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In almost all modern totalitarian governments, environmental policy is used as an instrument to control society and economic development for the benefit of those in power. Social theorists like Max Weber believe that the roots of totalitarian power can be found in specific environmental conditions of society. These conditions will have a direct impact on rule, necessitating a totalitarian state. Thus, according to this theory, nature itself determined the nature of government.

Alluvial societies (societies based on river irrigation like Egypt) were based on highly-centralized, and most often totalitarian systems of government since the dawn of civilization. The pharaohs ruled Egypt and the great Sumerian and Assyrian kings ruled Mesopotamia for millennia because only a strong ruler could guarantee the effective and efficient maintenance of canals ...

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