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Germany under hitler an example of totalitarian state

Totalitarian regimes, in contrast to a dictatorship, establish complete political, social, and cultural control over their subjects, and are usually headed by a charismatic leader.

Was Nazi Germany a totalitarian state?

Fascism is a form of right-wing totalitarianism which emphasizes the subordination of the individual to advance the interests of the state. The principal characteristics of totalitarianism. The ways in which a totalitarian regime differs from a dictatorship.

The ways in which right-wing totalitarian regimes differ from left-wing totalitarian regimes. The principal features of Fascism. The principal features of Nazism. Totalitarian ideologies reject the existing society as corrupt, immoral, and beyond reform, project an alternative society in which these wrongs are to be redressed, and provide plans and programs for realizing the alternative order.

These ideologies, supported by propaganda campaigns, demand total conformity on the part of the people. Totalitarian forms of organization enforce this demand for conformity. Totalitarian societies are hierarchies dominated by one political party and usually by a single leader. A paramilitary secret police ensures compliance. Information and ideas are effectively organized through the control of television, radio, the press, and education at all levels. Dictatorship Totalitarian regimes differ from older concepts of dictatorship or tyranny.

Totalitarian regimes seek to establish complete political, social and cultural control, whereas dictatorships seek limited, typically political, control. Two types of totalitarianism can sometimes be distinguished: Traditionally, each is supported by different social classes. Right-wing totalitarian movements have generally drawn their popular support primarily from middle classes seeking to maintain the economic and social status quo.

Left-wing totalitarianism has often developed from working class movements seeking, in theory, to eliminate, not preserve, class distinctions. Right-wing totalitarianism has typically supported and enforced the private ownership of industrial wealth.

  • The infinite diversity among individuals blurs, replaced by a mass conformity or at least acquiescence to the beliefs and behaviour sanctioned by the state;
  • Hierarchy — A body of persons organized or classified according to rank, capacity, or authority;
  • Propaganda within Nazi Germany was highly effective.

A distinguishing feature of Communism, by contrast, is the collective ownership of such capital. Totalitarian regimes mobilize and make use of mass political participation, and often are led by charismatic cult figures.

Right-wing totalitarian regimes particularly the Nazis have arisen in relatively advanced societies, relying on the support of traditional economic elites to attain power. In contrast, left-wing totalitarian regimes have arisen in relatively undeveloped countries through the unleashing of revolutionary violence and terror. Such violence and terror are also the primary tools of right-wing totalitarian regimes to maintain compliance with authority. Fascism Fascism was an authoritarian political movement that developed in Italy and several other European countries after 1919 as a reaction against the profound political and social changes brought about by World War I and the spread of socialism and Communism.

  1. A special feature of Italian Fascism was the attempt to eliminate the class struggle from history through nationalism and the corporate state.
  2. The totalitarian state pursues some special goal, such as industrialization or conquest, to the exclusion of all others. Hitler, AdolfAdolf Hitler addressing a rally in Germany, c.
  3. The infinite diversity among individuals blurs, replaced by a mass conformity or at least acquiescence to the beliefs and behaviour sanctioned by the state.
  4. North Korea — North Korea has been ruled by the same family since 1948.

Its name was derived from the fasces, an ancient Roman symbol of authority consisting of a bundle of rods and an ax. Italian fascism was founded in Milan on March 23, 1919, by Benito Mussolini, a former revolutionary socialist leader.

His followers, mostly war veterans, were organized along paramilitary lines and wore black shirts as uniforms. The early Fascist program was a mixture of left- and right-wing ideas that emphasized intense Nationalism, productivism, anti-socialism, elitism, and the need for a strong leader. In that year it elected 35 members to parliament. The Philosophy of Fascism The intellectual roots of Fascism can be traced to the voluntaristic philosophers who argued that the will is prior to and superior to the intellect or reason.


Arthur Schopenhauer 1788-1860 was a German philosopher who held that the will is the underlying and ultimate reality and that the whole phenomenal world is the only expression of will. Human beings have free will only in the sense that everyone is the free expression of a will and that we therefore are not the authors of our own destinies, characters, or behavior, he wrote. He theorized that space, time, and causality were not absolute principles but only a function of the brain, concepts parallel to the scientific discoveries of relativistic physics two generations later.

