Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Totalitarian regimes and terrorist groups striving to create them are characterized by ideologies with lexicographic preference orderings. This means that they demand that their followers sacrifice everything, if required, including the lives of others and of themselves to reach the aims postulated. More than twenty such regimes have existed, from the Mongolian and Aztec Empires among the first, to much later Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union, and in recent years to the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS in Syria and Iraq. This means that the respective ideologies are usually very different, but that all follow a lexicographic preference order. This chapter studies the development, success, and demise of such regimes, which usually persecute, torture, and even kill nonbelievers, and often are engaged in bloody wars of expansion with many victims. This is also the case concerning their secularly or religiously based aims, which, moreover, characteristically control their behavior concerning the lifestyle of their populations, the arts, and their culture. Totalitarian regimes that have reached their aims are called mature ideocracies. They are characterized by the fact that the whole population has accepted (or at least pretends to accept) the ruling ideology.

Keywords: Communism, ideocracy, ideology and science, ISIS, Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, supreme values, Taliban, terrorism, totalitarianism

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.