Political repression and the exclusion of potential challengers are two of the earmarks of authoritarianism. A highly concentrated and centralized power organization helps mobilize – even forces – people to achieve the goals of the State.
The rule over man instead of the rule of law is the main objective of an authoritarian government. Elections are usually rigged and political decisions are usually made by a select group behind closed doors. The main objective in most cases is the unregulated and informal exercise of political power by a leadership that is self-annointed/elected.
A military and a bureaucracy that operates above the rules maintain political stability. Allegiance to the regime is created through various forced socialization practices that must be followed or the consequences are severe. The authoritarian regime has indefinite political tenure so trying to get rid of a corrupt leader and his/her ruling party is a monumental task for ordinary citizens.
Authoritarianism can lead to totalitarianism, which is the extreme form of authoritarianism. Totalitarian followers are manipulated by a charismatic leader that practices a pseudo-democratic interdependence with followers through an ideology, which seems legitimate. Authoritarians view themselves as a person; totalitarians are viewed as an indispensable function that has the power to reshape as well as guide the populace through the universe.
The 21st century may be the century when global unity takes a giant step forward in terms of individual freedom, but in order to achieve that goal some of the political regimes in countries around the world must go through a democratic metamorphosis – of a local orientation – that weeds out despots and authoritarian rulers who line their pockets with incredible wealth and keep their societies in a state of fear. It is important, however, that such change happen without the intrusive arm of a hidden power elite pulling the manipulative levers of political and media control in order to stimulate a change that is nothing other than a glossy sounding movement devoid of any true purpose and one that feeds directly into the hands of those most intent on subjecting the nation to rape and pillage – albeit, in today's Internet Reformation era, one that's cloaked in a transparent veil of artificial democracy.
Hope lies, if nowhere else, in what we have taken to calling the Internet Reformation. Like the Reformation before it, sparked by the Gutenberg Press, the Internet Reformation is changing the sociopolitical structure of the world. The Gutenberg Press was partially responsible for the Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, Glorious Revolution, US Revolution, French Revolution, etc. Not all of these events created nations and sociopolitical systems, but some did. In the 21st century, the Internet Reformation remains a bright hope when it comes to counteracting the depredations of authoritarianism and one of the most important efforts of the Foundation for the Advancement for Free-Market Thinking (FAFMT) and the Daily Bell is to do our absolute best, via education, to contribute to beheading the beast that is Leviathan.