The ancient empires grew out of a master morality, and the religions of the day out of the slave morality which denigrates the rich and powerful, rationalism, and sexuality. Henri Bergson 1859-1941 was a French philosopher of Jewish parents who was the leading rejectionist of the concept that scientific principles can explain all of existence. He asserted that metaphysical principles also apply. George Sorel 1847-1922 was a French social philosopher who had a major influence upon Mussolini.

Sorel believed that societies naturally became decadent and disorganized, and this inevitable decay could only be delayed by the leadership of idealists who were willing to use violence to obtain power. His anti-democratic, anti-liberal views and pessimistic view about the natural life-cycle of a society were antithetical to most of his germany under hitler an example of totalitarian state.

Fascist Ideology Fascist ideology was largely the work of the neo-idealist philosopher, Giovanni Gentile. Violence as a creative force was an important characteristic of the Fascist philosophy.

A special feature of Italian Fascism was the attempt to eliminate the class struggle from history through nationalism and the corporate state. Mussolini was forced into compromises with big business and the Roman Catholic Church.

The corporate state was never fully implemented. The inherently expansionist, militaristic nature of Fascism contributed to imperialistic adventures in Ethiopia and the Balkans and ultimately to World War II.

Nazism stressed the superiority of the Aryan, its destiny as the Master Race to rule the world over other races, and a violent hatred of Jews, which it blamed for all of the problems of Germany. Nazism also provided for extreme nationalism which called for the unification of all German-speaking peoples into a single empire.

Paramilitary Organizations Nazism made use of paramilitary organizations to maintain control within the party, and to squelch opposition to the party. Violence and terror fostered compliance. Among these organizations were the: It was active in the battle for the streets against other German political parties. Defense Corps, was an elite guard unit formed out of the S. It was under the command of Heinrich Himmler.

Dictator — A ruler having absolute authority and supreme jurisdiction over the government of a state; especially one who is considered tyrannical or oppressive.

Fascism — A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism. Hierarchy — A body of persons organized or classified according to rank, capacity, or authority.

Ideology — The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture.

How did Hitler turn Germany into a totalitarian state?

Left-wing — As used in this chapter, individuals and groups who germany under hitler an example of totalitarian state to reform or overthrow the established order and advocate change in the name of greater freedom or well-being of the common man.

Propaganda — The systematic spreading of a given doctrine or of allegations reflecting its views and interests. Right-wing — As used in this chapter, individuals or groups who profess opposition to change in the established order and who favor traditional attitudes and practices, and who sometimes advocate the forced establishment of an authoritarian political order. Research how this is different from other countries. Discuss the issue of civilian control of the military.

Obtain a report from Amnesty International on human rights violations around the world. Also obtain the parallel report from the State Department.

What are the factors which lead to human rights violations, such as age of the government, type of government, geographical location of the country, size of the country? List the countries of the world by type of government. Find the democracies, right-wing dictatorships, left-wing dictatorships, monarchies, left- and right-wing totalitarian regimes, and categorize them by the number of years they have had that form of government.

How many of these governments are headed by civilians, and how many are headed by the military? Which countries receive foreign aid from the United States? Which receive foreign aid from the Soviet Union? If not, why not? If so, how might such an election come about?

If you were a citizen in 1933 Germany, how would you feel about your government?

  1. It was evident that working against the party, or even being perceived as a potential threat would lead to prison or worse the Night of the Long Knives for example. Hitler spoke of an eventual doubling of the German population through these measures.
  2. The resulting popular support permits the state the widest latitude of action of any form of government.
  3. The most notorious of the steps taken to purify the German race was also a milestone in the anti-Jewish legislation promulgated by the Nazis. The ways in which right-wing totalitarian regimes differ from left-wing totalitarian regimes.

What options did you feel you had for expressing opposition to this government or to participate in it? How do these options differ from the options you have today in the United States?