Totalitarian, authoritarian, as applied to a government or state, require discrimination, for, although applicable to the same states, they actually carry a different emphasis.
Totalitarian implies as an objective an undivided state in which all power, whether political, economic, commercial, cultural, or religious, is vested in the government and in which the people as a unit sanction and support this government and obey its orders.
Practically, it implies toleration of but one political party, the one which supports the government, and the concentration of authority in the hands of one person or group, theoretically the mouthpiece of the people.
Authoritarian implies a type of governmental organization in which professedly as well as actually all political power is ultimately concentrated in the hands of an individual head (as a sovereign, a leader, or a dictator) and not (as in democratic countries) in the people or in a representative body.
No matter how the various powers vested in the government may be distributed for practical purposes, an authoritarian state is so organized that the final and determining authority is its head.
Practically an authoritarian government, though professing political power, often extends its control over the economic and cultural life of the people; thus, Italy, with the rise of Mussolini and the Fascists to power in 1922, became an authoritarian state; Germany, with the election of Hitler as Chancellor in 1933, became a totalitarian state.