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Claude Lefort

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (117 KB) str. 210-229 preuzimanja: 1.449* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Lefort, C. (2011). Pojam totalitarizma. Politička misao, 48 (3), 210-229. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Lefort, Claude. "Pojam totalitarizma." Politička misao, vol. 48, br. 3, 2011, str. 210-229. Citirano 19.09.2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Lefort, Claude. "Pojam totalitarizma." Politička misao 48, br. 3 (2011): 210-229.
Lefort, C. (2011). 'Pojam totalitarizma', Politička misao, 48(3), str. 210-229. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 19.09.2021.)
Lefort C. Pojam totalitarizma. Politička misao [Internet]. 2011 [pristupljeno 19.09.2021.];48(3):210-229. Dostupno na:
C. Lefort, "Pojam totalitarizma", Politička misao, vol.48, br. 3, str. 210-229, 2011. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 19.09.2021.]

The cognitive worth of the concept of totalitarianism is constantly refuted. In
this text, the author begins by confronting his perception of totalitarianism as
a new social formation, which he advocated in many of his works, with four
scientific arguments raised by historians against totalitarianism as a political
category or in favour of a limited use thereof. The first is that communism
and fascism are fundamentally different, that the ideologies which characterize
them are radically opposed to one another. This argument overlooks the
fact that in such regimes ideology is not merely the prevalent discourse – it
has a new function and efficiency, it establishes a totalitarian “regime” of
language and thought in which the power of discourse and the discourse of
power are made equal. The second argument is that totalitarianism is evident,
in Germany and Russia, only during limited periods. To this the author replies
that it is a “realistic” illusion to assume that the totalitarian project was ever
fully realized in history. According to the third objection, the concept of totalitarianism
is of no cognitive worth to the historian, and totalitarian regimes
belong to the order of contingency, and not of historical necessity. On the
other hand, the author stresses the historical novelty of totalitarianism, which
does spring and can spring only from the modern “democratic revolution” (in
Tocqueville’s sense) as a radical refutation thereof. The final objection of a
methodologically aware historian (F. Furet) is that the concept of totalitarianism
can be analytically fruitful only if used as an “ideal type”, as a common
trait of regimes established in atomized societies through total domination by
way of ideology and terror. To this the author replies that we cannot be satisfied
with the use of the concept “ideal type”, although it is true that it liberates
the historian from the naivety of positivistic descriptive historiography. The
making of an ideal type thus makes it possible to avoid the choice between
philosophy and descriptive history, but only inasmuch as the historian is transformed
into a cognizant subject which is external with regard to history. In the
second part of the text, the author provides a critical evaluation of the theory
of totalitarianism by H. Arendt, particularly her central thesis that totalitarian
society comes into being in modern atomized society. Namely, totalitarianism
is characterized, on the one hand, by an artificialist project of organization,
and, on the other, by a substantialist ideal of incorporation: both are realized in
the Party, which is not only devised as an organization, but is also a “mystical
person” in which all its members are brought together. As such, it incorporates
the people. The figure of the indivisible people is put forward in the Party;
the figure of the indivisible party is put forward in the figure of the people.
In the first, organizational aspect the Party contains the project of an organisable
whole, while in the other, substantialist aspect it contains the project of
an incorporable whole.

Ključne riječi
totalitarianism; Nazism; communism; ideology; Party; H. Arendt; F. Furet; A. de Tocqueville

Hrčak ID: 74119



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