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Totalitarian States Life Under a Dictator

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1 Totalitarian States Life Under a Dictator
Curriculum Outcome – Analyze and be able to explain the effects of totalitarian governance on social, political and economic life.

2 What is a totalitarian state?
Name some of the characteristics of totalitarian government.

3 Activity: Human Rights Revoked
You have been given a copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You and your group will read through these rights and freedoms, and select three (limit one selection per bold heading (i.e. “Legal Rights” or “Fundamental Freedoms”) Imagine our society – your life – without these three rights. How would things be different? Be prepared to share your response with the class.

4 You live to serve the state
“Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State, and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State…” – Benito Mussolini The fasces: a symbol of strength achieved through unity; namesake of Fascism, a form of Totalitarianism.

5 The Fascist Decalogue (i) 1. Know that the Fascist and in particular the soldier, must not believe in perpetual peace. 2. Days of imprisonment are always deserved. 3. The nation serves even as a sentinel over a can of petrol. 4. A companion must be a brother, first, because he lives with you, and secondly because he thinks like you. 5. The rifle and the cartridge belt, and the rest, are confided to you not to rust in leisure, but to be preserved in war. 6. Do not ever say "The Government will pay " because it is you who pay; and the Government is that which you willed to have, and for which you put on a uniform. 7. Discipline is the soul of armies; without it there are no soldiers, only confusion and defeat. 8. Mussolini is always right. 9. For a volunteer there are no extenuating circumstances when he is disobedient. 10. One thing must be dear to you above all: the life of the Duce. (1934) (ii) 1. Remember that those who fell for the revolution and for the empire march at the head of your columns. 2. Your comrade is your brother. He lives with you, thinks with you, and is at your side in the battle. 3. Service to Italy can be rendered at all times, in all places, and by every means. It can be paid with toil and also with blood. 4. The enemy of Fascism is your enemy. Give him no quarter. 5. Discipline is the sunshine of armies. It prepares and illuminates the victory. 6. He who advances to the attack with decision has victory already in his grasp. 7. Conscious and complete obedience is the virtue of the Legionary. 8. There do not exist things important and things unimportant. There is only duty. 9. The Fascist revolution has depended in the past and still depends on the bayonets of its Legionaries. 10. Mussolini is always right. (1938)

6 Joseph Stalin Problems Major Reforms
After a terrible civil war and the death of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin took power in the Soviet Union. He immediately started putting his opponents to death and began a ruthless program to build up industry in the USSR, killing anyone who stood in his way! Problems Examples of Totalitarian Rule Major Reforms The USSR was not industrialized and had a very weak military The Government was unstable after Lenin’s death. The economy was improving, but many still suffered from famine. Collectivization of farms Five year plans to industrialize USSR Total Command Economy - government control all means of production Built up the military Single party dictatorship (Communist Party) Ruled through fear and terror (Reign of Terror) Used censorship and propaganda - schools, newspapers, government Secret police

7 Benito Mussolini Examples of Totalitarian Rule Problems Major Reforms
Mussolini and his fascist followers, known as the “Blackshirts” marched on Rome and seized power in Italy in Mussolini became Il Duce (“The Leader”) and set up an efficient but brutal rule over Italy! Examples of Totalitarian Rule Problems Major Reforms No criticism of state allowed! “Everything is the state” Forced Italian men to join military, women should have babies Used censorship and propaganda - schools, newspapers, government Secret police, the OVRA Economic and political problems (Debt, Unemployment, corruption). Peasants lost land and resentment after WWI Fear of communist uprising - Clear division between rich and poor Developed Fascist party - Extreme sense of nationalism Repaired and built up the infrastructure (roads, bridges, trains) Wanted to return Italy to the glory of the Roman Empire

8 Adolf Hitler Major Reforms Problems Examples of Totalitarian Rule
In 1933 Adolf Hitler promised Germans that he would tear up the Treaty of Versailles. His Nazi Party won the elections and he was appointed Chancellor of Germany. He quickly gathered all power in his own hands and began arresting communists, trade unionists and Jews. Examples of Totalitarian Rule Major Reforms Problems Developed Nazi party - Extreme sense of nationalism Ignored Treaty of Versailles and rebuilt military Provided security and leadership to Germans Targeted scapegoats - Jews, French, Communists Preached service to the state! Developed idea of Aryans, master race, who needed to be purified and regain land that was rightfully theirs. Campaign against Jews Used censorship and propaganda - schools, newspapers, government Secret police, the Gestapo Damage from WWI and Great Depression caused economy to suffer Hyperinflation, unemployment, massive debt due to Treaty of Versailles Fear of communist revolution

9 Life in a Totalitarian Regime
You have examples of policies, accomplishments, and terrors inflicted by a given totalitarian dictator: Stalin or Mussolini. You and your group will imagine living under the rule of this dictator, and experiencing his actions and decisions. Discuss each example with your group, and then divide them into two categories: 1. Reasons why we support his leadership, and follow him out of despair and into prosperity. 2. Reasons why we resent him, and long to be freed from his tyranny. Reasons to support him Reasons to dislike him Example 1 Example 2 Example 4 Example3 Example 5 Rank the examples in order of SIGNIFICANCE (i.e. “The reason we hate Hitler’s leadership most is…)

10 Stalin Present your selections. Reasons to support him
Reasons to dislike him

11 Mussolini Present your selections. Reasons to support him
Reasons to dislike him

12 Questions for Reflection
On a fresh sheet of paper, answer these questions in about two sentences each. THESE WILL BE COLLECTED AND MARKED What aspects of your life would change if you lived under a Totalitarian dictator? What conditions would drive you to give up your individual rights and follow such a leader?

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