Mao Arendt's: The Origins Of Totalitarianism

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Totalitarianism is a one of the most brutal form of political tyranny and is based on the assumption that there is a single and exclusive truth in politics. The main aim of totalitarian regime can be considered as elimination of freedom and individuality, establishing a centralized system that controls public and private lives of its citizens. The economic depression in 20th century after World War One led to the rise of different totalitarian systems in various places. The transformation of Russian Empire from a rural country to a Socialist dictatorship, the imperial ambitions of Germany under Hitler’s leadership and thus declaration of one party state- National Socialism, Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution which transformed face of China were…show more content…
The expansion movements of these aggressive regimes resulted in death of millions of innocent people. In this work, ‘’origins’’ imply elements rather than causes. In her books, Arendt explores origins of totalitarianism and her arguments centre on three main points. Firstly, she sees totalitarian regimes as unique to the modern world that emerged after Europe’s economic and political ruination after World War One. According to Arendt, totalitarian ideology traces its roots mainly in imperialism and anti-Semitism. To prove her theories, she intends to trace the thinking process itself in these societies which lead to establishment of such regimes. She identifies racism and bureaucracy as the "two main political devices" of imperialism. (H Arendt - ‎1950, pp.185) She states that there is an correlation between racial hostility and class antagonism, but she sees neither racism nor anti-Semitism as an underlying cause of totalitarianism. The disintegration of nation states after the First World War which were governed by law and cultural ties was now taken over by issues of race and religion. Arendt writes that the presence of fear mixed with hatred stimulates followers of particular ideologies, thus it leads to hostility towards the outsiders of the ideology on the basis of…show more content…
She wrote that there are number of elements of moral issues in 20th century Europe: homelessness, rootlessness and loneliness- as of core elements of moral issues. Humans seem to have lost their place in the word, and instead nation states, traditions and religions grew stronger and people were more prone to turn to movements, whether it was Nazism or environmentalism. As movements give people some kind of identity. These individuals who had no attachment to job, family, friends, or class, were available to follow a leadership that allowed them to gain identity in a mass movement. No matter how brutal or irrational such a movement might be, it nevertheless offered a sense of identity to those who had never sufficiently gained one or who had lost the one they had possessed. At this point, anti-Semitism could be seen as a catalyst that triggered the rise of totalitarianism, and all of them have their roots in imperialism. Also Arendt puts into perspective political and economic differences between Russia and Germany – private versus state property, an idea of superiority of a race versus domination of proletariat. Likewise points out that there are some similarities- such as brainwashing of the masses by means of propaganda and control by fear. The ‘’totalitarian man’’ could be

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