Origins of Totalitarianism

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The Origins of Totalitarianism was a 1948 book by Hannah Arendt. She argued that patterns of anti-Semitic ideology, coupled with European imperialism and nationalism, generated a new political ideology: the total state.

The argument is very interpretative and has incited much criticism from historians since its publication.

She asserted that the Total State has five characteristics: A leader with absolute power; a dogmatic ideology; a single mass party; a police dedicated to the ideology and willing to use terror against the people; and control and vigorous use of media for propaganda.

Under the ideology and party, institutions such as education, church, and law become politicized.