Totalitarianism Case Study Stalinist Russia Worksheets
Describe totalitarianism, the building of a totalitarian state in Russia, and the economic system under Stalin.
Totalitarianism is a form of government in which the national government has complete control over every aspect of both private and political life. It seeks to meld government and its beliefs with society. All citizens are expected to approve its ideology or suffer the consequences. A totalitarian state is usually led by a dynamic leader who appears to provide a sense of security and guidance towards a brighter future followed by a single political party. Furthermore, the dynamic ruler is a master in the art of building support for his policies and justifying his actions, however twisted they may be. He uses a secret police to crush opposition, impose his ideals on the masses, and create a sense of fear among civilians. He also uses shrewdly devised methods of control and persuasion, some of which are: terror, indoctrination, propaganda, censorship, and religious or ethnic persecution. Individuality and unique talents were none but frowned upon unless used for the benefit of the state.
The totalitarian state Stalin had built in Russia employed all of the devised methods of control and persuasion. Stalin monitored telephone lines, read mail, and planted informers everywhere. He eliminated his those who supposedly opposed him and threatened his right to rule in both the masses and the members of the Communist Party. He controlled all sources of information from newspapers, motion pictures and the radio to art, literature, science and history. Schools were strictly controlled and those who opposed the Communist Party’s interpretation on science and history risked losing their jobs of imprisonment. Stalin even resorted to replacing religion with communistic ideals. He spread propaganda attacking the church and set up “museums of atheism” which showed people that religious beliefs were merely superstition. Stalin’s utter control on society did away with the prized ideals of Western Democracy (reason, freedom, human dignity, and the value of the individual).
-Genesis A. Landestoy
totalitarianism is a form of government in which the national government takes control of all aspects of both public and private life. totalitarianism seeks to erase the line between government and society. it has an ideology, beliefs, that all citizens are expected to approve. it is often led by a dynamic leader and a single political party. mass communication technology helps a totalitarian government spread its aims and support its policies. surveillance technology also makes it possible to keep track of the activities of many people. furthermore, violence, such as police terror, discourages those who disagree with the goals of the government. this form of government was taken by Stalin in Russia, he wanted to create a perfect Communist state in Russia. Stalin developed a police state that would monitor every telephone line, mail, and planted informers. they would arrest and execute millions of "traitors." his government also controlled all propaganda and sources of information, Stalin would not tolerate individual creativity. the government would also control all education.
Stalin also had the idea of replacing religious teachings with the ideals of Communism. Stalin's total control of society eliminated personal rights and freedoms in favor of the power of the state. in 1928 Stalin's plans called for a command economy, he outlined the first of several five-year plans for the development of the Soviet Union's economy. Stalin's tough methods produced impressive economic results, although the five-years plan fell short. a second plan was launched in 1933, it proved to be successful. from 1928 to 1937, industrial production of steel increased more than 25 percent.
Totalitarianism describes a government that takes total, centralized, state control over ever aspect of public and private life. Totalitarian leaders appear to provide a sense of security and to give a direction for the future. In the 20th century, the widespread use of mass communiation made it possible to reach into all aspects of citizens' lives.
A dynamic leader u can build support for his policies and justify his actions heads most totalitarian governments. Often the leader utilizes secret police to crus opposition and creat a sense of fear among the people. No one exempt from suspicion or accusations that he or she is an enemy of the state.
-Kenny R. Gomez
The economic system in Stalinist Russia
After building a totalitarian state, Joseph Stalin sought more power over the Russian nation. He wanted to gain control of virtually all aspects of his Russia. As he began to gain complete control over society, he began to set plans in motion for overhauling the economy. In 1928, Stalin's plans called for a command economy, or a system in which the government makes all decisions involving the economy of a country. Joseph Stalin outlined a Five-Year Plan (the first of many, may I add), for the development of the economy for the USSR. His tough methods of achievements produced impressive economic results, despite the fact that most of the targets fell short the first time around.
In 1928, also, the government began to seize over 25 million privately-owned farms in the USSR to combine them into large, government-owned farms, called collective farms. This added to Stalin's idea of a communist union where the government took control over all facets of a society and economic system. Peasants fought the government's attempt at taking their land, however by 1938 more than 90 percent of the farmers lived on collective farms. Most of the land in the USSR was collective and belonged to the state. During these times, the economy was at its golden point.
