Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms. Individual freedoms are subordinate to the state and there is no constitutional accountability and rule of law under an authoritarian regime. Authoritarian regimes can be autocratic with power concentrated in one person or it can be more spread out between multiple officials and government institutions.[1] Juan Linz's influential 1964 description of authoritarianism[2] characterized authoritarian political systems by four qualities:

  1. Limited political pluralism, that is such regimes place constraints on political institutions and groups like legislatures, political parties and interest groups;
  2. A basis for legitimacy based on emotion, especially the identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat "easily recognizable societal problems" such as enemies of the people or state, underdevelopment or insurgency;
  3. Minimal social mobilization most often caused by constraints on the public such as suppression of political opponents and anti-regime activity;
  4. Informally defined executive power with often vague and shifting, but vast powers.[3]

Authoritarian government and states

Types

Linz distinguished new forms of authoritarianism from personalistic dictatorships and totalitarian states, taking Francoist Spain as an example. Unlike personalistic dictatorships, new forms of authoritarianism have institutionalized representation of a variety of actors (in Spain's case, including the military, the Catholic Church, Falange, monarchists, technocrats and others). Unlike totalitarian states, the regime relies on passive mass acceptance rather than popular support.[4] Some scholars also mention the emergence of a different type of regime - the hybrid regime - in the post-Cold War era.[5]

Several subtypes of authoritarian regimes have been identified by Linz and others.[6] Linz identified the two most basic subtypes as traditional authoritarian regimes and bureaucratic-military authoritarian regimes:

  • Traditional authoritarian regimes are those "in which the ruling authority (generally a single person)" is maintained in power "through a combination of appeals to traditional legitimacy, patron-client ties and repression, which is carried out by an apparatus bound to the ruling authority through personal loyalties". An example is Ethiopia under Haile Selassie I.[6]
  • Bureaucratic-military authoritarian regimes are those "governed by a coalition of military officers and technocrats who act pragmatically (rather than ideologically) within the limits of their bureaucratic mentality."[6] Mark J. Gasiorowski suggests that it is best to distinguish "simple military authoritarian regimes" from "bureaucratic authoritarian regimes" in which "a powerful group of technocrats uses the state apparatus to try to rationalize and develop the economy" such as South Korea under Park Chung-hee.[6]

Linz also has identified three other subtypes of authoritarian regime: corporatist or organic-statistic, racial and ethnic "democracy" and post-totalitarian.[6]

  • Corporatist authoritarian regimes "are those in which corporatism institutions are used extensively by the state to coopt and demobilize powerful interest groups". This type has been studied most extensively in Latin America.[6]
  • Racial and ethnic "democracies" are those in which "certain racial or ethnic groups enjoy full democratic rights while others are largely or entirely denied those rights", such as in South Africa under apartheid.[6]
  • Post-totalitarian authoritarian regimes are those in which totalitarian institutions (such as the party, secret police and state-controlled mass media[7]) remain, but where "ideological orthodoxy has declined in favor of routinization, repression has declined, the state's top leadership is less personalized and more secure, and the level of mass mobilization has declined substantially".[6] Examples include the People's Republic of China, Russian Federation, and Soviet Eastern bloc states in the mid-1980s.[6]

Authoritarian regimes are also sometimes subcategorized by whether they are personalistic or populist.[6] Personalistic authoritarian regimes are characterized by arbitrary rule and authority exercised "mainly through patronage networks and coercion rather than through institutions and formal rules".[6] Personalistic authoritarian regimes have been seen in post-colonial Africa. By contrast, populist authoritarian regimes "are mobilizational regimes in which a strong, charismatic, manipulative leader rules through a coalition involving key lower-class groups".[6] Examples include Argentina under Perón,[6] Egypt under Nasser[6] and Venezuela under Chávez and Maduro.[8][9]

Authoritarianism is characterized by highly concentrated and centralized power maintained by political repression and the exclusion of potential challengers. It uses political parties and mass organizations to mobilize people around the goals of the regime.[10] Adam Przeworski has theorized that "authoritarian equilibrium rests mainly on lies, fear and economic prosperity".[11]

