Totalitarianism has always had a precise strategic function: to guarantee the liberal democratic hegemony by dismissing the
Leftist critique of liberal democracy as the two-faced twin of Right-wing dictatorships. Instead of providing yet another
systematic exposition of the history of this notion, Zizek looks at totalitarianism in a way that Wittgenstein would approve
of - finding it a cobweb of family resemblances. He reveals the consensus view of totalitarianism, in which it is invariably
defined in terms of four things: the holocaust as the ultimate, diabolical evil; the Stalinist gulag as the alleged truth
of the socialist revolutionary project; the recent wave of ethnic and religious fundamentalisms to be fought through multiculturalist
tolerance; and the deconstructionist idea that the ultimate root of totalitarianism is the ontological closure of thought.
Zizek concludes that the devil lies not so much in the detail but in what enables the very designation totalitarian: the liberal-democratic