Interesting social sciences/The essence of totalitarianism

Essence of totalitarianism

Igor Sikorsky

It is necessary to answer on following questions in this paragraph:

  • Whether it is possible in principle, to control all spheres of life of society for a long time under totalitarianism and authoritarianism?
  • Whether it is possible in principle, to cancel such kinds of the conflict as multi-party elections, the market competition, a strike, an art competition, a scientific dispute, a political debate and what consequences do exist of similar attempts?

Discussion about totalitarianism


The word "totalitarian" (from Latin totalis – integrity) was used by the Italian critics of Benito Mussolini in 1920 for the first time. But Benito Mussolini himself has caught this word and Benito Mussolini has proclaimed openly own purpose as creation of "the totalitarian state". Nazi rulers used expression "the totalitarian state" in positive sense later in Germany also. 

Benjamin Barber claimed in 1969 that the use of the term "totalitarian" was too often overloaded by ideology and use of the term "totalitarian" was associated often rather with groundless estimates, than with the attentive analysis. Therefore my purpose of this paragraph is the exact scientific analysis of essence of totalitarianism. Raymond Aron and Karl Popper knew only two kinds of totalitarianism - fascist and communist regime. It is necessary to consider in this my research information about a new kind of totalitarianism - about the Islamic fundamentalist regimes, example of which is the theocratic regime in Iran. The Islamic regimes have applied a new kind of fight against the democratic regimes – global terror and application of suicide bombers.           

In my opinion, totalitarianism is a result of unsuccessful attempt to replace of the social conflict by general control. Blossoming of the social conflict limited by the law exists in all spheres of society under democracy and the greatest reduction of the sphere of government control exists under democracy. It is necessary at the beginning of my analysis to stop on detailed consideration of certain spheres of life of society in the conditions of fascist, communistic and Islamic-fundamentalist totalitarianism.

The political sphere under totalitarianism

Osama bin Laden, the leader of the Islamic terrorist organization "Al-Qaeda" which took the responsibility for terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001.


Felix Dzerzhinsky was founder and head of Cheka, nickname - Iron Felix, Red Executioner


Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Göring at the meeting to formally hand over control of the Gestapo (Berlin, 1934).

Opposition parties were liquidated in the political sphere under totalitarianism, and their members were destroyed physically during civil war or with help of the state terror.

Organizations of State terror:

  • Cheka (Extraordinary Commission) was in the USSR,
  • Gestapo was in fascist Germany,
  • Shariat Courts (code of Islamic low) were in Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

A one-party system led by Communist Party, a one-party system led by party of Nazis or a one-party system led by party of priests arises as a result of extermination of opposition. Elections turn into deception because it is impossible in the principle to carry out fair elections from candidates of one party. Members of election commissions are at the same time members of this totalitarian party and members of election commissions carry out a juggling of results of elections when 99,9% of voters vote for this totalitarian party according to official data.       If the democratic rights and freedoms have been guaranteed in the totalitarian constitution, then the authorities turned the declaration of these rights into simple demagogy when articles of the criminal code contradicted by articles of the totalitarian constitution when articles of the constitution weren't carried out in real life. Loss of interest to elections and refusal of some voters to take part in vote became a consequence of transformation of elections to deception. Politicians didn't decide to get into a political debate with the tyrant under totalitarian regime because it was equivalent to suicide, for example, only the marshal Georgy Zhukov had courage to object to Joseph Stalin in the period of World War II.

Wrong decisions of the Supreme power became a consequence of this prohibition of political debates. this wrong decisions of the Supreme power had harmful consequences for history of country. Cheka terror during civil war, dispersal of the constituent assembly, the shameful Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, economic policy of war communism, collectivization, wide use of a slave labor of prisoners and the wrong choice of financial sources for industrialization, The Great Purge or the Great Terror from 1936 to 1938, Joseph Stalin's mistakes in planning of the military operations of 1941-1942, population transfer (deportations) in the Soviet Union to east regions of the country are examples of similar mistakes. All history of the Soviet Russia is represented for this reason as a chain of mistakes which have resulted in the enormous number of the victims. The decision to fight for world supremacy which was an unrealizable utopia is an example of a fatal mistake of Adolf Hitler.

