Autocratic System of Government

Topics: Soviet Union, Nazism, Fascism Pages: 4 (1369 words) Published: October 31, 2008
Autocracy is defined as a form of government in which supreme political power is held by one person. The term autocrat is derived from the Greek word autokratôr, auto meaning self, and kratia meaning rule. It implies self-rule, where one can do whatever they want if they have power. Totalitarianism is considered a modern form of an autocratic government, where the government controls all aspects of the society. A totalitarian political party seeks to control not only all economic and political matters but the attitudes, values, and beliefs of the people, eliminating the distinction between state and society. According to Carl Friedrich and Zbignew Brzezinksi there are six key elements of totalitarianism and without these elements totalitarianism cannot exist: 1) an official ideology, 2) a single party typically led by one man, 3) a terrorist police, 4) a communications monopoly, 5) a weapons monopoly, and lastly 6) a centrally directed economy. The ultimate goal of a totalitarian government is to establish a “perfect” society in the eyes of the political party. Three major historical totalitarian states include the Soviet Union under Stalin, Italy under Mussolini, and Nazi Germany under Hitler.

Totalitarianism is an attempt to change the society as a whole, which is implemented by a single political party that controls all aspects of the society. The government would control all lines of communications, and used terror to intimidate society in hope that the society would only hear the political party’s ideology without any outside distractions. Totalitarianism states had full control the mass media. For example, newspapers, radio stations, and publishing houses were all run by the political party. Computers & photo copy machines were prohibited as well as foreign newspapers, books, and magazines. This was done to ensure that all means of communication would support the “official” political ideology so that only their ideology was heard and no one could...

Bibliography: Agnes, Michael. “Webster 's New World College Dictionary”, Webster 's New World; 4th edition (June 11, 2004)
Columbia University ET all. “Columbia Encyclopedia”, Gale Group; 6th edition (June, 2000)
Dickerson, M.O., Flanagan, T. “An Introduction to Government & Politics”, Nelson Thomson Learning; 6th Edition (2002)
Knight, Patricia. “Mussolini and Fascism (Questions and Analysis in History)”, Routledge (July, 2003)
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