Interesting social sciences/Political regimes

Kinds of political regimes: 



Zbigniew Brzezinski
Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler
Raúl Castro
Kim Jong-Un
Emperor Hirohito
Augusto Pinochet
Leonid Brezhnev



In my opinion they differ from each other on degree of rigidity and width of control of the government in relation to society. A totalitarianism is a political regime at which the ruler controls in a rigid form all spheres of life of society – political, economic, cultural and family. There is an arbitrariness and abuses of the authorities which can break the law in all these spheres under totalitarianism. A authoritarianism is a political regime at which the ruler controls only some spheres of society – political and partly economic or cultural, some arbitrariness of the authorities is possible in these spheres. A democracy is a political regime at which the ruler can control only the political sphere within frameworks of norms of the constitution, that is an arbitrariness of the ruler is impossible in principle.             

Totalitarianism and democracy are on opposite poles on an axis "an arbitrariness of the authorities – political freedom". The authoritarianism is in the middle of this axis.

The American sociologists Karl Joachim Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski have marked out six typical features of the totalitarian states:

  • Wide use of ideology. The ideology names the purpose, the ideology names the approved examples of behavior, the ideology characterizes enemies in the distorted form.
  • One - party system which is headed by the dictator or collective leadership. The only party controls all spheres of life of society. The power, prestige and money proceeds from only party.
  • The state terror, use of tortures and interrogations against enemies of the ruler.
  • Control over mass media. Oppositionists are forced to go underground. Only official point of view is offered to masses and the behavior favorable to the regime is encouraged.
  • Control of stocks of weapons, this control prevents to possibility of armed resistance to the regime.
  • Control over economy by means of the state plans. [1]

Neil Smelzer has named the following features of representative democracy:

  • Individualism. Equality of all people before the law.
  • Constitutional form of government. Human rights. Division of the authorities with the purpose to exclude tyranny and an arbitrariness of the authorities.
  • Elections of rulers and legislators which term of office is limited.
  • Loyal opposition which has the right to criticize the government.[2]

Examples of totalitarian regimes:

  • Communist regimes of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin in the USSR, communist regime Mao Zedong in China and communist regimes in other countries of "the socialist camp". Today, two similar totalitarian regimes have survived, Raul Modesto Castro Rus regime in Cuba and Kim Jong-un regime in North Korea, which keep their populations on the brink of famine. The regime of North Korea tries to survive and threaten other countries by means of creation of nuclear weapon and long-range missiles.
  • Fascist regimes of Adolf Hitler in Germany, Benito Mussolini in Italy. Nationalist regime of the emperor Hirohito in Japan. These regimes were crushed as a result of World War II.
  • Islamic fundamentalist regimes of Taliban in Afghanistan, regime of Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran. Regime of Taliban was crushed as a result of the military operation performed by the USA.      

Examples of authoritarian regimes:

  • The regime of general Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
  • The regime of general Francisco Franco in Spain.
  • The regime of François Duvalier on the island Haiti. [3]

Any elected President who seeks to govern a third term and more, risks to become by authoritarian ruler in fact.

  • through fight of parties on free elections,
  • through fight of factions in ruling party,
  • through fight of cliques in bureaucracy.

Vladimir Lenin has forbidden legal fight of parties for the power on free elections, Joseph Stalin has forbidden fight of factions in ruling party and members of oppositional factions were executed on his order. But fight of bureaucratic cliques for the power can't be forbidden in principle because fight of bureaucratic cliques goes illegally, members of clique can hide the belonging to oppositional clique. It is impossible to forbid to the officials to gather somewhere in the secluded place and to agree together to act in common against other clique. Fight of cliques goes in any smallest bureaucratic organization hourly and everywhere. Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, Konstantin Chernenko and Mikhail Gorbachev have received the Supreme power in Russia as a result of a victory in fight of cliques, only Vladimir Lenin has received the power as a result of the armed seizure of power, and Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev – as a result of a victory on free elections. Danger and vice of fight of cliques as method of fight for the Supreme power, consists that, unlike elections, society can't control results of fight of cliques and society can't choose the ruler, at the same time there is no guarantee that the ruler who won in the fight of the cliques will be by worthy person.