Authoritarianism also tends to embrace the informal and unregulated exercise of political power, a leadership that is "self-appointed and even if elected cannot be displaced by citizens' free choice among competitors", the arbitrary deprivation of civil liberties and little tolerance for meaningful opposition.[10]

A range of social controls also attempt to stifle civil society,[12] while political stability is maintained by control over and support of the armed forces, a bureaucracy staffed by the regime and creation of allegiance through various means of socialization and indoctrination.[10]

Authoritarian political systems may be weakened through "inadequate performance to demands of the people".[10] Vestal writes that the tendency to respond to challenges to authoritarianism through tighter control instead of adaptation is a significant weakness and that this overly rigid approach fails to "adapt to changes or to accommodate growing demands on the part of the populace or even groups within the system".[10] Because the legitimacy of the state is dependent on performance, authoritarian states that fail to adapt may collapse.[10]

Authoritarianism is marked by "indefinite political tenure" of the ruler or ruling party (often in a one-party state) or other authority.[10] The transition from an authoritarian system to a more democratic form of government is referred to as democratization.[10]

John Duckitt suggests a link between authoritarianism and collectivism, asserting that both stand in opposition to individualism.[13] Duckitt writes that both authoritarianism and collectivism submerge individual rights and goals to group goals, expectations and conformities.[14]

Authoritarianism and totalitarianism

Totalitarianism is an extreme version of authoritarianism. Authoritarianism primarily differs from totalitarianism in that social and economic institutions exist that are not under governmental control. Building on the work of Yale political scientist Juan Linz, Paul C. Sondrol of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has examined the characteristics of authoritarian and totalitarian dictators and organized them in a chart:[15]

Totalitarianism Authoritarianism
Charisma High Low
Role conception Leader as function Leader as individual
Ends of power Public Private
Corruption Low High
Official ideology Yes No
Limited pluralism No Yes
Legitimacy Yes No

Sondrol argues that while both authoritarianism and totalitarianism are forms of autocracy, they differ in "key dichotomies":

(1) Unlike their bland and generally unpopular authoritarian brethren, totalitarian dictators develop a charismatic "mystique" and a mass-based, pseudo-democratic interdependence with their followers via the conscious manipulation of a prophetic image.

(2) Concomitant role conceptions differentiate totalitarians from authoritarians. Authoritarians view themselves as individual beings largely content to control and often maintain the status quo. Totalitarian self-conceptions are largely teleological. The tyrant is less a person than an indispensable function to guide and reshape the universe.

(3) Consequently, the utilisation of power for personal aggrandizement is more evident among authoritarians than totalitarians. Lacking the binding appeal of ideology, authoritarians support their rule by a mixture of instilling fear and granting rewards to loyal collaborators, engendering a kleptocracy.[15]

Compared to totalitarianism, "the authoritarian state still maintains a certain distinction between state and society. It is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty. Totalitarianism, on the other hand, invades private life and asphyxiates it".[16] Another distinction is that "authoritarianism is not animated by utopian ideals in the way totalitarianism is. It does not attempt to change the world and human nature".[16] Carl Joachim Friedrich writes that "a totalist ideology, a party reinforced by a secret police, and monopoly control of ... industrial mass society" are the three features of totalitarian regimes that distinguish them from other autocracies.[16]

Authoritarianism and democracy

Authoritarianism and democracy are not fundamentally opposed to one another, as it is possible for democracies to possess authoritarian elements.[17] An illiberal democracy (or procedural democracy) is distinguished from liberal democracy (or substantive democracy) in that illiberal democracies lack features such as the rule of law, protections for minority groups and an independent judiciary.[18]

A further distinction that liberal democracies have rarely made war with one another; research has extended the theory and finds that more democratic countries tend to have few wars (sometimes called militarized interstate disputes) causing fewer battle deaths with one another and that democracies have far fewer civil wars.[19][20]

