There are a few more terms we need to identify under the umbrella title totalitarianism:
Tyranny – A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power; the office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler; absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly; use of absolute power; extreme harshness or severity.
Despot – A ruler with absolute power; a person who wields power oppressively; a tyrant.
Dictator – generally used to describe a leader who holds and/or abuses an extraordinary amount of personal power, especially the power to make laws without effective restraint by a legislative assembly. Dictatorships are often characterized by some of the following traits: suspension of elections and of civil liberties; proclamation of a state of emergency; rule by decree; repression of political opponents without abiding by rule of law procedures; these include single-party state, and cult of personality.
Imperialism – the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence – especially in gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas (countries).
The Deadly Results of Totalitarianism
The closest number historians and researchers can come up with in tallying the death, by Communism specifically, is 100 million, and they acknowledge that it’s probably even more. This includes Russia, China, Viet Nam and Cuba. (Nazi World War ll Germany has its own death tally.)
The tyrants who bring this about have a variety of methods in this goal, passive and active. One of the first objectives is to gain control of the food supply by going after the farmers and appropriating their food and then their crop seed. The ruling class has plenty of food because they make sure that their comforts and survival are assured. Millions have starved to death throughout the 20th century.
They also orchestrate the economy in such a way that food is too expensive for most of the population to access.
Another method is imprisoning the designated/hated class. The conditions are horrible: not enough food and shelter, heavy workloads, extremely crowded conditions, separation of families, extreme weather conditions which compounds the above. Many of those headed for camps, die enroute from hunger, brutality of the guards, beatings, disease, exposure, etc.
There is also the old standby of war. Tyranny can orchestrate civil war by playing one class against another (poor against rich, the chosen ‘race’ against the ‘inferior race’ , for instance Germans against Jews, one nationality against another, one religion against another, those who have food and those who don’t, poor against rich, unemployed against the employed). This takes a huge toll on the population, with children being among the first to succumb, no matter what the method of decreasing the population. Abortion, infanticide and arbitrary family size will help eliminate the population at its most vulnerable and helpless – but for the ruling class, the easiest.
Purging is another way of eliminating undesirables. No one is exempt from this. The ruling group will kill their competition, their cronies, most of a designated group, such as farmers, artists, intellectuals, former leaders, and this includes the families of the aforementioned. Many times in history, a leader has an arbitrary number he wants purged, so the henchmen proceed to kill wantonly to fulfill these ‘quotas.’
Torture is also listed among the methods, and rest assured, most victims do not survive torture. There can be no reason for this, other than that the perpetrators are sadistic. This would not be defined as an efficient, passive way to kill people, after all.
Deporting (banishing, exporting) would eliminate many because of the journey to where they are going. At the very least, they are ‘done away with.’
Economies are ruined intentionally because of the mortality it brings to a population. Even after the terror subsides, the culture is shredded. Many have lost their homes, jobs, family members, and the uppermost thought in their mind is obtaining food and keeping a low profile so they are not victimized further. Fear, hunger, poverty and exposure to the elements are now their world.
I believe you get the idea of why no one in their right mind would want anything to do with a totalitarian government, yet that is the condition of most of the world. It doesn’t happen overnight. It happens incrementally over many years, in most cases. It usually begins with socialism.
Next blog, I will write about all that happens between learning the definitions and types of totalitarianism to the end result: misery and death. We will see the effect that totalitarianism has on education, economy, morals, religion, and families. This is where we will see some surprises, even in and for America.