If to forbid free elections, then there is a high probability that the tyrant will become by ruler as a result of a victory in fight of cliques, like Joseph Stalin or the degenerate and mediocre man will become by ruler like Leonid Brezhnev as a result of a victory in fight of cliques, because Joseph Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev were professionals of the highest class in fight of cliques. After the victory in fight for power over Nikita Hrushchov Leonid Brezhnev sought to put to the top posts of the fellow countrymen from Dnipropetrovsk which didn't betray of Leonid Brezhnev even then when Leonid Brezhnev was seriously ill.

Winner in fight of cliques isn't most outstanding person often, but namely winner in fight of cliques is the most cunning, mediocre and perfidious man which seeks to execute after the victory beforehand of most worthy people as the most dangerous to him competitors in future fights for the power. Mediocre and perfidious man seeks to execute the yesterday's colleagues who don't want to submit to him implicitly. The participant of fight of cliques shouldn't disdain to use such bad methods as flattery and voluntary humiliation before own chief, as ability to write denunciations, as ability on intrigues and so on. It is impossible to despise of participants of fight of cliques for use of these bad methods because still nobody cancelled of fight of cliques and nobody won't cancel of fight of cliques in the future. Psychologists on personality type are the most skillful in fight of cliques, speakers are on the second place on success in fight of cliques, technicians are on the third place on success in fight of cliques, and theorists don't enter in any cliques in general most often and theorists lose in fight of cliques. Other personality types despise of psychologists for success in fight of cliques. Speakers make success more often than other personality types in such kinds of the conflict as elections, the armed seizure of power or fight of factions inside of ruling party. Speaker Vladimir Lenin managed to seize power in Russia by means of the October revolution in 1917, but then the psychologist Joseph Stalin managed to take away the power in Russia with help of fight of cliques behind the scenes from Vladimir Lenin and all Lenin's guard (speakers Lev Trotsky, Nikolay Bukharin and so on). Speaker Nikita Khrushchev managed to organize the armed arrest in the Kremlin of the psychologist Lavrentiy Beria in 1953. The position of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union granted the right to appoint to a most important position of colleagues from own clique and to dismiss from most important position of opponents from others clique. This position of the General Secretary allowed to win against the opponents in fight of cliques behind the scenes easily. The position of General Secretary was much stronger in bureaucratic hierarchy of the Soviet Union, than a position of Commander-in-Chief of the army, the head of security service or the prime minister. For this reason General Secretary won always against other chiefs in fight for the supreme power. For example, General Secretary Joseph Stalin has won in fight of cliques of the prime minister Vladimir Lenin, of Commander-in-Chief of Red Army Leon Trotsky and so on. General secretary Nikita Khrushchev has attracted in a conspiracy of marshal Georgy Zhukov who has arrested of Lavrentiy Beria in the Kremlin.

The bureaucracy is able to realize grandiose and often senseless projects which are followed waste of huge human and material resources often. Examples of such useless projects are turn of the northern rivers to the south (Northern river reversal) by means of use of atomic explosions in the USSR, flooding of huge territories as a result of construction of hydroelectric power stations on the plain, drying of the Aral Sea as a result of the wrong construction of irrigating systems in Central Asia.

The regime of a personal power under socialism was brought to the logical end – to hereditary monarchy – in Northern Korea where Kim Il Sung has given a throne to own son – to Kim Jong-il, then Kim Jong-il has given a throne to own son – Kim Jong-un.   

Democracy and Totalitarianism


It is a book of French philosopher and political scientist Raymond Aron. He compares the political systems of the Soviet Union and the democratic countries of the West.

