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1/26/2017 6:57 pm  #1

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism and an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history

 The Origins of Totalitarianism
 – March 21, 1973
by Hannah Arendt  (Author)

The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

1/26/2017 8:56 pm  #2

Re: The Origins of Totalitarianism

"Two sides of the same coin" on.

The political "spectrum" is circular, not linear.

But "origins in the 1800's"?   Really? 

The Pharoahs of ancient Egypt, Babylon's Nebuchadnezzer, Gehngis Khan:  All followed  similar blueprints albeit without modern communications and weaponry.

Life is an Orthros.

1/27/2017 7:07 am  #3

Re: The Origins of Totalitarianism

Interesting point, Tarnation. 
I too would find it difficult to see much difference between a totalitarian state and an absolute monarchy.
In each the state recognizes no limits to its authority.

I would note that, In the absolute monarchy the leaders derives "legitimacy" from hereditary privilege, often tied to religious belief of the leader as a demigod, while in in a totalitarian state the leader can arise in several ways.

And, as stated by wikipedia, Totalitarian regimes stay in political power through such techniques as propaganda, state control of the mass media and educational system, control over the economy, political repression, capital punishment, restriction of speech, mass surveillance, and the establishment of internment or forced labour camps. A distinctive feature of totalitarian governments is an "elaborate ideology, a set of ideas that gives meaning and direction to the whole society", often involving a one-party state, a dictator and a personality cult.

Last edited by Goose (1/27/2017 8:33 am)

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
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