chapter  9
2 Pages


WithAlan Haworth

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts covered in the preceding chapters of this book. The book discovers a principle for distinguishing totalitarianism conceived as a distinct political form from tyranny pure and simple has turned out to be equally problematic. The book encountered one obvious dividing line, however, and that is the contrast between those accounts of totalitarianism that seek confirmation in empirical reality, and those that portray the denizens of a totalitarian world as the deluded victims of mass psychosis; completely divorced from reality. The view of totalitarianism as psychosis is the one taken by Orwell, by Hannah Arendt, and implied by the analyses of the idea of total control. Ironically, although this is a view that represents totalitarianism as an impossibility, it is also the most realistic way to think of the role played by totalitarian ideas in the modern world.