- Lily Sanchez
A Stalinist Russia
The Soviet Union, after Lenin, was transformed by Joseph Stalin, into a totalitarian state, a state in which a government takes total, centralized, state control over every aspect of what is the public and private life. Totalitarian leaders, as was Stalin, provide a sense of security and direction to the future of its people. With this, Stalin was determined to make the Soviet Union both politically and economically able to be one of the most powerful nations in the world.
To first dominate his nation, Stalin had to use the key traits of totalitarianism, which are: ideology, to set goals of the state; the state control of individuals, demanding loyalty and denying basic liberties; methods of enforcement, such as police terror and persecution; modern technology, as were advanced military weapons; state control of society, including business, housing, education, labor; the practice of dictatorship; and being a dynamic leader who unites people.
Under Stalin's rule, many changes were made to the Soviet Union; changes that were both positive and negative. Stalin had a "secret police" which used tanks and armored cars to stop riots. He was also in total control of newspapers, motion pictures, radios, and other sources of information, as well as all that was learned in schools and universities. He also enforced the ban of religious teachings and exchanged them for the teachings of communism. A turn out to all of this though was the fact that women had rights in which they were declared equal to men and were allowed to vote and work.
Totalitarism describes a goevernment that takes total, centralized state control over evey aspect of public and private life. Totalitarism leaders make you feel somehow secure and give you some direction for your future. To create a Totalitarist state Stalin built a police station to protect himself, his secret police used tanks and armored tanks to stop the riots; he controlled every sense of news papers, movies and tv shows, pictures, radio and other sources of information; under his rule the education was controlled by the government, from nursery all the way to the university; in Stalin’s rule, communist wanted to replace the religious teachings to communist principles.Under Stalin’s rule the economy was a command economy, this basically means that the government takes over every economic decision in the country, they focus on the countries mayor economic needs and try to accomplish them.
Totalitarianism in Europe
In the years immediately after the First World War, a promising new era of democracy was seemingly unfolding. The autocratic regimes in Russia, Germany and Austria, were all overthrown and replaced by republics. The seven newly-created states in Europe all adopted the republican form of government. Within two decades after the war, many democratic countries in Europe were taken over by dictatorship. Russia became a Communist state. Italy and Germany became Fascist states. Of the powers in Europe, only Britain and France remained democratic.
A simple definition of totalitarianism can be taken to be ‘a system of rule, driven by an ideology, that seeks direction of all aspects of public activity, political, economic and social, and uses to that end, at least to a degree, propaganda and terror’. Initially it was not used as a critical judgement on a government. Mussolini happily used the word, and while in general it usefully describes Nazism and Stalinism, Hitler avoided its use and Stalin saw it as applicable to Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany but not to Russia.
Stalin Gains Total Control
Stalin took Russia and transformed it into a totalitarian government. He used the police to terrorize citizens into following the rules, by spying, using brutal force, or even murder. He controlled education by indoctrination, making a false image on the minds of children, so they will believe that it is all done for the welfare of the citizens, which would also get children spying and betraying their own parents. He controlled all newspapers, and radios, so none of this would say anything bad about the government. They also read letters to see if any of the spoke of treason. Creativity was not allowed, it was used only for propaganda. He also wished to eliminate religious bonding. They did this by using propaganda against religious groups, displaying exhibits showing religion as mere superstitions. The police destroyed churches and killing church leaders or sending them to labor camps. Stalin’s total control of these people made them lose rights such as freedom for their state to gain power.
-Gaby H. (:
After Lenin had passed away Stalin decided to turn the Soviet Union into a totalitarian state. This means that is a government that takes total, central, state control over every aspect of public and private life. Totalitarian leaders appear to provide a sense of security and to give a direction for the future. The totalitarianism has the characteristics of reason, freedom, human dignity, and the worth of the individual. Also dictator use to use it, but they use terror and violence to force obedience and to crush opposition.
