[Philosophy] Exploring: Totality

The concept of Totality and the totalitarian are important concepts to understand. The played an important durring the 1900’s and continue to effect our world in often horrible ways. Today few people question that persons who lose their humility tend to do horrible things.

Totality, put simply is the absolute undisputed truth (sometimes also referee to as Truth with a big T). A person who is totalitarian is simply a person who claims to act in the name of Totality or who claims to have found Totality. The first kind is normally perceived to be dangerous, the second is usually perceived to be crazy.

Totality is defined differently depending on if you are religious or secular. In most religions the Totality is a sentient entity called a God, in a secular life stance it is the world in itself which holds the totality. That which differentiates a totalitarian life stance from a regular life stance is the view of the human in relation to the Totality. In a regular life stance the human is seen as a seeker, endlessly searching, but never reaching true knowledge. In contrast a totalitarian life stance perceives the group as holding or understanding the Totality.

Totalitarian actions

Totalitarians can most often be identified by their will to silence people and burn books. This move is often seen as evidence of their underlying evilness. It is however here important to believe that they themselves do not see themselves as evil, they believe themselves to do something good.

If you believe yourself to hold Totality, logically you know what is true or not. If you hold such a belief it is simple to see how one may be tempted to want to protect ones people from misinformation. Therefore leading to censorship and book-burning.

This is what makes totalitarians so dangerous. Totalitarianism can be seen as a form of god complex. The persons who believe themselves to know Totality in a way see themselves as gods, able to do as they please without judgement.

To conclude

Totalitarians are dangerous because they believe themselves to be on the right side of history, and that they have Totality on their side. This is dangerous idea to believe in, causing for example censorship of competing ideas.