This week we are addressing authoritarianism and totalitarianism. As mentioned in the textbook, totalitarian regimes are extremely odious, but fortunately are also relatively rare. There are a couple of regimes today than can safely be characterized as totalitarian–North Korea and Burma.
Totalitarian regimes are characterized by the desire on the part of rulers for complete control of all of the state, civil society and economy. There is much overt violence and other forms of both cooptation and coercive control. Take a look at these two video clips of the film adaptation of George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984, and see if you can think of how many characteristics of a totalitarian regime you notice.