PART 1 : ISSUE
Introduction to An Ideology
Understanding the theoretical basis of a struggle, Lesson 1
What Does this Mean to You?
This question is always asked at the beginning of each lesson.
It is an old Israelite question from the Passover Seder from the rebellious son or daughter. We are beginning a small Academy class. Training together to establish the parameters of answering that very same question. A sort of “proof of relevance” for the time we will take from your life, which cannot ever be returned.
In short, this is a course which will give you a new way to look at a the world, your world and my world which is actually dying. You would almost have to be an ostrich with you head in the very sand not not know some of that. Most of the people on earth are very poor and maldeveloped. Most of the resources are well on their way to being exhausted. The actual temperature of the planet is rising as if to kill us through a fever. There are many wars and pandemics and incredible inequality.
However it is not your shame, guilt or even rage we play to right now. It is a desire on the personal level to have a Free Life. Your consciousness and your level of awareness, as well as your level of political indoctrination are really not the subject matter of this training program. This course is geared toward those who were born awake and never went to sleep. But it is your very self-interest cultivated in Capitalist Modernity, the governing ideology of the World System in the 21st century that we do play to. Your sense of responsibility is always to be secondary to your motivation. Your personal willingness to trade hours of your life to listen and learn and ask questions is a bridge of course to action.
This lesson is devoted to ideology. Technology and philosophy of thought. We ask your to watch, read and participate not because you believe in the collective. Or because of the terror the world to come might bring your progeny. No, because you wish to better your life. Because you seek a way to gain a set of material and social rights, attain a position of greater security that is simply going to be impossible working yourself to death all life long.
It is just not true that by simple of virtue of hard work you will set yourself and your family free. That is actually the logic of German Nazis, posted on their work camp gates. Depending on where you live in the year 2020, you are likely to have been born into a vast open air work camp called a country. There are 206 of them, even in the top developed 40 life is hard. The idea of a “Middle Class” is an illusion, as is the idea that one state, or group of states can seal itself off from the others is an illusion. The victory march of Euro-American Capitalism which supposedly began in 1989, was just an enormous illusion. Especially for all non-Europeans. We train you now to examine truth into its inner most parts and pursue a line of questioning
We are in the business of developing a united paradigm. For achieving a set rights, freedoms and equality that have virtually never existed for our kind. A paradigm that will allow humanity a type of collective action we have never unleashed before. A way of organizing ourselves in a way that take back a human way of living that was denied us.
If you do not develop for yourself a world view and philosophy rooted in emancipation, justice and collective action then you will be sold an alternative ideology based on slavery, underdevelopment and death. Or worse be so numbed, distracted and apathetic that you basically not only don’t care when other people die, you don’t really care what happens to your own life.
What is an Ideology?
An ideology is a body of theory explaining social, historical, economic and political relationships. Based on the writings of varying social theorists, philosophers and economists ideology establishes a paradigm of reality and change (a rationale for how change comes about in the world), advocates systems of governance (structures of rule both local and international), outlines social policy (specific laws that establish societal norms) and codifies relationships between individuals, societies, corporations, and states. An ideology explains, or tries to explain the chaos in the world of the real.
Everyone has some kind of Political Paradigm. Normally established by their parents, early education and religious values, or by the the media sources of their state. An ideology is more scientific than a paradigm, more dogmatic than basic learned political values and beliefs. An ideology uses elements of history to establish a narrative. This narrative is then cultivated to introduce new values, new modes of behavior and new ways of understanding reality. By not having an ideology, or paradigm most people become frustrated, and then religious. Which is to say they absolve themselves of this world and imagine justice and peace only in another world, which absolutely no one has come back from to verify.
Thus all ideology relies on establishing its own “Subjective Version of History”, its own interpretation of largely unknown previous epochs, current events and future possibilities.
“Those who control the past, control the future: those who control the present, control the past.”Eric Blair (George Orwell), British Political Novelist, 1984.
What is Objective History?
