The Leader Cult Of The Twentieth Century Essay

2239 Words Nov 5th, 2016 9 Pages
Archie Brown makes the claim that the cult of the leader was of the ‘utmost importance’ in the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Communist Russia during the twentieth century. One cannot deny the increased emphasis on personal leadership as a fundamental characteristic of totalitarian states. This is essentially due to the personality cults of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini that were formed during this era. E.A. Rees maintains that a leader cult is an ‘established system of veneration’ that is established to help promote and integrate a certain political system or ideology, centred around one single leader. From this initial definition, this essay will firstly attempt to establish a coherent understanding of what is meant by a leader cult, and then assess whether this concept can be used to legitimise, strengthen and secure said totalitarian regimes. The Fascist, Nazi and Soviet regimes of the twentieth century, albeit having several unifying factors, such as the existence of a leader cult, all functioned very differently. One could link the successful or ineffective functioning of each regime to the individual leader cults that emerged to set each regime apart from one another. By looking at each regime individually, starting with Melograni’s interpretation of Mussolini’s Italy and the leader cult he developed, this essay will attempt to demonstrate that the cult of Mussolini was of less importance to the functioning of his Fascist regime, in…

Related Documents