There is a wish to believe that the decision to apply global terror against the western countries and Russia became a fatal mistake of Islamic fundamentalists. Thereby Islamic fundamentalism has thrown down a challenge to development of a civilization. The advanced democratic countries try to return the backward totalitarian regimes on the highway of development of humanity. The advanced democratic countries indicate to the backward totalitarian regimes to the facts of human rights violation, application of policy of the state terror, illegitimacy of seizure of power without elections.

In response, the Communists, represented by Leon Trotsky, supported the idea of a world revolution. Later Soviet Russia sought to provide financial and military assistance to communist parties and totalitarian regimes around the world. Adolf Hitler began World War II. Islamists declared a holy war (jihad) to the entire civilized world.

The cultural sphere at totalitarianism

Nazi book burning in Berlin, May 1933.


Sergei Yesenin
Marina Tsvetaeva
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Mikhail Bulgakov
Vladimir K. Zworykin

Discussions in the press were prohibited at totalitarianism. Censorship was entered and machine to deception of citizens was built in the sphere of ideology at totalitarianism, this machine allowed to manipulate by publish opinion  with help of multiple repeat of official point of view on all canals of media. Books of opponents were destroyed or were stored in special repositories of libraries (reader could receive this books only by special permission of powers).  Nazis preferred to burn the books of their opponents publicly. An expression of own point of view under Soviet power, which contradicted to the official point of view, was punished as enemy anti - Soviet propaganda. Freedom of creativity, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, such kind of the social conflict as art competition were cancelled at the totalitarianism, as a result the totalitarian art has arisen. The totalitarian art is capable to make only the mediocre, officially approved works of art which couldn't satisfy tastes of consumers. As a result consumers began to seek to receive the best examples of art and more accurate information from abroad through foreign radio stations that has resulted in need "to suppress" of signals of these stations.   The style of the Soviet totalitarian art has received the name "socialist realism". Adolf Hitler built cyclopean stadiums for parades and torch processions, the similar style in art and architecture carries the name of monumental.

  • The first talented poets and writers have turned out in prison and they have died in prison as Osip Mandelstam for poem "Stalin Epigram".
  • The second talented poets and writers Were driven to suicide as Sergey Yesenin, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva and Alexander Fadeyev.
  • The third talented poets and writers were expelled abroad have as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
  • The fourth talented poets and writers were exposed to persecution as Mikhail Bulgakov who has given the most evil satire of activity of Bolsheviks in an image of Sharikov and the house manager Schwonder in the novel "Heart of a Dog".

Resistance to official ideology and resistance to domination of official art has found manifestation in the form of "samizdat" and "tamizdat". At first Communists wanted to eradicate religion in the religious sphere, for this purpose Communists blew up churches, expropriated church values, destroyed priests. When communists have understood that the religion can't be destroyed, then Communists have put orthodox church under control of KGB.

Adolf Hitler had a conflict with Catholic church too. Catholic church defended own independence from the state by tradition. On the contrary, the state was brought under control from outside Muslim church at the Islamic-fundamentalist regimes, medieval laws of Sharia were established in society. The official point of view dominated in the sphere of science at totalitarianism therefore permission of the authorities was required for holding of scientific discussion. Scientists did career on criticism of "bourgeois" or "Jewish" science instead of participations in discussions. Scientists did career on citing of works of classics of Marxism, works of the racial theory or Koran. Social sciences were in the sphere of special attention of the tyrant. The totalitarian science began to lag behind in development from world science as a result of de facto prohibition of such kind of the conflict as a scientific discussion.

Isolation from world science led to the fact that such scientists and inventors as Georgy Gamov, Pitirim Sorokin, the inventor of the first serial helicopter Igor Sikorsky and the inventor of television Vladimir K. Zvorykin, were forced to leave Russia abroad to with the purpose to realize own ingenious abilities. Isolation from world science and the prohibition of scientific disputes led to the fact that the Soviet pseudosciences have blossomed in magnificent color. Examples of Soviet pseudosciences are dialectical materialism, the Lenin's theory of reflection, historical materialism, the biological theory of Trofim Lysenko, the anti-commodity and anti-market theory of Joseph Stalin. Taboo subjects in historical science and the forbidden sciences existed in Soviet Union. Information about mistakes of communist regime, about political opponents and the number of the victims of repressions became taboo subjects in the history of the USSR. Examples of the forbidden sciences is a genetics, sociology and cybernetics. As a result the Russian science began to lag behind from western in these forbidden sciences.

