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Totalitarian Governments are governments that prevent citizens from having any freedoms. Totalitarianism takes power away from individual citizens in order to increase the power of the state as a whole. Totalitarian governments try to keep order by forcing people through coercion and oppression. Therefore, totalitarian governments are defined by the following three points:
- All power is with the state
- Coercion and oppression keep order
- Remove freedoms from citizens
The idea of Totalitarianism began in Italy around 1923. The term was used to describe the Italian Fascist government and how it contrasted to a traditional dictatorship. The term totalitarian was used to describe the structure of the state of Italy under totalitarianism.
Totalitarian Governments and Authoritative Governments
Totalitarian governments and Authoritarian governments are viewed as the same. There are many differences between the two governments. In an authoritarian government, the dictator has all the power and control over the government and government policies. Totalitarian governments take authoritative power to the next level. A totalitarian government is different because those in power not only seek to gain control of the political environment within a state; they also want to control the people. They attempt to control the people by infiltrating the economy, education, art, sciences, and other social aspects of the culture. The ultimate goal of the totalitarian government is to integrate party ideology into its citizen’s thoughts and lives.
When compared totalitarian governments and authoritative governments are different in other ways as well. Totalitarian governments must present themselves to the public with a charisma. This is not as necessary in an authoritative government. Authoritative governments tend to have a higher rate of corruption within the leadership or at the hands of a dictator when compared to totalitarian governments.
The totalitarian factions in Germany, Italy, and Russia came into power at the conclusion on World War I. The ideology of totalitarianism gained popularity during the time of the Cold War era when Nazi and Italian regimes were contrasted to Russian Communalism.