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F.A. Jabbar, Totalitarianism Revisited. With a Note on Iraq

Orient-Institut Studies 1 (2012) – Rethinking Totalitarianism and its Arab Readings

Faleh A. Jabbar

Totalitarianism Revisited 1

With a Note on Iraq



Totalitarianism is a pivotal concept for understanding and analyzing the Iraqi model under the Ba 'th (1968-2003), which we specify as patrimonial-totalitarianism. It may also serve to examine other systems in transition (China, North Korea). A tour d ' horizon is indispensable to understanding the exact meaning of the term, and the cases in the real world that this term captured or captures.


Generally, totalitarianism is a notion used to describe three different sociopolitical systems that have much in common: Fascit Italy, Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. 2 These systems belong to the epoch of post World War I of industrial Europe. The Nazi and Facist were right-wing, nationalist types that perished as a result of World War II. The leftist, collectivist version, i.e. Stalinist model, continued few years after the death of its leader Joseph V. Stalin (1879-1953), and began to reform and mutate as from 1956 3 .


The term totalitarianism was also used to describe the East European 'socialist' countries before the velvet revolutions in the late 1980s; it is also applied to non-industrial and non-European nations, such as China under Mao Tse Tong, or North Korea under Kim Il Song and his son-succcessor, Kim Jong Il.


As a concept, totalitarianism denotes a variety of socio-political systems that had or have some common unique characteristics, divergent features notwithstanding; totalitarianism is also an elitist discourse embedded in different philosophies, and/or social movements that belong to highly urbanized mass societies.


The word and the notion were originally the brainchild of the Italian fascist thinker, Giovanni Gentile (1875-44), in the early 1920s. Before WWII, this concept drew little theoretical attention as a new type of philosophy and political order; after the war, however, it was recast by a host of European leftists and liberal thinkers hostile to the totalitarian model, prominent among which are Hannah Arendt, Carl Friedrich, Franz Neumann, and Leonard Schapiro, to name but few social scientists of prominence. The camp of 'totalist' thinkers soon expanded rapidly. 4 In 1920s Gentile 's version of it was the self-aggrandizement by an anti-liberal, nationalistic, conservative Italian philosopher. For him, the term totalitario was synonym to a more advanced and better refined, ethical state relative to weak liberal governance. 5 For Arendt, Friedrich, Neumann and others it was synonym to evil, pernicious dictatorship or autocracy. 6 Gentile had Italy in mind; Arendt, Friedrich and others leveled it against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and, later on, against Soviet or Stalinist Russia and its East European allies. Leftist thinkers accepted a conditional application of the term, confined to Germany and Italy, or rejected it altogether, splitting the intellectual milieus into totalist and anti-totalist camps. Consequently, totalitarianism became one of the most controversial phenomena ever examined and the most debated concept ever coined in modern social science.


Some totalists, critical of the dichotomy of the liberal versus the totalitarian, limited the usage of the term to Germany and Stalinist Russia; others added Italy and Spain. The difference was thus not only a matter of substance, but also of scope. Criticism of and debate over this notion in the 1960s and 1970s never waned; it limited the usage of the term and/or demanded more refinement; other scholars, mostly on the Marxian left, opposed it as an ideological cry of the cold war with little scientific efficacy. 7 Let us now examine the definitions of the term as they evolved in time.

Gentile and total hegemony


Totalitarianism made its first philosophical appearance as a gracious self-flattering concept in Italy. The fascist thinker Giovanni Gentile (1875-killed in1944) coined the term totalitario in The Philosophical Foundations of Fascism (1924), an apologetic, philosophical essay on the political history of Italy, hailing the rise of fascism and its leader, Benito Mussolini, as the new symbol of the reinvigorated Italian nationalism of the Risorgimento. The focal theme in this philosophical piece, which is more representative of its author Gentile, than of his idol, Mussolini, even less the fascists system the latter created, is totalitarianism. In another article written by Gentile, but signed by his mentor, Il Duce, for the Italian Encyclopedia in 1932, offers a more focused text. 8 The essence of fascist philosophy is the totalist state as an end in and for itself; the state that overrides nation (meaning people or society); indeed subsumes the individual, controls society and expands beyond the limits set by modern checks and balances of the political order. In the words of its author: "The politic of Fascism revolves wholly about the concept of the national state." 9 This of course is common with all nationalist doctrines. What differentiates the fascist version is state-society, and state-individual relations. "In the definition of Fascism, the first point to grasp is the comprehensive, or as Fascists say, the "totalitarian" scope of its doctrine, which concerns itself not only with political organization and political tendency, but with the whole will and thought and feeling of the nation." 10


This totalist propensity, couched here in philosophical jargon, is the drive to blur the classical dividing line between political society and civil society, i.e. between state, as a system of governance, and society proper, and between the state and the individual. Fascist statism abhors such liberal separation as it abhors division of power, and strives at a monolithic order and total union of state with the autonomous social institutions and private spaces. In the definition of the state, Gentile sounds like a Hegelian, but one that is cleansed of Hegelian liberal norms. His whole set of vocabulary speaks of the state as a spiritual entity, an ethical end, a unifier of contradictions inherent in society between sundry individual interests and community 's collective interest, echoing or, in fact, paraphrasing Hegel 's Philosophy of Right where the latter 's conceptualization of the state finds its clearest expression. While in Hegel 's Philosophy of Right the conflict between individual and community interests tends to subside as both sides converge, or conciliate in the state, in Gentile 's conception the state is in conflict with society and individuals, and subsumes these two under its unifying will. 11 State coercion, in Gentile 's view, becomes primary and essential, although a degree of consent exists, a shy reminder of old liberal traits. Gentile 's fundamental break with Hegel lies in the outright disdain for liberal polity as institutions, functions, norms or procedure. He tends to link his 'Fascist State' to Hegel 's logic of alienation and unity, by loathing any schism, social or individual cleavage, as a realm of painful estrangement, calling for the removal of this alienation, and creating or imagining to create a monolithic, holistic space in which the nation and the individual blend into the body and will of the state. The desired union, however, is not a voluntary propensity beaming from below, from individuals and society, up towards the state, rather the other way round. It is also coercive in nature. This logic is born out of Gentile 's rejection of liberal politics, the sphere of factional parliaments, of universal suffrage, of sundry liberties, and controversial debate. 12


In Gentile 's as in Mussolini 's conception of the state, three elements overlap: anti-liberalism, anti-Marxian (i.e. anti-syndicate collectivism) and anti-other nations. For them liberalism breeds weak states, class-embedded collectivism divides the nation by class wars, and other nations threaten or compete against Italian expansionism (or, as Hitler would put it: Germany 's 'Lebensraum', i.e. the vital space).


In Mussolini 's What is Fascism? these elements are clearly expounded:

"Fascism [is] the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history…the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied.
After Socialism, Fascism combats the whole complex system of
democratic ideology, and repudiates it , whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority, can direct human society; it denies that numbers can govern by means of a periodical consultation, and it affirms the immutable, beneficial and fruitful inequality of mankind, which can never be permanently leveled through mere operation of a mechanical process such as universal suffrage.
For Fascisms, the growth of empire , that is to say the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite is a sign of decadence… [Fascism] believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace.
The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom."


Although Gentile advocates total hegemony, we find traces of skepticism in Gentile 's own philosophical work as to the feasibility of 'total' hegemony. He advises that it is "necessary to bring into the [fascist] party, and the institutions created by the party, all the people -commencing from their most tender years." 14 This process, he confesses, would be slow, brought about through reform and education; but, he questioned the possibility of hegemony over social autonomy to the full extent the term totalitario implies: As "a single spirit…emanated from the center…to the periphery, the freedom of movement and autonomy would only slowly languish and disappear." But, "as the party organization expands almost to the full extent of the State discrepancies remain ." 15


If autonomy 'slowly languishes' and discrepancy persists, the total ideal is, after all, not total. And the motto raised by Mussolini, "All within the state, none outside the state, none against the state", is irreconcilable with the existence of autonomous institutions and forces outside his state. Since Gentile 's own perception of the fascist state is incongruent even with its own ideal, how to define it then? Gentile describes the fascist state as a "corporative syndicalist regime" one that is "a substitute for the liberal state." 16


Italian fascists yearned for a 'totalitarian' state that would have been an amalgam of autocratic, étatist, corporative-syndicate, and expansionist creature. They managed to abolish the institutional division of power, a direction shared with authoritarian and autocratic regimes, old and new, but they failed in their attempt to destroy or control through central mass mobilization the autonomy and freedom of movement of non-state actors in total.


Ironically, Italy invented the theory of totalitarianism but Germany applied it to the full extent. The German Nazi model was the case that coincided with the ideal-type Gentile invented. The German single-party system, its racist, expansionist nationalism, its genocidal anti-Semitism, its hostility towards collectivism and liberalism, its emphasis on the state as the supreme incarnation of the 'Volksgeist' (the spirit of the people), was more indebted to Mussolini than German leaders were prepared to acknowledge.


German political scientists and Nazi ideologues, but not Nazi leaders, examined the totalitarian concept and understood its connotations only too well. According to Juan Linz, the notion "totalitarianism" was used in historical, legal and political studies in the interwar period. Terms like total war and total mobilization were already in circulation in 1920s. Some German social scientists began to use it in 1928, 1934 and beyond to describe "the new mobilization single-party regimes, fascist and communist," and some scientists "already in 1928 would note the similarity between the Bolshevik and the fascist party." 17


Parallel to these, the first attempts to differentiate the various types of political systems in contemporary Europe were made in the early and mid 1930s by non-liberal theorists who "formulated the contrasts among authoritarian state, the totalitarian state, and what they called the neutral liberal democratic state." 18 This fruitful demarcation of three different political ideal-types, liberal―authoritarian―totalitarian, was unfortunately lost in the early post-war years. Perhaps Franz Neuman is the only pre-war outstanding exception. Already in 1942, his Behemoth, The Structure and Practice of National Socialism presented the first critical-structural analysis of the totalitarian state in Nazi Germany and offered the first novel examination of the totalitarian state.

Post-war Dichotomy: The Totalitarian versus the Democratic


Only after the fall of the 'Third Reich' in 1945, did the full horror of the Nazi and Fascist totalitarian regimes began to surface, and political theory was awakened to the need of examining what went wrong: why such dictatorial, racist, expansionist and genocidal systems emerged at the heart of the old continent, the haven of enlightenment, rationalism, reason and liberties. This question preoccupied a host of thinkers like George Lukacs, Erich Fromm, Theodore Adorno, Horkheimer, Eugene Habermas, Herbert Marcuse, Charles Betthelheim to name but few. 19 Taking Marxian, or Marxian-Freudian, or critical approaches they analyzed the rise of such irrational, destructive regimes. Thinkers wondered how could countries with long advanced philosophical and scientific maturity such as Germany, or with the heritage of humanism like Italy, develop such lawlessness, or such animal, anti-human spirit. The post-war generation gave rise to a host of renowned thinkers whose mind-set and critical edge were determined by Germany 's, Italy 's, and Stalinist Russia 's experiences: While these questions were raised in 1950s about the past, the world was ushered in a new era, the cold war, with new promise and new fears.


