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Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.<ref name="reflections2">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Totalitarian regimes stay in political power through an all-encompassing propaganda campaign, which is disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that is often marked by political repression, personality cultism, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror.

The concept of totalitarianism was first developed in the 1920s by the Weimar German jurist, and later Nazi academic, Carl Schmitt and Italian fascists. Schmitt used the term, Totalstaat in his influential work on the legal basis of an all-powerful state, The Concept of the Political (1927).<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> The concept became prominent in Western anti-communist political discourse during the Cold War era, in order to highlight perceived similarities between Nazi Germany and other Fascist states on the one hand, and Soviet Communist Party states on the other.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>Achim Siegel, The totalitarian paradigm after the end of Communism: towards a theoretical reassessment, 1998, page 200 "Concepts of totalitarianism became most widespread at the height of the Cold War. Since the late 1940s, especially since the Korean War, they were condensed into a far-reaching, even hegemonic, ideology, by which the political elites of the Western world tried to explain and even to justify the Cold War constellation"</ref><ref>Nicholas Guilhot, The democracy makers: human rights and international order, 2005, page 33 "The opposition between the West and Soviet totalitarianism was often presented as an opposition both moral and epistemological between truth and falsehood. The democratic, social, and economic credentials of the Soviet Union were typically seen as "lies" and as the product of a deliberate and multiform propaganda...In this context, the concept of totalitarianism was itself an asset. As it made possible the conversion of prewar anti-fascism into postwar anti-communism</ref><ref>David Caute, Politics and the novel during the Cold War, 2009, pages 95-99</ref><ref>George A Reisch, How the Cold War transformed philosophy of science: to the icy slopes of logic, 2005, pages 153-154</ref>

Other movements and governments have also been described as totalitarian. The leader of the historic Spanish reactionary conservative movement called the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right declared his intention to "give Spain a true unity, a new spirit, a totalitarian polity..." and went on to say "Democracy is not an end but a means to the conquest of the new state. When the time comes, either parliament submits or we will eliminate it."<ref>Paul Preston. The Spanish Civil War: reaction, revolution and revenge. 3rd edition. W. W. New York, New York, USA: Norton & Company, Inc, 2007. 2006 Pp. 64.</ref>

Totalitarianism sections
Intro  Etymology  Differences between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes  Cold War-era research  Criticism and recent work with the concept  Totalitarianism in architecture  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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