saladdin Ahmed cited
Hannah Arendt Hannah Arendt (, also , ; 14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975) was a German-born American political theorist. Her many books and articles have had a lasting influence on political theory and philosophy. Arendt is widely considered one of ...
as stating that "the Soviet Union can no longer be called totalitarian in the strict sense of the term after
Stalin's death Joseph Stalin, the second leader of the Soviet Union, died on 5 March 1953 at the Kuntsevo Dacha aged 74 after suffering a stroke. He was given a state funeral with four days of national mourning declared. His body was subsequently embalmed and ...
", writing that "this was the case in General August Pinochet's Chile, yet it would be absurd to exempt it from the class of totalitarian regimes for that reason alone." Saladdin posited that while
Chile under Pinochet Chile (, ; ), officially the Republic of Chile (), is a country in western South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the N ...
had no "official ideology", there was one "behind the scenes", namely that "none other than
Milton Friedman Milton Friedman (; July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist An economist is a practitioner in the social sciences, social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and c ...

Milton Friedman
, the godfather of
neoliberalism Neoliberalism, or neo-liberalism, is a term used to describe the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with valu ...

neoliberalism
and the most influential teacher of the
Chicago boys The Chicago Boys were a group of Chilean economists prominent around the 1970s and 1980s, the majority of whom were educated at the Department of Economics of the University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago, U of C, or Chicago) ...
, was Pinochet's adviser." In this sense, Saladdin criticized the totalitarian concept for being applied only to "opposing ideologies" and not to liberalism. In the early 2010s, Richard Shorten,
Vladimir Tismăneanu Vladimir Tismăneanu (; born July 4, 1951) is a Romanian Americans, Romanian American political scientist, political analyst, sociologist, and professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. A specialist in political systems and comparative ...
, and Aviezer Tucker posited that totalitarian ideologies can take different forms in different political systems but all of them focus on utopianism, scientism, or political violence. They posit that both Nazism and Stalinism emphasized the role of specialization in modern societies and saw polymathy as a thing of the past, and also stated to have statistical scientific support for their claims, which led to strict ethical control of culture, psychological violence, and persecution of entire groups. Their arguments have been criticized by other scholars due to their partiality and anachronism. Juan Francisco Fuentes treats totalitarianism as an "
invented tradition "Ancient" Scottish clan tartans are an example of an invented tradition created in the 19th century. Invented traditions are cultural practices which are perceived as traditional, arising from the people, and of immemorial antiquity, but which in ...
" and the use of the notion of "modern
despotism Despotism ( el, Δεσποτισμός, ''despotismós'') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, go ...
" as a "reverse anachronism"; for Fuentes, "the anachronistic use of totalitarian/totalitarianism involves the will to reshape the past in the image and likeness of the present." Other studies try to link modern technological changes with totalitarianism. According to
Shoshana Zuboff Shoshana Zuboff (born 1951) is an American author, Harvard professor, social psychologist, philosopher, and scholar. She is the author of the books ''In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power'' and ''The Support Economy: Why ...
, economic pressures of modern
surveillance capitalism Surveillance capitalism is an economic system centred around the commodification of personal data with the core purpose of profit-making. The concept of surveillance capitalism, as described by Shoshana Zuboff, arose as advertising companies, ...
are driving the intensification of connection and monitoring online with spaces of social life becoming open to saturation by corporate actors, directed at the making of profit and/or the regulation of action.
Toby Ord Toby David Godfrey Ord (born 18 July 1979) is an Australian philosopher. He founded Giving What We Can, an international society whose members pledge to donate at least 10% of their income to effective charities, and is a key figure in the eff ...

Toby Ord
found Orwell's fears of totalitarianism as a notable early precursor to modern notions of anthropogenic existential risk, the concept that a future catastrophe could permanently destroy the potential of Earth-originating intelligent life due in part to technological changes, creating a permanent technological dystopia. Ord said that Orwell's writings show his concern was genuine rather than just a throwaway part of the fictional plot of ''
Nineteen Eighty-Four ''Nineteen Eighty-Four'' (also stylised as ''1984'') is a dystopian social science fiction novel and cautionary tale written by English writer George Orwell. It was published on 8 June 1949 by Secker & Warburg as Orwell's ninth and final boo ...
''. In 1949, Orwell wrote that " ruling class which could guard against (four previously enumerated sources of risk) would remain in power permanently." That same year,
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose know ...
wrote that "modern techniques have made possible a new intensity of governmental control, and this possibility has been exploited very fully in totalitarian states." In the late 2010s, ''
The Economist ''The Economist'' is an international weekly newspaper A weekly newspaper is a general-news or current affairsCurrent affairs may refer to: Media * Current Affairs (magazine), ''Current Affairs'' (magazine), a bimonthly magazine of cult ...
'' has described China's developed
Social Credit System The Social Credit System () is a national credit rating and Blacklisting, blacklist being developed by the government of China, government of the People's Republic of China. The program initiated regional trials in 2009, before launching a na ...
under
Chinese Communist Party The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and One-party state, sole ruling party of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC). The CCP leads List of political parties in China, eight other ...
general secretary Secretary is a title often used in organizations to indicate a person having a certain amount of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social inter ...
Xi Jinping Xi Jinping ( ; , ; born 15 June 1953) is a Chinese politician who has been serving as General Secretary Secretary is a title often used in organizations to indicate a person having a certain amount of authority In the fields of sociology ...

