It is often considered that the term ‘totalitarian’ refers to the past. The eras of Stalin and Hitler, or maybe the current lunacies of Kim Jong Un’s North Korea.
But the problem is, it ain’t.
To live in a totalitarian society means to live in a state where the ruling class, oligarchy or charismatic individual wants you not only to do as you’re told, but to APPROVE of being told what to do. They don’t just want you to be obedient; they also want to get ‘inside’ your mind.
Totalitarianism also requires a society in which alternatives to the current regime are either unthinkable, inaccessible, ridiculed, or unknown to the education system. Totalitarians insist they have a monopoly on the term ‘common sense’ and that anything that differs as dangerous madness. They love uncritical belief in certain values, which are never questioned or even mentioned in public. (Why should we discuss ‘British Values’? They’re ‘obvious’!)
Totalitarianism does not need an overt police state. It can even have regular elections… provided that those who stand for election are all of the same basic political outlook.
Totalitarianism dislikes diversity. It predicates social thinking on ‘everyone being the same’. Any attempts to promote equity are co-opted into the concept of ‘necessary integration’, thereby turning those who dissent into antisocial trouble makers.
Totalitarians hate dissidence. They see all disagreement as an offence against ‘common sense’. Totalitarianism talks about freedom all the time. But only a type of freedom compatible with the discourse of the ruling group.
You do not need secret police to live in a totalitarian world. Simple uniformity of thought will do, imbibed via constant propaganda and a supine educational system.
This is the danger of totalitarianism: “THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE”.
Don’t look for dictators. Look for a straight-jacketing of the mind.