Totalitarian Countries 2019

Totalitarian Countries

In the United States and other nations around the world, the people exist under a democratic form of government. With a democracy, people are allowed to elect their leaders and their voices are heard, which in turn lets the people have a say in the direction of their government. However, a democracy is only one form of government among many.

Around the world, there is another popular and common form of government that just so happens to behave in the exact opposite way of a democracy. This type of government is known as totalitarianism.

Totalitarian countries are nations in which the government does not permit its people to partake in political decision making. Instead of giving the people a voice, a totalitarian country is ruled either by a single dictator or a group that has not been collectively elected by the people.

The ruling leaders of totalitarian countries do not merely enact laws. Rather, the people or person in charge controls all aspects of both public and private life. There is no limit to what a totalitarian government can control because there are not any checks or balamnces placed on the leaders of the country. Essentially, totalitarians can do whatever suits their agenda and say anything that comes to mind.

As a result, totalitarian countries are absolutely against the right of free speech, which includes a ban on any and all freedom of the press. Some idealogies, beliefs, and religions may even be forbidden in a totalitarian country, depending on the context and the nation in question.

The government has full and total control, while the citizens of the country have little to no freedom. Totalitarian leaders often rule through fear because they take advantage of people’s emotions in order to keep them from revolting and protesting. When you live in fear, you do not know how to speak out against injustices because you are scared. It becomes a matter of staying silent in order to stay alive, and totalitarian rulers know this. In fact, they thrive off of this natural human instinct.

In order to really drive home the idea that people must show complete alliance and compliance with the government, totalitarian rulers often have secret police forces that make sure the people do not try to step out of line. In some nations, certain religious and political populations are targeted by the totalitarians and their police forces.

Speaking out against the government is strictly prohibited in these nations. While democracies pride themselves on the way people can form and express their own reactions to the government, people who live in totalitarian regimes must agree with everything the government does, says, and enforces. Well, it is not necessarily true that everyone agrees with their totalitarian rulers, but they cannot outwardly express their disagreement.

The Origin of Totalitarian Countries

The dictator of Italy for many years, Benito Mussolini, is the man to credit for coining the term of totalitarianism. In fact, he originally called a government of this nature a totalitario back in the early 1900s. He created the word to describe what we now recognize as fascism, but his exact words were that a totalitarian state has a government in which "all [are] within the state, none outside the state, [and] none against the state."

By the time the second World War was underway, totalitarianism was recognized as an actual type of government system. The original definition of totalitarian governments considered them to be an oppressive way of ruling a nation. Many other dictators ruled under the guise of totalitarianism, so Mussolini was not alone.

A few examples of leaders who ruled totalitarian countries include...

  • Adolf Hitler of Germany under Nazi rule
  • Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union
  • The Kim Dynasty of North Korea
  • Mao Zedong of the People's Republic of China

The Number of Current Totalitarian Governments

Currently, the State of Eritrea and North Korea are the only two nations in the world that still have governments classified as totalitarian dictatorships. However, Eritrea and North Korea have not always been the only two totalitarian nations in the world. In fact, there were eleven totalitarian nations in the past.

This form of government has been used in other nations including...

  • The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics
  • The Greater German Reich
  • The National Legionary State
  • The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
  • The Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • The People's Republic of China
  • The Democratic Kampuchea
  • The People's Socialist Republic of Albania
  • The Socialist Republic of Romania
  • The Socialist Republic of Burma
  • The State of Eritrea

The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Communist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Joseph Stalin
  • Start Year: 1924
  • End Year: 1953

The Greater German Reich

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Fascist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Adolf Hitler
  • Start Year: 1933
  • End Year: 1945

The National Legionary State

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Fascist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Ion Antonescu
  • Start Year: 1940
  • End Year: 1941

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Islamist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Mohammed Omar
  • Start Year: 1996
  • End Year: 2001

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Left-Wing Nationalist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: The Kim Dynasty
  • Start Year: 1948
  • End Year: N/A

The People's Republic of China

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Left-Wing Nationalist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Mao Zedong
  • Start Year: 1949
  • End Year: 1976

The Democratic Kampuchea

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Communist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Pot Pot
  • Start Year: 1975
  • End Year: 1979

The People's Socialist Republic of Albania

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Communist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Enver Hoxhas, followed by Ramiz Alia
  • Start Year: 1946
  • End Year: 1990

The Socialist Republic of Romania

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Communist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Nicolae Ceaușescu
  • Start Year: 1971
  • End Year: 1989

The Socialist Republic of Burma

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Left-Wing Nationalist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Ne Win
  • Start Year: 1962
  • End Year: 1968

The State of Eritrea

  • Type of Totalitarian Government: Left-Wing Nationalist
  • Leader of the Totalitarianism: Isaias Afewerki
  • Start Year: 1993
  • End Year: N/A
Rank Flag Name Population 2019 Area Area (mi²) % of Earth's Area Growth Rate Region Subregion
1China1,433,783,6869,706,961 km²3,746,887 mi²6.54%0.43%AsiaEastern Asia
2Germany83,517,045357,114 km²137,846 mi²0.24%0.47%EuropeWestern Europe
3North Korea25,666,161120,538 km²46,528 mi²< 0.1%0.46%AsiaEastern Asia
4Syria17,070,135185,180 km²71,479 mi²0.12%0.74%AsiaWestern Asia
5Cuba11,333,483109,884 km²42,415 mi²< 0.1%-0.04%AmericasCaribbean
6Eritrea3,497,117117,600 km²45,394 mi²< 0.1%1.28%AfricaEastern Africa
7Albania2,880,91728,748 km²11,097 mi²< 0.1%-0.06%EuropeSouthern Europe