Some commentators, such as Seymour Martin Lipset, believed that low-income authoritarian regimes have certain technocratic "efficiency-enhancing advantages" over low-income democracies, helping authoritarian regimes generate development.[21] Morton H. Halperin, Joseph T. Siegle and Michael M. Weinstein (2005) counter this belief, arguing that the evidence has shown that there is no "authoritarian advantage" and that there is a "democratic advantage" instead.[21] Halperin et al. argue that democracies "realize superior development performance" over authoritarianism. They point out that poor democracies are more likely to have steadier economic growth and less likely to experience economic and humanitarian catastrophes than authoritarian regimes; that civil liberties act as a curb on corruption and misuse of resources; and that democracies are more adaptable.[21] Halperin point out that the vast majority of refugee crises and financial catastrophes occur in authoritarian regimes.[21]

Studies suggest that several health indicators (life expectancy and infant and maternal mortality) have a stronger and more significant association with democracy than they have with GDP per capita, size of the public sector or income inequality.[22] Prominent economist Amartya Sen has theorized that no functioning liberal democracy has ever suffered a large-scale famine.[23]

Research shows that the democratic nations have much less democide or murder by government. Those were also moderately developed nations before applying liberal democratic policies.[24] Research by the World Bank suggests that political institutions are extremely important in determining the prevalence of corruption and that parliamentary systems, political stability and freedom of the press are all associated with lower corruption.[25] One study has concluded that terrorism is most common in nations with intermediate political freedom. The nations with the least amount of terrorism are the most and least democratic nations.[26]

Characteristics

Systemic weakness and resilience

Andrew J. Nathan notes that "regime theory holds that authoritarian systems are inherently fragile because of weak legitimacy, overreliance on coercion, overcentralization of decision making, and the predominance of personal power over institutional norms....Few authoritarian regimes—be they communist, fascist, corporatist, or personalist—have managed to conduct orderly, peaceful, timely, and stable successions".[27] One exception to this general trend is the endurance of the authoritarian rule of the Chinese Communist Party, which has been unusually resilient among authoritarian regimes. Nathan posits that this can be attributed to four factors: (1) "the increasingly norm-bound nature of its succession politics"; (2) "the increase in meritocratic as opposed to factional considerations in the promotion of political elites"; (3) "the differentiation and functional specialization of institutions within the regime"; and (4) "the establishment of institutions for political participation and appeal that strengthen the CCP's legitimacy among the public at large".[27]

Gender and authoritarianism

According to a study by Brandt and Henry, there is a direct correlation between the rates of gender inequality and the levels of authoritarian ideas in the male and female populations. It was found that in countries with less gender equality where individualism was encouraged and men occupied the dominant societal roles, women were more likely to support traits such as obedience which would allow them to survive in an authoritarian environment and less likely to encourage ideas such as independence and imagination. In countries with higher levels of gender equality, men held less authoritarian views. It is theorized that this occurs due to the stigma attached to individuals who question the cultural norms set by the dominant individuals and establishments in an authoritarian society as a way to prevent the psychological stress caused by the active ostracizing of the stigmatized individuals.[28]

Examples

There is no precise definition of authoritarianism, but several annual measurements are attempted, including Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World report.

Current

The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of states which are currently (or frequently) characterized as authoritarian:

Historical

Examples of states which were historically authoritarian include

State Time period Ruling group or person Notes
 Argentina[98][99] 1966–1973 Military government Argentine Revolution period of military rule
1973–1974 Justicialista rule of Juan Perón Ideology is populist authoritarianism
1976–1983 Free trade and deregulatory rule of Jorge Rafael Videla National Reorganization Process period of military rule
Brazil[100] 1937–1945 Getúlio Vargas Estado Novo period
1964–1985 Military government
Burma[101] 19622011 Military government and Socialist Programme Party
 Chile[102] 1973–1990 Augusto Pinochet
 Croatia[103][104] 1990–1999 Franjo Tuđman
 Czechoslovakia 1938–1939 Party of National Unity
 Egypt[105] 1952–2011 Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak
 Indonesia 1967–1998 Suharto
Libya[106] 1969–2011 Muammar Gaddafi
 Lithuania[107] 1926–1940 Antanas Smetona
 Macedonia[108][109] 2006–2016 Nikola Gruevski
 Portugal[110] 1926–1933 Military government National Dictatorship
1933–1974 António de Oliveira Salazar and Marcelo Caetano Under the Estado Novo regime
Spain[111] 1936–1975 Francisco Franco
South Africa[112][113] 1948–1994 National Party Regime ended with the end of apartheid
 South Korea[114][115] 1948–1960 Syngman Rhee
1962–1987 Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan
 Taiwan[116] 1945–1990 Kuomintang
 Turkey[117][118] 1925–1945 Republican People's Party
 Yugoslavia[119][120] 1944–1980 Josip Broz Tito
 FR Yugoslavia[121][122] 1991–2000 Slobodan Milošević
 Zimbabwe[123] 1980–2017 Robert Mugabe

