Will Totalitarian Push Back Global Britain Goals?

Tying British socioeconomic interests to totalitarian governments around the world will create the conditions to impose interest on British democratic principles. Totalitarianism is a big danger for the “Global Britain” strategy.


People in the United States and many other nations live under democratic governments. In a democracy, people are allowed to elect their leaders and have their voices heard, giving them a say in their government among many other factors.

There is another common form of government in the world which is the exact opposite of a democracy. This type of government is known as totalitarianism.

Totalitarian countries are nations in which the government does not allow its people to partake in political decision-making. Totalitarian countries are also known as dictatorships. A totalitarian country is ruled by a single dictator or a group of people who have not been collectively elected.

The rulers of totalitarian countries do not merely enact laws. Instead, the people or person in charge control(s) all aspects of both public and private life. There is no limit to what a totalitarian government can control because there are no checks and balances imposed on the country’s leaders. Essentially, totalitarians can do whatever suits their agenda and say whatever that comes to mind.

As a result, totalitarian countries are absolutely against the right to free speech, which includes a ban on any and all freedom of the press. Some ideologies, beliefs, and religions may also be forbidden in a totalitarian country.

The government has full and total control, while the country’s citizens have little to no freedom. Totalitarian leaders often rule through fear because they take advantage of people’s emotions to keep them from revolting and protesting. When you live in fear, you do not know how to speak out against injustices because you are scared. It becomes a matter of staying silent in order to stay alive, and totalitarian rulers know this. They thrive on this natural human instinct.

The Origins of Totalitarian Rule

Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy for many years, is credited for coining the term totalitarianism. He initially called a government of this nature a totalitario back in the early 1900s. He created the word to describe what we now recognise as fascism, but his exact words were that a totalitarian state has a government in which “all [are] within the state, none outside the state, [and] none against the state.”

By the time the Second World War was under way, totalitarianism was recognised as an actual type of government system. The original definition of totalitarian governments was an oppressive way of ruling a nation. Many other dictators ruled under the guise of totalitarianism, so Mussolini was not alone.

The Number of Current Totalitarian Governments

Currently, Eritrea and North Korea are the only two nations in the world which still have governments classified as totalitarian dictatorships. However, Eritrea and North Korea have not always been the only two totalitarian nations in the world. There were eleven totalitarian nations in the past.

This form of government has been used in other nations, including:

  • The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
  • The Greater German Reich
  • The National Legionary State
  • The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
  • The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  • The People’s Republic of China
  • The Democratic Kampuchea
  • The People’s Socialist Republic of Albania
  • The Socialist Republic of Romania
  • The Socialist Republic of Burma
  • The State of Eritrea

The Relationship Between UK and Saudi Arabia

  • The United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia have strong bilateral relations; they need continuous, strategic dialogue and cooperation to enhance their relations to overcome potential difficulties. There is a vast and growing range of opportunities in the economic, social and cultural spheres for both countries to engage with each other more robustly.
  • In terms of global challenges, such as international terrorism and resource stress, a strengthened partnership will allow Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom to share experiences, skills and technology, and coordinate strategies to arrive at more nuanced responses to urgent regional and international challenges.
  • People-to-people and institutional links between the two countries are fundamental to strengthening the relationship and reducing common misperceptions between their respective populations. A more comprehensive bond will facilitate better cooperation in pursing common interests and tackling shared challenges.
  • The United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia are striking a new balance in regional foreign policy at a time when protracted conflicts and turmoil in the wider Middle East are at record levels. Tactical coordination between the two countries, strategic dialogue and the pursuit of constructive solutions are key to alleviating regional problems.

UK and South Africa

South Africans may not appreciate that a bilateral diplomatic forum between South Africa and the UK is something unusual for the British. Pretoria has many similar arrangements and it can be difficult to keep track of them all; but this is rare for the UK and only South Africa has such arrangements on the African continent.

South Africa is the UK’s largest trading partner in Africa, although the UK has dropped to being South Africa’s seventh largest source of foreign direct investment. Brits love touring South Africa.

Yet despite the important people-to-people relations, trade partnerships and cultural ties, the South African government is investing more in new partnerships, such as within BRICS, and is often perceived to be neglecting other important ones which are already established. In a multipolar world, South Africa obviously needs to diversify its relations to reflect new global trade and political realities, but this does not need to occur by neglecting old relationships that remain strategic.

