17 Important Totalitarianism Pros and Cons



There are many different types of government systems in the world.

One type, in particular, is known as totalitarianism.

This is a governmental system defined by a centralized body of leadership that a dictator leads.

This form of government requires that its citizens (or subjects) be utterly obedient to the state.

Today there are only two countries where totalitarianism is used to rule people.

These nations are the Republic of North Korea and Eritrea.

Here is a list of the pros and cons of totalitarianism.

Hopefully, these attributes will help clarify why people no longer want to be ruled by totalitarian regimes.

Pros of Totalitarianism

While totalitarianism has fallen out of style with many nations today, it does have some good points.

Remember, even Hitler’s and Joseph Stalin’s regimes had their good points.

Still, that does not excuse these regimes for the damage and destruction they caused to people all over the globe.

The fact is that even terrible governmental systems still have some value.


Totalitarian Societies can Implement Rapid Change.

The reason why totalitarian societies can implement rapid change is because of their dictatorial style of leadership.

When the head of the state wants to implement a change, it is immediately carried out without opposition.

Nobody can challenge the ruling authority.

They might not like how that individual does things, but that doesn’t mean they can speak out about it.

In a totalitarian society, all people under the dictator follow the head figure’s will and instructions and carry out their commands.


Totalitarian Regimes Force Change When Necessary.

Sometimes a nation needs to make essential changes within its society.

However, this cannot always be quickly carried out because of different parties within the government.

The totalitarian government system doesn’t have this problem.

Once again, the ruler in charge makes the rules.

If that person decides they want a specific change to happen, it will happen.

People who oppose the ruler will be disregarded.

This is an acceptable form of government to help suffering people within a nation.

For example, if the coronavirus pandemic happened within a totalitarian state, the leader could tell people to wear face masks and quarantine them at home.

There won’t be any people arguing that they are losing money or violating their right to wear face masks.

The totalitarian government would round up those individuals and quietly cause them to go away.

While this might be frowned upon in places like the U.S., it benefits the people.

Again, totalitarianism forces (implements) change when necessary without red tape, disagreements, and public pushback.


Totalitarianism Makes all Members of Society Truly Equal.

This is a disadvantage but can also be seen as an advantage.

Most people in a republic system of government realize that everyone is not on an equal playing ground.

However, everyone is forced on a similar playing ground in a totalitarian society.

Most totalitarian regimes will provide their citizens with goods and services, and the state will give these goods and services.

Regardless of a person’s work, they won’t rise above their peers.

Remember that a totalitarian government will provide more to some of its citizens than others.

In reality, everything is not all that fair inside a totalitarian regime.

Still, most people don’t rise above their fellow citizens.

Totalitarian regimes tend to keep their people fed, provide them with essential goods, and take care of their lives.

People must work to get these things and do their part to help the state with their material goods.

In places like the U.S., this concept would laugh at by most its people.

Even poor people would not care for this type of governmental system because they would not have a chance to rise out of their current economic condition and lose their opportunity to become rich.

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Poverty and riches are truly relative and ambiguous in a totalitarian regime.


The Citizens of a Totalitarian Regime Sacrifice for their Nation.

Totalitarian governments always urge citizens to sacrifice their rights, luxuries, and comforts for the state.

The state is the greater good, and the people are always supposed to do what is best for the country.

It doesn’t matter what they get out of the situation; they are supposed to support the state and its demands.

In a republic, this type of thinking is laughed at.

Most people in a republic want what’s best for them, and they could care less about serving the government and helping fulfill its needs.

Truthfully, they want the government to allow them to achieve their financial dreams and goals freely.

This mentality doesn’t fly for a totalitarian state.

A totalitarian state is all people supporting the government and its endeavors.

Totalitarian regimes can get away with their government system in modern times because the citizens have been groomed to believe that the state is the greater good.

This is the right train of thought for any government system.

When people fully support their government, it empowers that state to achieve and do more.


Totalitarian Regimes are Quick to Make Laws.

A totalitarian regime can quickly implement laws.

Once the ruling family members decide that they want to make a law, they can soon get the law passed.

Again, no opposing parties or individuals are speaking out against them.

Since this is the case, rules can be quickly passed without opposition.

If you try and take this course of action in the United States, chances are you will find many people trying to thwart your attempt to make a law.

That is another excellent benefit of a totalitarian government if the law is practical and just.


Totalitarian Societies are More Stable than Other forms of Governments.

Let’s clarify; we are not saying that totalitarian societies don’t have factions or parties operating behind the scene.

We are saying that this governmental system provides stability because people only see things from their ruler’s perspective.

Even if factions operate behind the scenes, most totalitarian people fall in line and march behind their leader.

This provides excellent social stability because no competing parties or divided interests are causing unrest or social discord.


Totalitarian Governments Have a Greater Influence on the Economy.

Totalitarian governments generate a lot of influence on their Economy.

They can do this easily because there are no competing parties within the system.

Think about this.

The American Economy is much divided, just like the rest of society.

Things are divided because everybody has a perspective about how things should be operated within society.

Democrats want more of the Economy to be about the people.

Republicans want the Economy to focus more on business.

Businesses want to control more consumers to make more money.

More consumers want to get more cheap and free goods from companies.

Entrepreneurs want to create a business and have everyone make them rich.

The average worker wants to afford a lovely decent house in a brand-new neighborhood.

The poor American wants his meager dollars to stretch further and further, and the rich man wants to pay fewer taxes.

Do you see the problem with all this free will and choices within the American Economy?

A totalitarian regime doesn’t have this problem.

Why? Because everybody is for everybody else, and all people serve the state.

Keeping that in mind will help you understand how totalitarian regimes usually have stable, strong, and smoothly functioning economies.

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The supreme ruler of a totalitarian society is the one who benefits the most.


