The Totalitarian Syndrome



The syndrome or pattern of interrelated traits of totalitarian dictatorship:


1. an elaborate ideology—total, chiliastic;

2. a single mass party typically led by one man—the dictator;

3. a system of terror, physical or psychic, effected by party or secret police;

4. a technologically conditioned, near complete control of all means of effective mass communication;

5. a similar control of all weapons of armed combat;

6. a central control and direction of the economy.


From Carl J. Friedrich and Zbigniew K. Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, 2d. ed. (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1965), 21-22.