Atrium Catalogue

Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes

of the XXth Century in Urban Management

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Home Glossary Totalitarian


Totalitarianism is a political system in which the state practices complete control over people’s lives. The term was originally devised by Italian anti-fascists to distinguish modern dictatorship from conventional authoritarianism, but it was taken up by fascism and later used in anti-communist discourse to describe the USSR and other communist states. The term has always been controversial because it embraces ideologically opposed regimes and arguably overstates the extent to which any state can actually achieve full control of every aspect of life. What is clear is that fascism and communism aspired to a high degree of control over individuals’ actions and thoughts and that they were favoured in their efforts to achieve this by modern communications and technologies. Totalitarian regimes are normally taken to accord an important place to ideology, to rely on charismatic leadership and to seek, by various means, to win consent.
Last updated on 20 May 2013 10:59