Historical trends

Anti-authoritarianism

Both World War II (ending in 1945) and the later Dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) resulted in the replacement of authoritarian regimes by either democratic regimes or regimes that were less authoritarian.

World War II saw the defeat of the Axis powers by the Allied powers. All the Axis powers — Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Empire of Japan — had totalitarian or authoritarian governments, and two of the three were replaced by governments based on democratic constitutions. The Allied powers were an alliance of Democratic states and (later) the Communist Soviet Union. At least in Western Europe the initial post-war era embraced pluralism and freedom of expression in areas that had been under control of authoritarian regimes. The memory of fascism and Nazism was denigrated. The new Federal Republic of Germany banned its expression. In reaction to the centralism of the Nazi state, for example, the new constitution of West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) exercised "separation of powers" and placed "law enforcement firmly in the hands" of the sixteen Länder or states of the republic, not with the federal German government (at least not at first).[124]

Culturally there was also a strong sense of anti-authoritarianism based on anti-fascism in Western Europe. This was attributed to the active resistance from occupation and to fears arising from the development of superpowers.[125] Anti-authoritarianism also became associated with countercultural and bohemian movements such as the Beat Generation in the 1950s,[126] the hippies in the 1960s[127] and punks in the 1970s.[128]

In South America, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and Uruguay moved away from dictatorships to democracy between 1982 and 1990.[129]

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and Soviet Union in 1991, the other authoritarian/totalitarian "half" of the Allied Powers of WWII collapsed. This led not so much to revolt against authority in general, but to the belief that authoritarian states (and state control of economies) were outdated. [130] The idea that "liberal democracy was the final form toward which all political striving was directed",[131] became very popular in Western countries and was celebrated in Francis Fukuyama's book The End of History and the Last Man.[131] According to Charles H. Fairbanks, Jr., "all the new states that stumbled out of the ruins of the Soviet bloc, except Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, seemed indeed to be moving toward democracy in the early 1990s," as where the countries of East Central Europe and the Balkans.[132]

In late 2010, the "Arab Spring" arose in response to unrest over economic stagnation but also in opposition to oppressive authoritarian regimes, first in Tunisia[133][134] and spreading to Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain, and elsewhere. Regimes were toppled in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and partially in Yemen, and other countries saw riots, civil wars or insurgencies.[135]

Authoritarian revival

From 2005 to 2015 observers noted what some called a "democratic recession"[131][136] (although some — Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way — have disputed this theory).[136] In 2018 Freedom House declared that from 2006 to 2018, "113 countries" around the world showed "a net decline" in "political rights and civil liberties" while "only 62" experienced "a net improvement."[137]

Writing in 2018, U.S. political journalist David Frum stated:

The hopeful world of the very late 20th century—the world of NAFTA and an expanding NATO; of the World Wide Web 1.0 and liberal interventionism; of the global spread of democracy under leaders such as Václav Havel and Nelson Mandela—now looks battered and delusive."[138]

Michael Ignatieff wrote that Fukuyama's idea of liberalism vanquishing authoritarianism "now looks like a quaint artifact of a vanished unipolar moment",[131] and Fukuyama himself expressed concern.[130] By 2018 only one Arab Spring uprising — in Tunisia — resulted in a transition to constitutional democratic governance,[135] and a "resurgence of authoritarianism and Islamic extremism" in the region[139] was dubbed the "Arab Winter".[140][141][142][143][144]