Many fronts of the governments use to use individual propaganda since they had control of the newspapers, motion pictures, radio, and other sources of information. This got Stalin mad, he wouldn’t tolerate it. Stalin was the one who come with the Five-year plans for the development of the Soviet Union, he wanted to industrialize it, which he accomplish also made collective farms which combined them into large, government owned farms. Stalin gave the Soviet Union a new way to be viewed.
Totalitarianism - a government that takes total, centralized state control over every aspect of public and private life. Often the leader utilizes secret police to crush opposition and create a sense of fear among people. No one is exempt from suspicion or accusations that he or she is an enemy of the state. It challenges the highest values prized by Western democracies.
Stalin Builds a Totalitarian State
He built a police state to mantain his power. They monitored telephone lines, read mail, and planted informers everywhere. In 1934, Stalin turned against members of the Communist Party. In 1937, he launched the Great Purge, a campagn of terror directed at eliminanting anyone who threatened his power, and so he did. Stalin's government controlled all newspapers, motion pictures, radio, and other sources of information. Communists aimed to replace religious teahcings with the ideals of communism.In 1928 Stalin's plans called for a command economy, a system in which the government made all economic decisions. Stalin outlined teh first of several Five- Year Plans.It set impossibly high quotas o increase the output of steel,coal, oil, and electricity. The government then limited the production of consumer goods. As a result, people faced severe shortages of housing, food ,, clothig, and other necessary goods.
"Totalitarianism is a form of government in which the bation government takes control of all aspects of both public and private life. Thus, totalistarianism seeks to erase the line between governement and society. It has an ideology, of set of beliefs, that all citizens are expected to approve. It is often led by a dynamtic leader and a single political party.
Mass communitcation technology helps a totalarian government spread its aims and support its policies. Also, surveillance technology makes it possible to keep track of activites of many people. Finally, violence, such as police terror, discourages those who disagree with the goals of the government.''
Key Traits of Totalitarianism
-State Control of Indiviuals
-Dictatorship and One-Party Rule
-State Control of Society
Totalitarianism is a form of government in which the national governmenttakes control of all aspects of both public and private life. Thus, totalitarianismseeks to erase the line between government and society. It has an ideology,or set of beliefs, that all citizens are expected to approve. It is often led by adynamic leader and a single political party. Mass communication technology helps a totalitarian government spread itsaims and support its policies. Also, surveillance technology makes it possibleto keep track of the activities of many people. Finally, violence, such as policeterror, discourages those who disagree with the goals of the government.
How does a totalitarianstate attempt to make citizens obey its rules?
See Skillbuilder Handbook, pageR21.
How would your lifechange if you lived in a totalitarianstate?
Totalitarian leaders in the 20thcentury
Adolf Hitler (Germany)1933–1945
Benito Mussolini (Italy)1925–1943
Joseph Stalin (SovietUnion) 1929–1953
Kim IL Sung (North Korea)1948–1994
Saddam Hussein (Iraq)1979–2003
The two most infamousexamples of state terror inthe 20th century were inNazi Germany and StalinistRussia.
An estimated12.5–20million people were killedin Nazi Germany.
An estimated 8–20 millionpeople were killed inStalinist Russia.
There are many authoritarian regimes in the world, but there are very few actual totalitariangovernments. In 2000, onemonitoring agency identified five totalitarianregimes—Afghanistan, Cuba,North Korea, Laos, andVietnam.
For more on totalitarianism, go to
State Control of Society
• business• labor• housing• education• religion• the arts• personal life• youth groups
• unites people• symbolizes government• encourages popular support through force of will
• sets goals of the state• glorifies aims of the state• justifies government actions
Methods of Enforcement
• police terror• indoctrination• censorship• persecution
• mass communication to spread propaganda• advanced military weapons
Dictatorship and One-Party Rule
• exercises absolute authority • dominates the government
State Control of Individuals
• demands loyalty • denies basic liberties• expects personal sacrifice for the good of the state
Key Traits of TotalitarianismFear of Totalitarianism
George Orwell illustrated the horrors of a totalitarian government in his novel,
. The novel depicts a world in which personal freedom and privacy have vanished. It is a world made possible through modern technology. Even citizens’ homes have television cameras that constantly survey their behavior.
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