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Totaltarian Regimes - Essay Example

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The term Totalitarianism is defined differently by various sources in varying perspectives. As a political science concept, the term revolves around a system of government or a social arrangement wherein the government or a state, through the powers of an individual or a collective powerful body, takes control of almost every aspect of the society's means and dealings…
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Totaltarian Regimes
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Download file to see previous pages In addition, totalitarianism is considered as a system of rule guided by an ideology whose perspective is geared on achieving a certain favorable political, social, and economic end by guiding every aspect of society to that goal with the use, to some extent, of "propaganda and terror"(Pleuger, "Totalitarianism," par.2). The system is also described as "both a form of social control as well as a method of social control" facilitated by advancement of technology and mass communication (Keis, "The Age of Totalitarianism," par. 10).
Within the context of those definitions mentioned above that our discussion of totalitarianism will be based. In discussing history of totalitarianism, we do not consider intensively the birth of the concept of totalitarianism but we look into regimes that fit into the character as described by scholars as it occurred in history. We look deeper into what are the motives of totalitarian leadership and its impact on the society.
By definition, it can be inferred that like any other form of governments, the system, by the perspective of the rulers, is anchored on the goal of total development for the country. Whether the approach would benefit a select few at the expense of other sector the concept of total development would likewise benefit the entire society. Taking violence, war, and human rights abuse and violations out of context, we can see that development brought by totalitarianism is highly considerable as shown by Russia's might in the Cold War era, the totalitarian monarchies in the Arabian region, and China's rise to economic dominance in the present times.
Most totalitarian regimes with autocratic leadership hold on to power by imposing an official ideology upon its people. The master plan is laid and facilitated by controlling all means of mass media and information systems. There is only one political party which in some case becomes an alter ego of the leader and the exercise of free well and freedom of speech is being suppressed. Critics are subject to intense surveillance and executions are frequent with the use of strong police and military backing. All these are utilized to achieve the goals of the leadership.
Dirty as it can be described, however, in dealing with totalitarian regimes it is argued that totalitarianism is different from authoritarianism although most totalitarian regimes are governed by authoritarians and dictators, but which is not always the case. Monarchy can be considered totalitarian but the role of a king is not as intimidating as a dictator. Of course, this point had its share of arguments in the past and is also a point of controversy in political science today. But looking at the present times we can see that monarchies rule in the principle of totalitarianism yet democratic processes are being recognized like the case of Britain, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and the other present day monarchies. This argument is the reason why the term totalitarian democracy emerged. Therefore we consider the brutal totalitarian regimes as a manifestation of extremism within the totalitarian concept.
History of Totalitarianism
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