According to theorists such as Foucault, we have absolutely no way to establish any objective history before sometime in the mid 17th century. That is because there are very few competing narratives. Usually history was simply commissioned by ruler/rulers of the victorious state.
There is very little about history we can ever say is OBJECTIVE, non biased. Virtually every single state has a contradictory narrative or set of narratives on historical events. There is both national bias, and historical bias. National bias is the distortion of a war, or event to subscribe importance to a current ruler, ruling parties paradigm. Historical bias is taking poorly documented, poorly under stood events and prescribing importance and meaning, although very few accounts remain of such events.
Thus almost all history, even history presented in this training book is a type of propaganda made to alter or reinforce your political paradigm, I.e. your ideology.
An example of National Bias, for example is when certain historical events are included and others omitted or not disclosed. Such as when a history book in USA talks about the Berlin Airlifts, Cuban Missile Crisis and Russian intervention in Afghanistan, but mostly omits the Cuban Revolution, Cuban/Russian support for Angolan-Namibian Independence and the defeat of South African Apartheid, and fails to mention the United States killed 2 million people in Vietnam. Both Russian and the US have clear Cold War narratives they wish their people to adopt.
Another example would be Egyptian and Israeli history books on the war of 1973. The clearest cases of NATIONAL BIAS are found in high school level history text books of each state.
An example of Historical Bias would be an American text book that ignores that while 450,000 Americans died in WW2 21 million Russians did during the same period. An American students is taught the Allies defeated the Axis, but distorts the burden each group paid in lives.
Another example of historical bias would be the importance of Roman Law and Greek Philosophy to the modern world, but to not teach Confucianism or East Asian Philosophy. The clearest case of historical bias would be whether or not to use any of the Torah/Bible as a reference to actual historical events.
National bias, places loyalty to the nation state, its patriots and leaders at the center of the paradigm and excludes or down plays the importance of other rival states. Historical bias basically fabricates and twists major events in a way that re-imagines their role and importance.
Historical Materialism is a Marxist historical focus on “material conditions” over ideals or spiritual developments. Marx and Engels asserted that a societies mode of production, how it organizes labor and productive forces, the relations of people to production is the single most important factor in determining a societies development.
Thus the Superstructure of institutions, laws and customs had to built upon an economic base. This superstructure is in fact an ideological expression of how production is organized.
The trajectory so far of human modes of production have included primitive communism (tribal communalism), slave societies, feudalism, mercantilism and capitalism.
In general all ideologies through out all time can fit within one or more of these twelve sets of general sub-classifications. Establishing differing elements of their policy poles, advocacy of certain relationships between workers and Modes of Production and their varying systems of governance. It is important to state that not all political scientists are in agreement about what parties where in which classifications, at what times.
- Tribalism & Primitive Hunter Gatherer Organizations
- Religious vs. Secular
- Hereditary Monarchies & Aristocracies
- Military Dictatorships & Juntas
- The Left vs. The Right
- Liberals vs. Conservatives
- Radicals vs. Reformists
- Revolutionary vs. Reactionary
- Capitalist vs. Socialist/Communist/Anarchist
- Social Democratic vs. Democratic Socialist
- Authoritarian vs. Populist
- State Capitalism, Neo-Liberalism and Oligarchy
- Democratic Confederalism
Before recorded history, which is to say Egyptian hieroglyphs, Babylonian Cuneiform, Mayan ruins and much later Dead Sea Scrolls we can deduce from cave paintings and the characteristics of remote tribes not in contact with modernity; that the earliest human organization before the creation of nation states, mass agriculture and nationalism was varying forms of hunter gathering, nomadic tribes. It is not useful to create a golden age around this period, or discount it as barbaric because until the “creation of Gods and Kings”, this was the dominant mode of human organization for over 10,000 years.
The tribe, a wandering ethnic unit persisted in some form until the widespread enslavement of the Africans in 1500-1800. However, as a dominant form of organization it was replaced after the Neolithic Age by the beginning of the State system. Large, unified agricultural polities ruled by a priestly class that would wholly transform every aspect of human life.
