Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Communism and Totalitarianism

totalitarianism_bookCommunism vs Totalitarianism

Communism and totalitarianism stands apart in their political and economic ideologies. Some people may link communism to totalitarianism but the fact is that they two are different in every aspect.

Totalitarianism is a term that means total control. But in communism there is no total control. While the society is all-powerful in communism, it is the state that is powerful in Totalitarianism.

In Totalitarianism, the state controls everything and there is no value for an individual’s thoughts or opinions. On the other hand, Communism is a political ideology that believes in a stateless or class less society.

Totalitarianism can also be termed as authoritarianism or monarchism. The individuals have no share in the decision-making. Communism thinks in terms of the society as a whole and it is the community that takes all major decisions.

In Totalitarianism, the individuals lack much freedom and they are bound by the state. On the other hand, the society has a free hand in communism. Even the people live in far at the hands of a totalitarian government.

While a totalitarian government is right wing, communist government is left wing.

Communism believes in the common ownership of everything. On the other hand, Totalitarianism is a system, which believes in the state ownership. For communists, the society or the community is the sole owner of resources or the means of production. But in Totalitarianism, it is the state that handles all resources.

Totalitarianism is a system in which the state controls everything, including the political, economic matters. Moreover, it even controls the beliefs and values of the society and also interferes in the private life of individuals. In Communism, one cannot come across such controls.

Summary:
1.  In Totalitarianism, the state controls everything and there is no value for an individual’s thoughts or opinions. On the other hand, Communism is a political ideology that believes in a stateless or class less society.
2. Totalitarianism means total control. But in communism there is no total control.
3. The society is all-powerful in communism. It is the state that is powerful in Totalitarianism.
4. In Totalitarianism, the individuals have no share in the decision-making. In Communism, it is the community that takes all major decisions.
5. Communism believes in the common ownership of everything. On the other hand, Totalitarianism is a system, which believes in the state ownership.
6. In communism, the community is the sole owner of resources or the means of production. But in Totalitarianism, it is the state that handles all resources.


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17 Comments

  1. Every communist country was/is very much like a totalitarian society. I am not a marxist.

  2. To ask the difference between communism and totalitarianism is not a valid question: communism is a specific ideology, totalitarianism is a type of ideology.

    And in any case, communism is, in fact, a totalitarian ideology: it claims absolute truth and that it has the ultimate answers to all of society’s problems; it espouses an official, exclusive, totalistic ideology that is intended to transform man and society; and it entails an elite vanguard party that is intertwined with the state.

    Totalitarianism isn’t about total control, it’s about a vision that is totalistic, all-encompassing.

  3. The definition of communism in the initial post is idealized. By the mid 1920s, Stalinism became the standard of communism in the U.S.S.R. Under Stalinism, the state sought the control of most everything in Soviet life, defining the nature of totalitarianism. Even after Stalin, the entrenched bureaucracies of the communist party ran the state, commanding the populace. Gorbachev’s later democratic reforms undermined the party control of state bureaucracies, causing the Soviet Union to fall apart in 1991 …

  4. Communism is totalitarianism masked as “socialist democracy” meaning mob rule. But when the mob rules it has a totalitarian leader. The OWS folks are pretending to want a socialist democracy utopia, but don’t realize they will simply enslave themselves.

    • Well I would agree with if you took a leninism path with the development of a vanguard it can often lead t that but if you stay true to the marxist ideals remembering that this is the “peoples revolution” and the more involvement of people the less likely the concentration of power to develop a totalitarian leader will occur especially a very productive people.

  5. Communism is A totalitarian state. The writer of this article is wrong in trying to make the case that communism is not totalitarian. Intellectual dishonesty like this is shamefull. Ask a North Korean whether or not communism is totalitarian.

    • Actually North Korea is not a communist society but rather an absolute monarch system since power is pass hereditary. In the economic sense, its a planned economy where mean and mode production is controlled by state enterprise so in essence its a state capitalist regime.

      • “In the economic sense, its a planned economy where mean and mode production is controlled by state enterprise so in essence its a state capitalist regime.”

        “State capitalism”??? Do you know what capitalism actually means?
        North Korea lacks private ownership, markets. Even the price system is nonexistent. Not a single implication of capitalism in North Korea except for the black market that I suppose it exists in this society where there is not any legitimate allocation of resources according to the price system.

        • “State Capitalism” is just a catch-all euphemism which apologists of Communism fall back on in a bid to scapegoat the failures, totalitarianism and atrocities inherent in that system onto Capitalism. It’s usually used in conjunction with “No True Commie” fallacy.

  6. The author says that under communism there is common ownership of everything, while under totalitarianism there is state ownership of everything. The only way to effect “common” ownership is through state ownership. Communism = Totalitarianism.

    • I would disagree if its process through a local community based style with certain tactics to prevent consolidation of power from individuals it could remain to be a true communal style society. Beside, if following the marxist process the advancement of the productive force would be intelligent enough to not allow such foolishness to take place.

      • In other words, you seek to trade the traditional individual dictatorship for some sort of mob rule based oligarchy.

  7. This is the worst article I have ever read. Communism = Totalitarianism.
    This is Political Science 101.

  8. Well, technically, when you look at the beliefs and ideology of communism, it is not the same as totalitarianism. It is simply often confused with totalitarianism regime due Stalin and the policies he used. He effectively sold the idea of communism, while in reality forming a totalitarian state. He employed spies in the communist parties of other countries to ensure they were pro-Stalin and pro-Soviet. Political scientist actually classify the Soviet Union and North-Korea as a fascist or totalitarian regime, rather than communist.

    In reality, Stalin’s ideas and policies were different and often in opposition to those of Lenin and Marx, he simply claimed to be perfectly adhere to their ideas.

    Totalitarianism is often to used to refer to a totalitarian rule, not a totalistic vision. So no, communism isn’t a totalitarian ideology.

    I swear to god, sometimes people just like to twist and turn stuff to fit their mindset in order not to call themselves wrong.

    • You’re the only fool twisting and turning facts to fit a solipsistic, preconceived notion.

      It’s clear you’ve not ever actually bothered to READ Marx. His Ten Pillars amount to Totalitarianism For Beginners.

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