European totalitarianism (1)
European totalitarianism can be traced back first to the “total war” waged by the French armies during the Revolution, to Bonaparte dictatorship and to his nineteenth century’s offshoot the Bonapartism embodied by Napoleon III and Bismarck and then to the First World War which played a key role in the passage from Bonapartism and dictatorship with strong executive and strong government to totalitarianism properly so called. Indeed, after the outbreak of the First World War, western totalitarianism has been progressively set up step by step when European governments transformed their civil societies into militarized societies. Henceforth European governments played not only a role in the management and the direction of military operations but actively intervened in all domains of social and material, by controlling economic production, nationalizing factories determining production targets, allocating manpower and resources During the Fist World War, European governments arrogate to themselves the right of life and death on their own citizens by imposing conscription introduced to strengthen military forces. All civil liberties and the privileges of the habeas corpus had been put aside by implementing press censorship and imposing strict punishments in order to silence any dissident voice. In order to control public opinion and to mobilize the masses for war, European government waged a huge psychological war and made extensive use of propaganda inventing a new device and new techniques in the mental manipulation.