Authoritarianism is an ideology which affirms that individual rights and liberties do not matter and that the decisions of how society should be run should be left to a single dictator or a small group of elites. Authoritarianism comes in three main forms, although there could be others.
Some of the characteristics of authoritarianism include:
- A centralized government which attempts to gather all power to itself.
- Intolerance for dissent from official government positions.
- Large bureaucracies which become self-perpetuating, existing for their own sake rather than that of the people.
- Closed-door political decisions reached in secret.
- High levels of corruption.
Authoritarianism and Liberalism
While liberals frequently accuse conservatives of being authoritarian, the truth is that modern liberalism is far closer to authoritarianism. Whereas conservatism strives to minimize government authority and intrusiveness, in order to allow the best of the public to excel, liberalism encourages dependency on an ever-larger (and less efficient) centralized government. This, in turn, creates opportunities for corruption and cronyism to thrive. It also creates an environment in which those who differ from approved government positions in areas like climate science are censured and persecuted, and in which evidence for such dissenting positions is suppressed.
A study in the American Journal of Social Science found that liberals are more likely to have psychotic behaviors such as authoritarianism.
- Richarson, Bradford (June 11, 2016). Study from 2012 now corrected to show liberals, not conservatives, more authoritarian. The Washington Times. Retrieved November 29, 2018.