Totalitarian governments control almost every aspect of their citizens` public and private lives. There are no limits to what a totalitarian government can control, because there are no control mechanisms for the country`s leaders. The government has complete power, while the country`s citizens have little or no power, control, or freedom. The governments of totalitarian countries do not allow the people to participate in the election of government representatives or any part of the political decision-making process. Totalitarian countries strictly control what is said about them and oppose both freedom of speech and freedom of the press. People who speak out against the government are likely to be punished, if not severely. Ideologies, beliefs, and religions that the government does not like are often suppressed, banned, and/or banned in a totalitarian country. Totalitarianism is a type of system of government in which the government exercises a dominant degree of control over the population. People themselves have few rights and little power. Totalitarianism is the most extreme form of authoritarianism and is considered an oppressive method of governing a nation. It has several elements in common with National Socialism and Stalinism. Totalitarian governments could arguably be seen as the theological opposite of democratic governments in which power belongs to the people.
Totalitarian countries are also often classified as dictatorial countries because they are ruled by a government led by a single dictator or group of people who were not elected by the people in free and fair elections. In most cases, they are also considered fascist countries. As of early 2022, Afghanistan, Eritrea, North Korea, and Turkmenistan are the only countries in the world whose governments are generally considered totalitarian dictatorships. However, the activities of the Chinese government in recent years have led many sources to conclude that China is moving towards totalitarianism or has already adopted it. Researchers point to details such as China`s persecution of the Uighur people, extreme censorship of the internet, and mass surveillance of the lives of its citizens — as well as the high-profile case of tennis player Peng Shuai, who accused a government official of sexual misconduct, disappeared for weeks, then resurfaced with a remarkably different story as evidence that the government was following the totalitarian ways of the former. Premier ministre Mao Zedong. Go back. Fear is another fundamental element of totalitarianism. Totalitarian rulers usually rule by fear and use it to prevent people from revolting and protesting.
If a person lives in fear of government reprisals, they are unlikely to speak out against the injustice. While democracies pride themselves on how people can form and express their own responses to government, people living in totalitarian regimes must – at least superficially – agree with everything the government says, does, and demands. Those who disagree with their totalitarian leaders cannot express their disagreement to the outside world for fear of being punished. It becomes a matter of silence to stay safe. To ensure that people show full alliance and government compliance, totalitarian rulers often employ police forces (which often operate violently, covertly, and/or without regard to the law) to ensure that the population remains under control and does not act. A newer, arguably totalitarian regime that dominated the headlines in its time, but is rarely mentioned today, is the Islamic State, whose names included the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (I.S.I.L.), the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (I.S.I.S.) and Daesh. This militant group took command of significant parts of Iraq and Syria and ruled about eight million people at its peak in 2015. However, the violent regime was never officially recognized by the United Nations as a replacement for the current governments of Iraq or Syria, and in 2019 I.S.I.L.
lost almost all of its territory and power. In 1956, political scientists Carl Joachin Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski compiled a list of six defining characteristics of totalitarianism (listed above). In 1968, French analyst and philosopher Raymond Aron drew up his own list. Aron`s list contains five entries: a one-party state in which the ruling party has a monopoly on all political activities, a state ideology considered by the government as the sole authority, an information monopoly that controls all mass media and spreads the official truth, a state-controlled economy in which the state owns most of the major economic entities, and an ideological terror machine. which transforms economic or professional activities into crimes that the State finds unpleasant. It should be noted that some scholars argue that Mussolini`s own Italian government failed to achieve true totalitarianism, partly because of its relatively small population or because it did not completely subjugate the Catholic Church. However, these concerns are largely academic in nature, and when World War II began, totalitarianism was recognized as a viable system of government. While Mussolini may have been a pioneer of modern totalitarian government, many other dictators also adopted him, including Adolf Hitler of Germany under the Nazi regime; Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union; the Kim dynasty in North Korea and Mao Zedong in the People`s Republic of China.
Most of these regimes were formed as part of the Second World War or its aftermath. Most also failed within a decade (as the full table at the bottom of this page shows) and were replaced by a less restrictive form of government. Benito Mussolini, the dictator who ruled Italy for many years, is traditionally accused of creating the first totalitarian state – although some sources point out that the term itself was first used by other politicians such as Giovanni Amendola, Luigi Sturzo or Giovanni Gentile to describe Mussolini`s fascist ideology. Mussolini first called such a government totalitarian in the early 1900s, his exact words being that a totalitarian state has a government in which “all are inside the state, none outside the state, [and] none against the state.” .