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Why This Book Matters:

The Origins of Totalitarianism discusses today’s totalitarianism in Europe through its imperialistic and anti-Semitic beginnings.

The Big Takeaways:

  1. European Jews were segregated from civilization but kept close to those in control.
    1. If From the Jews’ perspective, they were outcasted by everyone in their communities.
  2. Racism, imperialism, and nationalism came about in the more recent and weaker nation-states.
    1. People who spoke the same language came together to fight rising nationalism.
  3. Jews were used as scapegoats for society’s troubles.
    1. Jews were labeled as leeches and second-class citizens in society.
  4. Totalitarianism is based on ideas that misrepresent history to fit the reality of philosophy.
    1. To these people, the only thing that mattered to these people was the expansion of their philosophy.
  5. Totalitarianism envelopes everything.
    1. Reiteration and fear are used to counteract freedom.

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