Two opposing motions took root in the old and newly divided continent. One part was set on the reconstruction and democratization of old totalitarian states, Italy, part of Germany and Austria; another part was driven into emulating the Stalinist model, an imposed 'total model' of sorts. The pre-war concept of totalitarianism re-emerged in full force but this time at the hands of opponents rather than exponents of this phenomenon. The similarities between the Stalinist, Nazi and Fascist models, already observed during the pre-war years, were re-investigated. Perhaps the names of Hannah Arendt, Carl Friedrich will figure always as the most prolific and important contributors in this theoretical turn. A third and perhaps the most important name, Franz Neumann, should be signaled out for his unique perspective, not adulterated by cold war mongering that overshadowed the work of Hanna Arendt and Carl Friedrich. His premature death in the early 1950s deprived us of a potentially deep contribution richer than the posthumously published outlines, but his Behemoth is the first of its kind; it anticipated both Arendt and Friedrich, and was a thorough study bereft of cold war prejudices. 20


We shall now briefly outline the conceptions of this totalist school and the criticism directed against it.

The six-point syndrome


Carl Friedrich was the mastermind of the liberal definition of totalitarianism as a new, modern form of autocracy that has a definite set of features. His classification took various forms. In his first attempt, five points were elaborated as defining the essence of totalitarian regimes. In The Nature of Totalitarianism, Friedrich elaborates five clusters of basic traits defining the essence of the new totalist model. These clusters merit quotation in full:

"The factors or aspects which basically are shared by all totalitarian societies of our time are five, or can be grouped around five closely linked clusters of characteristic features. These societies all possess:
1. An official ideology consisting of an official body of doctrine covering all vital aspects of man
's existence, to which everyone living in that society is supposed to adhere at least passively; this ideology is characteristically focused in terms of chiliastic claims as to the "perfect" final society of mankind.
2. A single mass party consisting of a relatively small percentage of the total population (up to 10 percent) of men and women passionately and unquestioningly dedicated to the ideology and prepared to assist in every way in promoting its general acceptance, such party being organized in strictly hierarchical, oligarchic manner, usually under a single leader and typically either superior to or completely commingled with the bureaucratic governmental organization.
3. A technologically conditioned near-complete monopoly of control (in the hands of the party and its subservient cadres, such as bureaucracy and the armed forces) of all means of effective armed combat.
4. A similarly technologically conditioned near-complete monopoly of control (in the same hands) of all means of effective mass communication, such as press, radio, motion pictures, and so on.
5. A system of terrorist police control, depending for its effectiveness upon points 3 and 4 and characteristically directed not only against demonstrable 'enemies' of the regime, but against arbitrarily selected classes of the population; such arbitrary selection turning upon exigencies
of the regime ' s survival, as well as ideological 'implications and systematically exploiting scientific psychology' ." 21


This text was written in 1953; in a second text, co-authored with Zbigniew K. Brzezinski in 1956, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy , Friedrich added another cluster to his list, producing the well-known six-point syndrome. The new sixth cluster was control over the economy, or

"6. A central control and direction of the entire economy through the bureaucratic coordination of formerly independent corporate entities, typically including most other associations and group activities." 22


By defining totalitarianism as a modern form of autocracy, K. Friedrich and Z. Brzezinski widened the comparative political framework to include all recorded history of human political orders. Thus "[Totalitarianism as an autocracy] has been with us over long periods of mankind 's history." 23


This 'final' version, which may have received further stylistic elegance, was subject to incessant debate within the Totalist School in pursuit of additional refinement. The totalist camp was not unified; it grew from two sources: German philosophers, the victims of Nazism, as from American liberalism, bent, during McCarthyism, on confronting the Soviet bloc. The debate, then, was as immersed in the traumatic experiences of Nazi terror and war horrors as in the heat of the cold war


From without, attacks on Friedrick-Brzizinski 's theory came from the Marxian left and attempted at a final removal of the theory from the academic arena. The Marxian left emphasized the need to differentiate the 'fascist' from the Soviet type, and forced the totalist school to seek less controversial terms and definitions, or to abandon their ship altogether.

Arendt 's historical archaeology


A philosopher with a historical insight, Hannah Arendt attempted at an archeology of the precursors of totalitarianism; this she sought in analyzing the general history of European or world industrialization in conjunction with specific national, German and Slavic, histories.


Indeed, Arendt investigates economic and social factors that gave rise to totalitarian movements and regimes, as they developed in time and space. Sociology of totalitarianism, in fact, is the focus of her attention. In her view, world industrialism is inclined to cover the earth, yet it is caged in national market and politics: "Imperialism was born when the ruling class in capitalist production came up against national limitations to its economic expansion…," but as the business classes pushed outwards, and the political classes leaned inwards, "the bourgeoisie tried and partly succeeded in persuading their national governments to enter upon the path of world politics." 24


Arendt 's analyses of imperialism relies heavily on ideas developed by German and Austrian socialist thinkers: Rosa Luxemburg, Rudolf Hilferding and Karl Kautsky, 25 but 'her' analysis has its own merits, as it moves from the macro cosmos of the globe, to the micro cosmos of single industrial nations, and from there further down to smaller fragments of socio-economic formations: classes, masses and mobs. These three levels are interconnected and conditioned by the fact that the engine of industrial growth is embedded in "a never-ending accumulation of capital" which involves a similar "never-ending accumulation of power necessary for the protection" of wealth production. 26 Expansionism was a "cure for all evils, an easy panacea for all conflicts." 27 The world of imperialism creates a rift between the nation and the world; it also deepens the social cleavage: in addition to the superfluous capital there is a superfluous class (or classes) of the impoverished, marginalized and deprived, or "the human debris that every crisis, following invariably upon each period of industrial growth, eliminated permanently from producing society." 28


Depression and faltering economic cycles invented expansionism into non-capitalist spaces to avoid crash at home. The business classes with superfluous wealth and in need of markets unite with superfluous classes of the marginalized and unemployed at home, both gear their energies to world colonies. This solution invented by the end of the 19 th century was temporary. The internal tension created other rifts: it aggravated competition, and drove nation-states to enhance race thinking, as in Germany, as an instrument of nation-unity. 29


As Arendt sees it, expansionism reinforced racism. Overseas imperialism (of the British and French type) disdained barbarians; continental imperialism, pursued by Germany and Russia along Pan-Germanic and Pan-Slavic lines respectively, took a similar attitude; the difference however, is that while overseas colonies were far flung from liberal institutions at home, continental appendixes were nearby, disallowing any difference "between the authoritarian methods and institutions of colony and of nation." 30 Continental imperialism bred "open disregard for law and legal institutions and ideological justification of lawlessness." 31


Arendt thinks that elements of expansionism, racism and lawlessness, all parts of the European system of industrialism, burst into social and political life following the 1914 crisis shattering the façade of seeming stability. In the defeated nations, Germany, Austro-Hungary, Russia, and humiliated Italy, rather than the victorious ones, an un-benign social change made itself felt. In the era between the two world wars, the social realm was tense with "dispossessed middle classes, the unemployed, the small rentiers , the pensioners whom events had deprived of social status, the possibility to work, and the right to hold property." Worst still was the position of stateless minorities. 32


At this point, according to Arendt, a mass urban society developed, weakening class affiliation and replacing the 19 th century mob and crowd with faceless masses. 33 This, in her view, is the point when totalitarian movements emerged, organizing masses rather than classes. The elite-mob alliance of the nineteenth century is superseded by the elite-mob-mass configuration. 34 In Arendt analyses, totalitarian movements are impossible without the emergence of masses, i.e. atomized society, the shattered monads who are unable to get integrated into any consciousness of common class interest, yet they have acquired, for one reason or another, "an appetite for political organization." 35 Her analysis, however, lacks clarity on the differences between the 'mob' and the 'masses'. "The truth is that the masses grew out of the fragments of a highly atomized society whose competitive structure and concomitant loneliness of the individual had been held in check only through membership in a class". 36


To sum up: expansionism, race-nationalism, traditions of lawlessness, atomized individuals turned into fractured masses, all configured in a moment of crisis in countries traumatized by national defeat abroad and socio-economic crisis at home to produce the totalitarian torrent. The main feature of the totalitarian system, Hannah Arendt maintained, was terror. For her, this was a broad concept involving racism, lawlessness, and police terror; it is the anti-thesis of the rule of law, free choice and liberties. But terror is merely an instrument; the target lies beyond. Terror is an aspect of the system, the method by which it unfolds and moves; this of course says nothing of how the system is structured; nevertheless it does say how its techniques of power function.

Franz Neumann 's structural analysis


If Friedrich 's analysis is comparative-structural and Arendt 's was historical-sociological, Neumann 's theorization is a broader synthesis. 37 Working during the years of WWII, Franz Neumann 's Behemoth, The Structure and Practice of National Socialism (Oxford, 1942) was ahead of Friedrich, Arendt and all the others. In the legends of antiquity, the Behemoth is the monster conquering land, in contradistinction of the Leviathan, the monster that prevails over the sees. 38 Beyond the legend, the Behemoth explains the origins, nature, and structure of the totalitarian state in 1940 Germany, examining the philosophy and the context of its rise, and studying the problems of state and state-party uneasy symbiosis, the system of social, engineering (re-structuring of social classes) ideological hegemony, and economic command, and dictatorship over needs. The richness of the text pales any attempt to outline. In Neumann 's words:


"The idea of the totalitarian state grew out of the demand that all power be concentrated in the hands of the president [as the Weimar Republic disintegrated]. Immediately after Hitler 's accession to power, political theorists began to make much of the totalitarian idea as elaborated by constitutional lawyers. [In fact long before that as Example of Carl Schmidt 's The Crisis of Parliamentary Systems -1926 shows]. All power was to be vested in the state; anything less was sabotage…The totalitarian state was described as an order of domination and a form of people 's community. It was anti-democratic because democracy, with its notion of an identity between the ruler and the ruled, undermined the necessary authority of leadership. Leadership, the National Socialist declared, is not delegated by the people-authority presupposes rank and is valid against the people 's will because the people do not bestow but recognize it." 39


Historically, Neumann identifies the roots of totalitarianism in the industrial epoch that develops two sundry features: highly 'complex, integrated mechanism' operating only in 'a highly organized, stratified, and hierarchic system.' 40 This system is contradictory; it pulls towards discipline, obedience and subordination, the virtues authoritarian and totalitarian regimes cherish. But the system also pulls in the opposite direction: self-reliance, feeling of solidarity, spirit of cooperation and awareness of one 's power. According to him, all modern dictatorships flowed from modern democracies at a point of crisis. And he offers three variables to examine this crisis: the economic system, the class relationship, and what he vaguely terms as 'personality structure. 41


As to the structural make up of the totalitarian system, Neumann offers five integrated features:
1. The first feature is the transition from a state based upon the rule of law (the German Rechtsstaat) to a police state;
2. The second feature is the transition from the diffusion of power to the concentration of power;
3. The existence of a monopolistic state-party system, evolving from a mass society. As totalitarianism arise within and against democracies, they deploy masses as a new form of 'higher democracy'.
4. The fourth element is the transition from pluralist to totalitarian social controls where society ceases to be distinguished from the state;
5. Lastly, totalitarianism relies on terror but cannot endure without a considerable identification by the masses with its rulers.


