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Rejections OF

LIBERALISM

A brief overview of the rejections of liberalism before getting into extreme rejections.

Liberalism Rejected according to the Spectrum

LEFT CENTER

RIGHT

Branches of

Socialism

Liberalism

Classical

Conservatism

Marxism

Utopian Socialists

Democratic

Socialism

Ultraconservatives

Fascism

radical

As in the USSR

The change desired is a move toward the far left side of the economic spectrum and a complete rejection of political and economic traditions of the past

reactionary

As in Nazi Germany

The change desired is a move toward an idealized past and an acceptance of economic inequality (accepting the belief that some people are naturally better than others.)

20

th

Century Rejections of

Liberalism

Chapter 5

Totalitarianism - Characteristics

• Government establishes complete control of all aspects of the state (political, military, economy, social, cultural)

Highly nationalistic (flags, salutes, rallies, uniforms)

Strict controls and laws

Military state (secret police, army, military)

Censorship (opposing literature and ideas)

Propaganda (media – radio, newspapers, posters, movies)

One leader (dictator); charismatic

Total conformity of people to ideas and leader

Terror and Fear

Examples

No pure types but these regimes had totalitarian elements:

• Nazi Germany, 1933-1945

Stalinist Soviet Union, 1925 to 1953

China under Mao Zedong, 1949 to 1970

Cambodia (Kampuchea) under Khmer Rouge, early 1970s

Logic of totalitarianism

• Creating a perfect society out of imperfect human beings requires a high level of coercive control of every facet of life.

• In contrast, authoritarian governments are not interested in creating a utopia but maintaining control over existing society. Coercion only used against perceived enemies of the state.

Features of totalitarianism

1. The cult of the leader. Leader must be supreme and autonomous - Hero worship. The Leader is perceived as wise, paternal, charismatic.

Features of totalitarianism

2. Radical ideology: official, total, comprehensive.

It exploits popular fears and prejudices. The ideology inspires and legitimates a revolutionary break from the past:

▫ a.) provides a scapegoat for past wrongs

▫ b). explains present sacrifices

▫ c.) promises a future of peace & plenty

Hitler’s Final Solution

T

Z

C

H

W

I

A

U

S

Death Camps

To kill Jews, Gypsies, Religious Leaders and other Dissenters, Homosexuals,

Disabled People, and all non-whites

Features of totalitarianism

3. organization. A single political party serves the leader in promoting the ideology. The party initially might be powerful, but it becomes subservient to the leader. In time, no dissent permitted even among party elites.

Demonstration of support for the party, controlled participation and absolute loyalty

Loyalty Through

Fear

“The ends justify the means.”

Features of totalitarianism

4. mass mobilization & indoctrination. Fanatic followers make any sacrifice. Regime mobilizes against internal enemies (opponents, scapegoats, counterrevolutionaries) and external enemies.

Use aggressive warfare (that is, wars without justification, not in self-defense) to keep the people mobilized.

Soviet Propaganda

One sided information designed to persuade its audience

Nazi Propaganda

One sided information designed to persuade an audience

Indoctrination Cartoon

INDOCTRINATION

IS

BRAINWASHING &

THOUGHT CONTROL

Features of totalitarianism

5. use of secret police. All sovereign states monopolize armed services and police, but totalitarian states also use secret police and informers to monitor and control the citizenry.

NKVD EXECUTIONS

Features of totalitarianism

6. central control of all organizations, including schools, the arts, clubs, news media, labor unions, universities, churches, the economy. No separate organizations; no civil society.

Features of totalitarianism

7. use of terror and violence:

To smooth the way to a takeover. Creates an atmosphere of crisis and political instability.

Dramatizes inability of old government to provide security.

• To maintain control afterward. Keeps the population too terrorized to dissent.

GULAGS – SOVIET FORCED LABOUR PRISONS

Terror & violence

• Totalitarian leaders may become so obsessed with total control that they eliminate not just enemies but loyal deputies who could become rivals. Some even imagine enemies where none exists & conduct bloody purges.

• Examples from Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and Mao

Zedong.

Difference between violence & terror

Violence can be useful to dictators.

• 1. enhances leader’s status.

2. brings economic gain (confiscating property of victims).

3. punishes political opponents and thereby discourages future dissent.

4. destroys a group completely. May help solidify support among the other groups.

Difference between violence & terror

Terror useful in the short term. It is arbitrary and unpredictable.

Goal: to produce an extreme fear in populace to paralyze them into an utter lack of resistance. Terror creates an emotional and psychological state. Where violence is a reaction to resistance, terror seeks to prevent resistance from ever forming.

Nature of Totalitarian Regimes

• They consider the existing society in need of a complete transformation

▫ Radical : as in the Soviet Union, a complete rejection of the political and economic traditions of the past, move to a classless society with state ownership

▫ Reactionary : as in Nazi Germany, where the change desired is move toward an idealized past and an acceptance of economic inequality

In regards to liberalism

Both in Nazi Germany and the USSR totalitarianism was an attempt to hold off and reject the beliefs and values of liberalism

Contributing Factors

▫ Authoritarianism in both Russia and Germany

▫ Communtarianism in Russia

▫ Defeat of Germany in WWI

Both communism and fascism used totalitarian governments

On the USSR’s flag hammer = industrialization scythe = collectivized agriculture

On the Nazi’s flag

Swastika – ancient symbol denoting luck

Since Hitler, to most Westerners it denotes evil

• Totalitarianism – use of government to exert complete control over EVERY aspect of people’s lives

Commonalities

New technologies made totalitarianism possible and allowed rulers to maintain an extreme degree of control over their populations

Turned away from the individual and away from limited democratic governments

Both had one party rule (no other political parties allowed)

Both favored a collective, all-powerful state

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