Ideology and Terror Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ideology and Terror.
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Totalitarianism

The primary theme of "Ideology and Terror" is totalitarian government. Totalitarian governments, like the Nazis and the Soviet Union under Stalin, are governments whose grip over their citizenry is total: they control every single institution, no matter how small, and murder or imprison anyone who questions their authority. Totalitarianism is distinct from simple tyranny (say, a king who levies unreasonable taxes on the landowners in his kingdom) in that its control over the lives of its subjects is total. Private life is impossible in a totalitarian society, since all life takes place in and through the party; and by the same token, no reality except for that of the party is acknowledged as existing. Arendt argues that totalitarianism is unique because it is rooted in modern life, above all in mass politics and the sense of overwhelming isolation that comes from the collapse of community created by industrialised...

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This section contains 693 words
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