Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blog Post 6: Totalitarian Governments

Mussolini described the fascist state of Italy as, "All within the state, none outside the state, none against the state", and that concept is what drives totalitarian governments today. It is a drive for absolute power and authority. Broadly speaking, it can be characterized with a strong central rule, whether it is a dictator, group of individuals, etc., that attempts to control all aspects of individuals. While under totalitarian rule, a state has a breakdown of most social institutions, and often times the government seizes absolute control of the economy. Large scale violence is acceptable, and justified, under totalitarian rule in order to enforce commitment to the state and its goals. They are possible still today because of fear, and the removal of hope. If the citizens have been stripped of all hope and individuality, it becomes easier and easier to control them. 

In the Hunger Games, the capitol is the absolute power in Panem. They control the economy by designating what each district must provide. Districts are more or less isolated and have duties to fulfill. Anyone who speaks against the Capitol, or encourages against them, is immediately targeted. The Games themselves, the taking of the youth, the publication and endorsement of slaughtering, is done to remind the citizens that the Capitol is in charge and the districts cannot do anything to stop this event. Eventually there is a revolution, as there is in many totalitarian states, but the fact that it took so long for it to happen should not surprise anyone. Deprivation of hope makes for an easy society to control.

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