Literary Analysis on Total Domination by Hannah Arendt

Topics: Totalitarianism, Nazism, Fascism Pages: 4 (1177 words) Published: November 6, 2013

People- Spontaneity= Total Domination
Angel Guerra

Professor Alexander Bernal
ENGL 1301-071
September 19, 2013

Guerra i
Thesis: A key concept to understanding Hannah Arendt’s “Total Domination” is the essence of terror and the importance of concentration camps in maintaining the Nazi totalitarian state. 1. There are numerous parts to the ideology behind the fundamental belief of totalitarianism. A) “…that everything is possible, is being verified.”(Total Domination, 280) B) This ideology “strives to organize the infinite plurality and differentiation of [humans]” (Total Domination, 280) C) Totalitarianism wishes to achieve “a kind of human species resembling other animal species…” ( Total Domination, 280) D) Their objective is to identify, per say, “the opposition and defeat it, to inflict total terror.” 2. The importance of concentration and extermination camps in the Nazi totalitarian state. A) A crucial part of the enforcement of this fundamental belief is the “ideological indoctrination of the elite formations…” (Total Domination, 283) B) The violent aspect of the enforcement of this fundamental belief involved “absolute terror in the camps” (Total Domination, 283) C) Due to general acceptance and banal compliance, “the atrocities…become…the practical application of the ideological indoctrination” (Total Domination, 282) D) In reference to how important concentration camps are, “these camps are the true central institution of totalitarian organizational power.” 3. Nazism enforces a scientific and vicious attempt against human spontaneity. A) An evident theme in totalitarian ideology is “eliminating,…, spontaneity itself as an expression of human behavior” ( Total Domination, 283) B) Another reference of how important the camps were, “It is only in the concentration camps that such experiment is at all possible” (Total Domination, 283) C) An overwhelming theme in Nazi ideology is the “nihilistic...

Cited: Arendt, Hannah. “Total Domination.” The World of Ideas. 9th Ed. ED Lee A. Jacobs
Boston and New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013. 279 – 292. Print.
Baehr, Peter. “Identifying the Unprecedented: Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the critique of sociology.” American Sociological Review. Vol. 67, No. 6 (Dec., 2002) pp. 804 – 831.
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