Explanations offered for the new spread of authoritarianism by supporters include excessive immigration into European and Western countries, and the "primary and existential fear" of the "surrender" by liberal democracy of "national sovereignty and independence".[145] Others credit the downside of globalization,[146] and the success of the Beijing Consensus, i.e. the authoritarian model of the People's Republic of China.[147] In at least one country, (the U.S.) factors blamed for the growth of authoritarianism include the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 and slower real wage growth;[148] and social media's elimination of "gatekeepers" of knowledge, so that a large fraction of the population considers to be opinion what were once "viewed as verifiable facts” – everything from the danger of global warming to the preventing the spread of disease through vaccination.[149]

See also

Notes

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  2. ^ Richard Shorten, Modernism and Totalitarianism: Rethinking the Intellectual Sources of Nazism and Stalinism, 1945 to the Present (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 256 (note 67).
  3. ^ Gretchen Casper, Fragile Democracies: The Legacies of Authoritarian Rule, pp. 40–50 (citing Linz 1964).
  4. ^ Todd Landman, Studying Human Rights (Routledge, 2003), p. 71 (citing Linz 1964 and others).
  5. ^ Mufti, Mariam (2018). "What Do We Know about Hybrid Regimes after Two Decades of Scholarship?". Politics and Governance. 6 (5): 112. doi:10.17645/pag.v6i2.1400.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Mark J. Gasiorowski, The Political Regimes Project, in On Measuring Democracy: Its Consequences and Concomitants (ed. Alex Inketes), 2006, pp. 110–11.
  7. ^ Heinrich, Andreas; Pleines, Heiko (2018). "The Meaning of 'Limited Pluralism' in Media Reporting under Authoritarian Rule". Politics and Governance. 6 (2): 103. doi:10.17645/pag.v6i2.1238.
  8. ^ Juan de Onis, "After Chavez, Authoritarianism Still Threatens Latin America", World Affairs (May 15, 2013): "the followers of the late President Hugo Chávez continue to apply the playbook of authoritarian populism throughout Latin America in their pursuit of more power...one of the Mercosur partners are challenging the basic political practices of authoritarian populism implanted in Venezuela."
  9. ^ Kurt Weyland, "Latin America's Authoritarian Drift: The Threat from the Populist Left", Journal of Democracy, Vol. 23, Issue 3 (July 2013), pp. 18–32.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Theodore M. Vesta, Ethiopia: A Post-Cold War African State. Greenwood, 1999, p. 17.
  11. ^ Przeworski, Adam (1991-07-26). Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521423359.
  12. ^ Hsu, Jennifer Y. J.; Hsu, Carolyn L.; Hasmath, Reza (2016). "NGO Strategies in an Authoritarian Context, and their Implications for Citizenship: The Case of the People's Republic of China". Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. 28(3): 1157-1179. SSRN 2657187.
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  14. ^ Kemmelmeier, M.; Burnstein, E.; Krumov, K.; Genkova, P.; Kanagawa, C.; Hirshberg, M. S.; Erb, H. P.; Wieczorkowska, G.; Noels, K. A. (2003). "Individualism, Collectivism, and Authoritarianism in Seven Societies". Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 34 (3): 304. doi:10.1177/0022022103034003005.
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  18. ^
    • Thomas H. Henriksen, American Power after the Berlin Wall (Palgrave Macmillan: 2007), p. 199: "experts emphasize that elections alone, without the full democratic panoply of an independent judiciary, free press, and viable political parties, constitute, in reality, illiberal democracies, which still menace their neighbors and destabilize their regions."
    • David P. Forsythe, Human Rights in International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 231: "Illiberal democracies may have reasonably free and fair national elections based on broad suffrage, but they do not counteract the tyranny of the majority with effective protections for ethnic and religious minorities or various types of dissenters."
    • Rod Hague & Martin Harrop, Political Science: A Comparative Introduction (7th ed.: Palgrave Macmillan: 2007), p. 259: "The gradual implementation of the rule of law and due process is an accomplishment of liberal politics, provide a basis for distinguishing liberal from illiberal democracies, and both from authoritarian regimes."
    • Vladimir Popov, "Circumstances versus Policy Choices: Why Has the Economic Performance of the Soviet Successor States Been So Poor" in After the Collapse of Communism: Comparative Lessons of Transition (eds. Michael McFaul & Kathryn Stoner-Weiss: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 20: "The least efficient institutions are in illiberal democracies combining poor rule of law with democracy ... Less democratic regimes with weak rule of law ... appear to do better than illiberal democracies in maintaining institutional capacity."
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Works cited

