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N.B: This article is of My own Creation and contains a basic source (of my opinion) on the formation of Authoritarian, Oppressive or Police States. This is intended to help those writing a scenario about/involving the formation of an Oppressive Government system in a democratic country and why the citizens either allowed it to happen or even gave them the power to become so Powerful and Oppressive
What is AuthoritarianismAlthough people general think of dictators when they think Authoritarianism, people like George W.Bush are considered to be Authoritarian, even Obama comes out on the Authoritarian side of the scale. Democracy and Authoritarianism often go side by side. But for the Purpose of this page I'm considering Authoritarianism to be an Oppressive Governance where citizens have very limited or restricted rights (Religion, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Movement ect).
There have been many examples of Authoritarian Regimes throughout history. When one thinks Authoritarian they may think of Nazi Germany,
Nazi Germany, where Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Slavics Peoples, Communists, Political Opponents, Ethnic Minorities, Soviets, The Deaf, People with Mental Disabilities, The Physically Disabled, People with learning disabilities (Dyslexia, ADHD ect), Transgender Peoples, Trade Unionists, Non-Europeans, Socialists and Jehovah's Witnesses were among the many groups killed by the Nazis or sent to labour "Concentration" and Extermination camps.
The Nazis had complete say in what was published, some people had their radios confiscated while at some times the Nazis made radios so cheap so all Germans could spread their message to all no matter what financial situation they were in.
Stalin's Soviet Union
In Stalin's Russia previous liberties granted by Lenin were suddenly revoked (the decriminalization of homosexuality ect) Five Year plans meant that people were forced to do the government's bidding to keep up with deadlines, famines were engineered to create an obedient population and millions died in the Russian answer to concentration camps, used to silence those who opposed the government and held views the government did not approve of.
But how did all these groups come to power? A Combination of many things including....
Fear, Hate and Shamed Debate
Okay, let's say for instance a Government political party in the USA gets into power and turns around to the public stating "Hey! I'm going to give the police the right to arrest you without proof, Invade Turkmenistan, Control Your access to Guns, censor media from particular country and allow the Militarization of Police! Y'all down with that? Also, we also want to spy on you and track your every move online."
Would that statement be given much love in an orderly society? No, the President would be removed and there would be riots over the sanity of the American Government.
In order for a government to transition with little to no public opposition (and in many cases transition with major Public Support) to an Authoritarian regime they must have a reason which connects most citizens, mostly in fear, anger or hatred. In Weimar Germany a failed Austrian Art Student tapped deep into peoples hidden prejudices. He blamed his adopted country's problems on minorities. That failed art student started a war that killed over 50 million people.
Using Pre-Existing situations
The number one cause for despotic governemnts getting into power or giving the rights for a free government to become despotic or grant them the right to ristrict yours comes from fear. Governemnts also use fear to press for popular support for agendas that would have been shunned otherwise.
After 9/11 support for the invasion of Iraq was at 78%, something which is accepted by the public internationaly now as being about oil. While the US governemnt most likely had noting to do about 9/11 after such events happen it is normally taken advantage with by the reduction in liberties. Since 9/11 the police of the US underwent extensive militarization and the National Security Agency of the US.
The fear of something happening, happening again, or getting worse generally leads to them turning a blind eye to Government actions. Fear of what will happen can silence a nation and people will put up with despotic governments out of fear of the unknown, the past, the outside world, a threat, the future and conflict, terrorism, pague, famine, war, civil unrest and certain political ideologies. In 1950s/1960s America due to the association of Atheism with Communism, In God we Trust was added to the currency and political oaths were made on the bible.
Countries often become Authoritarian after a Situation or Event. After the Great Depression (1929-1930s) Nazism took hold of Europe. After 9/11 the US government began tapping the phones of their citizens, reading their emails and tracking their internet. Wars were started due to the event. After the Great Recession (2007-present) Nazism began to spread throughout Europe once more, Russia contains an estimated 50% of Europe's Neo-Nazis. In Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Germany, France and many more major political parties are Neo-Nazis.
- Authoritarian Regimes can be Democratic.
- How Governments become Authoritarian.
- Today's OTL types of economies, societies and regimes.
- Anti-Air systems
- Atomic warfare information notes.