It is actually impossible to know how society was organized in the Pre-agricultural hunter gathering societies that existed before 7000 BCE in the Neolithic Age and before. We have reason to suspect that social units were much smaller in scale, much less gender dominated by men, animist/ polytheistic and reasonably directly democratic in some regards. There were likely far less specialized economic roles, far looser conceptions of private property and limited to no agricultural cultivation.
During this period there were no known hierarchical class structures or capital accumulation. No rigid conceptions of Private Property.
RELIGIOUS VS. SECULAR
For almost all of recorded history political leaders claimed that a God-head, divine force or forces gave them the ability or mandate to rule. It was not until the 16th century did any secular parities begin to emerge and not until 1776 in the USA, 1789 in France and 1812 in Latin America did any secular parties take full power. Today only two countries Shi’a Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are fully functional Islamic Theocracies. Israel also maintains some very specific religious laws in its territory.
Beginning in the fertile crescent, the area of modern Iraq and Iran (Babylon) in the year 7000 BCE a large scale process began of agriculture, private property accumulation, trade and the construction of Ziggurats.
A Ziggurat was a massive temple where at the very top levels supposedly dwell the ancient Gods. On the level below it an administrative center for high priests. On the level below that was a vast market, a depot for surplus and a production center for skilled workers.
This was beginning of both capital accumulation, rigid social classes and the centralized state.
Thus we are able to deduce in fairly objective historical analysis that from the year 7000 BCE to 1700, around 8,700 years the dominant polity was a theocracy, a hereditary monarch, a divine monarchy or some kind of monarchy supported by priests of an aristocracy.
Secular rule, with very few outliers was only been a reality in the past 300 years. Experiments with Retrograde Socialism, mostly huge bloody failures, are only 100 years old beginning in 1917.
The fundamental difference between a Religious and Secular Party is where they derive their theory of change and governance. A religious Party believes they represent a divine mandate to impose religious laws on a nation. A Secular Party bases its legitimacy for governance on a specific ideology, rule of law and a constitution.
Historic examples of Religious Governance include the Ziggurats of Babylon, the Egyptian Pharaohs, Chinese Dynastic Rule, Hindu Kingdoms in India and virtually all of the Medieval European Monarchies.
Modern examples of religious parties are Torah Judaism/Shas in Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Ayatollah/IRGC Regime in Iran.
HEREDITARY MONARCHY & ARISTOCRACY
An Aristocracy is an established hierarchy of land holding wealth and nobility arranged by title around a King, supported by a priesthood or clergy.
The Hereditary Monarchy is a biological line of succession normally along the male line for autocratic regimes, generally though not exclusively deriving their mandate from a deity, or religions cult.
Most monarchies are supported by, or are regulated by a lesser nobility or aristocratic class. In most instances these two elements of society are breeding grounds for intrigue against the monarchy. Historically it is rare that a Monarch is ever deposed in favor of aristocratic rule, proto-Oligarchy, kleptocracy and aristocracy usually disguise themselves behind a figure head.
Hereditary Monarchy is where a King passes power to a prince, typically their first surviving male heir. In the numerous instances where pretenders to the thrown, illegitimate children, assassination, or failure to produce a male heir interrupted the Monarchy, new nobility were often put in place or less direct ascension occurred.
It is usually the case that a priestly class supports a theological claim for a divine blessing on the Monarchy. The Monarchy thus uses its centralized power to enrich the priestly class and aristocracy. Typically nothing short of foreign invasion and prolonged occupation can dislodge a Monarchy.
The most frequent challenge in the past 200 years has been through Military Coup (African and Arab States) or Popular Revolutions (France, Russia, Iran).
The development results of Monarchy and Aristocracy is generally to establish some form of Feudalism as a mode of production where large segments of the population are bound to the land as Serfs or Peasants. Typically miserable, powerless and illiterate, these serfs or peasants have no rights and no freedom of movement.