These structural features are geared to one major end: total hegemony through the "destruction of the line between state and society and the total politicization of society by the device of the monopolistic party. This is not merely a question of more or less political power. The difference is one of quality, not quantity." 43 Neumann steers clear of mono-causality, such as attributing totalitarianism to Hegel 's determinism (Philosophy of Right), or Hobbs 's Leviathan, or to this or that 'national' traits of Germans, Slavs or Italians. His analysis of the pervasive hegemony of institutions under totalitarianism (in contradistinction to the operation of institutions under democracy), of the merger of party-state and the leader 's Charisma, which develop into a destructive control apparatus, of the absorption into the body of the state of each and every hitherto autonomous free association, of the mechanisms of state capitalism and imperial yearning, shows how all these ingredients end up into the atomization of the individual, rendering him (her) vulnerable, exposed to the elements of total hegemony, the power of privileged elites over fractured society. (Add as a footnote please: All these rich themes and analyses, as we can clearly see, were borrowed, without reference, by Hanna Arendt.)

Criticism of Friedrich and Arendt


Friedrich was not thin on theory; his framework was. He created an oversimplified duality, projecting totalitarianism as the universal anti-thesis of democracy. His model was static. It describes fixed feature of a dynamic system. It is overstretched to account in full for Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Soviet Union, and in part Portugal under Salazar, or Spain under Franco. Friedrich also placed all East European collectivist regimes under its wing. But post war debate did not allow totalitarianism to become a universal differentia specifica distinguishing democratic from non-democratic political systems, with an over-simplified dichotomy of the good and evil. In other words, totalitarianism failed to become a total category.


Another problem is Friedrich 's conception of it as a new form of autocracy, or a 'regression' to the autos, the sole ruler. The classical Aristotelian trinity that divided governance into the rule of the one, autocracy, the rule of the few, oligarchy, and the rule of many, democracy, was now reduced to a simple duality, and its autocratic wing extended to the extreme. This line of argument necessitated the need to link the new form with and differentiate it from the old forms of autocracies. This narrow path drained much of Friedrich 's energies. His comparisons had to include primitive kingship, despotism of the Orient, later Roman Empire, tyranny in Greek city-states, autocracies in Renaissance Italy, absolute monarchies in Europe and Russia on the one hand; and on the other hand these comparisons had to take into account contemporary regimes in far-flung countries like Spain, Portugal or Pakistan. 44 Even from an Aristotelian perspective, a trinity is much more fruitful than a duality. And the varieties of twentieth century political orders indeed far surpass any mono-list of twins.


If the totalist camp, of which Friedrich was a leader, met challenges from without, internal debate over Friedrich 's 'six point syndrome' led to its refinement at the hands of many of his critics such as Leonard Schapiro, Benjamin Barber and Michael Curtis. 45 While Schapiro, Curtis and others accepted that the term coincides with the German reality under the Nazis, or even Italy under Mussolini, they noted it did not entirely match the reality of Italian fascism, much less that of pre- and post-Stalinist Russia. Given the rigid nature of Friedrich 's 'six point syndrome'; his abstraction was partly flawed. He took the system as fixed, losing sight of the dynamics of change, above all internal resistance, and failure of such systems to deliver, not to mention that these systems were not closed boxes, but open to the world even if they locked themselves in a seemingly autarchic cage. 46


Critics rightly focused on three major aspects: 1- Friedrich 's concept does not adequately differentiate between the various cases it claims to cover, in particular distinguishing the Soviet from Nazi system, or differentiating Germany from Spain and Portugal under Franco and Salazar, respectively. Michael Curtis excluded Spain, Portugal and Italy, and included Germany and Soviet Union in a conditional manner, emphasizing that post-Stalin era is not totalitarian. 47 2- The dichotomy was oversimplified and the very exact meaning of totalitarianism was wanting. Barber reviewed ten different definitions of the term that in certain cases have little in common. 48 3- It did not account for social and political changes observed under post-Stalin leadership or even in East European Soviet 'allies'. In the words of B. Barber, "reality has outgrown the concept." 49 Benjamin R. Barber and others offered a fourth point of criticism: they consider the category of totalitarianism to be the "Foundation of American Counter-Ideology in the cold war." 50


Critique of Hannah Arendt was very limited in terms of space. Two points were raised against her theory. The validity of terror as the main feature of totalitarianism was questioned. Indeed she seems to differentiate the Italian case of semi-totalitarianism from the German type as a full-fledged totalist system, is embedded in a quantitative approach to the scope and range of terror deployed by the state. In a footnote she does say: "Proof of the non-totalitarian nature of the Fascist dictatorship is the surprisingly small number and the comparatively mild sentences meted out to political offenders". 51 Indeed Arendt offers deep insight into methods of organization, propaganda and discourses manufactured at 'winning' the un-winnable masses. This is part of the techniques of power. Terror itself is a method of insulating the individual with fear to complete his or her atomization whenever and wherever he or she offered some resistance to the totalitarian dictatorship. The term 'nature' added as an adjective to totalitarianism is more of a philosophical and less of a political idiom. The essence of the total system is to attack and destroy the liberal state, the thing she called "the very structure of European civilization." 52 And terror is merely instrumental. In our view her concept on terror was essentialized and cut off from her rich historical analyses.


Another strand of criticism against Arendt questioned the validity of the 'atomized society' as an explanation of the rise of totalitarianism, and cited the existence of many social associations that united social groups which became active in or against fascists and Nazi movements. Needless to say, the autonomy of civil associations is the first target on the totalitarian hit list. The moment they are eliminated the atomized, alienated; estranged individual becomes the easy prey. 53

Replacement and revival


The internal debate in the 1950s and 1960s that we have thus far outlined ended with the curtailment of the validity of the concept of totalitarianism, and the term lost its all-encompassing nature, and fell from being a principal species into being a sub-genre of political ideal types that most political scientists cautiously steered away from.


This debate, however, was expanded with new input from Marxist and non-Marxist but pacifist scholars, who, seeing the political benefits derived by cold-war advocates from equating Nazi Germany with post-Stalin Russia, declined the term in its entirety, as non-scientific. Schapiro describes in some detail the misuse and abuse of the concept of totalitarianism in this regard. 54 Thus on the Marxist front, nationalist totalitarian regimes were categorized as 'fascists'. Instead of the old totalist-liberal dichotomy, they advanced a trinity of fascist, socialist and capitalist regimes.


Within the post-totalist camp, developing in the 1980s a new and meticulous comparative-historical approach helped many trends to emerge: one trend threw the totalitarian concept into oblivion, opting for 'convergence theory' that may explain change and reform in the Soviet as the product of industrialism as such, the latter being interpreted as a universal, homogenizing phenomenon. This was a comfortable withdrawal par excellence. Even Brzezinski, a co-author of Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy , was a convert, leaving his former partner Friedrich almost alone.


A second trend coming from various sources, but mostly represented by the work of Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, reintroduced the term totalitarianism and invented the term post-totalitarianism to elaborate more flexible and sophisticated political typologies. The term totalitarianism stood side by side with the term authoritarianism in Linz 's examination of the governance of Spain under General Franco. What distinguished the totalitarian ideal type from the authoritarian one was (as we noted in the previous chapter) the existence of institutional pluralism, of a degree of tolerance to oppositional views, and the absence of mass-mobilization, ideological party, in the latter. In a sense the authoritarian was somewhere between the totalitarian and democratic types. 55


Juan Linz 's further work on post-communist central Europe and Latin America expanded the comparative horizon but did not reject totalitarianism. 56 Linz accepted Schapiro 's confinement of the term totalitarianism as a phase, a transitional one, in the break with democracy, or in the development of authoritarianism. Far from creating a new democratic/authoritarian dichotomy, Linz expanded his typology from European types to include systems found in the rest of the world, such as: traditional, Sultanistic, traditional authoritarian, modern authoritarian, totalitarian and post-totalitarian regimes. He even further sub-divided totalitarianism into totalitarianism proper, and 'arrested totalitarianism' (a copy of Arendt 's semi-totalitarianism coined for Italy), and post-totalitarianism. 57 Accordingly, Linz was both authoritarianist and totalist.


The meaning of this new European trinity: democracy―authoritarianism and totalitarianism lies not in the need to typify totalitarianism as distinct from democratic order, but rather to differentiate various forms of non-democratic structures, above all to set the monist/mass mobilization regimes apart from pluralistic/bureaucratic ones. On the ethical scale, authoritarian regimes would comparatively seem less pernicious. They lie somewhere in between totalitarianism and democracy. 58


By dint of Schapiro, Barber, Linz, Stepan and other 's meticulous work in the field of typology, the notion of totalitarianism kept its place, albeit secondary, in social sciences; this secondary rank given to totalitarianism is objective and helpful. Limited totalists show how this model is a phase in a continuum, a moment stemming from the post-WWI European crisis, and a situation that had been suffused with many other alternatives.


Another service Barber, Schapiro and Linz, among others, did was to show the relative and fluid nature of this system. Any theorization that attempts to capture the essence of this system, if one can ever speak of an 'essence' here, should be mindful of the dynamics of totalitarian model. In other words, essence should not figure as a logical 'given', rather it is a fluid structure.


A pure authoritarianist camp soon took shape; the best representative of which is Linz 's critic Amos Perlmutter. 59 Perlmutter completely purged totalitarianism from political typology. In his conceptualization, authoritarianism became the only universal counter species vis-à-vis democracy. This is the old 1950s dichotomy in a new garb. To avoid such Maechean duality, Perlmutter treats authoritarianism as a species, denoting clusters, or sub-species of different non-democratic systems. These are: the Bolshevik model (Russia), the Nazi model (Germany under Hitler), the Fascist model (Italy under Mussolini), the corporative model (Portugal under Salazar, Spain under Franco, and the military dictatorships in Latin America), and lastly the Praetorian model (of non-democratic developing countries). 60 Of course authoritarian models do exist, but the application of this category by Perlmutter is so overstretched that it is rendered vague, or inapplicable. In fact, it is used to characterize almost all political systems that are bereft of constitutionally elected systems of representative governments, from Saudi Arabia, to Spain, and from Latin America to the tribal Sheikhdoms of the Gulf. Lack of differentiation was rightly thrown at the doorstep of totalist thinkers; the paradox is that Perlmutter 's alternative suffers exactly from this deficiency itself.


