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CRF Blog » Blog Archive » Kettering Review

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Kettering Review

by Bill Hayes

The Kettering Review is a journal of ideas and activities dedicated to improving the quality of public life in the American democracy. Each issue addresses a single theme, including the changing roles of the citizen, the press, public leadership, and public opinion. Contributors include a diverse group of American and international educators, historians, philosophers, and social and political scientists.

One article in the latest issue is “Inverted Totalitarianism: A Preface” by Sheldon S. Wolin, a professor emeritus at Princeton University. It is the preface from his book Democracy Incorporated. An excerpt:

The regimes of Mussolini and Stalin demonstrate that it is possible for totalitarianism to assume different forms. Italian fascism, for example, did not officially adopt anti-Semitism until late in the regime’s history and even then primarily in response to pressure from Germany. Stalin introduced some “progressive” policies: promoting mass literacy and health care; encouraging women to undertake professional and technical careers; and (for a brief spell) promoting minority cultures. The point is not that these “accomplishments” compensate for crimes whose horrors have yet to be fully comprehended. Rather, totalitarianism is capable of local variations; plausibly, far from being exhausted by its twentieth-century versions, would-be totalitarians now have available technologies of control, intimidation, and mass manipulation far surpassing those of that earlier time.

Kettering Review is available online as PDF files.