Seven Principles of Totalitarianism
- Totalitarian States are characterized by single party political systems. Party membership is limited to those who are willing to be unquestionably loyal to the party leaders. Party interests and control encompass all aspects of the society.
- Totalitarian systems tend to fall to the control of single leaders. These leaders are then made out to be superhuman.
- Totalitarian regimes are characterized by a commitment to a specific ideology. The ideology serves the state by defining the past, explaining the present and predicting the future. It establishes guidelines for remolding society in the image held by the rulers.
- A totalitarian state seeks to subordinate all social institutions to the control of the state and thereby remove all possible challengers to its control. No human activity is without interest to totalitarian rulers. To control the behavior of its citizens, totalitarian regimes recognize no limits to the means by which their ends are achieved.
- Totalitarian systems attempt - and succeed to a degree - to direct the behavior and thoughts of their citizens by maintaining control over all sources of information.
- Totalitarian states seek to force conformity on its citizens and subordinate all human activity to its control.
- Totalitarian regimes will use any techniques - physical or psychological to achieve absolute control over society.
- The type of totalitarianism which develops in a country is conditioned primarily by the nation's unique historical experience.
- Totalitarianism is a political, social, and economic system which uses any means available to subject the individual to the goals and leadership of the state.
- All societies cope with the problems of individual freedom versus public control. No contemporary society can be judged to be either completely free or completely totalitarian.
© 1979 David F. Chavis. Used with permission