Xi Jinping
's
administration Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management, the act of directing people towards accomplishing a goal ** Administration (government), management in or of government *** Administrative division ** Academic administratio ...
, to screen and rank its citizens based on their personal behavior, as ''totalitarian''. Opponents of China's ranking system say that it is intrusive and is just another way for a one-party state to control the population. ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
'' compared Chinese
paramount leader The paramount leader also named supreme leader () of the Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" , seats1_title = National People's Congress (13th National People's Congress, 13th) , seats1 = , ...
Xi Jinping's cult of personality A cult of personality has been developing around Xi Jinping since he became General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, General Secretary and paramount leader, paramount leader of China in 2012. Background After Deng Xiaoping started the ...
and his ideology
Xi Jinping Thought Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, commonly abbreviated as Xi Jinping Thought, is a set of policies and ideas derived from the writings and speeches of Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jin ...
to that of
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the ...

Mao Zedong
during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, but the period is generally considered to span ...
. Supporters say that it would make for a more civilized and law-abiding society. Shoshana Zuboff considers it instrumentarian rather than totalitarian. Other emerging technologies that have been postulated to empower future totalitarianism include brain-reading,
contact tracing In , contact tracing is the process of identifying persons who may have come into contact with an person ("contacts") and subsequent collection of further information about these contacts. By tracing the contacts of infected individuals, testin ...

contact tracing
and various applications of
artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstra ...

artificial intelligence
. Philosopher
Nick Bostrom Nick Bostrom ( ; sv, Niklas Boström ; born 10 March 1973) is a Swedish-born philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lo ...

Nick Bostrom
said that there is a possible trade-off, namely that some existential risks might be mitigated by the establishment of a powerful and permanent
world government World government or global government, sometimes called one-worldism or cosmocracy, is the concept of a single authority for all humanity. It generally entails some form of through a single or with jurisdiction over the entire . Such a gover ...

world government
, and in turn the establishment of such a government could enhance the existential risks which are associated with the rule of a permanent dictatorship.


See also

*
Comparison of Nazism and Stalinism A number of authors have carried out comparisons of Nazism and Stalinism in which they have considered the similarities and differences of the two ideologies and political systems, what relationship existed between the two regimes, and why both ...
* List of authoritarian states *
List of cults of personality This is a list of regimes of countries or individual leaders around the world which have been discussed in the media or academia as having created a cult of personality. A cult of personality uses various techniques, including mass media M ...
* List of totalitarian regimes * Totalitarian architecture


References


Further reading

*
Hannah Arendt Hannah Arendt (, also , ; 14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975) was a German-born American political theorist. Her many books and articles have had a lasting influence on political theory and philosophy. Arendt is widely considered one of ...
, ''
The Origins of Totalitarianism ''The Origins of Totalitarianism'', published in 1951, was Hannah Arendt's first major work, wherein she describes and analyzes Nazism and Stalinism as the major totalitarian political movements of the first half of the 20th century. History ' ...
'' (New York: Schocken Books, 1958, new ed. 1966). * John A. Armstrong, ''The Politics of Totalitarianism'' (New York: Random House, 1961). * Peter Bernholz, "Ideocracy and totalitarianism: A formal analysis incorporating ideology", ''Public Choice'' 108, 2001, pp. 33–75. * Peter Bernholz, "Ideology, sects, state and totalitarianism. A general theory". In: H. Maier and M. Schaefer (eds.): ''Totalitarianism and Political Religions'', Vol. II (Abingdon Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2007), pp. 246–70. *
Franz Borkenau Franz Borkenau (December 15, 1900 – May 22, 1957) was an Austrian writer and publicist. Borkenau was born in Vienna en, Viennese , iso_code = AT-9 , registration_plate = Vehicle registration plates o ...
, ''The Totalitarian Enemy'' (London: Faber and Faber 1940). *
Karl Dietrich Bracher Karl Dietrich Bracher (13 March 1922 – 19 September 2016) was a German political scientist and historian of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. Born in Stuttgart, Bracher was awarded a Ph.D. in the classics by the University of Tübingen in 194 ...
, "The Disputed Concept of Totalitarianism," pp. 11–33 from ''Totalitarianism Reconsidered'' edited by Ernest A. Menze (Port Washington, N.Y. / London: Kennikat Press, 1981) . * John Connelly, "Totalitarianism: Defunct Theory, Useful Word" ''Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History'' 11#4 (2010) 819–835
online
* Fitzpatrick, Sheila, and Michael Geyer, eds. ''Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared'' (Cambridge University Press, 2008). * and Z. K. Brzezinski, ''Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy'' (Harvard University Press, 1st ed. 1956, 2nd ed. 1967). * Abbott Gleason, ''Totalitarianism: The Inner History Of The Cold War'' (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), . * Paul Hanebrink, "European Protestants Between Anti-Communism and Anti-Totalitarianism: The Other Interwar Kulturkampf?" ''Journal of Contemporary History'' (July 2018) Vol. 53, Issue 3, pp. 622–43 * Guy Hermet, with Pierre Hassner and Jacques Rupnik, ''Totalitarismes'' (Paris: Éditions Economica, 1984). * Andrew Jainchill and Samuel Moyn. "French democracy between totalitarianism and solidarity: Pierre Rosanvallon and revisionist historiography." ''Journal of Modern History'' 76.1 (2004): 107–154
online
*
Robert Jaulin Robert Jaulin (7 March 1928, Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes – 21 November 1996, Grosrouvre) was a French ethnologist. After several journeys to Chad, between 1954 and 1959, among the Sara people, he published in 1967 ''La Mort Sara'' (The Sara Death) ...
, ''L'Univers des totalitarismes'' (Paris: Loris Talmart, 1995). *
Jeane Kirkpatrick Jeane Duane Kirkpatrick (née Jordan; November 19, 1926December 7, 2006) was an American diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific st ...

