We explain what autocracy is and what ascendancy to power is like. Also, what are its general characteristics and some examples.
Autocracy is a system of government that centralizes the supreme power of the State in a single person , whose decisions could not be questioned, contravened, or subject to controls of any kind. Whoever presides over a government of this nature is known as an autocrat .
The main forms of autocracy in the history of humanity were the absolutist monarchy , like the one experienced in Europe before the French Revolution , and the modern dictatorship, of which there are abundant examples of different ideological signs.
Autocracies are contrary to democracy , which is sustained thanks to a separation of public powers that take stock and balance their influences on citizen life.
The term autocracy is often used as a synonym for dictatorship or tyranny , although they are not necessarily synonymous.
The word autocracy is made up of two Greek words: auto- (“own, by itself”) and kratos (“power”) .
Hence, autocracy can be understood as "power by itself" or "power by one's own hand" , thus alluding to the fact that all the power of the State is concentrated in a ruler who uses it to keep ruling.
An autocracy can be established through various mechanisms, including through popular election. It is enough for the ruler to initiate a series of changes that gradually lead in that direction, using legal tricks and the republican powers themselves .
In other cases, autocracies can be established by force , through coups , armed struggles, or military invasions, and sustained through violence and fear.
Another distinctive feature of autocracies is corruption, since by not having any kind of opposing powers, the autocrat's allies enjoy almost absolute impunity and immunity , thus being able to enrich themselves illegally, commit crimes and accumulate assets , without being judged. thus.
In these periods there is also usually a violent resistance from the governed , which can lead to violent protests, guerrilla warfare or even a Revolution or a civil war, as the governed decide to sacrifice everything to regain their freedom .
Since all power resides in the hands of the same person, she is worshiped and venerated as if she were a deity or a saint . This is promoted from the structures of the State and the cult of the personality of the leader or caudillo is encouraged, through manipulative messages that offer him as a savior, a redeemer or, in the worst cases, as a necessary evil.
The terms despotism, tyranny, and authoritarianism are practically synonymous with autocracy , although the latter implies a lesser degree of empowerment of the ruler, and tyranny necessarily refers to someone who rules by (military) force.
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