In the post-cold war era, the demise of the 'socialist camp' in Eastern Europe in late 1980s, and collapse of the Soviet Union generated a new interest in the notion of totalitarianism, which Linz and others described as a 'strange resurgence' among scholars and social activists, who found the authoritarian approach inadequate to analyse the political system under which they lived and suffered. Authoritarianism was even conceived to be an apologetic and legitimizing notion. 61 One significant call for the restoration of this old, controversial theoretical 'chap', totalitarianism, is worth quoting: "I am well aware," wrote Françoise Furet, "that this notion [totalitarianism] is not universally accepted, but I have yet to discover a concept more useful in defining the atomized regimes of societies made up of individuals systematically deprived of their political ties and subjected to the "total" power of an ideological party and its leader. Since we are discussing an ideal type, there is no reason why these regimes must be identical or even comparable in every respect…" 62


Upon examining the post-war literature on totalitarianism, we have seen that at least three schools evolved: the maximalist, the minimalist and anti-totalitarian. Maximalists applied the term totalitarianism to Germany, Italy, Russia and their pre- and post-war emulators and allies: Spain, Portugal and pre-communist Romania, who followed the Italian or German model; eastern European 'socialist' nations, in addition to China, Cuba and others, who, more or less, followed the Stalinist model. Anti-totalists shoved the concept as being un-scientific, and replaced it by the term authoritarianism.


In between, the minimalist school confined application to Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Stalinist Russia. Another limited version of minimalism specified Italy as a failed, semi or 'arrested' totalitarian case. The limited minimalist definition is the framework we, mutatis mutandis, apply.

A Comparative Outlook: Germany, Italy, and Russia


The trio, Germany, Stalinist Russia and Italy, is the classical family of totalitarianism. The comparative examination of the cases in this family, however, reveals they are different in their pre-totalist political order, in the nature of their civil society, in their ideology and genealogy. Comparison shows that the three cases have also much in common.

Basic Common Features


In all three cases investigated here, a totalitarian mass-mobilization, ideological movement was in action during and immediately after one of the most violent European predicaments: WWI. They all had a disciplined organization of dedicated, highly motivated militants in search of some utopia: the Volk, the State or the Proletariat revolution. The form, ways and means of mass-mobilization these organizations carried out was new and efficient, mostly suited to class/mass society. All organizations had a militaristic aura; they had an armed wing, a paramilitary force par excellence. 63 The three movements shared an eschatological promise, and displayed disdain or thorough critique to liberal politics, and pursued their aims by means of both institutional and extra-institutional politics, inclusive of violent street politics, insurrection, or armed uprising. Before their advent to power, these movements actively took part in liberal institutional politics, elections, parliamentary debate and media mobilization of public opinion, and enjoyed a high level of popularity at moments of crisis, but they never had marginal majority (50%+1). 64 Only in Russia did pre-Stalinist Bolsheviks show respect to elections, but they based themselves on winning absolute majorities in the 'Soviets' (Councils of workers and peasants) rather than in general elections. These Councils' constituencies (Soviets) never constituted a national majority. The myth that councils of peasants, workers and soldiers were the 'majority of the nation' has been shattered by thorough examinations of the general and councils elections in 1917-1921. The 'majority' the Bolsheviks won in the 'soviets, i.e. councils' were dubious as they never managed to win more than 20% of national vote in the general elections. 65 German and Italian elections that led to the victory of the Nazi and Fascist parties had a similar profile: winning less than a slim majority, but destroying the electoral machine once in power. 66


To keep their hold on power, all three movements suspended freely elected representative institutions, and opted for the single party system, displaying an elitist proclivity to trusteeship over national destinies. 67


In all three cases the mass party developed hegemonic tools of persuasion and coercion from grass roots level upwards. Assuming power, a new amalgam of state-party machine was created that lent both organizations an almost monolithic firmness. Mass mobilization state-party is a rigorous blend that thrives on blind discipline and preys on dissent. This is epitomized by the principle of centralism. Commanding the allegiance of atomized individuals of mass society to a charismatic leadership and utopian promise of emancipation or national greatness, the new Leviathan invaded the state institutions and restructured them into a highly centralized order. It controlled the executive, legislative and judicial power, stripping them of their legal character, and turning them into party-extensions. Army and secret police were either partly reorganized (Germany), or completely reconstructed (Russia 's Red Army). Once consolidated, the party-state Leviathan then attacked autonomous social domains. Multi-party systems were demolished; free press was ended. No private space was left uncontrolled or unincorporated into the totalitarian body politic. Social associations such as syndicates, unions and corporations were subsumed under party direction; in the Russian case the institution of private property, in the form of corporations or small peasant farms, were integrated into the state-run and state-owned command economy. State-party bureaucrats now directly ran industrial complexes, whereas small and large rural property was forced into collectivization: in the form cooperatives and state-farms. The presence of party machinery on every level of formal and informal social organization neutralized or destroyed the latter 's autonomy. State-party hegemony crept also into the public sphere of information to control the media and the very language of communication. 68


As these colossal machines of party and state crushed their way through society, private spaces gradually diminished until they descended to the bare minimum of personal thoughts and emotions. Society could offer resistance only to the extent in which it had an institutional modus operandi for pluralistic centers of power, and for a strong civil society, provided the latter was willing to retain or capable of retaining its autonomy rather than succumbing to fear, and/or voluntarily sacrificing its independence for the sake of some romantic ideal of national greatness (Deutschland, Deutschland über alles: Germany, Germany above all) or to avoid revolutionary upheavals. 69 In all these cases, the state itself retained the 'right' to define who the enemy of the state is (the Volksstaat, the socialist state, or simply the State). The best statement to that effect is Mussolini 's: Everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. Where ideology is racist-nationalism non-pure, e.g. Semitic, races are targeted en mass. Where collective ideology prevails, all groups oppositional to 'the new society' are targeted. In all cases, political opponents, party dissidents or hesitant leaders would be eliminated. During collectivization, for example, millions perished in Soviet Russia under Stalin, a 'primitive accumulation' of sorts. But coercion is one facet. The regimes in Germany and Italy had genuine support from large sections business classes, middle classes, and under and marginal classes; the Bolsheviks had genuine support among urban workers, poor peasants, and alienated intellectuals. According to the Marxian historian, Eric Hobsbawm, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Stalinist Russia had an impressive record of economic rehabilitation, employment and even prosperity during the period of the Great Depression. 70 Their violent tactics also attracted urban gang-like mobs. The ferocity with which dissent was eliminated testifies to the existence of resistance that, in the case of Italy, for example, could reasonably moderate the nature of totalitarianism.



Similarities notwithstanding, the Italian, German and Russian movements and regimes were worlds apart. The collectivist, Russian trend was for a classless society and state-less international community of nations, embedded in communal and cooperative ownership and management of productive assets. The Fascists and Nazis were for a strong, unitary, imperial state in firm control of society, embedded in regulated and controlled market, cooperative and private, economy. The German and Italian types were statist-nationalist; that of Stalinist Russia was collectivists-developmental .


Perhaps this major difference explains the reason why the Fascist and Nazi modes of totalitarianism crumbled under the impact of their military adventures. The Stalinist type, on the other hand, crumbled as a result of its failure to deliver its grand promise of emancipation from the world of needs. 71


Another differential is ideological. Marxian theory shared with the Enlightenment liberal-rational thinking the need to expand political equality and do away with the feudal social hierarchies. But the Marxian discourse claims a thorough approach to liberal emancipation, i.e. extending equality beyond the political to the economic sphere as well. From the Marxian point of view the capitalist context is a fetter on full-fledged freedom. The power of wealth, according to this view, constrains political freedom and defines political power relations. According to Hobsbawm, Marxian radical libertarianism stands in opposition to the social Darwinism, i.e. racial hierarchies, of the Nazis and Fascists. Perhaps this was a sufficient basis for the Western-Russian alliance against Nazi Germany, the geopolitics of WWII notwithstanding. Perhaps what combined and differentiated Nazism and Stalinism was their hatred for and rejection of each other.


Lastly, Germany was indeed the most advanced in terms of industry, technology, urbanization and culture; Russia was, by contrast, struggling to industrialize and catch up. Italy was in a middle position. And these differences will determine the various trajectories these regimes took.

Conjunctural success


The success of totalitarianism was conjunctural; it came always at a moment of crisis. In the Russian, leftist-collectivist, example, WWI brought about multiple crises. It was the last autocracy in Europe; it was newly industrializing nation; it had feudal agrarian structures that were in turmoil; it had strong populist-socialist movements, but weak liberal forces. The 1917 February-October period involved, in fact, three radical changes simultaneously and uniquely converging: a liberal revolution to end autocracy (February 1917), a peasant insurrection to seize land (Summer 1917), and a populist-working-class rebellion against the warmongering liberal-nationalists (October 1917). 72 Defeat, war fatigue, economic dislocation caused by the war, eroded the legitimacy of Tsarist autocracy and its liberal heir. Anti-war sentiments discredited Russian and pan-Slavic nationalism of the Kadet government (constitutional liberals).


In Germany and Italy nationalism was a major factor. In both countries the national credentials of the liberal state itself was in question; the latter was seen as committing an act of national treason. 73 Italy 's humiliation at Versailles peace conference had this effect. Economic disasters were also at work. War reparations and the great depression sealed the fate of the Weimar Republic that ended royal rule in 1918. The economic toll of the war was as horrendous as social dislocation. 74

Different sources of totalitarianism


The initiative to theorize and impose total étatist hegemony came from Mussolini 's Italy, but this initiative, by most accounts, failed to achieve its objects. Success was achieved in Nazi Germany, which claimed to reject the very concept of statist totalitarianism 75 , and in Stalin 's Russia that officially embraced an anti-state Marxian theory. 76


The question why Italy failed is as instructive as the question why Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia succeeded. Another crucial question is how to explain the fact that a totalitarian model could evolve in both advanced and less developed countries, like Germany and Russia in 1930s? These two questions are crucial, and worthy of examination.


If we understand totalitarianism as a hegemonic attempt to centralization through the integration of mass party and state in one, and use these new, coercive, mobilization instruments to cross the borders separating political from civil society and invade and subdue the latter, the success of such an invasive and pervasive attempt, then, would have definitely been contingent on the solidity of the separation between the political and the civil societies, the maturity and longevity of political and social institutions, and their ability to withhold encroachments upon liberties.


