In the world there are different types of government systems and one of them is totalitarianism . This type of mandate is not a type of political ideology but rather it is a regime that includes statutes that dictate that power is in the hands of a single person while restricting the rights and freedoms of individuals. It is a type of dictatorship where the State is the only one that administers the entire territory, its inhabitants, the justice system and even the political powers.


What is totalitarianism?

Totalitarianism is a regime where all power is in the hands of a single political party and its leader who seeks the exaltation of the State and unlimited power . In it, all powers are in the hands of a single group that governs the country in a despotic way .

  • Definition
  • Characteristics of totalitarianism
  • Source
  • History
  • Types of totalitarianism
  • Causes
  • Consequences
  • Totalitarianism in Spain
  • Totalitarianism in Japan
  • Totalitarianism in Russia
  • Totalitarianism in China
  • Totalitarianism in Colombia
  • Advantage
  • Disadvantages of totalitarianism
  • How it differs from authoritarianism
  • How it differs from democracy
  • Importance
  • Review
  • Representatives


Totalitarianism is a type of political regime that is based on the unique intervention by the State in the lives of the inhabitants of a nation. In this type of government, power is centralized in a single man, who can be the person elected as president , or in a political group . A movement that is responsible for strictly controlling the media, the economy, culture and freedom, preventing them from turning against it.


Characteristics of totalitarianism

Among its main characteristics we can mention the following:

  • In totalitarianism there is no separation of powers as do democratic systems.
  • It affects individual freedoms and freedom of expression .
  • It is a constant threat to human rights .
  • The creation of organizations or political movements is completely prohibited.
  • The religion and education are subject to the doctrines imposed by the totalitarian partito.
  • They make extensive use of propaganda to socially control the population and to exercise repression.
  • The country is governed by a single leader who also establishes the structure of the government.
  • They are created armed groups or bodies of secret police who are loyal and also protect the party in power.


The origin of totalitarianism dates back to the 1920s and 1930s . It was used for the first time in Italy , by theorists who professed fascism.


After the term began to be used, it was broadening and spreading both to the extreme right and to the regimes that practiced communism . It was used extensively during the 1940s and 1950s and was associated with Cold War thinking. By the 20th century , the movement had been understood by many becoming a reality in terms of concept and politics.

Carl Schmitt from Germany and Giovanni Gentile from Italy were people who were in charge of laying the foundations of this movement, showing the importance that a system such as dictatorship and totalitarianism had for the defense and union of a country .

Types of totalitarianism

There are different types of currents or totalitarian thoughts, among which the following are mentioned:

  • Fascism – This is a type of totalitarian political movement that was born in Italy. Its precursor was Benito Mussolini and it emerged after the First World War . It is a movement with great capacity to move masses, to encourage violence and to destroy all types of movements that belong to the left. Its main objective is the absolute control of politics, society, culture, economy and religion.
  • Nazism : the word derives from the term Nazi and is related to the government that existed in Germany after the arrival of the National Socialist Party. This movement is considered one of the darkest and most tragic in society and was led by Hitler . He established a series of economic and social policies to exalt the Aryan power of Germany in the world, murdered thousands of Jews and established racial segregation .
  • Stalinist communism : a movement that was characterized by exercising the monopoly of power in the hands of a few people, they were against nationalism and fascism and practiced racism and xenophobia . This type of government greatly influenced the configuration in the States of America, giving way to the creation of governments governed under the dictatorial and paternalistic regime .


According to historical experts, totalitarianism could have several causes. One of the main ones is the lack of tolerance towards the thinking of others that caused thoughts against the rest of the people in a place. In addition, intolerance and the desire for power, could motivate its leaders to create generalized ideas that led to this type of movement.


