Democratic and Authoritarian Political Systems

Democratic and Authoritarian Political Systems


Institutional Affiliation





Democratic and Authoritarian Political Systems

Politics usually have a great impact on people and the country at the meso level. The type of political system implemented in a country greatly influences how the state or government controls the individuals. Some of the main political systems include democratic and authoritarian styles. In a democratic political system, the government and politics’ power emanates from that specific country’s citizens. For a country to fully implement a democratic political system, it must meet and follow certain criteria. A democratic political system provides freedom of speech, press, and religion to all its citizens. Here, the system respects the basic individual liberties and freedom of expression of ideas and opinions (Ahlers and Stichweh, 2019). Secondly, in such a system, the majority rule with minority rights. In democratic countries, the citizens accept decisions and rules developed by majority voters in a free election. It also provides ways in which minorities can voice their opinions and rights. Thirdly, a democratic political system includes different leaders from different political backgrounds (Nwogu, 2015). In this case, it allows many different individuals to compete for leadership positions. Lastly, it allows free-competitive elections, and the leaders elected to lead the country must abide by the rule of law. In other words, democratic countries are governed by laws that apply to both citizens and leaders. The degree to which a country meets the above criteria is how it implements a successful democratic political system. Examples of democratic countries include France, Great Britain, the United States, and Japan.

On the other hand, an authoritarian political system is different and follows different concepts and perceptions from those used in democratic countries. In democratic political systems, the citizens profoundly participate in the governing of a nation. However, in the authoritarian system, only one leader or a small group of leaders has real power to govern that specific nation. Authoritarian governments allow individuals to participate in elections and is in contact with the citizens. However, citizens cannot control or voice their views about how they are ruled (Glasius, 2018). Typically, in an authoritarian system, the citizens do not have a free choice. Rather, the leaders decide what people can or cannot do or have. People become subjects that must obey instead of participating in government decisions. Unlike in democratic governance, the authoritarian system denies individuals the freedoms of press, speech, and religion (Ahlers and Stichweh, 2019). It also does not follow the majority rule or protect the rights of the minorities. Its leaders mostly include military officials and aristocratic families, including kings, military leaders, presidents, or prime ministers. Some of the countries that exercise this system include Myanmar, China, Cuba, and Iran.


Response to Videos

There are different types of economies. The video “What is Marxism?” (8-Bit Philosophy, 2014) shows the concepts supported and promoted by Karl Max, a German philosopher, and poet. According to the video, Marx supported an economy that is not driven by money and does not have class divisions. An economy where people give according to their abilities and take based on their needs. Fundamentally, he supported a communist economy, claiming that it was not only possible but also inevitable. Marx believed that it is not a conflict of ideas that propels history, but rather, conflicts of individuals’ relation to material wealth that will bring history to its end (0:46). The rapid increase of population led to the concept of capitalism to meet the needs of all individuals. 

Nevertheless, according to Marx, capitalism brings various issues to individuals and societies, including the fact that it alienates individuals from the fruit of their labor. Individuals are paid a certain wage to work. However, the products they make are not for themselves but are sold to other people (8-Bit Philosophy, 2:12). Capitalism also alienates individuals from each other. Workers that work and produce efficiently are influenced and driven to compete with other employees for their job, turning individual against each other. Thirdly, it alienates individuals from their nature. Creation is a crucial aspect of people’s lives. However, because individuals make items that have no personal investment, their lives and work become a burden.

As capitalism continues to evolve, the gap between the rich or the elite class and the poor increases. Capitalism developed because of human frailty, institutional failures, obsession with a false theory, and toxic cultures and beliefs in some countries, such as the Americans’ belief in homeownership. It was also caused by the failure of policy in financial institutions where there was many regulations in the wrong sectors. Nonetheless, over the years, capitalism has led to more issues, as illustrated by David Harvey in the RSA Animate (Harvey, 2010). In essence, capitalism has also led to wage regression and boom and bust economic cycles in different geographical locations. Here, capitalism does not solve financial problems; rather, it moves them around geographically, from one nation to another. The increased accumulation of profits for some individuals has led to greed. Greed among business people lacks up wealth among the wealthy, leading to an increased gap between the rich and the poor (Harvey, 9:14). The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Currently, capitalism has been implemented globally, which means that different individuals from different regions experience all the above issues. Governments and organizations should find better economic systems that would bring profits and promote the well-being of all individuals and communities.



Ahlers, A. L., & Stichweh, R. (2019). The Bipolarity of Democracy and Authoritarianism: Value Patterns, Inclusion Roles and Forms of Internal Differentiation of Political Systems. Sociologia & Antropologia9(3), 819-846.

8-Bit Philosophy. (2014). What is Marxism? (Karl Marx + Super Mario Bros.) [Video]. YouTube.

Glasius, M. (2018). What authoritarianism is… and is not: a practice perspective. International Affairs94(3), 515-533.

Harvey, D. (2010). RSA ANIMATE: Crises of Capitalism [Video]. YouTube.

Nwogu, G. A. I. (2015). Democracy: Its Meaning and Dissenting Opinions of the Political Class in Nigeria: A Philosophical Approach. Journal of Education and Practice6(4), 131-142.