The most extreme version of modern dictatorship in the totalitarianism experienced in Soviet Union, Italy, & Germany all characterized by an ideology, a single party and a dictator, a secret police and terror, and control over communication.
After the initial period in which Lenin Stalin dominated political power on behalf of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the history of the Soviet Union from 1924 to 1952, as a sec-general of the Communist party, Stalin controlled the levers of political power, purged and liquidated suspected personal and political opponents from the party, government, armed forces, and the police and imposed ideological conformity on the country and on the international communist movement. The Stalinist\s regime serves as a model totalitarian system for Communist China.
Furthermore, totalitarianism is a modern autocratic government in which the state involves itself in all facets of society, including the daily life of its citizens. A totalitarian government seeks to control not only all economic and political matters but also the attitudes, values and beliefs of its population, erasing the distinction between state and society. The citizen’s duty to the state becomes the primary concern of the community and the goal of the state is the replacement of existing society with perfect society.
1. The existence of an ideology that addresses all suspects of life and outlines means to attain the final goal.
2. A single mass party through which the people are mobilized to muster energy and support.
3. A ruthless, brutal and potent form of political tyranny whose ambitions for world domination are unlimited.
Benito Amilcare Mussolini and fascism
Fascism is a form of totalitarian government characterized by highly centralized autocratic regime, strict regimentation of national life specially production and distribution, and the promotion of rationalistic sentiment, and with the corresponding subordination of the individual to the state.
The rise of fascism in Italy was led by Benito Mussolini in the 20th century. He was the founder of Fascism and became the prime minister and dictator of Italy (1922-1943). In power but not yet a dictator, he continued to exploit the fears of the conservative. He intimidated all his political opponents, and even kidnapped and murdered some of them. (Eatwell, 1966)
Elements of Fascism
1. The belief on leaders; good politics sees not representatives but leaders who command; the goals of a country are imposed by leaders of vision form above;
2. A belief in the value of a strong and unified nation; the willing and eager sacrifice of the individual goals and lives to strengthen the natural purpose;
3. Coordination and propaganda; the ruling party is the enforcer of social discipline and respect for the leader through advertising and ceremonies;
4. A belief in at least some traditional hierarchies; the army, family, and sometimes the church;
5. A hatred of the socialists and the liberals;
6. A hatred of the Jews.
Adolf Hitler (1885-1945) and Nazism
Adolf Hitler was a dictator and master of Germany and was a very successful and became so powerful. He believed that ‘conquest is not just a right but also a duty. He despised the masses and hated the Jews. Just as individual are unequal in ability, he also considered races unequal. He ridiculed all talks of equality. He believed that life is a struggle and only the powerful will enable the superior to win. He maintained that authority, not democracy, can save the world.
Nazism (Nationalsozialismus, National Socialism) was the ideology and practice of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (or Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany. It is a unique variety of totalitarianism that incorporates biological racism and anti-Semitism.
Nazism believed in the supremacy of an Aryan master race over all other races. Nazis viewed the progress of humanity as depending on the Aryans and believed that it could maintain its dominance only if it retained its purity and instinct for self-preservation. They claimed that Jews were the greatest threat to the Aryan race. They considered Jews a parasitic race that attached itself to various ideologies and movements to secure its self-preservation, such as; capitalism, democracy, Enlightenment, industrialization, liberalism, Marxism, parliamentary politics, and trade unionism. To maintain the purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to exterminate or impose exclusionary segregation upon “degenerate” and “asocial” groups that included: Jews, homosexuals, Romani, blacks, the physically and mentally handicapped, Jehovah’s Witnesses and political opponents (Fritzsche, 1998; Berdersky, 2000).