Authoritarian (Authoritarianism)

[ uh-thawr-i-tair-ee-uhn, uh-thor- ]


  • favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom: authoritarian principles; authoritarian attitudes.
  • relating to a governmental or political system, principle, or practice in which individual freedom is held as completely subordinate to the power or authority of the state, centered either in one person or a small group that is not constitutionally accountable to the people.
  • exercising complete or almost complete control over the will of another or of others: an authoritarian parent.


  • a person who favors or acts according to authoritarian principles.

 Attributes of the authoritarian person.1

  • Blind loyalty to certain values, customs and ideals.
    Authoritarian people categorize the world with the simplicity and rigidity of a 5-year-old child. Things are good or bad and anyone who adopts the same perspectives, values ​​and opinions is on the right track. However, anyone who with a difference of opinion is a potential enemy.

  • Ethnocentrism in authoritarian people.
    My things are the best. Furthermore, not only are my country, my culture and my language the most worthy, they are the only conceivable and acceptable ones. This attitude and mindset leads to discriminatory, offensive behaviors. They are dangerous prejudices that reject anything different. In other words, authoritarian people despise anything that does not conform to their narrow mindset.

  • The culture of fear.
    With the election of Donald Trump as president, we now have an endless number of examples of ethnocentrism. However, there was a specific moment during the campaign when the ex-president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, gave a precise definition of what Trump represented for him: an authoritarian personality who exercises power based on fear.

    My achievements will always be better than yours. It doesn’t matter what you’re good at, what you studied or what you like. Because authoritarian people will always try to be one step ahead of you. Authoritarian people can’t stand for anyone else to be successful. Except for them, of course.

  • Aggressive leadership.
    We all know authoritarian people like to be in a position of command. But their leadership is not democratic. They will never lead with emotional intelligence, which is what actually gets the most out of people and fosters harmony, trust and pleasant coexistence and thus happiness and productivity. Quite the opposite.

    An authoritarian leader is aggressive, lacks empathy, cares only about their own needs and also has a very low tolerance for frustration. They’re incapable of seeing the needs of others. Moreover, they often act against them because they view them as weaknesses.

  • Prejudice and rigid thinking.
    They say it’s harder to split an atom than to break up prejudice. Unfortunately, it’s true, and it is also a characteristic of authoritarian people. Their thinking is incredibly narrow. It leaves no room for any opinion other than their own. There’s certainly no space left for any “truth” other than what they came up with.

  • Simplistic reasoning.
    Authoritarian people live in a dream world. At first glance they look imposing and scary. They usually place themselves on a high pedestal, but the foundation is weak. Just listen to their arguments and you’ll discover a simple mind barren of ideas and solid reasoning.

    The biggest problem with authoritarian people is that there is aggression behind their simplistic reasoning. Therefore, when they feel threatened or placed in a position of inferiority they react very badly.


1.  Source: Exploreing Your mind.