Party history

Raymond Aron (1966) by Erling Mandelmann

Raymond Aron has divided the history of the Soviet Communist Party into 5 stages:[4]

  • Before November, 1917: Vladimir Lenin wanted to create a party of professional revolutionaries with strict discipline. According to plan of Vladimir Lenin such party could organize the successful capture of power and such party could incite of people to revolt, but not speak in parliament about socialism under the accompaniment of venomous laughter of deputies. Elections of deputies on congresses of the Communist Party were held honestly at first, but Vladimir Lenin manipulated by delegations later and Vladimir Lenin could impose his will to deputies usually.
  • 1917-1923: Discussions took place between party factions. Vladimir Lenin was in the minority quite often, but colleagues trusted him blindly, because experience confirmed correctness of Vladimir Lenin always. The value of the secretariat of the Central Committee began to grow at this stage, secretaries of sections and delegates began to be appointed rather than elected increasingly, the bureaucratic apparatus headed by the first secretary Joseph Stalin began to strengthen own power.
  • 1923-1930: Joseph Stalin has won a victory over other colleagues of Vladimir Lenin at the third stage because Joseph Stalin relied on power of the bureaucratic apparatus. Leon Trotsky could speak anything, but most of delegates of a congress of Communist Party voted for the point of view of Joseph Stalin because most of delegates received own positions through the secretariat of the Central Committee and most of delegates was obliged personally to these to Joseph Stalin. Joseph Stalin was a gray mediocre personality, Joseph Stalin wasn't able to speak from a tribune and Joseph Stalin spoke in Russian badly, but Joseph Stalin was well able to do the main thing in fight of bureaucratic cliques – Joseph Stalin was able to advance of own friends on key posts in bureaucratic apparatus and Joseph Stalin was able to dismiss from bureaucratic apparatus of people from other cliques. Joseph Stalin maneuvered skillfully: Joseph Stalin has entered into alliance with Grigory Zinovyev and Lev Kamenev against Leon Trotsky at first, then Joseph Stalin has entered into alliance with Nikolai Bukharin against Grigory Zinovyev, Lev Kamenev and Leon Trotsky. All these victories of Joseph Stalin were played at congresses of the Communist Party where Joseph Stalin managed to receive a majority of votes always.
  • 1930-1953: Joseph Stalin has received almost absolute power at the fourth stage, Joseph Stalin was surrounded by colleagues from his clique with whom Joseph Stalin conferred, but Joseph Stalin imposed own will always by the principle "we have consulted with comrades here, and I have solved". Joseph Stalin inspired the fear to own colleagues. Factions were liquidated ruthlessly. Tyranny is tyranny. Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Grigory Zinovyev, Lev Kamenev and Nikolay Bukharin have constructed the terrible machine of the power which has gobbled up them.
  • After 1953: Rivalry were developed at the fifth stage between Stalin's successors – Nikita Khrushchev, Lavrentiy Beria and Georgy Malenkov who, according to Lenin's recommendation, tried not to pass "bloody line" and who tried not to be engaged in self-destruction. The exception was made only for Lavrentiy Beria, Lavrentiy Beria was executed because Lavrentiy Beria was considered as the applicant in tyrant.

The Soviet constitution—fiction and reality


Bolsheviks have dissolved the constituent assembly under the threat of weapon in 1918 because Bolsheviks have lost on free elections to party of the Right Socialist Revolutionaries. Then Bolsheviks have taken one for another 4 constitutions: in 1918, 1924, 1936 and 1977.

A part of the population – merchants, priests, landowners – lost electoral rights under the constitution of 1918. Bolsheviks have granted to worker more electoral rights, than to peasants. Peasants elected one deputy from 125 thousands voters, and workers elected one deputy from 25 thousands voters. This constitution of 1918, as well as the subsequent constitutions, was a fiction, an empty piece of paper because the real power belonged to the Communist Party. For example, each republic in the USSR had the right of an exit from federation under the constitution of 1924, but if somebody just tried to give a hint on this subject, then he "was erased into prison dust".

