I was discussing with my friend about Star Wars. He told me that the emperor just wanted to create new political system and democracy, that was there, was totality, because it was only existing political system.

I think he's wrong, but i couldn't explain it to him. So what arguments are important to prove that democracy isn't totality?

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    people do talk of 'the tyranny of the masses', and Plato places democracy just above tyranny, and below aristocracy. Jun 29, 2012 at 20:40
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    Is there any chance I might be able to persuade you to unpack/develop this a bit further, and maybe tell us a little about what sort of explanation you might be expecting here? (Just in passing, it's unclear to me what 'totality' means in this context; could you please tell us a bit more about your concern there?)
    – Joseph Weissman
    Jun 29, 2012 at 22:11

2 Answers 2


Totalitarianism is widely understood to be a mode of governance in which no individual or collective freedoms are recognised, in the sense of a "freedom" being a mode of behaviour which is explicitly permitted by the government and can be undertaken without punishment by the government. As with nearly all things, totalitarianism should not be viewed as a yes-or-no proposition. One can ask to what degree the Galactic Republic, Plato's Republic, the United States of America, or The Fifth Republic of France are totalitarian — or conversely and more to the point, the extent to which these countries guarantee various freedoms and abide by those guarantees. The answers will be different in each case, and at different epochs as well, because the jurisprudence of each nation changes with time.

Without knowing which freedoms the Galactic Republic guaranteed, it is difficult to say the extent to which it was free from tyranny before Palpatine became Chancellor. However, Episodes I – III, shows evidence of the Republic being an organisation which is so unable to act that its member states can go to war without any effective intervention by the Senate, but which at one point abandons the right to change the Chancellor, and subsequently authorizes actions of war against member states and the Jedi order without significant evidence for the causus bellum (much in contrast to precisely the crisis of Episode I). This strongly suggests that the Republic was initially free from tyranny, only to devolve into totalitarianism at the prompting of a charismatic orator, finally culminating in the dissolution of the Senate by the first thirty minutes of Episode IV.

Aside from this, there is the question which you might raise of what having "one governmental system" has to do with totalitarianism; and whether this condition even holds in the case of the Galactic Republic. The Republic was supposed to govern the entire Galaxy — if you ignore pockets of lawlessness such as Tatooine, that is; it can only be said to have been ambiguously involved in the Republic, if you wish to view rule by the Republic in absolutist terms — but each member state had its own government. (Naboo apparently had some unspecified sort of elected monarchy, for instance.) So, it's clear that the galaxy had more than one "system of government" in the Star Wars mythos; and in any case, this is not pertinent to how free the citizens were under the Republic (where the absence of freedom is the defining notion of totalitarianism).

As in all things, it is essential in order to be able to answer such questions to know what one means by the terms. If you cannot say what precisely a totalitarian state is — or rather, what it means for one state to be more totalitarian than another in some regard — then it is unlikely that you will be able to arrive at a conclusion. And if you and your friend disagree on what it means for a state to be "totalitarian", this is an opportunity to discuss what priorities you have in choosing your definitions, what qualities are more important to identify, and indeed how you can discover what ideas are true or useful to consider.


We have senses, and from these senses derive ethics.

Democracy in our society is merely product of humanity that derived from ethics. It's one of ways to make a specific response to the situation.

But since ethics have various ways to be implemented, then there are more possible leaderships that can be implemented for society life.

Limiting the possibility to run our society strictly under specific system is an opposite to the possibility of changeability of communities, and there won't be any help for progression for survival on our communities.

Depending only to one system political will put community into imbalance that will place our communities into possible worse scenarios for our life.

For example, understanding that a community is the power, is not perfectly right. Under specific circumstances, a democracy might be left behind, where aristocracy might stand for a while. During world war, there were less democracy, but both the essence of democracy (people's power) and aristocracy (direct command from military) helping each other to win the war.

Besides, giving democracy alone as the strongest force may change community itself from democracy into tyranny by society. We need balance.

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