Totalitarianism is defined as a form of government in which the state has absolute control of everything, including all aspects of the citizens’ life. In this form of government, law is seen as a product of the will of the rulers. They alone have the right to define standards of right and wrong. A good example was Adolf Hitler of Germany. In 1933, he saw himself as the chosen leader with a mission to realize the destiny of the people. As a matter of principle, his action could not be called to question.
Features of Totalitarianism
- Absence of constitution: There is no limit to the powers of the government because there is no constitution.
- Dictatorship: The government is headed by a dictator, e.g. Adolf Hitler of Germany.
- Individual freedom and liberties: Where totalitarianism operates, people are given little or no attention.
- Suppression: The government uses force to suppress those who oppose any of its policies.
- The mass media: There is absolute control of the mass media.
- Economy: It has a highly centralized economy. The government determines what is to be produced.
- Terrorism and Oppression: There is the use of force and terror to impose the will of the leaders on the people. For example, secret police and concentration camps are used to detain and torture political opponents.
- One-party system: The system is usually practised in a one- party state.
- Monopoly of means of information and education: The government controls virtually all the means of information and education.