The distinctively modern feature of totalitarianism is that it combines a radically artficialist ideal with a radically organicist ideal. The image of the body comes to be combined with the image of the machine. Society appears to be a community of all whose members are strictly interdependentent; at the same time it is assumed to be constructing itself day by day, to be striving toward a goal—the creation of a new man—and to be living in a state of permanent mobilization.

Claude LeFort, “The Question of Democracy” in Democracy and Political Theory (1989).