The theory of totalitarian leadership

William Peter BAEHR

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This chapter examines Arendt's theory of totalitarian leadership. It begins with her description of "the masses,'' proceeds to her account of Hitler and Stalin as rulers of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and concludes with a discussion of Arendt as a covert sociologist: a thinker who recurrently resorts to sociological explanations, despite her express opposition to sociology as a discipline. Throughout this chapter, Arendt's notion of leadership is contrasted with the Weberian idea of charismatic domination, an idea she thought absurd when applied to totalitarian conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Anthem companion to Hannah Arendt
EditorsPeter BAEHR, Philip WALSH
PublisherAnthem Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9781783081851
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


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