MILITARY DICTATORSHIPS & JUNTAS
It is not unheard of for a Warlord or General to assume some what consensual power and take on the formation of a hereditary monarchy. Such as varying Romans rulers, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and far later Napoleon.
However in recent decades all that is typically required is for the military to stage a coup. In this case an officer will set themselves up as a dictator/president or will rule the country through a council of officers; a Junta.
Such arrangements are very rarely ever going to produce well functioning governments. They were brute force usurpers and have no legitimatizing mandate besides the threat of force. They are generally inundated with high levels of cronyism, lack of vision and rigid chain of command found in the military that generated them. There is virtually no examples of a Junta/ Military Dictator producing useful, helpful or transparent governance.
That then said the largest contiguous human empire was that formed by Mongol Warlords; around a quarter of the worlds surface area. But what is taken by force is relinquished by force such is the nature of violence.
THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT
Left Wing and Right Wing are highly SUBJECTIVE TERMS, differentiated state by state. Left and Right mostly divide along liberal/ conservative lines in their relationships to social policy, the economy, defense, markets and private property.
Liberal Ideology generally speaking advocates using a larger portion of the tax base to fund public social programs such as schools, hospitals, public housing and welfare programs. Liberal ideology tends to be more inclusive of minority groups, women and homosexuals. It is always pro-capitalist, but generally more responsive to public policies that support social justice and environmental protection.
Modern examples of Liberal Parties are The Democratic Party (in U.S.A.) or the Labor Party in Great Britain.
Conservative Ideology generally wishes to spend public money from the tax base largely in defense and commercial infrastructure. It is generally majoritarian, male chauvinist, family centered and hesitant to spend money on public services. It supports privatization (the providing of government services by private industry), policing and national security, is always pro-Capitalist, and generally protective of large corporations, banks and high net worth individuals in society.
Modern examples of Conservative Parties are: The Republican Party (in USA)
In general Liberals want slightly larger government/ government spending with a rhetoric of social justice, inclusion, greater equality and a belief that good government can uplift the poor.
In general Conservatives want smaller government/ less taxation with a rhetoric of tradition, religion, family values and protections of private property and corporate welfare with a belief that national security and privatization will uplift all citizens who work hard.
Both Liberals and Conservatives have a left wing/right wing to their parties. In varying ways both liberals and conservatives are free market oriented, equally willing to engage in interstate warfare and are typically drawn from the upper classes of their societies.
REFORMIST vs. RADICAL
What we are talking about here is speed of advocated social change. Radicals demanding rapid, unprecedented policy shifts, Reformers more gradual policy shifts. Radicals seek a swift break from tradition and Reformers a cautious progression. Most importantly Radicals do not require the policy shift to occur inside the established frame work of governance and Reformists do.
The fundamental difference between a Reformist Party and a Radical Party is whether they plan to engage in the electoral process, run their candidates and then try to be elected OR do they plan to overthrow the government. A reformist party usually believes that their program is achievable through the electorate through established political channels. A radical party typically does not and seeks to use violence/force/protests/terrorism to impose its program on a country without any mandate from an established system. That established system may have little to no popular mandate to begin with.
Examples of Modern Reformist Parties are the Democratic Socialists of America and Social Democrats of Europe, examples of modern radical parties are the Kurdistan Workers Party and the Socialist Equality Party.
REVOLTUTIONARY vs. REACTIONARY
The difference between Revolutionary vs. Reactionary radical parties and their ideologies take the difference between Reformist and Radical even further. A Radical Party can be classified as “Revolutionary” by its means; I.e. Political violence and its ends; I.e. “Radical Social Policy” once in power. Which is to say policy shifts in economic, social and environmental spheres that make rapid departures from the polices of the defeated factions.
Revolutionaries can be RIGHT or LEFT, can be secular or religious. They designation can mean a break with past systems of governance, or a break with a line of policy. However, revolutionist thinking, revolutionary consciousness must depart from the established, normative traditions of the national unit and embark on a wholly new political direction. A reactionary and their parties are backwards thinking, traditionalist conquests of power.