  • Juan J. Linz, "An Authoritarian Regime: The Case of Spain", in Cleavages, Ideologies and Party Systems (eds. Eric Allard & Yrjo Littunen) (Helsinki: Academic, 1964)

External links

Anti-authoritarianism

Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism, which is defined as "a form of social organisation characterised by submission to authority", "favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom" and to authoritarian government. Anti-authoritarians usually believe in full equality before the law and strong civil liberties. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with anarchism, an ideology which entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including the state system.

Authoritarian personality

Authoritarian personality is a state of mind or attitude characterized by belief in absolute obedience or submission to someone else’s authority, as well as the administration of that belief through the oppression of one's subordinates. It usually applies to individuals who are known or viewed as having an authoritarian, strict, or oppressive personality towards subordinates.

Authoritarian socialism

Authoritarian socialism refers to a collection of political-economic systems describing themselves as socialist and rejecting the liberal democratic concepts of multi-party politics, freedom of assembly, habeas corpus, the Right to keep and bear arms and freedom of expression. Several countries, including the Soviet Union and Maoist China have been described by journalists and scholars as authoritarian socialist states. However, neither state used the term "authoritarian socialist" to describe themselves—these states declared themselves to be proletarian or people's democracies. Authoritarian socialism also encompassed ideologies like Arab and African socialism.

Autocracy

An autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of a coup d'état or mass insurrection). Absolute monarchies (such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Brunei and Eswatini) and dictatorships (such as Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea) are the main modern-day forms of autocracy.

In earlier times, the term "autocrat" was coined as a favorable feature of the ruler, having some connection to the concept of "lack of conflicts of interests" as well as an indication of grandeur and power. The Russian Tsar for example was styled, "Autocrat of all the Russians", as late as the early 20th century.

Benevolent dictatorship

A benevolent dictatorship refers to a government in which an authoritarian leader exercises absolute political power over the state but is perceived to do so with regard for benefit of the population as a whole, standing in contrast to the decidedly malevolent stereotype of a dictator. A benevolent dictator may allow for some economic liberalization or democratic decision-making to exist, such as through public referenda or elected representatives with limited power, and often makes preparations for a transition to genuine democracy during or after their term. It might be seen as a republican form of enlightened despotism.

The label has been applied to leaders such as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk of Turkey, Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, and France-Albert René of Seychelles.

Cacique

A cacique (Spanish: [kaˈθike]; Portuguese: [kɐˈsikɨ, kaˈsiki]; feminine form: cacica) is a leader of an indigenous group, derived from the Taíno word kasikɛ for the pre-Columbian tribal chiefs in the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles. In the colonial era, Spaniards extended the word as a title for the leaders of practically all indigenous groups that they encountered in the Western Hemisphere. In Spanish America, Brazil, Spain, and Portugal, the term also has come to mean a political boss or leader who exercises significant power in the political system known as caciquismo.

Class collaboration

Class collaboration is a principle of social organization based upon the belief that the division of society into a hierarchy of social classes is a positive and essential aspect of civilization.

Communist state

A Communist state (sometimes referred to as Marxist–Leninist state or workers' state) is a state that is administered and governed by a single party, guided by Marxist–Leninist philosophy.

There have been several instances of Communist states with functioning political participation processes involving several other non-party organisations, such as trade unions, factory committees and direct democratic participation. The term "Communist state" is used by Western historians, political scientists and media to refer to these countries. However, contrary to Western usage, these states do not describe themselves as "communist" nor do they claim to have achieved communism—they refer to themselves as Socialist or Workers' states that are in the process of constructing socialism.Communist states are typically administered by a single, centralised party apparatus, although some provide the impression of multiple political parties but these are all solely in control by that centralised party. These parties usually are Marxist–Leninist or some variation thereof (including Maoism in China), with the official aim of achieving socialism and progressing toward a communist society. These states are usually termed by Marxists as dictatorships of the proletariat, or dictatorships of the working class, whereby the working class is the ruling class of the country in contrast to capitalism, whereby the bourgeoisie is the ruling class.

