Comparison: Authoritarianism vs. Liberal Democracy

Excerpts from a David Brooks article on Putin and Trump provide a useful initial comparison table between authoritarianism and liberalism democracy.

Authoritarianism vs. Liberal Democracy

AuthoritarianismLiberal Democracy
Authority should be centralizedPower should be dispersed across a system of relationships and institutions
Assumes low social trustRequires high social trust
Loyalty to the personLoyalty to the abstraction - a constitution, a creed, or a set of democratic norms.
Lack of faith in the judgment of individuals and the ability for collective self organizationFaith that people know best how to run their lives and that individual choices can be woven into a collective fabric.
Assumes people unlike you are sowing chaos.Requires assumption that people unlike you are still worthy of respect (and thus compromises)
Thrives in times of anxiety and distrustRequires some level of social trust.

Source: NYT 4/2/18.






Author: Publicis

A citizen of the United States more concerned with how our society works than with the fate of the parties or particular candidates.

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