Leadership is Clearly Defined in a Totalitarian State.

While the U.S.

President is the nation’s ruler, many Americans feel like they aren’t.

Truthfully, nobody would openly defy the leading ruler of a totalitarian state, and that would be counterproductive to supporting the state.

Leadership is clearly defined in a totalitarian outfit.

The vast majority of people will fall in line with the leaders and their demands.

They will not fight against the leader because their power structure is too formidable and established.

Leaders pass down commands through their established national and local organizations, and this information then gets passed down to the people within society.

Once this happens, people fall in line or suffer the consequences.

By the way, consequences for disobeying the leader (or disobeying the law) are often dealt with swiftly and forcefully.

This is done to ensure that other members of society are not getting an outline.

Totalitarian leaders don’t mess around with people who speak out against them.

In the U.S., speaking out against a current president is a national sport and pastime, and American people think it is correct.

This type of behavior won’t stand a chance in a totalitarian regime.

Cons of Totalitarianism


Nobody Gets to Refute the Leader.

Totalitarian rulers say and do as they, please.

The people cannot say anything about what the ruler does.

They might not like the ruler’s decision, but they better not speak out about it.

They have to accept it and move on with life.


Totalitarian Societies have a Large Police Force and Spy Network.

One of the most significant issues with living in a totalitarian regime is its spy network and police force.

While crime is generally low because of this factor, it also causes problems for people in society.

The spy network and police forces are always busy figuring out who is causing trouble for the nation and its way of life.

Once they figure out who the dissenters and troublemakers are, they will be systematically removed.

People don’t get away with much in a totalitarian society.

That is why everyone must be careful about their actions toward the government.

Related: Pros and Cons of Fascism


Your Personal Feelings, Emotions, and Thoughts don’t Matter in a Totalitarian Regime.

Your personal feelings don’t matter in a totalitarian regime.

They don’t matter because the government of this type of system does not care.

People who speak out against a specific issue will be silenced, and people who say things publicly against the government will suddenly not be seen anymore.

A person’s influence on the operation of the state doesn’t matter.

No one gets to vote for their leaders in a totalitarian organization.

The ruling leader appoints leaders, and they can also be replaced by a dictator as well.

In a totalitarian society, you must be quiet and keep your emotions and feelings to yourself.

Otherwise, you could be sent to prison or even permanently eliminated.

Remember, it’s all about supporting the central leader or the dictatorial figure.


Traditional and Social Institutions are not Allowed.

Institutions such as churches, synagogues, or temples are not allowed.

The reason why totalitarian governments disregard them has to do with inspiration.

No regime wants its people to be inspired and to have hope in anything but themselves.

This is important because this will allow the regime to keep more control over the people.

The last thing they want is for somebody to get inspired by some holy deity, which causes the people to rise and overthrow the regime.

Social institutions such as homeless shelters, food pantries, or child services are usually unavailable in totalitarian societies.

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The reason is that these situations are usually handled directly by the state.

For example, North Korea provides food rations to people to keep them fed.

Still, some people don’t get enough to eat.

So, aid is sent.

However, people cannot go to food pantries (like in America) to get their next meal.

Social institutions are generally nonexistent in this type of government.


Minorities Generally Suffer.

If a minority person lives in a totalitarian regime, they will suffer greatly.

This is because totalitarian societies generally do not care for minority people or their cultural or ethnic needs.

Minority people are often persecuted and disregarded by their totalitarian rulers, and they usually don’t have the same rights as the people who are the dominant culture within the regime.

Pros and cons of Totalitarianism

Many minority people are pushed to society’s fringes and live subpar lives, even though everyone is supposed to be the same.

The dictator figure will create policies about how to deal with minority groups within the regime, and everyone else will then follow suit on how to treat minorities.


People Tend to Defect.

Totalitarian societies usually cause people to defect.

Some people cannot stand living under a restrictive form of government and want the right to speak out against injustice or to speak for changes in the government.

This is one of the most important reasons many immigrate to America.

Totalitarian regimes must figure out the best way to keep people interested in their society.

Otherwise, people who get the chance to leave will take it to live somewhere less controlling.


The Totalitarian States are Hyper Aggressive.

Totalitarian states tend to be hyper-aggressive.

They want to overrun other nations and force everyone to accept their agenda.

Many totalitarian states want to dominate other nations.

North Korea has this type of mindset for its government.

However, many nations won’t be bullied by this government.

The nature of totalitarian states is that they desire to push their agenda on the rest of the world.


People are Less Creative in a Totalitarian Society.

Creativity, the arts, new inventions, and entrepreneurial endeavors happen within a totalitarian regime.

However, the state controls how these functions are carried out.

There are singers, music, and other forms of artistic expression, and once again, the state controls how people do these things.

Generally, most totalitarian states do not allow for free and creatively artistic, business, or technological expression.

They will control every facet of these different endeavors.


The Totalitarian Ruler will be Responsible for the Success or Failure of the State.

In America, the government and its people make the nation.

Both entities are responsible for the success or failure of the state.

The totalitarian state puts success and failure under the dictator’s guidance or supreme ruler.

The ruler’s decisions, directives, and guidance will be judged to determine if they are doing a good job.

If the nation fails under their leadership, people will judge the ruler as terrible.

Totalitarian rulers often rule with their emotions and without criticism, which could easily set them up for failure.

Conclusion of our Discussion

Totalitarian nations fell out of favor because most people understand the problems they have created in the past.

Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union are two prime examples of totalitarian government systems’ downfall.

Again, this government style is terrible, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some good qualities.

Ultimately, the bad qualities of a totalitarian government outweigh any good traits it might possess.

Most people on Earth cannot live under a single ruler who controls their lives.

totalitarian government pros and cons