The concept of autocracy

A term referring to a system of government in which the power is concentrated in the hand of one individual who alone possesses all the power that is not limited by anything, and this does not always mean the absence of laws and constitutions in this system, but basically it means the ability of the autocratic ruler (the individual) in real terms to override laws And constitutions, if they exist, are based on the absence of an independent mechanism in the system capable of imposing laws and forcing it to respect them.

This despotism in ruling is represented in the release of the powers of the individual or the leading party. Autocracy is found in fascist or similar parties, and in Latin it means divine rule, meaning that the person’s access to power takes place with divine approval. Autocracy differs from dictatorship in that power in an autocracy is subject to the loyalty of the subjects, whereas in a dictatorship, the ruled submit to power out of fear alone.

Features of an autocratic system

The autocratic system is characterized by a set of features that distinguish it from other forms of government, which are as follows:

1. Controlling the exercise of power and limiting it to himself or certain people whom he trusts and help him in his power and control, the absence of any distribution of power and the abolition of all political and social institutions or societies that may play an influential role, thus forming a competition for those in power, and concentrating all political power in the hands of an individual One, and the establishment of a ruling apparatus that establishes the monopoly of this power.

2. Abolishing or neglecting the legislative base of political power. Usually, the constitution is abolished in such systems to be replaced by a new legal structure that serves the ruling class and becomes its main tool in government. Associated with this feature is the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of organizing the process of succeeding the ruler of the authoritarian individual.

3. The abolition of civil liberties or their significant restriction, and the elimination of all activities that fall outside the circle of government. This means that one individual controls the reins of affairs and surrounds him with an aura of qualities that make him infallible. He is always right, and he is always better able to know what is right, and he is always The most capable of fulfilling the aspirations of the masses, and he is always the most capable of representing the public administration, and it may reach the deification of the ruler.

4. The emotionality and impulsivity control the decision-making process, as the absence of a break between the ruler and the state has led to the perpetuation of a high degree of interference, control and politicization of all fields, until it came to interfering in the personal life of individuals, and then canceling the role of the individual in life and the matter is over. By abolishing the role of society for the sake of the ruler, and then the individual’s ambition, the society’s ambition, or even the state as a political and social entity is not achieved, but only the ambition of the ruling individual (political authority).

5. The use of authoritarian means to achieve political and social control that begins with propaganda and control over the means of communication, imposing the duty of obedience and intimidation, the actual use of means of terror, repression and oppression, and the existence of a secret police apparatus used to eliminate opposition, with the claim that this is necessary under the pretext of eliminating internal conflicts to reach A kind of political and ideological unity of society that allows for the emergence of the ideal regime targeted by the ideology.

Characteristics of an autocratic system

The autocratic system of government is characterized by a set of general features and characteristics, most notably:

1. It is a political system in that it deals with the problem of organizing state power and performing some political functions such as maintaining security and order and achieving stability. Nevertheless, it is not a system of good governance as it is not based on a broad popular base, and it does not depend on the principle of rationality in the process. Decision-making, in the sense that it is an individual (personal) system of government that does not care about the hopes and aspirations of the masses, and does not move a finger to respond to popular demands.

2. The autocratic system of government expresses a network of relationships and interactions that bind the ruler not to the mass of the ruled as it is supposed, but to a group of beneficiaries, leaders, followers and supporters who make up the system. Accordingly, the correct approach to understanding and studying the political system in this case is through the entrance to the relations of control. And personal dependency, and the distinctive feature of such a system is that its base is too narrow to be limited to a group of beneficiaries and supporters of the system, and despite the existence of a network of interactions, relationships and competition in order to reach the highest positions, but this is limited to a limited elite, whether they are the ruler or Not ruling.

3. Political practice under an autocratic system can turn into violent fighting and conflict that may reach the level of civil war and conflict over the unity of the state itself. It is logical that the rates of political violence increase in cases of individual rule compared to stable democratic systems. The latter have general rules and principles. Stable governing the political process, and enjoying general agreement, whether on the part of political actors or on the part of citizens, but in the case of individual rule, there are no such rules or principles.

4. Political practice in these regimes is characterized by the presence of phenomena that reflect the individuality of power in society, such as conspiracies, purges, political assassinations and military coups. These practices and features should not be viewed as deviations or deviations from the norms of political life, as is the case in institutional systems, Instead, they can be considered as intrinsic and natural characteristics that are organically linked to the system of individual rule.

Sources and references:

Imam Abdelfattah Imam, The Tyrant, World of Knowledge Series, Kuwait 1994.

Al-Maliki, Fahd and Mubarak, Dar Ibn Al-Jawzi, a summary of political culture.

Research Journal of the College of Islamic Education (University of Mosul), Volume 11, Issue 2, Research entitled The Individualist System (Autocratic) Study of the Theory of Absolute Power, 2011.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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