Britain’s Global Values

As part of the Prevent strategy, all people will be promoting fundamental British values to reflect life in modern Britain.

  • Democracy
  • Rule of Law
  • Respect &Tolerance
  • Individual Liberty


A culture built on freedom and equality, where everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities: team meetings, the right to protest and petition, joint decision-making.

Rule of Law

The need for the rules to make a happy, safe and secure environment to live and work in: legislation, agreed ways of working, policies and procedures, how the law protects you and others, codes of conduct.

Respect and Tolerance

Understanding that we all do not share the same beliefs and values: respecting the values, ideas and beliefs of others without imposing our own, embracing diversity, tackling stereotyping, labelling, prejudice and discrimination.

Individual Liberty

Protection of your rights and the rights of others you work with: equality and human rights, personal development, respect and dignity, rights, choice, consent and individuality, values and principles.

UK Economic Damages After Brexit

In January, trade was significantly affected by short term factors. Businesses had been stockpiling in the weeks before the end of the Brexit transition period, the Kent Covid variant was sweeping the UK and January saw a third national lockdown after Boris Johnson had second thoughts about a policy of piling bodies high in their thousands. The onset of Brexit started damaging the UK economy; economists warn that the costs of Brexit are still enormous and will hamper the UK economy for years to come; its economic impact is even worse than that of Covid-19.

Chemicals, mining, and electrical equipment top the list of industries which will be most affected by Brexit in the long run, according to economists at the London School of Economics. “The sectors impacted by Brexit are generally different to those impacted by Covid-19,” the researchers write; business-to-business industries that have done reasonably well amid lockdowns will be among the sectors most affected by new trade restrictions.

The Covid-19 crisis and its economic impact will also have profound structural effects on the UK economy and labour market as the crisis continues to speed up existing trends, such as the move to more online shopping, whilst seeing growth in newer trends such as more people working from home.

  1. In most cases, it is likely that the regions and sectors most affected by the economic impact of Covid-19 are not the same as the regions and sectors likely to be most exposed to Brexit (Though there are some exceptions), but that both crises combined will have a broader impact on the UK than either one would have had on its own.
  2. The automotive industry, transport equipment, chemicals and chemical products, and services such as finance and communications, are the sectors most exposed to Brexit. Hospitality, tourism, transport and the arts and entertainment, are sectors most exposed to the economic impact of Covid-19.
  3. The economic impacts of the pandemic and Brexit are both likely to increase regional disparities. London, the North East, Wales, and the West Midlands, are most exposed to risks associated with Brexit, whereas coastal communities dependent on tourism, and cities dependent on the hospitality industry, such as Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and large parts of London are likely to be the most exposed to the short term economic impacts of Covid-19.
  4. Both the OECD and IFS estimate that Brexit could result in a fall in GDP of 4-5% over the next two years.
  5. The OBR estimates that unemployment will be 0.9% higher in the third quarter of 2021 at 8.3% versus their central forecast; also, based on media announcements so far this year, over 11,000 jobs have potentially been lost since the onset of the pandemic.
  6. The OECD estimates that professional, scientific and technical productivity will decline, and financial and insurance services will be most affected.

The Geopolitical Effects of Covid-19  

The coronavirus pandemic has been a truly transformative event, accelerating many of the geopolitical trends which were already in the pipeline prior to its emergence and spread. The notable exception to this process is the influence of the pandemic on global inequality and its considerable potential to reverse or disrupt the recent gains in health, prosperity, security and access to education throughout the developing world in a single year.

Geopolitically, a major development has been the escalation of tensions between China and many other Western nations, with the gap in the “great power competition” with the United States and its allies narrowing considerably during 2020. This increasing convergence will undoubtedly precipitate the establishment of a new paradigm in relations between China and the West. Although the United States has also suffered severe reputational damages for its handling of the pandemic – and in many ways, the relative fall in trust is rather profound – the blame for its inept and inconsistent response is largely placed at the feet of the former president, Donald Trump.

It is noteworthy that the Covid-19 pandemic arrived at a time of significant instability in the liberal world order. It is now clear that the opportunity to leverage the pandemic as a chance to restore these relations has not been seized. But the process of vaccine development shines a light on a path forward for a renewed era of liberal cooperation.


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