Totalitarian tendencies mutate according to the requirements of the time. Case's argument about the (mis)use of the term 'ideology' by contemporary dictators who denounce all democratic politics as outdated, is also interesting, but conflates 'ideology' with 'politics'. A critique of ideology - in contra-position to truth - is indeed necessary. Such critiques may be found in George Lichtheims essay on ideology; Leszek Kolakowski (whom the author cites) on Why ideology is always right in his Modernity on endless trial; ; and Alexander Koyre's 1945 essay on the modern lie. We may recall Hannah Arendt's warning: ‘totalitarian solutions may well survive the fall of totalitarian regimes in the form of strong temptations which will come up whenever it seems impossible to alleviate political, social, or economic misery in a manner worthy of man… It may even be that the true predicaments of our time will assume their authentic form – though not necessarily the cruellest – only when totalitarianism has become a thing of the past.’ The Origins of Totalitarianism (1948). DS
Poets can be left alone. No one reads them anyway.
You’ll need isolation camps, but gentle ones that won’t annoy the United Nations.
Most journalists should be sent to Madagascar.
The autocrat of the mid-20th century was a strict and demanding father out to shape you into an ideal. He wanted you to modernise, learn self-discipline and, above all, self-sacrifice. When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk addressed soldiers during the Entente attack on Ottoman-held Gallipoli in 1915, he told them: ‘I am not ordering you to fight. I am ordering you to die.’ ‘In the Soviet army,’ said Stalin, ‘it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.’Tough love was thus the signature attribute of the 20th-century dictator.\
Even when he wasn’t demanding the ultimate sacrifice, he wanted you to lose a few pounds, mothball your fez, lay some more bricks, join a state-run youth organisation (or five), learn a new alphabet (or even a new language) and call it your own, memorise some poems, songs or passages penned by the supreme leader and call them ‘history’. Even democratic heads of state once had higher expectations of their citizenry. That line from John F Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural speech – ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country’ – now sounds like an admonition from an earlier, distant century.