Totalitarianism stems from two different societal and political institutional sources:

The political. In all three cases examined, it can be deduced that the totalitarian condition can only evolve from weak or nascent institutional division of power, a feature shared by late autocracies, or short democratic history. Some of these 'late' democracies (Germany and Russia) emerged at a moment of a thorough social change that brought all lower classes into political play whose radical politics endangered political liberalization. 77


This is basically the case of Russia, but, to some extent, of Germany as well. Italy, by contrast, had a longer history of liberal institutions, dating back to 1876. The strong position of the crown, the syndicates and the Catholic Church had in social and political life defied the Totalist state of the Fascists. Mussolini had to recognize the special status of the Vatican in 1934, a reality existing to this very moment. "Fascism never enjoyed full control over the Italian political system and its members. It was unable and unwilling to destroy and reshape all political and bureaucratic institutions [there was no Gleichschaltung as in Nazi Germany] and therefore it was compelled to share power with the fundamentally monarchist state apparatus and with the Church. It was unsuccessful in the creation of its own institutions, for example the House of Corporations, the National Fascist party, the Fascist Syndicates." 78


Never had the Duce been able to transcend the multiple institutional centers of Italian state and society. In two renowned passages, so often cited by social and political scientists, he complained in the first, "To speak the truth, I have not even been a dictator, because my power to command coincided with the will to obey of the Italian people." 79 In the second statement he further elaborates the institutional checks and balances, both social and political, he had to contend with: "If you could imagine the effort it has taken me to search for a possible equilibrium in which I could avoid the collision of antagonistic powers which touched each other side by side, jealous, distrustful one of the other, government, party, monarchy, Vatican, army, militia, prefects, provincial party leaders, ministers, the head of Confederazioni [corporative structures] and the giant monopolistic interests, etc. you will understand they are the indigestions of totalitarianism, in which I did not succeed in melting that 'estate' that I had to accept in 1922 without reservations." 80 These confessions contrast sharply with his bombastic pretensions that " We are, in other words, a State which controls all forces acting in nature. We control political forces, we control moral forces, we control economic forces, therefore we are a full-blown Corporative State ." 81


It seems that Italy 's institutional pluralism was relatively too solid to have been easily removed. The Catholic Church with its social institutions, the crown and its autonomy as a political force, and syndicates (from businessmen to artisans syndicates), retained some of their autonomy under the Fascist state. So did, to some extent, the capitalist industrial class. The local, segmented legacy of Italian social structure, an outcome of Italy 's industrial weakness, was another hurdle that resisted standardizing with a flat-rate type of total state control.


In historical perspective, the fascist state constituted an onslaught on the liberal state, its diversified, plural social and political institutions, but total hegemony in the case of Italy was 'arrested' by these very institutional and societal constraints.


The social. The totalitarian condition is nurtured and incubated in the atomization of mass society, in the sense Arendt and Neumann elaborated; this case implies a mature civil society but one in which masses replace classes, and antagonistic social cleavages fragment and paralyze the will of civil society to resist total hegemony. This is the case of Germany and, to some extent, Italy. Second totalitarianism may well spring from a feeble, less-developed civil society, one in which no sufficient social institutions exist to resist state-party hegemonic onslaught. This is the case of Stalinist Russia. The differences between Russia and the West with regard to state-society correlations have been best grasped by the Italian thinker, Antonio Gramsci. In the advanced case, mature civil society is weakened by its own schisms and cleavages. In the backward case, civil society is already nascent and fragile. The difference has to do with the level of industrialization and urbanization. 82


Germany 's industrialization was far ahead of Russia. Its urban profile was nearer to the most developed nations, such as Britain, France and the US. Half million-inhabitant cities in Germany which were four in 1900 were more than eight in 1933. Urbanite population constituted 28.8% in 1900, but surpassed 43% in the 1930s. 83 By comparison, Russia was a peasant country. Its urban population was only 12.8% in 1900 and 24.7% in 1933. 84 In this regard, Italy was well ahead of Russia, but short of the advanced German level.

Table 1: Urbanized Population 1 of Stable and Unstable Liberal Polities (1900-1940)







United States 5
















40.3 2








36.7 3







42.3 4





1 Calculated on the basis of settlements of 20,000 or more.
2 Data from 1925.
3 Data from 1931.
4 Data from 1936.
5 Calculated on the basis of settlements of 25,000 or more.
Sources: Eason, Warren W. " Population Changes, " in Cyril E. Black, ed. The Transformation of Russian Society: Aspects of Social Change Since 1861 . Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1960, p 83. Flora, Peter, Franz Kraus and Winfried Pfenning. State, Economy and Society in Western Europe (1815-1975) . A Data Handbook. Vol. II: the Growth of Industrial Societies and Capitalist Economies. Chicago: St. James Press, 1987. U.S. Bureau of the Census. Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, Part I.

Table 2: Large City (500,000) Growth 1900-1940 (in thousands)








1 888

2 071

4 013

4 242

4 338




1 079

1 129

1 712

















































1 114




1 000

1 173
















2 714

2 888

2 907

2 891

2 830

















Greater London

6 586

7 256


8 216

8 348

















1 003

1 113




No values available for Marseilles 1931, 1936.
No city information available for Russia.

Table 3: Large City Population as a Percentage of Total Population (1900-1940)



































United States






No values available for Russia in 1900, 1910, 1930. No value given for Britain in 1940.

Table 4: Total Population Growth (1900-1940) (millions)




































United States







With the drive towards industrialization and coercive collectivization of agriculture, Stalinist Russia accelerated urbanization and, within few decades, produced its own mass society. In itself, growth of urban life is an indication of atomization. But atomization, as such, is not a condition favorable to totalitarian tendencies. What we call atomization is, in fact, a multi-faceted phenomenon. On the one hand, atomization implies the detachment of the individual from all primordial links in the social and economic spheres, such as family or hereditary and caste-like guilds. He or she is turned into a solitary monad, a homo economicus , a number in countless faceless crowds, or masses. This is the detachment aspect.


The other aspect is attachment: monads tend to correlate in modern associations, such as clubs, leagues, unions, and institutions like the justice system. These provide abstracted individuals with the intermediary institutions that cushion and regulate their correlations with each other as monads, as well as with the powers that be.


If for whatever reason the first detachment phase is not complemented by the second, attachment or linkage, atomization becomes alienation, a fertile soil for the seeds of totalitarianism. Intermediary institutions, a discovery of Montesquieu, 85 may be in a nascent form, as was the case in Russia; or they could be rendered inoperative as a result of tense social cleavages, as was the case of Germany during the years of Depression. Fear of civil or class war could further paralyze civil society and render its institutions incapable or unwilling to defend or keep such intermediary functions. Under such and similar conditions, civil society collapses, or cease to function, opening the way for a totalitarian take over.


But civil society, as we see from the Soviet experience, soon transcends this moment of weakness. Under Stalinism urban life flourished and expanded. The sheer size of modern metropolises and the sheer gigantic size of modern bureaucracies make modern political and social orders too ramified and too over-sized to handle by the bureaucracy. Total surveillance and total centralized control verge on the impossible. The growing amount of problems that a modern government has to deal with may well "overload the decision making capacitates... The result will be a steady drift to peripheralization and pluralization of the centres of decision. In the long run there is thus perhaps inherent in every totalitarian system of government a tendency either toward overloading of its central facilities for the making of decisions, or toward an automatic erosion of its original centralized structure and its disintegration into increasingly separate parts." 86


Atomization of society that serves, at one point, the totalitarian drive to achieve comprehensive control, thus gradually mutates by the sheer growth of its constituent parts and the ramification of modern life, into a massive atomized body. This atomization creeps slowly but steadily until it reaches a magnitude beyond which the totalitarian system fails to retain its grip over both state bureaucracy and society.


All totalitarian models have been (and will continue to be) prone to change. We have no way to examine this in Germany, but we have ample evidence in the case of the Soviet Union that shows how totalitarian structures wear thin and mutate into post-totalitarian phase.

Final Remarks


To sum up: the first generation of totalist thinkers, who theorized on the subject, forced a rigid concept to resonate with a dynamic socio-political system. This rigidity was a problem; applying the term to the whole width and breadth of recorded, civilized history, as Friedrich did, was another problem; and doing that in the ideologically torn cold war era was an added difficulty. The second generation refined the concept; but never attempted to expand the area of application beyond Europe. They even limited it to three models. Developing countries were aggregated in mass under Praetorian, authoritarian or traditional political ideal-types. Exceptions are few indeed. In his Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship , Moore Jr. 87 attempts at a unique comparative perspective of democratization, involving India one of the stable third world democracies in the 20 th century. His approach is sociological and clear-cut: where there is a middle class, there is a pulse for democracy. His student and critic, Theda Skocpol, carried the comparative approach to a global framework indeed (France, Russia, China). Theorizing further on social revolutions worldwide, she included Viet Nam, Iran and a host of other developing nations side by side with industrial European nations, ending thereby the confinement of comparative political typology to the west. 88 Unlike Moore, Skocpol 's examination deals less with the typology of the political systems and their social origins, yet her idea of throwing Iran, China and other 'backward' nations into a common comparative framework with the French, Russian and American revolutions, is a radical break with Euro-centric traditions. In another unique comparative study, the historian Peter Gran suggests another inter-regional, system-comparative approach. Taking the example of several developing countries, India, Egypt, Albania, Mexico and Iraq, he brings twins of comparisons linking these countries to various European models as follows. For our purposes his Russia-Iraq comparison is interesting. 89 Whether or not one may agree with Gran 's selection of twins, the comparative approach as such is of methodological and scholarly value, the specific application by Gran himself notwithstanding. The previous lack of such a comparative approach had its roots in the Orientalist tradition, caged in polarized and exclusive dichotomies. And political and social theorists, including Linz and Perlmutter, are much to blame for such narrowed framework. A touch of orientalist 'particularism' taints their conceptions. Even the attempts at theorizing 'the rentier state' (Mahdavi, Luciano and others) did little to help widen the comparative approach; in fact 'rentierism' only reinforced the particular nature of authoritarianism in oil-producing and/or allocation countries. 90

What is totalitarianism then?


We regard totalitarianism as a multiple-layered phenomenon: it is first a mass-mobilizing social movement; second it is an elitist discourse and cultural cult; and lastly, it is a specific form of political system with techniques of control and social engineering that are peculiar to our epoch of growing mass urban societies, one that attempts to end the division of social and political power, by curbing the autonomy of civil society, and removing institutional division of power, creating, in the name of utopian grand narrative of the state, the folks, or classless paradise, an absolutist modern Leviathan.


