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Warning: The following slideshow contains disturbing images, not suitable for minors.

Warning: The following slideshow contains disturbing images, not suitable for minors.

What is Totalitarianism? ​


"All within the state, none outside the state, none against the state"



Italian dictator in the early 1920's, Benito Mussolini, described the new fascist state of Italy as: “All within the state, none outside the state, none against the state.”

This sums up the goal and mindset under totalitarian rule.


A totalitarian state is characterized by strong central rule that attempts to control and direct all aspects of individual life through coercion and repression.


It's supplanting of all political institutions with new ones and it's sweeping away of all legal, social, and political traditions. Any dissent is branded evil and lacking human worth, and internal political differences are not permitted. People are not allowed personal control and power over their own lives.


 A totalitarian rule permits no individual freedom and seeks to subordinate all aspects of the individual’s life to the authority of the government.

Totalitarian rule can be obtained by a violent government take-over, or over time, implementing tactics as propaganda, indoctrination, censorship and terror.

Use of propaganda, as well as large-scale, organized physical and mental violence become permissible and necessary tools for maintaining a totalitarian rule, justified by the overriding commitment to the state ideology.




Propaganda, Lack of Independent Judges and Lawyers, and Independent Media.



Creating propaganda as a powerful tool is a corner stone in a totalitarian movement to implement control. A theme of belonging to a superior group, and country, is introduced, where the authorities are portrayed as heroes and protectors, the outside world pictured as ignorant to to "real" values, and dangerous, and any individual or grouping seen as a threat to the mindset, are ridiculed, branded mindless and evil as forces that have to be destroyed for common good. The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has claimed that human rights are very well protected in the country, as we cannot expect human rights for opponents of socialism. The country is known for public executions of political dissidents.

This is just an example on how widespread and systematic human rights violations are used to suppress any dissent under totalitarian rule.


The media  is also used for dividing groups of people and to generate gaps within the population. By turning groups to fight each other, the ones in power have a greater arena to implement control.

The media, as well as the courts, judges and lawyers, protect state interest instead of national and international law and rights of the individual, creating an arena allowing violations on the human rights to flourish freely with little public knowledge. The victims are left isolated and stigmatized with no places to turn to. Individual worth is lost as the purpose of a person is measured in their political capacity and capability to conforming to state agenda and values.




Private Life under Totalitarian Rule.


"China's totalitarian government...continues to intrude the most intimate aspects of an individual life, stunting relationships, destroying traditional family life and spreading fear. Women have lost the sovereignty of their bodies, The state own their ovaries, fallopian tubes and wombs, and has become a malevolent third participant in every act of love."  Ma Jian, The Guardian, May 6th, 2013


As a total control over every aspect of the lives of individuals is attempted and achieved under totalitarian rule, individual privacy is regarded irrelevant, even a threat, to power, and reporting any potential threat is encouraged and enjoyed by the majority who do not realize being the subject of vast propaganda, or finding themselves contributing to totalitarian rule. Neighbors report neighbors, spouses report spouses, friends report friends. Children turn against their parents. This is made possible by the fact that under totalitarian rule, traditional social institutions and organizations are discouraged and suppressed; thus the social fabric is weakened and people become more amenable to absorption into a single, unified movement.

Old religious and social ties are supplanted by artificial ties to the state and it's ideology.

As pluralism and individualism diminish, most of the people embrace the totalitarian state’s ideology.

Normal human feelings and passions are regarded weak and irrelevant.

The infinite diversity among individuals blurs, replaced by a mass conformity  to the beliefs and behavior sanctioned by the state.

Individual self-image, will, feeling and thought fade into loyalty to state and whatever ideology possessed by the state at given time.


Children are regarded state property in the totalitarian state. The state is portrayed as the ultimate protector and care-giver, providing and protecting the best interests of the child. This view is accepted by the majority. and state approved activities are encouraged.

The German socialist and philosopher, Karl Marx, said that in order to establish the perfect socialist state, you have to destroy the family,  that you have to substitute the government and it's authority for parental authority in the rearing of children. Revolutionary socialist governments espousing Marxist concepts took power in a variety of countries in the 20th century, leading to the formation of such socialist states as the Soviet Union in 1922 and the People's Republic of China in 1949.


