Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2045-5836
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5844


It is a widespread belief that totalitarian societies signify their ‘total unity’ through spectacles involving the display of large, sectored masses of bodies and the levelling off of differences between individual bodies by exalting the uniformity and mechanized synchronization of dynamic, interconnected groups. This belief owes much to fragmentary images of Nazi rallies in the 1930s. But a closer examination of mass spectacles in totalitarian societies of the 1930s reveals considerable differences in their approaches to the mass display of bodies, and these differences result from the unique goals motivating the totalitarian organization of a society. This article compares strategies of mass display of bodies to create a ‘total unity’ of society in relation to the Ku Klux Klan, Japanese imperialism, Italian Fascism, Communism and Nazi Germany.


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