Autocracy Vs. Democracy


Democracy is a form of government in which the people either directly or indirectly, take part in governing. However, the term is also used as a measurement of how much influence a people has over their government, as in how much democracy exists. A modern democracy implies certain rights for citizens:

  1. Right to elect government through free and fair elections
  2. Freedom of Speech
  3. The rule of Law
  4. Human Rights
  5. Freedom of Assembly
  6. Freedom from discrimination

Is Democracy the Best System?

There is much debate on the ability of a democracy to properly represent both the ‘will of the people’, and to do what is right, but to quote Winston Churchill;

“Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried”.

This is because there is no system that can ideally order society. Traditionally, the purpose of the democracy is to prevent tyranny (the accumulation of too much authority in the hands of one or few. Thus, if the democracy cannot give us a good government, it puts limits to the abuse of power.



What is Autocracy?

In simple tone, an autocracy is a system where the ruler rules the people with too much accumulation of the power, or there is no kind of limits on abuse of power. Autocracy signify lacking of people’s representation or participation in the governance process.

Despotism: Autocracy might be imposed by a single person or a group. When a singular authority –either a single person or tightly knit group-which rules with absolute power is know as “despotism”. Despotism implies tyrannical rule; it suggest a form of government which exercises exacting and near absolute control over all its citizens.

Totalitarianism: Totalitarianism is any poetical system in which a citizen is totally subjected to state authority  in all aspects of  day-to-day life. It goes well beyond dictatorship of typical police state measures, and even beyond those measures sustain total war with other state. It involves constant brainwashing achieved by propaganda to erase any political  for dissent, by anyone, including most especially the state’s agents.

Dictatorship: Dictatorship is a government headed by a dictator or more generally any authoritarian or totalitarian government. It is often equivalent to a police state, but the term dictator refers to the way the leaders gain and hold power, but not the watch kept on the people.

Police State: A political condition where the government maintains strict control over society, particularly through suspension of rights and often with use of a force of secret police.

Authoritarianism: The term authoritarianism is used  to describe an organization or a state which enforces strong and sometimes oppressive measures against population. This is distinguished from totalitarianism both by the degree and scope, authoritarian government being less intrusive and in organization not necessarily  backed by the force.

Autocracy in general implies an ideology or concept of regime ‘which tends to or rule by accumulation of power without being accountable to people’. People are subjected to the authority of the state. This sate of condition implies that:

  1. People have not freedom electing government.
  2. People exercise no freedoms
  3. Government interferes in all aspects of life of the people.
  4. Police measures are used to contain the people.

Legislation is Used to Rule People

Law is effectively used to:

  1. Remove the limits of power, and prevent abuse of power. Legislation in such regime is used to empower the rulers to accumulate powers or authority.
  2. Restrict the people to dissent. People rights to freedom of speech and assembly is restricted or marginalized.

Features of Legislation in Autocracy

Prescriptive: Legislation prescribes the duties  for people to support the ruler without any question.

Regulatory: Legislation is regulatory, so that behaviors of all people are strictly regulated, deviation being punishable.

Punitive: Legislation is punitive for violation of the prescription or regulation.

Centralization of power: Governance power is centralized. The devolution of the power is effectively negated. Centralization of power weakens the authority of the Parliament, the law making body.

  • Legislation is abstract and ambiguous or maintains possibility double standard.
  • Legislation empowers executive for rule making through regulation or ordinance or bye-laws.
  • Legislation provides absolute power for interpretation of the statute.