We do not understand the totalitarian system as one of actual total control of all political, economic, social and cultural spaces; rather it is a Sisyphean attempt at such total hegemony, simply because such totality is a myth, or, at best, an elusive aim. I say elusive because it is a self-created mirage. The case of Italian arrested totalitarianism is one example; the rise of civil society and continued dissent in the ex-Soviet Union is another. 91


The movement, the discourse and the political systems that totalitarianism developed seem to have been imbued with a dynamic but limited life; these systems evolve, mature, falter and perish. In their motion they create their own self-destructive cycle as they trigger antagonisms. In the longer run they generate internal decline and external counter-attack. They are not immune to the influences of the world outside them. They always have to stand up in the contest with a liberal foe. They have to prove they are superior in all ways, economically, technologically, ethically, militarily, etc. They have to verify their alleged supremacy through achievement. When they fail they start to lie; to paint the cracks, consume ever more cosmetics. The legitimacy they had previously acquired as they first evolved from a measure of national or social discontent with democratic politics, withers away. Like Sisyphus their rock rolls back.


In this situation I find a precursor in the 19 th century novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky 's horrendous tale The Possessed . One tormented soul, Pyoter Stepanovitch, is in search of 'total harmony' of human kind, of liberty for all. To his amazement, in order to ensure freedom for every single soul he has to curb the freedoms of literally everybody. In other words, his free paradise was unachievable unless all its inhabitants are enchained into slavery. Totalitarian systems have a similar inner motion of self-negation.


Unfortunately their life passage is immeasurable with any degree of accuracy. Of the three basic models two, namely Italy and Germany, were destroyed by external force. Italy had a larger scope of domestic opposition. The anti-Fascist resistance was active; the dictator, Mussolini, was voted out by his own party as by his patron, the crown, long before the invasion of Italy by the Allies. In Germany, domestic opposition was marginal.


Only in the Soviet Union we had the chance of measuring the life cycle of a totalitarian polity: seventy odd years.

The Iraqi Case: Some remarks


We have reached the end of this long, rugged rout of revisiting old and new concepts that we presume are vital to the analysis of the Ba 'ath era, in as much as it is vital to comprehend the nuances of post-conflict reform and violence.


In the interesting, though not entirely cohesive, comparative study of Peter Gran, referred to earlier, the author takes several twins of developed and underdeveloped states for historical comparisons; these involve, among others, Russia and Iraq. 92 These comparisons imply a structural affinity linking cases from two different worlds, which, in its author 's mind, go beyond the paradigms of Euro-centrism. Examining structural similarities between Ba 'ath Iraq and Stalinist Russia will always be interesting. But such Iraqi affinity, we presume, may well exist also with the Nazi model. We have taken such possible affinity as a reference point worthy of investigation and, mutatis mutandis , of application. Indeed in its developmental thrust, Ba 'ath Iraq draws closer to the Stalinist developmental type; but in its ideological and xenophobic nationalistic discourse, emphasis on the state, militarism, and expansionism, it draws closer to the etatist-racist German model. It emulated both models in different ways, and of course, under specific circumstances.


Applying the totalitarian concepts to Ba 'ath Iraq in the 1980s and 1990s may shock scholars for two reasons. First, it may well be seen as a futile attempt to resurrect an old, forgotten and derogatory concept. And secondly, the application of the term outside Europe may be held methodologically flawed since the developing areas can hardly claim the existence of mass society, and/or atomized individuals, or civil society. Such claims can and must be raised for the benefit of methodological validity.


The projected, idealized image of the Soviet 'socialist' model left its impact on third worldism. Themes of the single party system, of command economy, centralized industrialization, or forced rural collectivization, circulated widely among leftists and radical nationalist groups worldwide as the magic balm to heal social evils and ignite the engine of progress. The vitality of interwar Germany and her military and scientific successes were the source of admiration of Arab nationalists in the 1940s. 93 In the 1960s and 1970s, the Soviet model attracted developmental nationalists. Ba 'athist Iraq was one of the emulators. In the 1970s, Iraq 's sociological profile was more or less not far from 1930s Russia. Iraq 's developmental drive was not dissimilar. Nor was its national-social utopia.

التوتاليتارية والعالم العربي – حالة العراق


هذا موضوع تاريخي شائك . فالتوتاليتارية هي فكرة وأيديولوجيا ونظام سياسي وممارسة وحركات اجتماعية، وهي تنتمي إلى النصف الأول من القرن العشرين، وقد مر على صعود موسوليني - ستالين - هتلر، ثم سالازار البرتغال، نحو 9 عقود، من هنا صعوبة الحفر في هذه المرحلة التاريخية .


يجد الباحث عند دراسة هذه الحقبة في العالم العربي انتشار الايديولوجيات الليبرالية، والاشتراكية الماركسية، ثم الاشتراكية القومية ( البعث ) ، والايديولوجيا الاسلامية ( مصر تحديداً ) واضحاً وموثقاً في أدبيات ومنشورات الأحزاب السياسية اليسارية والعروبية والاسلامية وفي الدراسات التاريخية .


ولكنه لن يجد في فترة صعود النازية والفاشية أية وثائق تاريخية عراقية أو عربية تشير إلى انتشار الفكرة التوتاليتارية، أي فكرة الدولة القومية الممركزة، بنظام الحزب الواحد، والسيطرة الشمولية .


عوضاً عن ذلك سيجد إعجاباً منقطع النظير في الصحافة العراقية مثلاً احتفاء بصعود ألمانيا وحيويتها، وقدرتها على الإبداع الصناعي، وتنظيم إدارة راسخة، وجيش مكين . هذا الإعجاب الذي ينعكس بوضوح في الصحافة العراقية في الثلاثينات ومطلع الأربعينات، يكاد يقتصر على ممثلي النزعات القومية ( العراقية، والعربية ). وقد درس الباحث بيتر فين Peter Wien 94 في أطروحة مميزة هذا " الإعجاب " بألمانيا عند التيارات القومية، حتى الليبرالي منها .


وهناك إشارتان ( لا تزيدان عن بضعة اسطر ) حول ألمانيا لدى اثنين من القادة الفكريين . الأول هو ساطع الحصري ( ت 1968 ) العثماني – العروبي الذي كان يشغل موقع المدير العام لدائرة التربية والتعليم في العراق، والثاني يوسف سلمان ( فهد ) ( اعدم عام 1948 ) وهو زعيم وباني الحزب الشيوعي في العراق .


فالأول امتدح ألمانيا الهتلرية من زاوية اعجابه ببناء الوحدة القومية الألمانية في دولة قوية، ورفضه الصريح للماركسية - الستالينية في مقاربتها الأمة كبناء اقتصادي صرف ( وحدة السوق الرأسمالية ). فالحصري اعتمد في نظريته عن الأمة على فيخته ( خطابات إلى الامة الألمانية ) بوصفها كيانا ً روحياً، معطى . ولم يتخل عن هذا المفهوم 95 ولعله وجد ألمانيا النازية تجسيد النجاح لفكرة القومية .


على الضد من ذلك يرد ذكر التوتاليتارية باسم " الفاشستية " في أعمال يوسف سلمان يوسف ( فهد ) ، باعتبارها المولود الشرعي للامبريالية، أسوة بالصهيونية أو حسب تعبيره " مطية الامبريالية ". وقد اتخذ فهد هذا الموقف انطلاقاً من منظور الحركة الشيوعية العالمية، وقد تعمق لديه بعد الغزو الألماني لروسيا الاشتراكية 96 .


هذان التياران المعجب بألمانيا النازية، والمعارض لها، لم يقدما أي تحليل لمفهوم التوتاليتارية كنظرة أو مفهوم سياسي . ولا نجد ذكراً لهذا المفهوم على الاطلاق .


وتنبغي الاشارة إلى أن القوميين المعجبين آنذاك بألمانيا كانوا منقسمين إلى تيارين . الأول ليبرالي ملكي، والثاني تسلطي - جمهوري . وقد تمسك الاثنان بتأييد ألمانيا بدافع الإعجاب بالنموذج الألماني من جهة، ويدافع الكراهية للكولونيالية البريطانية ( التي تحتل العراق ) من جهة ثانية، أو بدافع كراهية الحركة الصهيوينة في فلسطين من جهة ثالثة . ولعل حركة رشيد عالي الكيلاني ( المعروفة باسمك انقلاب مايس 1941 ) ترمز إلى هذه الكراهية لبريطانيا الكولونيالية، مثلما أن الدور الذي لعبه أمين الحسيني ( فلسطين ) في التعاون مع ألمانيا من جانب، ودوره المفترض في التحريض على انقلاب 1941 العراقي، يرمزان إلى البعد الفلسطيني، أو كره الصهيوينة، في جانب آخر .


وتكاد العقود الثلاثة اللاحقة من بداية الخمسينات حتى أواسط السبعينات، تخلو من أية إشارة للتوتاليتارية، دون أن يمنع ذلك من نشوء نزعات توتاليتارية قومية لدى حزب البعث الحاكم في العراق ابتداء من هذه الفترة .


لكن جذور النسخة التوتاليتارية التي نشأت في العراق منذ أواخر السبيعينات في القرن 20 ترجع إلى استلهام النموذج الستاليني، وكان صدام حسين يمثل هذا الاستلهام، حيث دشن حملته التوتاليتارية بشعار : الحزب القائد ،المفهوم المستمد من افكار وممارسة البلدان الاشتراكية المزعومة في أوربا الشرقية، ثم الشعار الذي اطلقه صدام حسين شعار " بناء الاشتراكية في بلد عربي واحد " ، وهو شعار ستالين اصلاً الذي يناقض، فكرة " الاممية " وفكرة ان الاشتراكية نظام عالمي لا قومي، حسب منطوق الماركسية الكلاسيكية .


ولعل صدام حسين تأثر أيضاً، في هذا الشأن بميول ونزعات خاله، خير الله طلفاح، ذي الميول الألمانية، الذي كان ضابط التوجيه المعنوي في اذاعة بغداد خلال فترة انقلاب رشيد عالي الكيلاني 97 .


لكن صعود النظام التوتايتاري العراقي - البعثي في السبعينات، حفز على دراسات فكرية وتاريخية عراقية تقرنه بالنموذج النازي - دولة الحزب الواحد القومية التسلطية .


أول دراسة في هذا الشأن وضعها الباحث العراقي زهير الجزائري، بعنوان : " الفاشية، الفكرة والممارسة " عام 1980 ( دار المدى، دمشق ) ، حلل فيها صعود النازية وبنية دولتها، في مقارنة واضحة أو مضمرة مع الدولة البعثية العراقية . وعمد كاتب عراقي آخر، شمران الياسري، وهو كاتب عمود ساخر، وكادر قيادي في الحزب الشيوعي، إلى توصيف النظام البعثي بأنه " فاشية بدوية " 98 .


لكن المقارنة بدت ضعيفة . فالعراق بلد غير صناعي، وهو يفتقر إلى البعد المدني، ويختلف اختلافاً بيناً عن وضع ألمانيا النازية . من هنا بدت المقارنة بلا سند تاريخي . لكن توصيف هذين الكاتبين للنظام البعثي العراقي بأنه " فاشية " هو إقرار بأنه نظام توتاليتاري من طراز خاص، انسجاماً مع الأدبيات الماركسية ( وبخاصة جورج لوكاش ) 99 ، الذي اعتبر الظاهرة الفاشية ( النازية ) بمثابة " ثورة مضادة " ناجمة عن فشل الثورة البروليتارية . وبالطبع فان هذا التحليل يلغي وجود تماثل بنيوي مع التوتاليتارية الستالينية من الاتحاد السوفيتي . وقد احتفظ إريك هوبزباوم بهذا التحليل ( عصر التطرفات The Age of Extremes).


