This post is some background reading for those of you who have been reading Nineteen Eighty-Four. You may also find it helpful for your research. The Age of Totalitarianism: Stalin and Hitler is an interesting lecture on The History Guide. Here is the first paragraph:
The Age of Anxiety, the age of the lost generation, was also an age in which modern Fascism and Totalitarianism made their appearance on the historical stage. By 1939, liberal democracies in Britain, France, Scandinavia and Switzerland were realities. But elsewhere across Europe, various kinds of dictators reared their ugly heads. Dictatorship seemed to be the wave of the future. It also seemed to be the wave of the present. After all, hadn’t Mussolini proclaimed that this century would be a century of the right? Of Fascism? And this is what bothered such writers as Arthur Koestler (1905-1983), Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937), Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), Karel Capek (1890-1938) and George Orwell (1903-1950). It was a nightmare world in which human individuality was subsumed under the might of totalitarian collectivism. The modern totalitarian state rejected liberal values and exercised total control over the lives of its subjects. In this way, totalitarianism became a new POLITICAL RELIGION for the Age of Anxiety. How this indeed occurred is the subject of this lecture.