Authoritarian is one of the political personality dimensions examined in the political personality quiz. Those who act in an authoritarian manner are known as autocrats.
The opposite of an autocrat is a democrat.

The choice between autocratic and democratic processes is distinct from the policies we advocate. People have an internalized concept of “freedom” and what degree of arbitrary authority is “normal”. One who favors the autocratic, in the context of democratic institutions, is in favor of giving elected officials or designated authorities more latitude in exercising their judgement and implementing an agenda of their choosing. In the autocrats perspective, being elected is a "mandate to rule".


Autocrats tend to:

  • trust in the judgement of experts/ hand picked individuals
  • prefer clear lines of authority.
  • have confidence in the “wisdom of experts”.
  • be confident in their opinions.
  • doubt in the capability of the average person to make wise decisions.
  • believe that people will complain no matter what you do.
  • favor “doers” over “talkers”
  • see politics more as a competition of willpower and resources

Autocrats tend to oppose:

  • having too many people involved in a decision (too many cooks).
  • challenges to authority
  • complex decision making processes

Relevant issues

democratic reform, governance, e-democracy, freedom of information, rights, corruption, grassroots democracy, corporate governancepublic sector governance, politics as usual

Statements used in the PPQ

  • A benevolent dictator is the best of all governments.
  • We elect leaders because they have the courage and the knowledge to make the difficult choices for us.
  • If you gave “the people” full control of the treasury, we would soon be printing million dollar bills for everyone.
  • A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

Statements proposed for the PPQ

(propose a statement)