Authoritarian vs Libertarian: Difference and Comparison

Authoritarian is a type of government in which the power is in the hands of either a small number of people (the elites) or one person (an autocrat). It lacks civil liberties and freedom. In a libertarian government, the government has minimal influence on people. It advocates personal choice and freedom.

An Authoritarian is a government where the people’s civil liberties are not considered. The sole decision maker is a single leader with a few members of his/hers cabinet. It’s a form of dictatorial leadership where civilians are not involved in amending the rules and regulations governing society.

Also, there are a lot of limitations to an authoritarian government. The central government dictates the type of religion for the people. It also dictates the activities that should take place and those that should be avoided.

A libertarian is a government in which the views of the people matter. Civilians are fully involved in the amendment and implementation of the laws and regulations that govern society. The main government has minimal influence on the people. Individual rights are vital as compared to those proposed by a single leader.

Key Takeaways

  1. Authoritarianism emphasizes strict obedience to authority, and libertarianism stresses individual liberty and minimal government intervention.
  2. Authoritarians advocate for a strong central government, while libertarians push for decentralized power structures.
  3. Authoritarians support strict law enforcement, whereas libertarians prioritize personal freedom and civil liberties.
Authoritarian vs Libertarian

Comparison Table

Basis of comparisonAuthoritarianLibertarian
MeaningFull government controlCivilian control
ConservativeMajorityMinority
Individual autonomyMinimizedFully considered
Government trustHighLow
CriticismMay be harmful to civiliansNo regulations(not harmful)

What is Authoritarian?

It is a government in which the powers of leadership are bestowed on a single leader or a few members of the government’s cabinet.

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The civil rights and the commoners’ views are not considered. Civilians are not involved in amending laws and regulations governing society. A single leader enforces all powers, hence a dictatorial form of government.

The central government dictates the type of religion that the people should practice. Civilian rights are not as important as those proposed by a single leader.

Also, the central government dictates what should take place and what should not. There is no consideration of the external views of other political affiliates, and individual autonomy is minimized and considered non-important.

The public has full trust in the government since the laws are made and implemented by the central government without public involvement.

Lastly, this form of government may be considered harmful and a form of oppression to the people at large. This is because the people are not considered during the law’s amendment.

What is a Libertarian?

It is a government that puts the views of the people under consideration. There is the full involvement of the public in the government.

Civilians are involved in the rules and regulations that govern society. The enforcement powers are bestowed on the people, and their views are more important as compared to those proposed by a single leader or the central government.

There is no government dictatorship in the activities that should occur. There are no regulations, and the people are free to do what they want as long as it is within the law.

In a libertarian government, there is low or no trust in the government since the people enforce the amendment and implementation of laws that govern the society.

Main Differences Between Authoritarian and Libertarian

  1. Authoritarian is a government that the power and societal control are by a single leader or a few members of the cabinet, while libertarian is a government in which individual rights are considered more important compared to those proposed by a single leader or the central government.
  2. The majority of the civilians in an authoritarian government are conservative since they embrace the rule of law that has forever been, whereas there is quite a change in the rule of law by the people in a libertarian government; hence the minority of the people is conservative.
  3. There is minimal individual autonomy in an authoritarian government since individual rights are not as important as those put forward by a single leader. Conversely, individual autonomy is highly embraced in a libertarian government since the people’s rights are more important than those proposed by the central government.
  4. There is high trust in the government by the people in an authoritarian government, while there is low government trust in a libertarian government.
  5. The authoritarian government may be harmful to the people due to freedom limitations, while it may not be harmful since no strict regulations are set to oppress the people.
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Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

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