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
|Authority should be centralized||Power should be dispersed across a system of relationships and institutions|
|Assumes low social trust||Requires high social trust|
|Loyalty to the person||Loyalty 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 organization||Faith 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 distrust||Requires some level of social trust.|
Source: NYT 4/2/18.