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Dangers of Totalitarianism

by TOYOSI AJAMU

It is often said that when power is in excess it is always abused. Man’s quest for absolute control of power is never about others but from a selfish desire to have it all. Totalitarianism is a form of government whereby the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspect of life, the individual is subordinated to the state and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed. This is to say that whosoever is in power have total control over everyone and everything without being checked. Benito Mussolini an Italian dictator of 1920s further described the concept of totalitarianism as “all within the state, none outside the state, none against the state”.

The first danger a state stand against in a totalitarian state is dictatorship and tyranny. This because there is absence of opposition party to check the government therefore their decision is enforced without check. In a totalitarian state a special goal is chased and all resources are therefore channeled to its attainment not minding the cost. That is, what will further the goal is accepted and what is not benefiting the goal is not accepted.

Citizens in totalitarian system of government face fear and suppression, the can’t express themselves freely and risk being seen as rebelling against the government. Any unguarded words against the government attracts a penalty from the government so the people will rather keep mute. The opinions of the ordinary people are not heard so people have no choice but to adapt to a particular unified pattern. Social and traditional institution and organizations are suppressed. When individualism diminish people find themselves conforming to the totalitarian state’s ideology.
In a state where people cannot express themselves injustice is expected. The police operations are not in accordance with a stated procedures or law rather they are characterized by uncertain. The Adolf
Hitler rule in Germany uncertainty was infused in the state affair because an enabling act passed by the Reichstag in 1933 permitted him to amend the constitution at will.

George Orwell who directly saw the horrible length totalitarian government in Spain and Russia went in order to just acquire total control was greatly concerned with the future. Orwell realized how the
ordinary people were played and deceived and made to feel like they were free and in control just until power is taken from them. After Orwell really observed this totalitarian society he wrote a novel titled
“1984” he wrote the novel in 1949 to awaken the readers of what will happen in 1984 is totalitarianism is not opposed. The novel opens the readers mind to oppression of totalitarianism like psychological manipulation, control of information and history and physical control.

Though the need for government cannot be over emphasized in a society cause without a government to make and enforce the law the society will be in a state of anarchy but at the same time totalitarianism is not the way. A group of people representing the government is not meant to have
total power. Power is intoxicating, even if those in control start out good the awareness of unlimited control is enough to knock them off track. That is why over the years other system of government with
separation of power, check and balance and periodic elections have been developed and used in most advanced countries.

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