Domination of religion leads to disappearance of science in the Islamic countries inevitably.

The economic sphere at totalitarianism


 Communists wanted to cancel a private property and such kind of the social conflict as the market competition in the economic sphere. Such system of administrative control over economy as the system of economic planning was installed for this purpose. Even attempts to cancel trading and money, attempts to replace them by normative distribution and coupons were made in the period of war communism. Bolshevics have driven of peasants into collective farms violently during the collectivization and Bolshevics have forced of peasants to work for free almost in collective farms.

Similar attempts were made in Nazi Germany but in smaller scales, Nazi state has confiscated of enterprises of Jews. Strikes and activity of labor unions, independent of the power, were forbidden at totalitarianism in Nazi Germany.

Restriction of the legal market relations has led to emergence of queues, deficit of goods and decline in quality of goods. The state enterprises were inefficient in comparison with private enterprises that became one of the reasons of the collapse of the New Economic Policy and all socialist system. Transition from economic stimuluses in private enterprise to administrative stimuluses in the state enterprise and to corporal punishments in Gulag has led to disappearance of stimuluses to labour and the general falling of labor discipline at socialism. Communists have tried to apply ideological stimuluses to labour in the form of a socialist competition, but it has turned out that workers don't want to work for red flags instead money.

Family’s sphere at totalitarianism


Communists haven't gone too far in the family sphere and сommunists limited themselves by ban of marriages with foreigners only. On the contrary, Adolf Hitler has gone further of all in family’s sphere, citizens of Nazi Germany were forced to pass the examination on purity of race, on compliance to signs of the highest race. Those who couldn't pass this examination were subjected to compulsory sterilization placed on residence in the Jewish ghetto, executed in concentration camps and gas chambers. Mixed marriages between Germans and Jews were forbidden strictly. The polygamy was authorized in the Islamic countries, the woman was, in fact, turned into a slave who was obliged to wear a paranja or a hijab.   

Reasons of historical defeat of totalitarianism:

  • The first reason is hidden or open resistance of citizens to similar regress of social structure. If legal forms of the conflict were forbidden, then people passed to illegal forms. Benefits of the conflict is that people can realize their abilities, their desire of power, wealth and prestige only with help conflict. It is impossible to forbid the social conflicts and to achieve general economic equality between people in principle.
  • The second reason is general backwardness of totalitarian society in all spheres of society due to the lack of the competition between people in these spheres. People lose ability to fight and win under totalitarianism gradually, people lose competitiveness, dependent sentiment grows in people of totalitarian society, it leads to defeat in war, in the external market, in ideological competition in the foreign policy arena.

The conclusions about totalitarianism


Totalitarianism is the worst kind of a political regime. The authoritarianism is lesser of two evils in comparison with totalitarianism, but after all authoritarianism is worse, than democracy. No tyrant will be able to suppress all conflicts in society in the bud and no tyrant will be able to keep totalitarianism too long because society can't exist without the conflicts in principle. There is no arbitrariness of the authorities in the conditions of representative democracy, the government supports conditions of optimum severity of sanctions of social control at representative democracy. People can realize own abilities in any social sphere in conditions of representative democracy. Class and nomenclature privileges don't interfere to people in conditions of representative democracy, that is participants of the social conflict have the identical rights for a victory in the conflict in conditions of representative democracy, there are no monopolists in social conflict in conditions of representative democracy. People have equal opportunities on a victory and inequality of results of their efforts in the course of the conflict in conditions of representative democracy. It leads to emergence of huge stimuluses to labour and huge stimuluses to a victory in the conflict at the person. Representative democracy is the best kind of a political regime. The attempt of the tyrant to replace the social conflicts to general control has encountered on resistance of citizens and this attempt has resulted to the general backwardness of totalitarian society.