A totalitarian government is a "modern autocratic government in which the state involves itself in all facets of society, including the daily life of its citizens" (Bartleby). One person or an elite few who share similar views are usually in charge of the state and impose their totalitarian views upon the citizens. Throughout history, we have been aware of the presence of totalitarian states such as: Nazi Germany under Hitler, the Soviet Union under Stalin, Fascist Italy under Mussolini, and the People's Republic of China under Zedong. Despite the differences amid totalitarian states, there are several characteristics that they have in common, the two most significant being one ideology that addresses all parts of life and one party led by a dictator. In addition, total subjection of an individual comes only due to science and technology. Mass communication in these states is monitored rigorously. A form of a secret police force keeps the populace in check and terrified to rebel. Arms and weapons of mass destruction are destroyed kept under control. Most importantly, the emergence of totalitarian governments usually occurs as a result of historical forces, such as chaos during the aftermath of an event such as a World War. When reading George Orwell's 1984, one realizes that many of the aforementioned characteristics are present in the novel and therefore the society and government is totalitarian.
Most totalitarian nations have been under the control of one party, which is led by a dictator. There is also an ideology "that addresses all aspects of life and the means to attain the final goal" (Bartleby). Citizens of a state are made to be entirely dependant upon the party and the leader of the party. In Germany, Hitler led members of the National Socialist group, also known as the Nazis. Zedong and Stalin led the communists in China and Russia. In 1984, the party of the totalitarian state Oceania is the Inner and Outer Party and is led by Big Brother.