What is Autocracy?

Meaning and Definition of Autocracy

The concept of Autocracy designates a type of political power . It is of Greek origin and literally means self -government . It was, in fact, a government in which there is only one representation as the holder of power , that is, a committee, an assembly or simply a leader who has absolute control at all levels of government.

When it comes to the presence of a single individual as holder of all that power, the consent of other members of the government is non-existent or ignored. For there to be an autocratic government , the head of the government controls all the administration and all the power in his jurisdiction and is free to take action.

In view of these definitions, they imply that a monarchy is not always necessarily an autocracy . This correlation does not apply in all cases because monarchs, in general, have the support of an administrative team.

monarchy is only autocratic when it is called absolute, because there they represent cases of absolute political power of the king or the emperor, which exempts them from the manifestation of any other organ that participates in the administration of the government .

Still, not all absolute monarchs are autocrats , like the famous French king Louis XIV. The absolutist monarch is only autocratic when there is no social force capable of limiting his actions and his political powers. And, of course, the Autocracy does not allow popular participation in decisions.

Narrow and Wide Autocracy

The political meaning of autocracy can be narrow or broad. In the first case, there is a personalization of power, that is, it is the case of historical examples of autocratic monarchs .

Manifestations in this sense were very common in the Byzantine Empire. That he considered that the monarch had a supreme and unlimited power that God had granted him.

The broad sense, on the other hand, designates unlimited and absolute power over the subjects of the government as a whole or of the administrative bodies that exercise the function of governor.

Although historical examples of autocracy are more prevalent when associated with monarchical states, it is worth noting that this is not a rule either. Autocracy can occur without the figure of a king or emperor, and a good example of this is 20th century Germany and the autocratic rule of Adolf Hitler.

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