What is Caesarism?

Meaning of Caesarism

It receives the name of caesarism , the government of a single ruler, brought to power by the people , but with absolute power.

This practice gets its name from Julius Caesar, a Roman statesman (101-44 BC) who, in a way, entered history as the last practitioner of this form of political ascension . Thereafter, any individual who followed a similar path would be practicing Caesarism .

Considered in modern times as one of the forms of degeneration of political regimes, Benjamin Constant (the writer and politician of French origin) already defined it in the 19th century as ” usurpation, given that, apparently maintaining the previous forms of freedom, but to desecrate them, a counterfeit freedom is generated .”

Caesarism in the Present

Numerous cases of Caesarism occur and are occurring today. Indeed, whenever a society is threatened by a serious crisis, that individual savior appears , ready to lead the entire community into a new period of progress.

Therefore, said transfer of sovereignty from the people to the person who exercises it in a concentrated manner. It can be done by acclamation or by plebiscite, maintaining, however, some organs of popular representation.

Even so, with the existence of admitted forms of parliamentary representation , in the caesarean system, these will be linked to police and military power.

Therefore, the leader will not have an intermediate channel that prevents him from establishing direct contact with his people, thus establishing an unquestionable representation in the eyes of society.

Characteristics of Caesarism

One of the main aspects of a Caesarian-style government is the cult of personality. Present in the intense reproduction of the image of the leader. Whether through statues, paintings, cinema or even the inclusion of names with reference to the power constituted in the streets or public works.

The practice of the cult of personality leads the head of state to transform himself into a paternalistic figure , who inspires society to progress.

Although the practice is associated with the name of Caesar, history has witnessed the emergence of countless leaders with such a profile, who rose as leaders, fathers and saviors of their country.

Ironically, this phenomenon was observed both in the right-wing regimes of a liberal nature and in the left-wing regimes of the new socialist philosophy, which caused several heads of state to become deified.

It is also important to make it clear that Caesarism is not a formula for political administration , in reality it is more related to an abstract and irrational concept of human nature, the intimate desire of the human being to be recognized and esteemed, distorted but at levels exaggerated.

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