A“Reactionary Radical” or their parties are a) right wing radical/revolutionaries or b) advocating regressive fascist social polices. Fascists and Religious Fundamentalists for instance such as the Nazi Party, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the Klu Klux Klan. Such parties seek chauvinist, statist and nationalist futures. They are ethno/religious centrists. They look back towards a “Golden Age”, an imagined time before some fall from Eden. They are generally hateful to minorities if not out right genocidal. They seek to impose their views on all others.
Here linguistics plays a role. The idea of a “Revolution” is a rapid turning, connoting a rapid progress, a rapid shift in political direction. Of course many revolutions are subverted, collapse in chaos or civil war and or take on reactionary characteristics once they seize and consolidate power. Almost all of the 20th Century Revolutions associated with Third World Liberation and Socialism/Communism took on Retrograde Characteristics, movement away from progress toward toward militaristic, fascist one party rule. Since absolutely no nation that embarked on a so-called “Socialist Revolution” under the leadership of a Vanguard “Communist Party” met well established Marxist criteria; I.e. advanced industrialization and a developed bourgeoisie; all of these revolutions, without a single exception; were Revolutionary in intent, but Reactionary in their regression. Thus we refer to them as Retrograde Socialist projects.
Some which literally cost hundreds of millions of human lives; Stalinist Russia and the Great Leap Forward-Great Famine-Cultural Revolution in China. Some which devolved into such reactionary violence their democidal result bore no relationship to the ideals their founders set out to establish. Most obviously in Khmer Rouge Cambodia and the Juche Theories of North Korea.
CAPITALIST vs. SOCIALIST/COMMUNIST/ANARCHIST
Capitalism is the dominant economic order in the world today. The post-Cold War Pax-American 1989 to 2003 established firmly a mono-polar world with Euro-American firms setting the terms for the World System. But the Pax-Americana was never accepted by either the People’ Republic of China or the Russian Federation. It was proclaimed unilaterally by America and its N.A.T.O. allies.
Although the defeat of the U.S.S.R. and the 1986 embrace of Chinese State Capitalism was held up as a proof of Communist inefficiency/ totalitarianism and ultimate defeat; over 1/3 of the human race had lived under some form of Retrograde Socialist country, and Marx remains the discourse of critique. It remains the theory of change most relevant to secular opposition to Capitalism. The only nations with a Communist Party ruling them are China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam. Only Cuba and Laos still attempt to enforce any normative socialist policy.
Capitalist Modernity is an economic order which has dominated the world system since the 1500s, but has acquired a universal dominance since 1991 through the ideology of Neo-Liberalism and Globalization and the defeat of the U.S.S.R. and retrograde Communist satalites in 1989.
The narrative of Globalization is that technology + capital + entrepreneurial spirit will make the world safer, freer and more safe.
Capitalism involves investors, capital and financial firms (Corporations), utilizing wealth to control government policy to create even greater transnational wealth. Mega-Corporations control massive portfolios of labor, industry and natural resource extraction and relentlessly exploit both the global work force and endanger the planet itself. The entire Capitalist system revolves around large banking institutions, the Internets ability to constantly solicit consumer engagement, technologies ability to sustain the market logistics and extractive industries; notably natural gas, coal and oil which power the entire system.
This “World System” is dominated by large firms in “Core Countries” who can use their aggregated wealth to control a political order favorable to their economic interests.
The current World System as developed as a concept map by Sociologist Emmanuel Wallerstien has been a shifting block of relationship zones dominated from a Global Core. In this period called Capitalist Modernity an economic and hegemonic shift is taking place between the E.U.-U.S.A. and the P.R.C.
Beginning with social theorists Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels in the 1850’s, articulated in the tomes of Das Capital and the Communist Manifesto, revolutionaries began to adopt varying tendencies/ or streams of left wing ideology as the primary adversarial critique of Capitalism.
In general Marx believed that society has and will progress, evolving over time from feudalism, to capitalism, to advanced capitalism, to socialism, to communism and finally to a classless, stateless society called Anarchism.
