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Totalitarianism
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★ Totalitarianism

Totalitarianism: see Dictatorship & Despotism & New World Order & Fascism & Ruler & Democracy & Nazi & Coup & Tyranny & Power & Command & Suppression & Repression & Oppression & Revolution & Empire US & Civil War Spain

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281.  As well as being man-made, it’s fear-made ... At its worse it’s the undeveloped part of the psyche that leads to totalitarianism that wants to worship, that wants a boss.  That wants a celestial dictatorship.  (God & Fear & Totalitarianism & Worship & Dictatorship & God’s Fascism)  Christopher Hitchens v Rabbi David Wolpe, Boston 2010

 

 

595.  It’s implicitly totalitarian.  Second, it degrades our human self-respect by saying we wouldn’t act morally if it were not for fear of this celestial dictatorship ... Third, it seems to me to be invariably based on sexual repression and a fear and disgust of the sexual act.  (Religion & Totalitarianism & Morality & Sex)  Christopher Hitchens v Mark Roberts 2007

 

 

49,367.  Very often the test of one’s allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience.  I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause.  Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published).  The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev.  In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel’s Charter 77 committees.  That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium.  I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me.  When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason!  Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn.  I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story.  The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would.  (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job.  This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.)  A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what ‘The Party’ had so perfectly termed ‘normalization’.  As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.  (Dissent & Protest & Czechoslovakia & Totalitarianism)  Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

 

95,958.  The essential principle of totalitarianism is to make laws that are impossible to obey.  The resulting tyranny is even more impressive if it can be enforced by a privileged caste or party which is highly zealous in the detection of error.  Most of humanity, throughout its history, has dwelt under a form of this stupefying dictatorship, and a large portion of it still does.  (Totalitarianism & Dictatorship)  Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great p212

 

 

107,353.  Somehow a word without which we cannot do … Borrowed from Immanuel Kant the concept of radical evil: the evil that’s so evil that it tries to destroy itself; it is so committed to evil, to hatred, to cruelty, that it becomes suicidal.  My definition of it is the surplus value that is generated by totalitarianism.  (Totalitarianism & Evil)  Christopher Hitchens, lecture The Axis of Evil Revisited 2009, Fora TV/Youtube 1.00.52 

 

 

866.  Propaganda in liberal democracies like America and Britain is much more thorough than in dictatorships and totalitarian states.  No imprisonment is required, no loss of fingernails called for.  There is another far more effective way: unlike totalitarian states, the conformity of information and opinion is insidious.  Its sameness implicit, engrained and even celebrated ... Technology seems to have almost anything seem possible except Truth ... Truth is always subversive, otherwise why should governments and their bureaucracies fear it so much and go to such lengths to suppress it.  (Truth & Propaganda & Totalitarianism & Media & Technology)  John Pilger, lecture July 1996 ‘The Hidden Power of the Media’

 

 

5,490.  Freedom is being lost in Britain.  The land of Magna Carta is now the land of secret gagging orders, secret trials and imprisonment.  The government will soon know about every phone call, every email, every text message.  Police can wilfully shoot to death an innocent man, lie and expect to get away with it.  Whole communities now fear the state.  The foreign secretary routinely covers up allegations of torture; the justice secretary routinely prevents the release of critical cabinet minutes taken when Iraq was illegally invaded.  The litany is cursory; there is much more ...

 

Freedoms are being lost in Britain because of the rapid growth of the ‘national security state’.  This form of militarism was imported from the United States by New Labour.  Totalitarian in essence, it relies upon fear mongering to entrench the executive with venal legal mechanisms that progressively diminish democracy and justice.  ‘Security’ is all, as is propaganda promoting rapacious colonial wars, even as honest mistakes.  Take away this propaganda, and the wars are exposed for what they are, and fear evaporates.  Take away the obeisance of many in Britain’s liberal elite to American power and you demote a profound colonial and crusader mentality that covers for epic criminals like Blair.  Prosecute these criminals and change the system that breeds them and you have freedom.  (Freedom & Great Britain & Security & Totalitarianism & Propaganda & War on Terror)  John Pilger, article New Statesman 'War Comes Homes to Britain'; viz website

 

 

5,385.  You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police ... yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear.  They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home – all the more powerful because forbidden – terrify them.  A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.  (Civil Liberties & Dictatorship & Tyranny & Totalitarianism)  Winston Churchill, Blood, Sweat and Tears

 

 

5,388.  The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.  (Civil Liberty & Liberty & Detention & Totalitarianism & Prison)  Winston Churchill

 

 

5,387.  Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.  (Civil Liberties & Liberties & Totalitarianism & Dictatorship & Despotism)  Thomas Jefferson

 

 

5,418.  Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.  (Liberty & Civil Liberties & Society & Control & Totalitarianism)  Marquis de Sade

 

 

5,558.  Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day.  Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure.  A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity.  It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear.  Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.  (Freedom & Fear & Courage & Totalitarianism & Dictatorship)  Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom from Fear

 

 

6,957.  The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instil convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.  (Education & Totalitarianism & Convictions)  Hannah Arendt

 

 

36,581.  Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself.  The masses have to be won by propaganda.  (Elite & Mob & Masses & Totalitarianism & Propaganda)  Hannah Arendt

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