Authoritarian regime - a disease or bitter medicine?
According to the theory of Karl Marx, any state is an apparatus of forcible suppression by the ruling class of all other strata of society. Ideologically, one can dispute many of the views of this theorist, but this definition seems to be quite fair. In a sense, any state is an authoritarian regime.
Until now, no one really defined what exactly distinguishes an authoritarian regime from a democratic one. Nowadays, the US Department of State is mainly engaged in sorting countries into free and totalitarian countries, but it does this, of course, based on the national interests of their homeland. F.D. Roosevelt is credited with defining Somoza Sr. as a scoundrel, but American, and therefore democratic. Franklin Delano himself was elected to a responsible post four times, and at the most momentous moments for the USA, which became a kind of record.At the same time, during his career, Roosevelt often made decisions unpopular with the population, and he was often reproached for establishing an authoritarian regime in the country.
French President Charles de Gaulle has also been criticized by the opposition for its undemocraticism. Striving for economic independence from the USA, he stopped the colonial war in Algeria, made certain concessions to the USSR, made many other actions that irritated his political opponents. The decisions taken by Golel himself would not have found support among the opposition parties, but, confident of his rightness, he went, as they say, through, and ultimately proved the correctness of his own policy. Feeling that the majority is not always right, the French president established an authoritarian regime of government.
Authoritarianism and unpopular measures
Any strong state leader is forced to make decisions in difficult times for the country, which turn out to be not to the liking of a certain part of the political and economic elite, as happens in almost all countries. It is as if the opposition, which is financed by oligarchs or foreign opponents of the new course, spontaneously arises, which immediately begins to convince the population that the leader has established an authoritarian regime.The signs by which it is determined are numerous, and often contradictory.
Authoritarianism and opposition
The main of these signs is very convenient for manipulations. These are free choices. The voting process is always difficult, not without violations, each of which can be declared blatant. The next in line is usually the fact of suppression of the opposition, more often defined by the word “massacre”. Any oligarch who has been caught stealing and has been arrested may argue that he is being persecuted for political reasons, as if the very fact of involvement in opposition forces should serve as a kind of safeguard guaranteeing immunity and complete freedom of action - from treachery to banal hooliganism. However, it should be noted that those who oppose state policy are not cherished in any country, even in a stronghold of democracy, by the United States.
Authoritarianism and totalitarianism
So, neither the struggle with the opposition, nor the violations during the voting, nor the degree of participation of the broad masses in the government of the state are signs that distinguish the authoritarian regime from the totalitarian one.What then is the difference? It is essential, and lies in the personal abilities of a strong leader to attract supporters of their policies and retain power by legal means. Authoritarianism is possible in democratic countries. But on the other hand, it is almost useless under totalitarianism, when the leader is put forward from the ranks of the ruling elite on the basis of how convenient it is to other members.