We do not have any historical record of such a society existing, but varying theorists and historians suggest something like Anarchism existed in the Neolithic Age and in Pre-Colonial Africa.
Varying parties and groups attempted to implement so-called “Retrograde Communist” regimes between 1917 and 1991; none from societies that had archived the requisite levels of development. Most of these regimes emerged in post-colonial societies they over threw, or feudal, or peasant societies/ under foreign occupation or amid war they came to power during.
The Cold War, or ‘Third World War” was a series of massive proxy wars fought between U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. between 1945 to 1991 which resulted in Communist defeat in virtually all countries besides China, Vietnam, Cuba, Laos and North Korea.
Only Cuba and Laos maintain anything similar to a primitive Retrograde Communist system, Vietnam and China are one party State-Capitalist states run by so-called “Communist Parties”, though no modern Communist Party is very interested in Socialist Policy.
There are many Tendencies within both Socialism and Communism, as well as many actors and factions laying claim to “Real Socialism”/ “Pure Communism”; the largest ideological divides have to do with divergences amid Lenin/Stalin/Trotsky; advocating or denouncing Socialism in one State; I.e. the U.S.S.R. v. internationalism. Divergence between Stalin/Mao and Russia/China on role and importance of serfs/peasants means to rapid-industrialization. Most Parties today trace an ideological linkage to Marx-Lenin-Stalin, or Marx-Lenin-Trotsky. Or Marx-Lenin-Mao.
Some follow divergent theorists from Yugoslavia, Albanian, Cuba or Tanzania where different modals were tried, or follow intellectual theorists unsullied by the legacy of Retrograde Socialist experiments.
In short Socialism, as per Karl Marx is the stage one the way to Communism. A series of pro-working class policies that dismantle capitalist exploitation and control, replacing it with a more just and equal society. Communism, as per Marx will eventually evolve into a “Stateless/ Classless society” called Anarchism. So they are a continuum. Under Socialism there is still a state and a party to establish the policies of the transformation. The transfer of consolidated unequal wealth to communal wealth. Under Communism a more rigorous shift has occurred to a more “communal existence”, largely explained as the end of social classes and under the final stage there is no longer a need for a state.
“Anarchism”, which is according to Marx the very last stage and most advanced stage has rarely ever been successively implemented as social policy except very briefly during the Spanish Civil War in Catalonia and Russian Civil War in Ukraine. Anarchist militias are usually defeated by Communist or right wing forces rather quickly and have never held any territory long enough to attempt to govern it. Anarchism has several tendencies, I.e. ideological variants. In Anarcho-Syndicalism; the labor federations will declare a general strike and replace capitalism with confederations of labor. In Anarchic-Primitivism; a Luddite, anti-technology sentiment awaits an inevitable collapse of the world system an reversion to primitive chaos. General Anarchist antipathy to parties, hierarchy and authority structures place them quickly at violent odds with almost all other factions. They are usually annihilated by other Left groups or remain marginal in general.
In the West Anarchists for the most part are a counter culture not even closely linked to struggles of the Working Class.
The Anarchist theorist most responsible for developing modern civic applications of Anarchist theory was Murray Bookchin, who devised Social Ecology, Municipal Confederalism; and through his correspondence with Abdullah Ocalan; in essence caused the massive ideological redirection of the Kurdistan Workers Party away from Communism toward Anarchism; a result called Democratic Confederalism.
SOCIAL DEMOCRATS vs. DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS
From 1991 to 2001 there was a Western economist theoretical attempt to declare an “End to History”. It was crude and boorish argument that Capitalism was triumphant and no external threat to the order existed or could exist. Francis Fujiyama was the cheerleader of such Polemics.
This was not reality, only the glee of victory which was put out across Europe and America before 19 Islamic radicals carried out the 9.11 Terror Operation in September of 2001 and the American military Juggernaut was subsequently bled indefinitely in Iraq and Afghanistan in Multi-decade wars of attrition.
