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October 20, 2012 1:53 PM Subscribe
What is it like to realize you live in a totalitarian system?
posted by ecmendenhall to society & culture (23 answers total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
Most of the writing I've read about life in totalitarian societies has been by outliers: dissidents who saw the harshest side of the state through arrest and imprisonment, and who were already inclined to think a lot about politics and society. What are the best historical (or fictional) accounts of average, apolitical people coming to terms with the nature of totalitarianism? I don't buy the idea that systems of control were so pervasive and totalizing that political thought was impossible. I do buy the idea that most people in any society are strongly subject to status quo and conformity bias.
If you lived under a totalitarian regime yourself, when and how did you realize it? How old were you and what motivated your realization? Did you always take it for granted, or was the realization sudden? What changed?
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