All of the questions faced with totalitarianism: How could it happen? How could these rich countries act in this certain way?- the responsibility of it is hard to find. Writer Hannah Arendt tried to explain how "The Origins of Totalitarianism"
Language control, if you get rid of a word then you are vanishing the meaning of the word.
Hannah Andret said that 20th century totalitarian regimes were different to anything that had come before. Pre WW1 things were relatively peaceful and then huge aristotcats such as Russia, China and Germany introduced their totalitarian regimes.
They went agaisnt Plato’s republic. They controlled every aspect of peoples life. Even Hobbes had a low opinion on humanity- state controll is needed.
Contray to this Locke said we need a government but freedom and liberty is essential. But for the totalitarian regimes freedom was the least likely thing you would expect from them. totalitarians wanted to strip away individuality.
“Everything we know of totalitarian....”
-It was new
Once established ways of thinking could be applied to your behavior : think General Kitchener.
Kitchener was a British military leader and statesman who, as secretary of state for war in the first years of World War One, organised armies on an unprecedented scale. He was also depicted on the most famous British army recruitment poster ever produced.
The two methods used to destroy individuality was terror and ideologies, according to Hannah Arendt.
Ideology and terror limits your capacity to think. Because an ideology literally puts you in a place where the phrase 'it's just the way it is' applies, because you think you cannot change the ideology you just have to live with it.Orders are part of an ideology from the state. They absorb you from any responsibility.
"Dont think, follow" frees you from common sense.
Hitlers perfect race would mean he had to remove all the Jewish citizens. They saw them as a master race.
What is your personal responsibility in a dictatorship or in Totalitarian regimes?
Would you collaborate?Hannah Arendt reported on the Eichmann trail. Eichmann was put in that position, he drove the trains that the jewish people were transported on during the genocide. Without this stage of the Jews journey they would not of been killed, therefore Eichmann was committing a crime, alongside all the other Nazi's.
But when Eichmann went to trial for this he said he was just a law abiding citizen. Eichmann was put to death either way for his crime.
But Hannah Arendt highlights that his true crime was the crime of "not thinking" he was doing what he was told to do.
From an existentialist point of view he didn't choose and it choice that is the biggest importance to an existentialist.
Satre: Bad Faith.
Disobedience is exactly what Eichmann needed.