Are Rousseau and Marx Theorists of Democracy or Totalitarianism
A common strain of socialist thought is dominant in their theories and both of them despised the capitalist bourgeois culture that was very much prevalent in society. However, one cannot consider both to be advocates of democracy as they preferred a totalitarian form of government.One needs to have a thorough understanding of both the theories in order to assess whether Rousseau and Marx were theorists of totalitarianism or of democracy. In a democratic form of Government, there is the decentralization of power. power is vested in the hands of the people. The country is governed by the elected representatives of the people and there is absolute freedom of expression. Any number of parties can be organized in democracy. There is no difference between the haves and the have nots in democracy as each one is provided equal opportunity. All are equal before law and equality of opportunity characterize in a democratic form of governance. On the other hand, in a totalitarian form of government power is shared among an elite group of the nation and they dictate terms upon the others in the nation. Totalitarianism is defined as “a single, dominate governing elite of all organized political, economic, social and cultural activities in a country by means of a single-party monopoly of power, including police repression, rigorous censorship of the mass media, centralized state planning and administration of the economy, and pervasive propaganda to inculcate the principles of the obligatory official ideology” (Political Terms We All Should Know) Thus, the fundamental difference between totalitarianism and democracy is that in the former there is the monopoly of power whereas in the later there is the democratization of power.It is essential to analyze the political philosophies propagated by Rousseau and Marx to know how far they are theorists of totalitarianism rather than democracy.