What is a totalitarian movement or ideology?
Well, first I would argue that they consist of similar bases, as in the group sees itself as someone that needs in one way or another to have extra protection. That needs to be elevated above everybody else in society because their way of life, their sense of being is more threatened than everybody else. Their so called ”claim to virtue” is under assault unless steps are taken to make sure nobody can touch them.
Another trait that is very common is that they rely a lot in ”fooling” the public by making up enemies or other forms of threats that are not real. Usually by re-branding people they deem as a threat.
An easy example, because we know much about it, are the nazis and their ”undermensch” title that they branded individuals and whole groups of society they saw as a threat to their ”claim to virtue”. People of other political groups were targeted, Jews were targeted, unemployed people were targeted, mentally challenged people were targeted and so on and so forth. They of course did not just go out and tell the public ”unemployed people are a problem and need to be dealt with.” That wouldn’t have worked. But teaching people about these dangerous and right out dirty elements of society called undermensch, by educating in schools and so on, slowly but steadily people got taught to not like undermensch and over time, when someone got branded by it you would do the right thing and step away, maybe even call the police. The usage of the word criminal in modern times functions in similar ways. Just hear the word and you will most likely have a ready-made view of that person and what that person is, and it’s rarely positive things you think.
The European Church had their version of this too. The term witch got used in similar ways to make sure that no women who threatened the Churches view of the world got in their ways. Women who were healers, doctors in the old ways of medicine (pagan traditions for example) got targeted. Later on it extended to their husbands and their children and relatives. Again, people were taught that a witch was a bad thing, something to fear and stay away from and call the authorities if you suspected someone to be a witch.
During world war 2 a unit called unit 731 took prisoners, mostly Chinese, under order of the Imperial Japanese Army. Unit 731 and carried out some of the most horrifying experimentations ever done to human beings. How did they get away with all this? How did those working in this unit; soldiers, guards and so on not question the motives of the horrifying acts? By branding the prisoners with the term maruta, basically meaning log in English. A maruta, one was taught, was not really a human being. They were told these humans were ”non-human primates” and hence it was ok to experiment on them. The claim to virtue was this had to be done for Japan to remain victorious and win the war. Prisoners were selected to give a wide cross-section of the population and included ”common criminals”, captured bandits and anti-Japanese partisans, political prisoners and also people rounded up by the Kempeitai military police for alleged ”suspicious activities”. These included infants, the elderly and pregnant women. All of these people branded maruta were no longer to seen as human beings.
(On a side note I can mention that instead of being tried for war crimes, the researchers involved in Unit 731 were secretly given immunity by the U.S. in exchange for the data they gathered through human experimentation. At least 3,000 women, children and men were tortured by this unit alone and there were other units/camps during this time too)
As shown here totalitarian ideologies and concepts have existed in many forms and to this day this goes on. I would argue a fairly new concept and showcase of a totalitarian movement is the usage of the term TERF. Here, the saying goes, a TERF (and apparently there is a TERF movement) are out to exterminate trans people. TERFs threaten transgenderist’s own claim to virtue. TERFs are enemies that need to be dealt with.
Again, what happens here is that people who for any reason are not in alignment with the faith of the totalitarian ideology/movement, in this case transgenderism, are potential threats that need to be dealt with. Those branded with the word TERF are usually women and especially homosexual women who for obvious reasons are not into dating human males–no matter what those males claim to be–but in extension anyone who simply doesn’t just bow down to the mindset of transgenderism can be given this label, and as we have seen time and again with these other examples, suddenly it’s ok to threaten and bully. Personhood is removed from the victims of these titles put forward by these movements.
There is a saying in the western world that came about after world war 2 ”never again”, yet society fails to see underneath the titles of these movements time and again. Most likely nazism will never happen again on a big scale but that won’t stop new forms of totalitarian ideas/world views to sprout and gain political power. It seems members of the dominant culture are drawn to this type of mindset time and again.