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Totalitarianism - Essay Example

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This paper is intended to show that in the idea of Hannah Arendt, Benito Mussolini; a fascist, Vladimir Lenin; a communist, and Emma Goldman; anarchist and feminist, were all totalitarians. This is because their ideologies involved changing class to masses where individual opinion was not respected…
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Download file to see previous pages Totalitarianism is defined as a political organization in which the state strives to control all aspects of public and private life of its citizens. Totalitarian regimes stay in power by employing widespread use of violence, disseminating propaganda through state controlled media, political oppression, denial of freedom of speech and control over the economy. However, Hannah Arendt perceives totalitarian as a system where the state transform class into mass movements, have the national police assume the role of the military to instill terror in people and establish a foreign policy with the intention of domineering the whole world (Cohen & Fermon 575). Arendt argues that totalitarian movements established by totalitarian governments depend on the sheer force of numbers and not proportionate strength like other political parties. With this understanding, it is clear that communism, socialism, liberalism, feminism, conservatism and fascism are totalitarian ideologies. This paper is intended to show that in the idea of Hannah Arendt, Benito Mussolini; a fascist, Vladimir Lenin; a communist, and Emma Goldman; anarchist and feminist, were all totalitarians.
At the end of the First World War, Italy was found entangled in economic and political challenges. Public servants went on strike in urban centers while, in the rural areas, landless peasants grabbed the property of rich landlords. Benito Mussolini used this unrest as an opportunity to climb to power. He formed the fascist party which supported hard line nationalism, and condemned democratic system of government on the belief that competitor parties separated the state. They also reject communism and embraced personal property ownership. In the early 1920s, Mussolini and his supporters had worn the support of most Italian citizens by attacking the communists and socialists. In1922 Mussolini led Italians on a protest march on Rome supposedly to prevent a communist revolution but in a real sense to scare the government into appointing him as the prime minister of Italy. Immediately he was in office he enlarged his power by appointing Fascists to high positions, censoring the press, organizing secret police, and outlawing condemnation of the government. He controlled the army and the schools making Italian citizens embrace the slogan “Everything in the state and nothing outside or against the state” (Cohen & Fermon 571). Mussolini’s Italy was dominated by one party; Fascist party and all opposition parties were wiped out. Mussolini also had a lot of power over this party, until people argued that the party had no part in running of the country but Mussolini himself. He later decided that he wants to run the country for himself and that the party is no longer important for anything else than doing what he wanted. Mussolini believed in making Italy great by making Italians go to war by all means. On his coming to power, he made Italians to belief that he was their savior considering hard times they were facing. He replaced the class society with the masses so that he can avoid criticism and later ruled them with the iron fist. For this, his actions constituted totalitarianism as defined by Arendt. Mussolini faulted the American democracy arguing that people do not know what they want and the best for them. He swore that someday America will know that democracy is only beautifully theoretically but a fallacy practically (Cohen & Fermon 532). Mussolini would have been right here when he said that people do not know what they want during voting in leaders. It has always been known that most of the leaders win elections because of their influence and not their ideology. The best people with good ideologies are normally left out. Vladimir Lenin believed in a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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