IT Pilgrimage

A Journey From IT to Freedom

Forms of Government in Honor of Fourth of July

Posted by IT Pilgrim on July 7, 2008

In honor of Fourth of July Weekend, I thought I would do a quick governmental review. I have noticed that people often mistake the different forms of government and what they really entail, mainly, because of the emotional bias involved with the various forms. So here’s a quick run-down, then I’ll give a little more info.

  • Anarchism – Rule by none
  • Authoritarianism – Including Autocracy and Oligarchy – Rule by few or one.
  • Democracy – Rule by any
Don\'t Tread On Me

Anarchism – there are many forms of anarchism, including anarchist communism, anarcho-capitalism, libertarian socialism, most advocating some form of abolition of “The State” as a ruling structure. It is characterized by the strong desire for complete personal freedom and no invasion into citizen’s lives by rulers or the state.
Anarchist communism is a theory of removing the structure of the state in favor of voluntary associations and councils which everyone can use to satisfy their basic needs.
Anarcho-capitalism is also know as free market anarchism. It is a political theory that replaces the state with a totally free market. Security for the masses being provided by voluntary and competitive organizations rather than being paid for by taxes and non-regulation of economic works, allowing the demands of the free market to structure society.
Green Anarchism is based on environmental concerns. Sometimes referred to as anti-civilization anarchists they view civilization as a exploitive and damaging to the environment.

Authoritarianism– Defined as a form of a social contract between the state and the people with strict adherence to the authority of the state or party, often enforced with oppressive laws and violence. Citizens are subject to state authority over much of their lives with little in the way of civil liberties and personal freedom. Including Absolute monarchies, Communism, Dictatorships, Fascism and even some democracies a lot of these forms of government tend to be short-lived and vulnerable to take-over.

Absolute Monarchies , states ruled by a single leader, usually an inherited position, who has complete authority. The level of control each monarch asserts over their people is highly dependant on the individual in power at the time.

Communism, can be either authoritarian or totalitarian, depending on those in charge. Originally meant as a stateless society, the authoritarian stage is meant to be a stepping stone on the path to true communism.
Dictatorship is an autocratic form of government where all the power is held by a single, often self-appointed ruler. Often the result of a military rule, dictatorship is rule without the consent of those being ruled.

Democracy, while usually considered to be an entirely different form of government, can become authoritarian as the state gains more and more control over people’s lives and as the people sacrifice personal freedom in the name of security. Referred to sometimes as a Police State, some believe this is the current direction of the United States.

US Flag

US Flag

Democracy– defined as a rule by the people, or a rule by majority, the theory is that all the citizens would have equal access to power and that they would all have the same recognized freedoms and liberties. Originally brought about in Ancient Greece, most current forms are in fact forms of a Republic, characterized by representative decision making, as opposed to people directly voting of each and every single issue, which would be participatory democracy.

This is just a quick list, the 5 minute run-down if you will. I would hope that people would read this and take a minute to think and consider. Consider which form of government you are under, and what you can personally do to make it better.

Photo Credits via Flickr: purpleslog , Soul Pusher, and Stuck In Customs

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