"Socialization" of children is an important part of the indoctrination, that is essential to maintaining a totalitarian rule. This is done in kindergartens and schools, as early as possible.

As the North Korean legislation concerning children, states that "children are the future of the country for building socialism and to lead revolution against the successor to the revolutionary cause... and raising of children in a socialist society is one of the important national policies, based on the principles of socialist pedagogy of teaching methods." The law also favors children in kindergartens.


Forceful removal of children from dissidents to ensure future obedience, has been used as a tactic by totalitarian states. Under Franco rule in Spain kidnapping children from potential political enemies, became a state policy that continued until the 80's, as well as during the Dirty War in Argentina (1976-83). Nazi Germany is one example where children from groupings believed to be a threat to the rule and the race believed to be superior, were forcefully removed in a large scale from their families in order to weaken the groups means of existence, in addition to actual mass executions and long term terror.




The Police


In a totalitarian state the police operate without the constraints of laws and regulations. Their actions are unpredictable and in many cases, the mandate of the agency is to protect the agenda of its employer, rather than written law. Uncertainty is interwoven into the affairs of the state, and change is not permitted to become predictable, thus increasing a sense of terror, and repressing any dissent.

Some totalitarian governments establish a secret police. Nazi-Gestapo and Einsatzgruppen, KGB of the Sovjet Union, and the Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell'Antifascismo (OVRA) under Mussolini in Italy, 1920es, are a few examples.


Instead of transparently enforcing the rule of law and being subject to public scrutiny as ordinary police agencies do, secret police organizations are specifically intended to operate beyond and above the law in order to suppress political dissent through clandestine acts of terror and intimidation (such as kidnapping, coercive interrogation, torture, internal exile, forced disappearance, and assassination) targeted against political enemies of the ruling authority.

They operate entirely or partially in secrecy, that is, most or all of their operations are obscure and hidden from the general public and government except for the topmost executive officials. This semi-official capacity allows the secret police to bolster the government's control over their citizens while also allowing the government to deny prior knowledge of any violations of civil liberties.



Intellectuals, Creativity, Censorship, Multi Cultural Groups and Capitalists.



As a totalitarian movement is overtly anti-rationalist, favoring appeals to emotion and cultural myths, it relies on non-intellectual virtues as loyalty, patriotism and duty. Producing a pervasive contempt for intellectuals is an effective tactic for holding down resistance as intellectuals hold the key to understanding the mechanisms used, and are not as liable to be manipulated by propaganda. As diverse education as a rule is not emphasized under totalitarian rule, people are kept ignorant on what is accepted as normal from international point of view, their rights and International Law.

Individual creativity is repressed by introducing censorship. Only promotion of state interests is allowed, and attempts of individual expression will be put down by any means possible, and punished.

Capitalists are regarded a threat because of focus on individual goals instead of those of the state. One example is Nazi Germany, where attacks on big business and high finance were part of the government plan.

Persons belonging to multi cultural- religious and or racial groups, make a threat to the totalitarian belief system, as they represent different values than those defined by the state, and are contributing to pluralism. These groupings, among others, are often subject to long term terror from authorities in a totalitarian system. The horrors of attacks against these groupings, were witnessed in the Germanization process of Nazi-Germany. Similar systematic violations were used in Italy under Mussolini, in Spain under Franco rule, in the Soviet Union, as well as under the "Dirty War" in Argentina, amongst others, world wide.




Macrakis, Kristie. Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World,


The Institute of World Politics; Introduction to dismantling a totalitarian secret police system Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization by Ilan Berman,


Encyclopedia Britannica

Talmon, The Origins of a Totalitarian Democracy, 1952

StarNews Online: Stolen: The story of a Polish child 'Germanized' by the Nazis; one girl got back home By Melissa Eddy,

The Guardian

CNN News: Defectors agonizingly close to freedom sent back to North Korean nightmare

Official Homepage of Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Child Care Legistlation of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Translated from Korean by Google Translate)

Genocide Watch

DW News

Global Research

Al Jazeera News

Holocaust Remembrance Education

Pictures, Google







© 2014 created with Wix by Andreas and Johannes.

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