In a totalitarian world the political authority is centralized, monopolized and its power is absolute. The government, led by a charismatic dictatorial leader has complete control in all aspects of life including social, political, economy and religious. The people are expected to conform totally to the ideologies of this government, through intimidation and inflicting of fear on the people. The citizens have little or no say in the decision making process. Their lives, education, livelihoods, religion are all subordinated to the state requirements. There is little freedom of speech and no freedom of press. The political authority tries to completely control people’s actions and thoughts.
There is no freedom to form a political party which means the state is a single party rule. Pluralism and political rights are completely repressed. Terror tactics are used to threaten and intimidate people, through political and moral pressure which is properly organized by the government arms (Orwell, 2003). Unity is thus created through fear of the consequence in non-conformity. It is therefore right to say that in a totalitarian world, conformity is necessary for survival.
The characteristics of totalitarianism include a leader who demands personal devotion from the people. Offices are duplicated and the office holders are frequently changed to create a dependence on the leader. Legal functions are hardly in practice. This makes it hard for any one who may be thinking of opposing this kind of a regime, as there is no fair justice for them. The state practices capitalism as a way to plan for those forces which are active popular and dynamic to fulfill their military goals. Freedom and independent movements are controlled, meaning that the mass media and professional bodies are also controlled. The government owned newspapers will only praise the dictatorial leader while private press is prohibited from being publishing any criticizing of the government. Trade unions are non-existent. This is used to minimize the communication channels. This means that those who maybe trying to raise a voice in opposition will have no channel to communicate it through.
They have no choice but to conform to the regime in authority. Another characteristic that exists in a totalitarian world is that punishment is not on people who have committed a wrong but for being who they are, either by belonging to a group, a tribe or a race. A form of genocide may be practiced against a certain tribe or group that is considered as inferior. Examples include the Jews in the Nazi Germany, the Cossacks in the Soviet Union, among various others.
This intimidation ensures that the people are docile and will only comply with whatever they are ordered to do. Punishment is inflicted not just to the wrong doer, but is extended to three generations. Terror is used as a threat and as a way of intimidating any opposition which is done by the secret police (Orwell, 2003). In some areas, a slave system exists which is directed against a certain tribe or class. They can only yield to conformity out of fear of the consequences for daring to question the authorities. The authoritative government interferes with all the state systems. Therefore those who oppose are normally persecuted and held in prisons. The judiciary and legal systems do not exist and as such there is nowhere that those who oppose the cruel system can turn to for help. They simply have to conform.
In a totalitarian world critics are arrested, there is a lot of censorship that goes on, and secret police are employed to intimidate and stop people from opposing the leader’s dictatorial leadership. The people are expected to conform. However, conformity will only be for a while. They will try and fight back after sometime of allowing conformity to rule. Yes, conformity is necessary for a while, but once pushed to far, they will fight back and they therefore will stop conforming. This is how most of the totalitarian regimes have been ended.