Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not resignation but consent

In Church and State, Luigi Sturzo wrote that "the totalitarian State demands not resignation but consent, not a sullen opposition but joyous surrender. Thus all the more interesting expressions of collective and personal life have passed into the hands of the State - youth associations, sport, wireless, the cinema, newspapers and publications of every kind, private and public schools of every grade and type. Nor is this enough. There must be a discipline of mind, will and body."

I warned about this type of all-embracing totalitarianism in my review of The Social Animal and also in my article 'Totalitarian Creep.' In both these articles, I discuss the type of totalitarianism that takes an interest in every area of life, including the mind. Indeed, true totalitarianism can only work if it controls our minds, as Sturzo has rightly discerned. Only by influencing our hearts and minds can the state actually achieve its totalitarian aspirations.

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