وأصدر الكاتب العراقي كنعان مكية ( مستخدماً اسماً مستعاراً : سمير الخليل ) كتابا بعنوان جمهورية الخوف، في أواخرالثمانينات، استخدم فيه تحليل الفيلسوفة الألمانية حنا ارندت التي وصفت الفاشية بأنها نظام يقوم على الارهاب وإشاعة الخوف . ورغم أن تحليلها لنشوء الفاشية التوتاليتارية تحليل تاريخي بنيوي، فإن كنعان مكية استخدم نموذجها التوتاليتاري باعتباره نموذجاً معطى أي جاهزاً وقابلاً للمقارنة المباشرة . من هنا تركيزه على وسائل وتقنيات البعث في انتاج الخوف لفرض السيطرة الاجتماعية الثقافية الشاملة .


اهتمامي الشخصي بالتوتاليتارية بدأ منتصف الثمانينات، بعد الاطلاع على اعمال حنا آرندت ( التوتاليتارية ) وفرانز نيومان ( بيهيموث ) ، وقبل ذلك جورج لوكاش ( تحطيم العقل ) ، وأعمال اريك فروم وأعمال ماركوزه وشارل بتلهايم، ومدرسة فرانكفورت عموماً . وتوسع الاهتمام بعد دراستي لخوان لينتز، واريك هوبزباوم ( عصر التطرفات ). يضاف إلى ذلك أعمال ثيدا سكوتشبول ( الدولة والثورة الاجتماعية ) ، وكذلك مؤلفها : " الثورات الاجتماعية في العالم الثالث ". ثم الاطلاع على أعمال كارل فريدريك وزبيجينو بريجنسكي، هذه الاعمال ساعدتني على دراسة التوتاليتارية كنمط سياسي - اجتماعي قائم بذاته، وفهم امكانات نشوئه في بلدان متطورة ( ألمانيا ) ومتأخرة ( روسيا أو العراق ) وتوصلت إلى وجود تشابه بنيوي بين ألمانيا وروسيا في اطار مفهوم التوتاليتارية، وسبب كره الماركسيين السوفييت ومدرستهم لهذا المفهوم . وتوصلت إلى ان النمط الاول الألماني هو نمط دولتي statist ، والثاني تنموي developmental ، لكنهما ينطلقان على أرضية تاريخ ديمقراطي قصير وهش، وعلى قاعدة تفتت أو ضعف أو عدم نضج المجتمع المدني وعلى استقلالية عالية للدولة كجهاز قمع وسيطرة . وأن هذا النموذج مغر لكل النظم الديكتاتورية في العالم العربي، خصوصاً إذا انتقلت هذه الدول إلى مجتمع جماهيري محتدم، ولم تعد الدكتاتورية العسكرية بكافية لضبطه وحكمه .


التوتاليتارية ايديولوجيا وحركة اجتماعية، وهندسة سياسية - اقتصادية - اجتماعية تتشوف إلى تدمير أو إلغاء الفصل بين المجتمع السياسي والمجتمع المدني، وفرض سيطرة شاملة على الاثنين، عبر هندسة ايديولوجيا جماعية واحدية . وبسبب تخلف هذه البلدان وضعف مؤسساتها، يكتسب النموذج التوتاليتاري، عند تطبيقه، سمات محلية، كوجود نظام القرابة الذي يضفي على التوتاليتارية طابعاً قرابياً Patrimonial وارى ان التوتاليتارية يمكن ان تنشأ في مجتمعات فلاحية مثل كوريا الشمالية والصين .


ولعل العائق الذي منع تطوير مفهوم التوتاليتارية علمياً هو الصراع الايديولوجي حول هذا المفهوم ابان الحرب الباردة، وسعي الولايات المتحدة لاستثمار المفهوم لصالح سياستها الخارجية . مثلما ان الاستخدام الدقيق لهذا المفهوم حاليا يصطدم بعقبات مماثلة الان ( نظرية صمويل هنتنغتون - صدام الحضارات، أو نظرية فوكويوما حول نهاية التاريخ ).


ان مفهوم التوتاليتارية اليوم شائع في العراق، معرّباً بكلمة " النظام الشمولي " يرد استخدامه في الادبيات السياسية، والصحافة، وتصريحات القادة السياسيين والمثقفين، دون ان يعني ذلك ان هذا المفهوم واضح وعميق عند كل الذين يستخدمونه . فهو يبدو بمثابة كلمة اخرى لـ " الديكتاتورية ". اما العالم العربي فهو، بحدود اطلاعي، بعيد كل البعد عن مناقشة ناهيك عن معرفة " التوتاليتارية ". فالفكر السياسي في العالم العربي باهت، يفتقر إلى اي عمق معرفي .


Faleh A. Jabbar is Director of the Iraqi Studies Center Baghdad-Beirut-Erbil. He is editor of "Post-Marxism and the Middle East" (1997) and "Ayatollahs, Sufis and Ideologues: State, Religion, and Social Movement in Iraq" (2002) as well as co-editor of "Tribes and Power: Nationalism and Ethnicity in the Middle East" (2003).

1 This is originally part of a work on 'The Total State in Iraq, 1968-2003'.

2 On the history of Nazi Germany perhaps William Shearer 's, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, A History of Nazi German y, Greenwich, CT, Fawcet Publishers, 1960, is a monumental, detailed and documented account of that period. On the Soviet Union under Stalin, see, among others, Issac Deutscher, Stalin, A Political Biography , 2 nd edition, Oxford University Press, 1967 (1949).

3 In the 20 th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party 1956, the general secretary of the party delivered a devastating blow to the Stalinist legacy. In his well-known speech Nikita Khrushchev denounced mass-murder in the collectivization campaign, the personality cult and other 'deviations'. The official history of the Soviet Communist Party has been written and rewritten following the 'posthumous' purge of Stalin, and the living purge of Nikita Khrushchev. The debate on Stalinism continued well under Mikhail Gorbachev 's Prestroika (reconstruction) in the 1980s. See, Stalin: For and Against , Moscow, 1990, a booklet revealing the ongoing debate on the merits and evils of the dictator.

4 Giovanni Gentile, Genesis and Structure of Society . translated by H.S. Harris, Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1960; Gentile, Origins and Doctrine of Fascism , translated, edited, and annotated by A. James Gregor, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2002. Also: G. Gentile, The Philosophic Basis of Fascism, Foreign Affairs , VI, No.2, January 1928, pp.290-304.

5 Gentile, 2002, p.28-9 and passim.

6 Friedrich, Carl J., Michael Curtis and Benjamin R. Barber, Totalitarianism in perspective: Three Views, New York, Praeger, 1969. Friedrich, Carl J., ed. Totalitarianism. Proceedings of a conference held at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, March 1953. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1954. Friedrich, Carl J. and Zbigniew K. Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1951.

7 Franz Neumann, The Democratic and the Authoritarian State, Essays in Political and Legal Theory, edited with a preface by Herbert Marcuse, The Free Press, Glencoe, Illinois, 1957. Leonard Schapiro, Totalitarianism , New York: Praeger, 1972.

8 G. Gentile, 1928, pp. 290-304; and Benito Mussolini , Fascism, Doctrine and Institutions , Ardita Publishers, Rome, 1935. The text written for the Italian Encyclopedia, 1932, is reproduced in Modern History Source Book, MIA Reference Archive (Marxist.org) 2000.

9 Gentile, 1928, p.301.

10 Ibid., p.299.

11 Gentile, 1960, p.121.

12 Italian Encyclopedia 1932.

13 All excerpts are from: What is Fascism? Original translation from Mussolini 's The Doctrine of Fascism , 1935; emphasis added.

14 Gentile, 1960, p.29.

15 Ibid., p.29, italics added.

16 Ibid., p.29.

17 Linz, 2000, p.52.

18 Ibid.

19 A reading list is too long to provide but one should make mention of Lukacs celebrated work, Zerstörung der Vernunft , [ The Destruction of Reason ]; another is Adorno-Horkheimer 's , Dialectics of Enlightenment ; Erich Fromm 's Sane Society is also outstanding. All these left-wing thinkers had either Marxian or Marxian-Freudian approaches to German and Italian totalitarianism, a term which they never espoused.

20 Franz Neumann, The Democratic and the Authoritarian State, Essays on Political And Legal Theory, The Free Press, Glencoe, Illinois, 1957.

21 Friedrich, The Nature of Totalitarianism , 1954, pp.52-3.

22 Friedrich and Brzezinski , 1965 (1 st 1956), p.22.

23 Ibid, p. 13.

24 Arendt, op. cit., p.126.

25 See, for example, Karl Kautsky, Ultra Imperialism , Editorial Note to Die Neue Zeitung , Year 32, Vol. II, No.21, September 1914.
Rosa Luxemburg Speaks , edited with an introduction by Mary-Alice Waters, Pathfinder Press, NY, 1970; Rudolf Hilferding, Finance Capital ("The Recent Phase in the Development of Capitalism"), Moscow, 1912. [German edition published in 1910 (Volume III of Marxist Studies).]
Norbert Leser, Austro-Marxism: A Reappraisal,
Journal of Contemporary History , Vol.1, No.2, Left-Wing Intellectuals between the Wars, 1966, pp.117-133.

26 Arendt, op. cit., p.143.

27 Ibid,, p.147.

28 Ibid., p. 150.

29 Ibid., p. 165.

30 Ibid., p. 223.

31 Ibid., p. 243.

32 Ibid., p. 267.

33 This difference between mob and mass is not sufficiently developed by Arendt. This point, however, will be discussed in forthcoming chapters on Ba 'ath in Iraq.

34 Arendt, p. 301-3.

35 Ibid., p. 305.

36 Ibid., p. 310.

37 Franz Neumann 1957.

38 "The Behemoth and the Leviathan designate two monsters, the first male, the second female. The land animals, venerate Behemoth, the see animals the Leviathan, as their masters. Both are monsters of the Chaos. According to the apocalyptic writings, Behemoth and Leviathan will appear shortly before the end of the world." See Neumann, Behemoth , p. VIII.

39 Ibid., p. 48.

40 Ibid.,p. 251.

41 Ibid.,p. 250.

42 Ibid. pp. 244-5.

43 Ibid.p. 245.

44 Friedrich and Brzezinski, op.cit., pp. 4-9

45 Schapiro, op.cit., 1972; p.18, 102. C. Friedrich, Michael Curtis and Benjamin Barber, Totalitarianism in Perspective , pp. 40-41; 59 and passim.