Dictatorship

A dictatorship is an authoritarian form of government, characterized by a single leader or group of leaders with either no party or a weak party, little mass mobilization, and limited political pluralism. According to other definitions, democracies are regimes in which "those who govern are selected through contested elections"; therefore dictatorships are "not democracies". With the advent of the 19th and 20th centuries, dictatorships and constitutional democracies emerged as the world's two major forms of government, gradually eliminating monarchies, one of the traditional widespread forms of government of the time. Typically, in a dictatorial regime, the leader of the country is identified with the title of dictator, although their formal title may more closely resemble something similar to "leader". A common aspect that characterized dictators is taking advantage of their strong personality, usually by suppressing freedom of thought and speech of the masses, in order to maintain complete political and social supremacy and stability. Dictatorships and totalitarian societies generally employ political propaganda to decrease the influence of proponents of alternative governing systems.

From Bakunin to Lacan

From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power is a book on political philosophy by Saul Newman, published in 2001. It investigates the essential characteristics of anarchist theory, which holds that government and hierarchy are undesirable forms of social organisation. Newman seeks to move beyond the limitations these characteristics imposed on classical anarchism by using concepts from post-structuralist thought.

By applying post-structuralist theory to anarchism, Newman presents an account of post-anarchism. His post-anarchism is more substantive than that of earlier thinkers, and has influenced later approaches to the philosophy. Released in a climate of an anarchist movement hostile to postmodern philosophy, From Bakunin to Lacan was criticised for its poor understanding of and engagement with contemporary anarchism.

Guillermo O'Donnell

Guillermo Alberto O'Donnell (February 24, 1936 – November 29, 2011) was a prominent Argentine political scientist, who spent most of his career working in Argentina and the United States, and who made lasting contributions to theorizing on authoritarianism and democratization, democracy and the state, and the politics of Latin America. His brother, Pacho O'Donnell, is a well-known politician and writer.

Illiberal democracy

An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties, thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist.

Ingroups and outgroups

In sociology and social psychology, an ingroup is a social group to which a person psychologically identifies as being a member. By contrast, an outgroup is a social group with which an individual does not identify. For example, people may find it psychologically meaningful to view themselves according to their race, culture, gender, age, or religion. It has been found that the psychological membership of social groups and categories is associated with a wide variety of phenomena.

The terminology was made popular by Henri Tajfel and colleagues during his work in formulating social identity theory. The significance of ingroup and outgroup categorization was identified using a method called the minimal group paradigm. Tajfel and colleagues found that people can form self-preferencing ingroups within a matter of minutes and that such groups can form even on the basis of completely arbitrary and invented discriminatory characteristics, such as preferences for certain paintings.

Oligarchy

Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning 'few', and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning 'to rule or to command') is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, family ties, education or corporate, religious, political, or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

Throughout history, oligarchies have often been tyrannical, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as meaning rule by the rich, for which another term commonly used today is plutocracy.

In the early 20th century Robert Michels developed the theory that democracies, as all large organizations, have a tendency to turn into oligarchies. In his "Iron law of oligarchy" he suggests that the necessary division of labor in large organizations leads to the establishment of a ruling class mostly concerned with protecting their own power.

This was already recognized by the Athenians in the fourth century BCE: After the restoration of democracy from oligarchical coups, they used the drawing of lots for selecting government officers to counteract that tendency toward oligarchy in government. They drew lots from large groups of adult volunteers to pick civil servants performing judicial, executive, and administrative functions (archai, boulē, and hēliastai). They even used lots for posts, such as judges and jurors in the political courts (nomothetai), which had the power to overrule the Assembly.

Right-wing authoritarianism

Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) is a personality and ideological variable studied in political, social and personality psychology. Right-wing authoritarians are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities they perceive as established and legitimate, who adhere to societal conventions and norms and who are hostile and punitive in their attitudes towards people who do not adhere to them. They value uniformity and are in favour of using group authority, including coercion, to achieve it.

