April 4, 2002
Cuba as a Totalitarian Regime
Or is this in the past?
There are some distinct characteristics of totalitarianism from which many others stem from, the tendency towards a monistic center of government, the existence of a strong ideology, mobilization of the population through mass organizations, and a strong one party system are the main characteristics. From these characteristics many others emerge, such as the use of terrorism to discourage opposition to the regime. Since there is only one political party that is legal it prevents the emergence of political pluralism because no other political groups have or can hope to have any power and many time other political groups are illegal. Having a strong political ideology encourages and motivates people to participate as much as possible in political organizations, especially when participation in these mass organizations is one of the only ways to advance in society.
Many totalitarian governments and political institutions seek to gain access to and control every sector of the people's lives, from the division of labor to what religion the people practice. Many seek to eliminate, for the most part, private ownership of business in order to control the economy, organization of labor, set salaries and control many other aspects of the business world more efficiently, although this does not always happen. Basically totalitarian systems seek to breakdown the barrier between the state and society and fuse them into one.
Cuba is a good example of a totalitarian regime, Fidel Castro Ruiz, who led the revolution in Cuba in 1959, overthrowing Fulgencio Bastista's government and slowly but surely fashioning a totalitarian one. Fidel Castro possessed the charisma; superb public speaking skills, morale boosting, and determination that are not necessary, but almost always found, as a key characteristic in totalitarian...