Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
A theory of society that gives the State total control of the life and conduct of the citizens. Modern totalitarianism is a combination of five movements that were centuries in the making: Machiavellianism, which divorced the public and private morality; Protestantism, which gave princes the right to pass judgment on popes and bishops; Comtism, which favored social development and organization based on exact biological norms; Hegelianism, for which history was the march of the Absolute Idea through the world and incarnated in nineteenth-century Prussia; and Marxism, which merely changed Hegelian idealism to Communist materialism and adapted Hegel's "military class dictatorship" to "dictatorship of the proletariat." All totalitarian regimes in the recent past and the present are greater or lesser expressions of one or more of these contributing philosophies of society.