An Authoritarian rule is totally opposed to a Democratic rule. Authoritarianism involves a rule by single person or single group or single party.
There is centralisation of power and authority is in the hands of the ruling establishment.
Big limitations are always placed on the rights and freedoms of the people. There is rule of the will of the rulers. There is lack of independence of judiciary.
Political participation of the people is kept limited and controlled. There is non-responsibility and non-accountability of rulers towards the people and public opinion. The rulers use mass media for propaganda purposes. Often they establish a puppet government for securing popular support for their rule. All the decisions and policies are made and implemented by the rulers. The chief aim of the ruler is to perpetuate power.
As against it, a democratic rule involves a representative, responsive, responsible and accountable government. It rests upon the supreme will of the people. The government exercises defined power under the law. The people enjoy several rights and freedoms which include the right to change their government through free and fair elections. There is decentralisation of powers.
A very high level of people’s participation in all political processes is encouraged. People enjoy constitutionally protected rights and freedom. An independent and powerful judiciary acts as the guardian-protector of the rights and freedoms of the people as well as of the Constitution of the state.
The people of world have now totally rejected the Totalitarian and Authoritarian systems. They have fully accepted and adopted liberal democracy as the best system of government and the best way of life. People living under authoritarian regimes have been now struggling to adopt liberal democracies.