chapter  9
4 Pages

OVERCOMING TOTALITARIANISM

ByJacek Kuroń

Totalitarianism is an attempt to command all social life. It is based on the exclusive control of the power center over the organization of all activities. This monopoly is so total that if citizens gather and discuss freely a matter as simple as roof repairs on a block of apartments, it becomes a challenge to the central

authority. Accompanying this monopoly of organization is a monopoly of information, meaning that every printed word-not to mention the electronic media-is controlled by the central authority. And these monopolies in turn lead to a monopoly of decision-making by the central authority. Obviously, this totalitarian ideal cannot be fully implemented, but even the attempt to implement it destroys a nation’s economic and political life.