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Totalitarianism is a political system in which the state holds total control over every aspect of citizens’ lives and seeks to stamp out all opposition. It is characterized by a highly centralized, autocratic government, a one-party political system, strict control over the economy, propaganda and censorship, and the widespread use of secret police and a paramilitary force to maintain order.

Source: Political Science: An Introduction, 13th Edition, edited by Michael G. Roskin, Robert L. Cord, James A. Medeiros, and Walter S. Jones, Pearson, 2016.