Secret police

The term secret police (or political police) refers to intelligence, security or police agencies that engage in covert operations against a government's political opponents and dissidents. Secret police organizations are characteristic of totalitarian regimes. Used to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian regime, secret police often, but not always, operate outside the law and are used to repress dissidents and weaken the political opposition, frequently with violence, and torture.

Social interventionism

Social interventionism is an action which involves the intervention of a government or an organization in social affairs. Such policies can include provision of charity or social welfare as a means to alleviate social and economic problems of people facing financial difficulties; provision of health care; provision of education; provision of safety regulations for employment and products; delivery of food aid, food bank or recovery missions to regions or countries negatively affected by an event; adoption programs; maintaining and protecting natural biodiversity; securing workers rights through gradualism in institutions, private education and unions; subsidizing women's healthcare programs; improving educational opportunities, open-source and open-access; standardizing basic income and nationalization compensation etc.

Some social interventionist policies have been labelled by critics as social authoritarianism due to views that the policies violate individual freedom or human rights. Such policies include conscription; state-forced abortions like in China's One child policy or bans on abortion and birth control; bans on associations and organizations; forced sterilization programs; mandatory institutionalization of people with mental or physical disabilities; prohibition of drugs or items; bans on homosexual relationships; segregation policies; state-sponsored discrimination or persecution of people based on age, cultural identity, ethnicity, gender, people with mental or physical disabilities, race, social position, political affiliation, religion, and sexual orientation. This criticism also arises from the use of social interventionism by authoritarian or totalitarian governments such as in the Soviet Union, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany.Academic research of Social Interventions occurs in many public policy schools around the world. Some universities also have dedicated research centres or clusters covering Social Intervention, for example the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford.

Thoughtcrime

A thoughtcrime is an Orwellian neologism used to describe an illegal thought. The term was popularized in the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, first published in 1949, wherein thoughtcrime is the criminal act of holding unspoken beliefs or doubts that oppose or question Ingsoc, the ruling party. In the book, the government attempts to control not only the speech and actions, but also the thoughts of its subjects. To entertain unacceptable thoughts is known as crimethink (or wrongthink) in Newspeak, the ideologically purified dialect of the party. Crimestop is a way to avoid crimethink by immediately purging dangerous thoughts from the mind.

The term has been adopted into the English language to describe beliefs contrary to accepted norms and has retrospectively been used to describe some theological concepts such as disbelief or idolatry, or a rejection of strong philosophical or social principles.

Totalitarianism

Totalitarianism is a political concept of a mode of government that prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is regarded as the most extreme and complete form of authoritarianism. Political power in totalitarian states has often been held by rule by one leader which employ all-encompassing propaganda campaigns broadcast by state-controlled mass media. Totalitarian regimes are often marked by political repression, personality cultism, control over the economy, restriction of speech, mass surveillance and widespread use of state terrorism. Historian Robert Conquest describes a "totalitarian" state as one recognizing no limits to its authority in any sphere of public or private life and which extends that authority to whatever length feasible.The concept was first developed in the 1920s by both Weimar jurist (and later Nazi academic) Carl Schmitt and, concurrently, by the Italian fascists. Italian fascist Benito Mussolini said "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state". Schmitt used the term Totalstaat in his influential 1927 work on the legal basis of an all-powerful state, The Concept of the Political. The term gained prominence in Western anti-communist political discourse during the Cold War era as a tool to convert pre-war anti-fascism into postwar anti-communism.Totalitarian regimes are different from other authoritarian ones. The latter denotes a state in which the single power holder – an individual "dictator", a committee or a junta or an otherwise small group of political elite – monopolizes political power. "[The] authoritarian state [...] is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty". Authoritarianism "does not attempt to change the world and human nature". In contrast, a totalitarian regime attempts to control virtually all aspects of the social life, including the economy, education, art, science, private life and morals of citizens. Some totalitarian governments may promote an elaborate ideology: "The officially proclaimed ideology penetrates into the deepest reaches of societal structure and the totalitarian government seeks to completely control the thoughts and actions of its citizens". It also mobilizes the whole population in pursuit of its goals. Carl Joachim Friedrich writes that "a totalist ideology, a party reinforced by a secret police, and monopoly control of [...] industrial mass society" are the three features of totalitarian regimes that distinguish them from other autocracies.

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