In the older forms, people could live and work in relative independence if they disengaged from politics. Under a modern totalitarian government, people are completely and utterly dependent on, and submissive to, the rule and whims of a political party and its leaders. Older forms of such a government ruled by divine right, while the modern totalitarian state is ruled and run by a dictator who controls a political party. Examples of totalitarian governments are Germany under Adolph Hitler, the U.S.S.R. particularly under Joseph Stalin, the People's Republic of China under Mao Tse Tung, Italy under Benito Mussolini and Iraq under Saddan Hussein. The ruling party is the elite and the whole society is subjugated to a hierarchical order wherein an individual becomes responsible to another of a higher position of authority. All social groupings are either destroyed or subjected to the purposes of the ruling party and the state. Advanced science and industrial technology make the total subjection of the individual possible under this form or system of government. Its main features made possible by modern technology are the monopoly of mass communications, a secret-police mechanism, a monopoly of all effective weapons of destruction, and a centrally controlled economy. Those who run the various mass communications are required to be members of the ruling party who interpret policy and this interpretation is imposed on the media through censorship. Its secret policy mechanism uses theories and techniques of crime detection and modern psychology, terrorizes the population in more cruel ways than did earlier autocracies, employs certain institutions and devices, such as concentration camps, predetermined trials and public confessions. It possesses weapons like tanks, flamethrowers, and jet airplanes for the strong defense of its dictators against a revolution. And it exploits its population to make them dependent on government. The people cannot work without a permit or it may be withdrawn for refusing to work even under unjust or inhuman conditions (MSN Encarta).
A parliamentary system of government, also called parliamentarism, has an executive branch, which is dependent on the direct or indirect support of Parliament (Labor Law Talk 2006). This support is expressed through a vote of confidence by Parliament. There is no clear or simple separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government but, instead, lays down the distinction between the power of the government and the head of state. The executive is usually a cabinet, headed by a prime minister viewed as the head of the government. The leader of the ruling party or group of parties in the Parliament, is often appointed as the prime minister. The head of state is only a ceremonial position, often occupied by a monarch or president with no politically divisive duties. He or she may have reserve powers during crisis to call for a convention or by constitutional rule but exercised only upon the advice and approval of the head of government. All parliamentary systems operate under a formal written constitution, have a number of parties within the system and establish the relationships between the central and the local governments. Parliamentarism or a parliamentary system of government is viewed as flexible and responsive to the public, at the same time, has the tendency to lead to instability. Examples are the German Weimar Republic, the French Fourth Republic, Italy and Israel. The most popular and widespread parliamentary system is the Westminster System in Britain. The head of state enjoys considerable reserve powers, which are limited in practice by convention rather than constitutional rule. It differs from the parliamentary system outside Europe because of its voting system, called "first past the post (Labor Talk)."
The basis as well as the ultimate objective of all ideologies, doctrines, dogmas and all strivings in society is the promotion, protection and enhancement of individual freedom or liberty and security. This is not achieved under a totalitarian system where such freedom is completely subjected to and sacrificed for the wishes, rule and whims of a political party under a monarch or dictator. Similarly, individual freedom, liberty or security cannot thrive in an authoritarian system of government, which mistrusts the individual's capability to think and decide for himself. A parliamentary system of government does not directly address or fulfill individual freedom and security in that the decision-making is done by his representatives in political parties, who are in turn, represented in the Parliament. It leaves only a constitutional democracy as the best option in attaining the objective. Yet, this system of government itself seems to need to revert to the old Humanist tradition rather than be limited to head counts or number of votes cast (Roy 1990). The people themselves should directly determine the record of performance of a particular government. In assessing that performance, the only test is the extent to which individual freedom and capabilities have been promoted, enhanced, realized and protected by the government or leadership (Roy). Society was developed to perform these functions and, despite limitations to human or individual freedom and security, it remains as the ultimate and unifying objective and motivation in a society and all justification for government derives from it. As it is, even constitutional democracy has not satisfactorily attained that objective but continues to undergo experimental forms towards its attainment. Whatever the binds, man will always, by nature, direct his conscious creative power towards that ideal and only until then will true democracy be established (Roy 1990).
1. Labor Law Talk. Parliamentary System. Labor Law Talk Forum: Jelsoft Enterprises, Ltd., 2006
2. Lee, Dwight R. Liberty and Individual Responsibility. The Freeman: Foundation for Economic Educatin, 2005. http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/articles.asp?aid=2124&print_view=true
3. MNS Encarta. Totalitarianism. Microsoft Corporation, 2006. http://encarta.msn.com/text_761574819_0/Totalitianism_html
4. Mikuriya H.N. Authoritarianism: a Social Disease. SOHOComp, 2006. http://www.mikuriya.com/sp_authority.html
5. Quigley, Charles N. Constitutional Democracy, 2006. http://www.civiced.org/constdem.html
6. Roy, M.N. Democracy and Individual Liberty. New Humanism, 1990. http://www.positiveatheism.org/India/s1990c44.htm