authoritarianism

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Related to Authoritarian regime: authoritarian state, authoritarians, Totalitarian regime

authoritarianism

see AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY.

Authoritarianism

 

antidemocratic system of political rule characteristic of the most reactionary political systems of capitalist states, such as the fascist regimes in Germany, Italy, Spain, and elsewhere.

Authoritarianism is a totalitarian form of government or political regime under which procedures of democratic decision-making are either absent altogether or else are fictitious, existing merely for show. The power is not constituted or controlled by the people, who have no guarantees in the face of an absolute, uncontrolled authoritarian regime. Real power is concentrated in the hands of the ruling elite, which is selected by special procedures. Authoritarianism is characterized by excessive centralization, the monopolization of power by an elite who are organized in a strict hierarchy, outright reliance on the military-punitive apparatus, and the extensive use of terrorist reprisals against the opposition. Supreme power in an authoritarian state is usually concentrated in the hands of a so-called leader (Führer, duce, caudillo, etc.).

Characteristics of authoritarian ideology are demagoguery, the use of racial, nationalistic, religious, and other myths, and appeal to the indisputable authority of the so-called leader. The authoritarian regime constantly cultivates fanaticism and encourages fear among the masses.

The general crisis of capitalism is characterized by the curtailment of bourgeois democracy and the tendency toward autocratic and fascist methods of government. Despite the military collapse of Fascism in World War II (1939–45), authoritarian tendencies continue to exist. This is evidenced, in particular, by military-police coups in a number of countries, neo-Nazism and neo-Fascism, the striving of financial oligarchies to establish regimes of personal power, the tendency toward the use of emergency laws, and the prohibition in a number of countries of communist and workers’ parties and other progressive democratic organizations.

V. S. NERSESIANTS

References in periodicals archive ?
For example, although suffering from internal conflicts caused by relatively weak ruling parties, with its strong and cohesive coercive capacity, Armenia managed to sustain its authoritarian regime.
This study examines the relationship between media exposure and regime support in competitive authoritarian regimes where mass media is not continuously or entirely controlled but where the regime maintains the capability of exercising control.
One difference between the Marcos years and today: Today there is deservedly more attention paid to the role the public plays in empowering authoritarian regimes.
In the medium and long term, they will be seen as accomplices who propped up this authoritarian regime which oppressed its own people in a way that was not seen even during the past military-era regimes.
Milan Svolik's book is a valuable and wide-ranging contribution to the emerging body of research on authoritarian regimes.
The transition from an authoritarian regime to a democratic one encounters various obstacles.
Using evidence from postwar dictatorships, this study demonstrates that parties and legislatures also enhance the ability of authoritarian regimes to withstand leadership transitions.
Egypt was ruled by authoritarian regime, under the military and a dominant government established party, for more than sixty years.
Security forces fired bullets and tear gas at tens of thousands of people protesting against the country's authoritarian regime.
Lamenting on the poor policies of the previous government, the sources said the authoritarian regime in 2007 absorbed the international price escalation for which everyone had to pay in the form of energy shortage and accentuated by rising circular debt.
Azerbaijan is ruled by an authoritarian regime under young Ilham Aliyev, who was elected president on Oct.
23) Any attempt to implement constitutional review in an authoritarian regime must start--as Professor Delmestro reminds us--with a cold hard look at the reality of existing power arrangements.