Jeane Kirkpatrick
, ''Dictatorships and Double Standards: Rationalism and reason in politics'' (London: Simon & Schuster, 1982). *
Walter Laqueur Walter Ze'ev Laqueur (26 May 1921 – 30 September 2018) was a German-born American historian, journalist and political commentator. He was an influential scholar on the subjects of terrorism and political violence. Early life Walter Laqueur was ...
, ''The Fate of the Revolution Interpretations of Soviet History From 1917 to the Present'' (London: Collier Books, 1987) . * Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, ''Problems Of Democratic Transition And Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, And Post-Communist Europe'' (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1996) . *
Ludwig von Mises Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (; 29 September 1881 – 10 October 1973) was an Austrian School economist, historian, logician, and Sociology, sociologist. Mises wrote and lectured extensively on the societal contributions of classical liberal ...

Ludwig von Mises
, '' Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War'' (Yale University Press, 1944). * Ewan Murray, ''Shut Up: Tale of Totalitarianism'' (2005). * A. J. Nicholls. "Historians and Totalitarianism: The Impact of German Unification." ''Journal of Contemporary History'' 36.4 (2001): 653–661. * Felix Patrikeeff, "Stalinism, Totalitarian Society and the Politics of 'Perfect Control'", ''Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions'', (Summer 2003), Vol. 4 Issue 1, pp. 23–46. *
Stanley G. Payne Stanley George Payne (born September 9, 1934 in Denton, Texas Denton is a city in and the county seat of Denton County, Texas, United States. With an estimated population of 141,541 as of 2019, it is the 24th-most populous city in Texas, the 188 ...
, ''A History of Fascism'' (London: Routledge, 1996). *
Rudolf Rocker Johann Rudolf Rocker (March 25, 1873 – September 19, 1958) was a German anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. ...

Rudolf Rocker
, '' Nationalism and Culture'' (Covici-Friede, 1937). * Giovanni Sartori, ''The Theory of Democracy Revisited'' (Chatham, N.J:
Chatham House Chatham House, also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is an independent policy institute headquartered in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England ...
, 1987). * Wolfgang Sauer, "National Socialism: totalitarianism or fascism?" ''American Historical Review'', Volume 73, Issue #2 (December 1967): 404–24
online
*
Leonard Schapiro Leonard Bertram Naman Schapiro (22 April 1908 in Glasgow Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lon ...

Leonard Schapiro
, ''Totalitarianism'' (London: The Pall Mall Press, 1972). * William Selinger. "The politics of Arendtian historiography: European federation and the origins of totalitarianism." ''Modern Intellectual History'' 13.2 (2016): 417–446. * Marcello Sorce Keller, "Why is Music so Ideological, Why Do Totalitarian States Take It So Seriously", ''Journal of Musicological Research'', XXVI (2007), no. 2–3, pp. 91–122. * J. L. Talmon, '' The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy'' (London: Seeker & Warburg, 1952). * Enzo Traverso, ''Le Totalitarisme : Le XXe siècle en débat'' (Paris: Poche, 2001). * S. Jonathan Wiesen, "American Lynching in the Nazi Imagination: Race and Extra-Legal Violence in 1930s Germany", ''German History'', (March 2018), Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 38–59. *
Zhelyu Zhelev Zhelyu Mitev Zhelev ( bg, Желю Митев Желев; 3 March 1935 – 30 January 2015) was a Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links= ...
, ''Fascism'' (Sofia: Fisbizmt, 1982). *
Slavoj Žižek Slavoj Žižek ( ; ; born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian philosopher, a researcher at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Arts and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the Univer ...
, ''Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?'' (London: Verso, 2001).


External links

* {{authority control 20th century in politics 21st century in politics Anti-anarchism Authoritarianism Extremism Fascism Political philosophy Political science terminology Political theories