Totalitarianism in Europe. Case Study: Romania between Left-Wing and Right-Wing Dictatorships (1938-1989)
Giuliana Laschi (coord.), "Memoria d' Europa. Riflessioni su dittature, autoritarismo, bonapartismo e svolte democratiche", Milano, FrancoAngeli Press, 2012
23 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2014
Date Written: 2012
Always flirting with drawing closer to the West, without being able to ever completely breaking off from the East, fragile neighbour of the Russian Empire and later of the Soviet Union, Romania had always been influenced by political developments that took her through the centuries. The decisions of the great powers brought internal turmoil, which resulted in decisions and radical changes. Two of them were the establishment of monarchy in the second half of the XIX century, and then yielding to the Soviet communism. Both regimens were considered at their respective times to be the solution for taking Romania out of political isolationism. The fact that the monarchy of Carol II degenerated into dictatorship, and communism reached its peak during Ceauşescu, dragged the Romanian people to know both the right-wing totalitarianism, and then the left-wing totalitarianism over one century, under the external influence of the Nazi Germany and then the USSR.
The two forms of totalitarianism came through similar actions: dissolution of political party pluralism and its replacement by political single party system; annulment of basic human rights; persecution of national ethnic or religious categories; cult of personality (Carol II, N. Ceausescu); promoting nationalism even if understood in different forms; punishment of all forms of protest. If the dictatorship of the Left is much harder to impose basing on the ideology of egalitarianism, the right-wing dictatorship is more insidious because, on the one hand, it is offered as a way out of crisis situations to which democratic regimes cannot find solutions for, and on the other hand, is offered as a solution to avoid egalitarianism.
Keywords: totalitarism, comunism, Romania, Ceusescu
JEL Classification: B10, B20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation