Authority in the Twentieth Century

The Review of Politics 18, no. 04 (1956): 403-417.


The rise of fascist, communist and totalitarian movements and the development of the two totalitarian regimes, Stalin’s after 1929 and Hitler’s after 1938, took place against a background of a more or less general, more or less dramatic breakdown of all traditional authorities. Nowhere was this breakdown the direct result of the regimes or movements themselves, but it seemed as though totalitarianism, in the form of regimes as well as of movements, was best fitted to take advantage of a general political and social atmosphere in which the validity of authority itself was radically doubted.

The Review of Politics