Among the main consequences that can be observed as a result of the birth of totalitarianism, we mention the following:

  • There is a greater number of wars and armed confrontations to maintain control and this causes a large number of human lives to be lost.
  • There is a significant deterioration in the economy of a country, as well as in public services of all kinds and social.
  • Relations are broken with other countries that do not support this type of government.
  • The rights of people are considerably affected as well as freedom and social guarantees .
  • The practiced violence unchecked and even the torture against people who oppose this type of regime.
  • The media are censored, increasing intolerance and misinformation of the people.

Totalitarianism in Spain

In Spain , totalitarianism was reflected through Francoism , a movement where Generalissimo Franco had all power and in his hands was the executive and legislative power. Power was in the hands of the military and laws that could affect the government were never enacted. A movement that was also based on conservatism and fundamentalist Catholicism.

Totalitarianism in Japan

It promotes feelings of nationalism and religious ideas . It promotes the superiority of the country over other nations and exercises all power through military forces , in addition they used political propaganda based on lies.

Totalitarianism in Russia

At present, Putin , the president of Russia is considered as the person who came to power to reinstall totalitarianism. A man who under his rule has managed to put all the instruments of government in his power, made the governors appointed instead of being elected and censorship has been institutionalized. His opponents have been exiled and corruption is spreading every day without any kind of control.

Totalitarianism in China

China is in fact regarded as a digital totalitarian state . The internet in this country is dominated by the Chinese Communist Party and they have created means to control all its inhabitants using the networks. This also goes hand in hand with the repression against religious freedom since they do not tolerate any religion outside their own in the country, in fact, the images of Jesus that once existed in the country were removed and changed with the photo of the President Xi Jinping.

Totalitarianism in Colombia

In Colombia , with the passage of time, extreme right-wing totalitarianism has been established and they use the fear and terror that totalitarian regimes used to subdue people. They seek a way to eliminate all types of opposition, exterminate their enemies and suppress the rights of individuals as well as their individual , collective and social guarantees .


The advantages of having a totalitarian government are not really many, however, the ability to make important decisions quickly stands out, since they are not subject to opinions by others. Another advantage is that you can focus the necessary resources with the objective of reaching a goal and to achieve this, all the necessary resources are made available.

Disadvantages of totalitarianism

The disadvantages of this movement are important and affect all the people who live under this type of government. The abuse of power is enormous, and people cannot make their own decisions , express their opinions or go against authority even if they do not agree with it. The freedoms that people should have are completely eliminated to the point that the government is the one that practically chooses what they can say. They are governments where there is no separation of powers and where democracy does not exist either .

There is no place for different religious beliefs , dominating the individual and eliminating the faith of the citizens. They promote censorship above all because totalitarians know that a people full of ignorance and lack of knowledge can perfectly be dominated.

How it differs from authoritarianism

It differs from authoritarianism in that this movement gives the ability to choose legislators and allows the practice of some types of freedoms , however, the abuse of power is always present. The president, who is elected, is the one who has all the power and who also abuses it. The laws that are written are approved in order to restrict freedom and exercise repression . They have division of powers , however, all of them are under the power of the party that controls the country.

How it differs from democracy

Democracy is a political regime that differs from totalitarianism because it seeks above all to promote and guarantee the freedoms and fundamental rights of the individuals who live in a given place. It is a type of government that seeks to improve human dignity and also takes into account the opinions of its inhabitants to achieve a common good.


Analyzing the damage that totalitarianism causes in the inhabitants of a country, it could not be said that it is an important movement in a country. However, it is part of world history and some of its concepts can, on certain occasions, save the economy of a certain place.


Totalitarianism has been criticized for many years, mainly for the way its leaders arrive and stay in power. It is considered one of the most harmful forms of government worldwide due to the oppression and damage caused to the inhabitants of a country. Many experts consider that the movement will be very difficult to eradicate, especially in the places where it is already established.


Some of the most important representatives of totalitarianism are:

  • Mussolini
  • Stalin
  • Hitler
  • Fidel Castro
  • Nicolas Maduro

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