Note 001
by Joachim C. Fest

1 This term is used by Hannah Arendt, who has devoted a chapter to this topic in The Origins of Totalitarianism, to which the author is greatly indebted. She also shows that the characteristic amorphousness as well as the duplication and finally multiplication of authorities and/or institutions is a phenomenon which in greater or lesser degree is common to both Soviet and National Socialist systems of government. This impressive book however, at times elevates abstraction to principle, particularly in this section. Thus the description of the structure of totalitarian systems sometimes seems like the description of the conditions a totalitarian regime would have to fulfil to be completely totalitarian, while the author's point of departure is that this has already been the National Socialist (or Soviet) reality. She evidently believes the technicians of totalitarianism capable of boundless diabolical ingenuity and often sees design and system in what was in reality only fortuitousness and not infrequently also slovenliness, ignorance, indifference, etc., factors which doubtless play a more important part in the decisions or behaviour of totalitarian systems than is commonly realized.

From Chapter 10, Martin Bormann , Part 2 of The Face Of The Third Reich by J.C. Fest -- See further Notes

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