Totalitarianism is often conceived as an explicit and forceful assertion of total state power manifest in unopposed political power. The term received much traction in the 20th century, associated with its two supposed forms – communism and fascism. Yet other forms of totalitarianism are more subtle, although resulting in near-totalizing outcomes. This class critically examines the notion of totalitarianism using three broad themes – healthcare, food production, and advertising. Ideas of good health and nutritious food are promoted by nation states and corporations. Both these agents support scientific research into the relevant fields, establishing indices of good health, the production of medicines that lead to healthy bodies as well as foods that promote longevity, good quality of life and, perhaps, beauty. Effective use of media, especially advertising, is instrumental to this whole process. One of the main objectives of the course is to open up new perspectives on the relationship between the modern state on the one hand and science/medicine on the other.