During this time, what was left of the left had to present an acceptable discourse for Socialism. A narration de-linked from Russia and China, a less threatening, less radical form of Marx presented in two flavors that had always existed alongside revolutionist leftism; Social Democrats and Democratic Socialism.
In Europe there has been extensive social welfare policies enacted such as single payer heath care, subsidized education, guaranteed income and environmental regulation. A social democratic ideology seeks to use a reformist method to pursue some socialist policies in certain sectors. Such as single payer universal health care, state subsidized education and guaranteeing incomes.
In essence a Social Democrat seeks to raise taxes off a Capitalist economy to fund social programs for the citizen similar to those of an ideal Socialist country, without driving out capital or capitalists.
A “Democratic Socialist”, more explicitly Socialist in their ideology seeks to use a reformist method, elections, to to pursue actual elected socialism. Such as Salvatore Allende in Chile or Mosadegh in Iran.
The major difference in that a Social Democrat doesn’t see the need to abolish most if not all forms of Capitalism while that is at least the stated goal of Democratic Socialist, none has advanced into power so far or survived long enough to show that is a viable method.
If Europe had to pay for their own defense they would not be able to afford such programs either.
AUTHORITARIANS v. POPULISTS
A Populist Party simply says what it must say, and sometimes do what it must do to remain loved by the people it champions. Populists do not have to have any ideology at all only know what their constituency wants to hear or see.
An Authoritarian Party governs with little or no regard for popular will and feedback. It governs with near total disregard for popular will and presumes to lead from a position of power that the public can neither critique or understand. It has no need to consult the public or allow the public to participate in governance. All Retrograde Socialist/Communist regimes and Fascist Regimes are Authoritarian. Most are also Totalitarian, where no feed back or critique is even legal.
Authoritarian rule simply means a wide gradient of systems where the public are not consulted on governance. This could be a one party state system like China, also called State Capitalist, or multiparty parliamentarian systems where really only one party is in power, such as Russian Federation. A monarchy, theocracy, military junta, or basic dictatorship cal all be “Authoritarian”.
This ideology is beyond the Capitalist/Socialist, left/right paradigm. It simply means that there is little to no consultation with the population in ruling them.
A Populist Ideology, often confused with or called “Democracy” means that there are multiple parties, regular elections, checks and balances to power, typically a robust civil society and activist judiciary. In general populism is an ideology which panders to “giving the people what they want” while Popular ideologies have varying levels of participatory government, relatively free media and courts which citizens can achieve justice.
Most of the world’s so-called Democracies are based on the British Parliamentary System or the American Congressional system. Most have two major parties, one liberal and one conservative.
Most have branches of government which are typically an executive or presidency, a congress or parliament with two chambers and a court system. Most have term limits and regulations framed by Constitutional Law.
STATE CAPITALISM, NEOLIBERAL and OTHER STYLES OF OLIGARCHY
The most powerful nation states in the world today are the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.
The U.S.A. and its European North Atlantic Treaty Organization vassal states, including South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, New Zealand and Australia are all forms of “Neoliberal Democracy”. Because of campaign fiance rules and lobbying all of these Euro-American states are still forms of Corporate Oligarchy.
The single party Technocratic Oligarchy, a Communist Party in the People’s Republic of China has been State Capitalist since 1986. People connected to the original Communists who over threw the government in 1949 have enriched themselves in the new nation. There for the Red Princelings are a type of Oligarchy too, a fairy hereditary revolutionary aristocracy profiting off access to levers of one party power.
The Russian Federation is an Explicit Oligarchy formed from a merger of inner party, intelligence, military, police and mafia interests. After the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1991 varying power brokers took control of formerly state assets. Vladimir Putin and United Russia Party successfully reined these varying interests in.
“Oligarchy” simply means rule by an elite group. All three of the world’s great powers are Oligarchies of some form. In the United States these are derived from corporate power, in China from connection to the people who staged the revolution in 1949 and in Russia powerful criminals who seized assets when the state privatized in 1991.