| Traditionally, though with some exceptions, governments have recognized a distinction between public and private life. The earliest civil laws governed interactions between individuals that could result in material or physical harm. The totalitarian state, on the other hand, seeks to extend its authority not just over the public actions of a person, but to his or her own private associations, family life, and possessions as well. The individual interest thereby dissolves into the public interest, or in the words of radical leftist Carol Hanisch, “the personal is political.” Ultimately, the totalitarian goal is not just legal control over our actions, but our thoughts as well.

Finally, totalitarianism is a teleological worldview, meaning that the totalitarian mind sees all of history as unfolding toward an inevitable end—whether it be a communist state, a world government, or some other utopia. This end result, though never really achieved (thus the need for a “perpetual revolution”), is held up as a justification for every possible abuse, including mass murder. After all, opponents of the regime are simply getting in the way of historical progress.

Therefore, totalitarianism requires not only a belief in the power of the centralized state to eliminate all of humanity’s woes, but a belief in the inevitable victory of that state over private interests. As Mussolini inferred, there is nothing the totalitarian fears more than an individual acting outside the state. It is vitally important to understand that totalitarianism is not an exotic or abstract idea, but a reality of the contemporary world. It is something that we do not often recognize in our society, but is nevertheless an ever-present and growing danger. Read Entire Article

By Michael Kleen

Read part 2 of this post here.