46 Schapiro, p. 119; Friedrich, Curtis and Barber, pp.15, 18-20.

47 Schapiro, p.15, Curtis, pp. 62-3.

48 Friedrich, Curtis and Barber, pp. 8-10.

49 Ibid., p. 5, 63.

50 Ibid., p. 41

51 Arendt, p. 303

52 Ibid. p. 266

53 Many authors contributed to this critique, such as Schapiro, Curtis, Barber and Linz, among others.

54 Schapiro, pp. 15, 18 and passim.

55 Linz 2000, p. 159.

56 See, Linz and Stepan, 1996, pp. 38-9.

57 Linz 2002, pp. 3-4 and 13 and passim.

58 For more details see, Franz Neumann 1957, p. 243; Linz 2000, p. 3; and Linz and Stepan 1996, p. 40 and passim.

59 Amos Perlmutter , Modern Authoritarianism, A Comparative Institutional Analysis , New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1981.

60 Ibid, p. 62 and passim.

61 Linz, 2000, p. 3-4.

62 Ibid, p.4.

63 The Military committee in Russia was organized before 1917 October revolution, led by Leon Trotsky; the Italian Fascist party was, in the words of its leader, a paramilitary organization in the service of the state; Hitler 's SS special force was part of the Nazi organization but was incorporated into the armed forces after Hitler 's rise, see references: On Weimar Republic in post WWI Germany see, David Abraham The Collapse of Wiemar Republic: Political Economy and Crisis , NY and London, Holmers and Meir, (1981) 1986; Erich Eyck , A History of Weimar Republic , Harvard, 2 vols., 1962-4. On Nazi Germany see also, Shearer, op.cit. On Russia 's experience see, Deutscher, op.cit.; see also: Ferenc Feher, Agnes Heller and György Markus, Dictatorship over Needs , Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1983. On Italy, see V. Gollanez, Mussolini ' s Italy , Part III, London, 1935. Rinn S. Shinn (ed.), Italy, a country study , Foreign Area Studies, American University, 1985. Richard F. Nyrop (ed.), Federal Republic of Germany, a country study , Foreign Area Studies, The American University, 1982.

64 On the Soviet Elections in 1917-8 see, Oliver Henry, The Election to the Russian Constituent Assembly , Radkey, Oxofrd, 1950, pp. 14, 16-17 and 21.

65 Oskar Anweiler, The Soviets: The Russian Workers Peasants, and Soldiers Councils , 1905-1921, translated from the German by Ruth Hein, Oantheon Books, NY, 1974, pp. 209, 210 and passim. See also: George Jackson and Robert Devlin (eds.) Dictionary of the Russian Revolution , Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1989, p. 543 and passim.

66 On Italian and German elections see, Christopher Setom-Watson, Italy from Liberalism to Fascism , 1870-1925, London, Methven & co., 1967, p. 647-649. Wilhelm Dittmann, Das politische Deutschland vor Hitler , Zürich, NY: Europa Verlag, 1945. Appendix C.

67 See, A.J. Gregor, Origins and Doctrine of Fascism, 2002. Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes, The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991, ABACUS, London, (1994) 19941 p. 40 and passim. Leszek Kolakowski, The Myth of Human Self-Identity: Unity of Civil and Political Society in Socialist Thought, in Chandran Kukathas, David W. Lovell and William Maley (eds.), The Transition from Socialism, State and Civil Society in the USSR, Longman Cheshire , 1990 pp. 88-90 .

68 Mussolini, 1935, p. 75 and passim. Ronald J. Hill and Peter Frank (eds .), The Soviet Communist Party , London, (1981) 1983, pp. 74-5 and 105. Russia opted for full-scale nationalization, Italy for corporative syndicates, Germany for regulatory control over industries and business classes.

69 Historians agree that the Nazi and Fascist takeovers were in part reactions against the Bolshevik takeover in Russia, and were extremely hostile to national 'divisions' caused by class struggle.

70 Hobsbawm, op. cit., pp. 128-9.

71 Martin Walker, The Waking Giant, Gorbachev ' s Russia , Pantheon Books, NY, 1986, see chapter 6 on the party 's 27 th congress, p. 85 and passim.

72 Leon Trotsky, The History of the Russian Revolution , translated by Max Eastmann, 1931, online version under www.marxits.org . This book offers almost a daily account of the revolutionary upheaval that with the wealth of details allows for a reappraisal of this multi-faceted historical crisis. Russia was the last autocracy in Europe, the last country with feudal shackles, and the first with strong urban workers movement.

73 Even the age-old Muslim Caliph in Istanbul could not avoid the aftermaths of the war; he lost his aura in the eyes of nationalist Turks who rallied around Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

74 War reparations had their toll on Italy and Germany. The 1928 crisis was an added factor. See Shinn (ed.), op.cit, pp.48-50; and Nyrop (ed.), op.cit., pp.32-33.

75 According to Arendt, Hitler did not approve of Mussolini 's totalitarian concepts and their emphasis on the state; his ideal was the 'Volk', i.e. the people, rather than the Staat, i.e. the state. Arendt, op.cit. p. 303.

76 The 'ultimate dissolution' of the state is a major theme in Marxian socio-political theory. On the eve of his revolution, Lenin reiterated the Marxian concepts in his State and Revolution , but soon reversed course to create the Red Army and expand the bureaucracy against whose growth he had endless complaints.

77 Hobsbawm, The Age of Capital, Weidfeld & Nicholas, London, 1975, p. 120 and passim and 155.

78 Gianfranco Pasquino, The Demise of the First Fascist Regime and Italy ' s Transition to Democracy :1943-1948, in Guillermo O 'Donnell et al (eds.), Transition from Authoritarian Rule, Southern Europe, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1968, p.47.

79 Cited above by O 'Donnell, ibid., p. 47

80 Mussolini to an old syndicalist friend, see, Linz, 2000, p.166.

81 Mussolini, 1935, p. 40.

82 The Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci was the first to contemplate this difference between Russia and Western Europe; see, The Gramsci reader, Selected Writings, 1916-1935 , edited by David Forgacs, NY, New York University Press, 2000, p. 222 and passim. See also, John Ehrenberg, Civil Society, The Critical History of an Idea , N.Y.: New York University Press, 1999, pp. 208-211.

83 Flora, Peter, Franz Kraus and Winfried Pfenning, State, Economy and Society in Western Europe (1815-1975). A Data Handbook. Vol. II: the Growth of Industrial Societies and Capitalist Economies, Chicago: St. James Press, 1987.

84 Central Statistical Board of the USSR Council of Ministers, National Economy of the USSR, Statistical Returns, Foreign Language Publishing House, Moscow, 1957, pp. 17, 24 and passim .

85 Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws, translated and edited by Anne M. Cohler, Basia Carolyn Miller and Harold Samuel Stone, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989 p. 156 and passim; and Ehrenberg, op.cit., pp. 146-8.

86 Karl W. Deutsch, Cracks in the Monolith: Possibilities and Patterns of Disintegration in Totalitarian Systems, in Friedrich (ed.), Totalitarianism, 1954, pp. 320-321.

87 Barrington Moore, Jr., Social origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World, Boston, Beacon Press, 1966, pp. 417, 448-500.

88 Theda Skocpol, States and Social revolutions, A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1979; idem, Social Revolutions in the Modern World , Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (1994) 1996, p. 259.

89 Peter Gran, Beyond Euro Centrism, A View of Modern World History , Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1996.

90 Mahdavi, op.cit., Luciano and Biblawi, op.cit.

91 See, Fredrick Starr, Soviet Union: A Civil Society , Foreign Affairs , No.70, Spring 1988, pp.26-41 . Also, Ehrenberg, op. cit., III,7 Civil Society and Communism , p. 173 and passim.

92 Peter Gran, op.cit.

93 Arab nationalist thinkers such as Sati' al-Hasri and his lot showed great admiration for Germany 's revival under Hitler. They were fascinated by the discipline, mass movements and vitality of German and Italian totalitarian leaders and parties. In Egypt, for example, the conservative Muslim Brotherhood emulated the Italian squads (Black shirts squads).

94 Peter Wien, Iraqi Arab Nationalism, London: Routledge 2006.

95 حول الحصري انظر : ويليام كليفلاند : الانتقال من العثمانية الى العروبة في حياة وفكر ساطع الحصري، برينستون 1972 ، الطبعة العربية : دار الوحدة، بيروت، 1983 ، وكذلك ت . ب . تيخونوفا، ساطع الحصري، رائد المنحى العلماني في الفكر القومي العربي، الطبعة العربية، موسكو، 1987. الحصري : المؤلفات الكاملة، مركز دراسات الوحدة العربية، 1985.

96 يوسف سلمان يوسف ( فهد ) ، الاعمال الكاملة، بغداد، دار الرواد، 1974.

97 نشر طلفاح المقالات التي اذاعها من اذاعة بغداد في كتابين مستقلين طبعا ببغداد اواخر السبعينات، وهما حافلان بافكار قومية استبدادية، تطفح بعبادة الدولة والزعيم القومي . انظر : طلفاح : ايام من حياتي ، مطبعة العبايجي، بغداد، 1987. وكذلك : طلفاح : العراق في ست سنوات، الجزء الاول، بغداد مطبعة الرشيد، 1986.

98 نص اطلع عليه كاتب هذه السطور، ونشر كمقال في أحد أعداد مجلة الثقافة الجديدة خلال عام 1980 على الارجح .

99 جورج لوكاش : تحطيم العقل Zerstörung der Vernunft المترجم الى العربية .

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PSJ Metadata
Faleh A. Jabbar
Totalitarianism Revisited
With a Note on Iraq
Neuere Zeitgeschichte (1945-heute)
Figure 1 Figure 1 Distribution of Seats in the German Reichstag (1928-1933)
Figure 2 Figure 2 Seat Distribution in the Russian Constituent Assembly Election November 1917
Figure 3 Figure 3 Delegates to the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers and Soldiers Deputies, October 1917
Figure 4 Figure 4 Italian National Elections 1921
Figure 5 Figure 5 Italian National Elections 1924
Figure 6 Figure 6 Percentage of Seats Won by Totalitarian Parties in Germany, Russia and Italy
PDF document jabbar_totalitarianism.doc.pdf — PDF document, 1.09 MB
F.A. Jabbar, Totalitarianism Revisited. With a Note on Iraq
In: Rethinking Totalitarianism and its Arab Readings. Proceedings of the Conference "European Totalitarianism in the Mirrors of Contemporary Arab Thought", Beirut, October 6-8, 2010, Hg. Manfred Sing (Orient Institute Studies, 1)
URL: https://prae.perspectivia.net/publikationen/orient-institut-studies/1-2012/jabbar_totalitarianism
Veröffentlicht am: 24.04.2012 10:48
Zugriff vom: 20.01.2020 16:14
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