Phenomenon of Totalitarianism: Exit to the Twenty-First Century

Phenomenon of Totalitarianism:
Exit to the Twenty-First Century

Oganisyan Yu.S.,

Principal Researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 491400 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2020.02.12
Rubric: DIXI!

For citation:

Oganisyan Yu.S. Phenomenon of Totalitarianism: Exit to the Twenty-First Century. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No. 2. P. 167-177. (In Russ.).


Totalitarianism did not submerge into the depths of history with the twentieth century. On the contrary, it expanded the political space of its influence globally, albeit differing in a number of essential features from the phenomenon that took shape in the past century. Substantiating these conclusions, the author critically analyzes the basic – discriminatory – model of totalitarianism that has developed in Western science, based on the study of fascism in Italy, Nazism in Germany, and Stalinism in the USSR. With the exception of relict modifications, totalitarianism as a national state phenomenon has persevered in the past century. Globalization opened its path in the twenty-first century, leaving behind one-party dictatorships, mass terror, the cult of leaders, and its other properties described by the basic model. The closed paradigm “liberal democracy – totalitarianism,” in which this model was formed, has also receded into the past. Afer the collapse of the USSR, the dilemma was resolved by the establishment of totalitarianism of a liberal type. Since the end of the twentieth century, liberal democratic regimes, headed by the United States, impose a western form of democracy on the rest of the world through undeclared wars, color revolutions, political pressure, and economic sanctions. The reproduction of this newly transformed totalitarianism provides technological progress, equipping it with previously unknown means of total control and violence which allows it to manipulate the political courses of many states of the world, their parties and governments, and regulate the activities of international organizations. The transformation of totalitarianism in the twenty-first century occurs in the general process of updating the socio-political structure of the world. The leading trends of this process, the author believes, do not nullify the possible prospect of establishing a totalitarian world order, but they do not make it final either. 

totalitarian regime, violence, neoliberalism, globalization, world order.


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Content No. 2, 2020

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Fishman L.G.,
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Ilyinskaya S.G.,
Toleration and Political Violence. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No3

Mezhuyev V.M.,
Violence and Freedom in the Political Context. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No3

Zakirova L.I.,
Foreign policy process. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No4



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