Totalitarian, Authoritarian and Liberal Democratic States

  • Totalitarian state seeks to control all aspects of an individual life generally through an ideology and thus for it the state is the end.
  • In Totalitarian States rulers have unlimited powers and are not responsible to the people. Force and fear give life to the laws of the state.
  • It is based on the principle of centralization of power in the hands of the ruler while in democratic states rulers derive power from the people.The individual is the means and the State is the end.
  • Totalitarian state stands for a society, characterized by one leader, one party, one ideology, one government and one rule.
  • Totalitarian state has no faith in internationalism and regards war as an instrument to progress and power. Totalitarianism glorifies the nation and emphasizes the idea of the state as a power system. The judiciary and mass media are rigidly controlled by the government and civil liberties are curtailed.
  • An authoritarian form of government is considered to be the extreme form of totalitarianism. An authoritarian regime is one in which power is concentrated in the hands of a few. This rule is maintained by political repression and subjugation.
  • Propaganda and mass rallies are used to legitimize authoritarian rule. Authoritarianism is marked by indefinite political tenure of the ruling party. Coercion, violent transition of power and lack of individual rights is the hall mark of both states
  • Liberal democratic state is marked with rule of law, independent judiciary, individual rights, separation and decentralization of powers, political participation and elections. A democratic government is responsive to public opinion.
  • Modern democracy known as liberal democracy is based on the ideology of liberalism.

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