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Jamie Nguyen
Poli Sci 51A
Take Home Essay
30 October 2015
A totalitarian regime rises when the system of government in power exercises absolute
and centralized authority and control over its people and all aspects of life. An important aspect
of totalitarianism is their strong ideologies. There are two types of totalitarian ideologies
communism and fascism. The core element of communism is economic. Communism justifies
the redistribution the wealth to the poor by claiming that capitalism to exploits the poor, thus
advocating for government control over the economy (Understanding Non-Democracies, Slide
5). On the other hand, the core element of fascism is racism and nationalism, where extreme
nationalism justified the use of repression (discrimination) as a means to control the population
and to stay in power (Understanding Non-Democracies, Slide 5). Although the core elements of
these ideologies differ, both are anti-democratic, totalitarian regimes that deny natural rights
operating under a single party dictatorship rule. Their ideology must be strong enough for the
people to want to sacrifice themselves for the cause. Totalitarian regimes exercise control over
state-controlled mass media in order to produce propaganda that procures support for their party.
However, if necessary (for the survival of the regime), they would resort to extreme militarism,
using absolute force to discipline and control the masses.
The totalitarian form of government did not emerge until after World War I (WWI) and
after the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The aftermath of the WWI led the world into an economic
recession devastating some countries more than others, especially Germany for losing the war.
The humiliation and devastation experienced by Germany after the war caused tremendous
hardships, frustrations, and suffering for its people. With such despair, it is not a surprise that the

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Germans turned to charismatic individuals, who promised them a better and brighter future if
they were to give them their full and willing obedience. This led to the rise of the totalitarian
regime in Germany. When Germany lost the war, they were forced to adopt a democratic form
of government (Berman). However, the implementation of the new democratic government
known as the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) was so loosely done and poor, that it fell to
totalitarian leader Adolf Hitler in 1933 (Lecture). The head of a totalitarian regime is known as
dictator, a highly centralized, strong, and charismatic leader with absolute power over his people
and country, using strong ideologies to brainwash their citizens into believing that their
totalitarian ideology is what is right for the country. The spirit of the people of Germany after
WWI was so weak that it left them vulnerable to Hitler. He prayed on their vulnerability by
brainwashing and manipulating them into believing in his ideology.
The factors that led rise of the totalitarian regime differs than that of the factors leading to
democratization by the core element of their ideology democracy is the government of the
people, by the people, for the people (Lincoln); whereas, in a totalitarian regime, the purpose of
safety and security do not exist; citizens lack the powers and tools to regulate their own
governments authority as challenging the totalitarian government would mean death. This
results in an out of control government that fails to act on its citizens best interests, but instead
give rise to a regime that believes in absolute control of the people in all aspects (public and
private). Another difference between the two systems is that in a democracy, if the people are
unhappy with the current form of government, then they have the right to overthrow and abolish
it and create a new one. For example, in France, the French went through five republics before
finally forming the republic they have today. However, what differs France from the United
States, is that our democracy is ensured by the Constitution and our rights are ensured by Bill of

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Rights; however, in a totalitarian regime, there is no written document that secures individual
rights, just a dictator ensuring that he has full control over all aspects of life.