Para Summary- Totalitarianism and Intellectual Liberty

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Paragraph Completion - Totalitarianism and Intellectual Liberty

Totalitarianism is not always operated by diktat. It can be insinuated by suggestion and replication. Dissent does not have to be banned if it is countered by orchestrated mass promo rallies and hypnotizing oratory. Despotic establishments do not need to turn Hitlerian; all they need to do is to let the Reich chemistry work. Self-regulation and self-censorship will click in. Then any dissident who wants to retain his intellectual liberty will find himself thwarted by the general drift of society rather than by active persecution.

  1. Totalitarianism is generally operated by undermining freedom of expression through active persecution and censorship.
  2. Hypnotizing oratory and promo rallies can effectively counter dissent and lead to persecution of the masses.
  3. Self-regulation and self-censorship in societies stifle freedom of expression.
  4. Intellectual liberty does not have to be repressed by authority if there are self-appointed vigilantes to bully it into silence.
  5.  

    • Correct Answer
      Choice D

    Detailed Solution

    The paragraph begins by stating that totalitarianism need not always be operated by issuing diktats or decrees and banning dissent; it can be brought in force just the same by “suggestion and replication”. How? By setting up mass promo rallies and captivating the audience with the power of their speech, despots can create the “Reich chemistry” without actually engaging in active persecution. The brainwashed society starts to self-censor and self-regulate itself, in line with the ideas implanted in the minds of the people. Dissenters, the paragraph argues, will find it hard to hold on to their intellectual liberty, as the “general drift of the society” will be against them.

    Now let us look at the options and see which one sums up the paragraph best.

    Option A: Totalitarianism is generally operated by undermining freedom of expression through active persecution and censorship.

    The paragraph we have talks of how totalitarianism is insinuated by suggestion and replication to clamp down on dissent, whereas this option talks of a completely different idea. So we rule this option out.

    Option B: Hypnotizing oratory and promo rallies can effectively counter dissent and lead to persecution of the masses.

    The paragraph we have talks of promo rallies and hypnotizing oratory being used by totalitarian regimes to counter dissent. Option B talks of hypnotizing oratory and promo rallies leading to “persecution of the masses”. Clearly, this is not the idea conveyed in the paragraph and definitely does not summarize it.

    Option C: Self-regulation and self-censorship in societies stifle freedom of expression.

    Option C conveys one of the main ideas of the paragraph-stifling of intellectual liberty- but does not touch upon the other- how despotic establishments cynically exploit this. So it is good to check if there is a better option to summarize the paragraph.

    Option D: Intellectual liberty does not have to be repressed by authority if there are self-appointed vigilantes to bully it into silence.

    Clearly, this option summarizes the paragraph best. Dissent does not need to be put down by authority. By clever insinuation, despotic establishments can steer the society towards self-regulation and self-censorship. Any opposing ideas are bullied into silence by these self-appointed vigilantes.

    Correct Answer: Choice (d)



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