Does totalitarianism rise out of the shadow of Liberty and Democracy - Essay Example

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Throughout history, Democracy and Totalitarianism have been hyped about. We need to realize whether Liberty and Democracy are separate from Totalitarianism or whether one leads to the other…
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Does totalitarianism rise out of the shadow of Liberty and Democracy
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Running Head: Totalitarianism and Democracy Does Totalitarianism Rise Out Of The Shadow Of Liberty And Democracy? Abstract
The aim of this paper is to investigate two forms of government and their connection. Throughout history, Democracy and Totalitarianism have been hyped about. We need to realize whether Liberty and Democracy are separate from Totalitarianism or whether one leads to the other. There are common misconceptions about the two forms of government. All historical accounts are contrary to theoretical discussions about these governments. This paper attempts to clear out the misconceptions present regarding these governments, and their inter-relatedness.
Does Totalitarianism Rise Out Of The Shadow Of Liberty And Democracy?
By definition, Totalitarianism and Democracy are posed to be different from each other. Totalitarianism is defined as the autocratic tyrannical rule of one, who assumes indefinite powers with respect to all subjects governed. Democracy has typically been defined as the rule of majority, where all individuals are considered equal by law, all having equal say in their governance. Liberty, on the other hand, means the freedom of people with respect to religion, speech, property etc. and it has been traditionally affiliated with Democracy, theoretically and practically absent in Totalitarianism. But history holds evidence that Totalitarianism indeed stems from Democratic and Liberal forms of the government – a fact in spite of the contradictory theories.
Writers all across the globe have written innumerable articles on this subject, and people continue to deliberate on the linkage between Democracy and Totalitarianism. Indeed, thinkers have continually predicted the collapse of Democracy into Totalitarianism since the beginning of governance. It is said that a Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It only exists till the time voters realize they have voted themselves out of treasuries which collapse due to lose fiscal policies, and Democracy is always followed by dictatorship (Tyler, 1970). This clearly implies that early contemplators clearly predicted this vicious cycle whereby Democracy will lead to Totalitarianism or Monarchy. Tyler had summed up the history of governments of the past two centuries, which clearly depict this phenomenon.
Also, some people have recognized this cycle in slightly different way. Some believe the founders of government types knew how Liberty (0% government and 100% liberty) could span into Anarchy and consequently into Totalitarianism (100% government and 0% liberty). The cycle of democracy in this case is recognized as Democracy leading to Socialism, Socialism leading to Fascism, which in turn leads to Totalitarianism (Phillips). Several other philosophers have recognized this fact and tried to convey it to the masses. Furthermore, strong criticism of Democracy has also been conveyed by regarding the perception of voter’s self-rule as mere illusion. Voters relinquish their birth rights to property and freedom “… for a bowl of porridge.” (Phillips). This separates Liberty from Democracy, breaking the traditional linkage between the two.
Religious leaders have also realized this connection. Indeed, “a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised Totalitarianism.” (Paul, 1991). Pope John Paul evidently pointed towards the state’s continual attempts to invade religious liberty by constitutionalizing and deinstitutionalizing the religious affairs of the people. It nevertheless implies a significant linkage between Democracy and Totalitarianism.
Moreover, recent academics have also noted similarities between totalitarianism and democracy as “Both forms of Governments have the potential to oppress people. While Democracy typically does not follow this pattern, it is possible that a majority of people could empower a single party that would oppress the minority. This larger group can overtake and corrupt the system of equality. Once in power, the larger group can then disrupt the original system for one that would only allow it to stay in power.” (Bustamante, 2011). It is needless to mention that “… allow it to stay in power.” holds a clear hint about monarchy and totalitarianism.
To sum it all, people throughout the ages have recognized a link between Democracy and Totalitarianism. Though the theoretical definitions contradict this connection, practical implementation of democracy has often evolved into totalitarianism. The presence of Liberty in either case is sheer misconception on the behalf of the voters, bred into them by the governments.
Tyler, A. F. (1970). Cycle of Democracy. Retrieved from
Phillips, G. The Hypocrisy of Democracy. Retrieved from
Paul II John, P. (1991). Centesimus Annus. Retrieved from
Bustamante, J. (2011). Similarities between Totalitarianism and Democracy. Retrieved from Read More
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