Totalitarianism: Defunct Theory, Useful Word

  title={Totalitarianism: Defunct Theory, Useful Word},
  author={John Connelly},
  journal={Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History},
  pages={819 - 835}
  • J. Connelly
  • Published 27 October 2010
  • Political Science
  • Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History
Despite our best efforts, we never get beyond totalitarianism. The word is as functional now as it was 50 years ago. It means the kind of regime that existed in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Soviet satellites, Communist China, and maybe Fascist Italy, where the word originated. As Michael Geyer notes in his thought-provoking introduction, it was the word preferred by dissidents. Who are we to tell Václav Havel or Adam Michnik that they were fooling themselves when they perceived their… 
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