Discrimination between the town and the village has disappeared in the constitution of 1936. This became unnecessary because of ample opportunities of a juggling of results of elections and terror against dissidents, as a result 99,9% of voters voted for communists according to official figures. Communists tried to achieve of absolute participation of voters in elections at the same time – election commissions went on wigwams of reindeer breeders, election commissions went on apartments with ballot boxes. Communists considered refusal of the farce with vote as a protest against the existing regime. Meetings of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union have turned into performances for expression of approval and consent with the government. Citizens had all civil rights under the constitution of 1936, but these rights could be violated sometimes "according to the interests of workers", these words masked an arbitrariness of the authorities, the Ministry of Internal Affairs could apply repressions contrary to the constitution and laws sometimes. The constitution in the USSR is a performance for edification of the abroad. If the West attaches significance to the constitution, then Communists showed to West that Communists have nothing to learn at the West.

Bolsheviks proceeded from the idea about temporary dictatorship for the sake of final anarchy. Karl Marx has made the forecast that dictatorship of the proletariat is necessary at a transitional stage to communism. The result was such that tyranny managed to be constructed, but death of the state remained by utopia. Other parties, even socialist – Mensheviks, anarchists, Social Revolutionaries were forbidden under power of Bolshevics. The Bolsheviks called of this socialist parties as traitors.

It is possible to tell about affairs of Bolsheviks: "People make the history, but people don't understand history which people made", It can to tell shorter "Bolsheviks don't know that bolsheviks create". This could not have been otherwise, when free discussions are forbidden, censorship is established, and critics of a party course are destroyed ruthlessly.[5]

Ideology and terror

Genrikh Jagoda, head of the Soviet secret police from 1934 to 1936. Yagoda was shot in 1937.

According to the Bolshevist theory, the October revolution became a symbol of a victory of the world proletariat, Actually October revolution became an indicator of a role of small groups in the history of mankind. A symbol of the Soviet oligarchy was false elections and welcome exclamations at demonstrations. One social democrat spoke on a meeting in Germany in 1932 about an inevitable victory of socialist revolution: "We can wait because dialectics of history on our side!". Adolf Hitler has come to the power several days later, and the speaker has ended up in a concentration camp despite dialectics of history.

Bolsheviks have rejected this belief in destiny, Vladimir Lenin was not ashamed to act contrary to what Vladimir Lenin had called for in previous articles, Vladimir Lenin was not ashamed to act contrary to Marx 's theory. As a result decrees about painting, music, history and biology have appeared under the Soviet power. Thanks to orthodoxy (to aspiration to backwardness) Soviet science was thrown far back, and such world famous scientists as Nikolai Vavilov and Pitirim Sorokin have died in the prison or were sent abroad. A formalism in music or abstract painting were severely criticized. The National Socialists were negative about abstract painting too. The main thing was not to lag behind the official point of view and not to outstrip the official point of view in the humanities under socialism. Interpretation of history changed depending on a situation under socialism. For example, Joseph Stalin has said in the latest work that Joseph Stalin considers the requirement to sell the equipment from machine tractor station to kolkhozes as counterrevolutionary requirement, but, contrary to these recommendations, Nikita Khrushchev has realized this requirement.The coming to power of the new ruler in Soviet Russia caused the need to rewrite textbooks on history.

Terror has a function that is to intimidate the people, to break of will of people to resist. Adolf Hitler 's regime used the same tactics in the conquered countries whereas Joseph Stalin used the same tactics in his own country.

Oliver Cromwell and Maximilien Robespierre used terror too. As an example of state terror Raymond Aron wrote that 70% of the delegates of XVII congress of Communist Party (1934) were declared as "enemies of the people" in years of "Great Purge". Almost all party veterans were executed or sent to the Gulag during "Great Purge" of 1936-1938. Almost all party veterans admitted their own "guilt" during the "Moscow trials", after tortures often.

Raymond Aron quoted Montesquieu's words about despotism: "The fear seizes all people in society imperceptibly, except one tyrant". Nikita Khrushchev wrote that when the Joseph Stalin called you, it was never known whether Joseph Stalin wants to consult with you or Joseph Stalin wants to send you to prison. Raymond Aron concluded that the fear was part of the Communist experiment.

Raymond Aron allocated three types of terror in the USSR:

  • Punishment for "counterrevolutionary activity" or for "social-dangerous acts" according to the criminal code. The sentence could be pronounced in absence of the defender or defendant. The sentence wasn't by subject for the appeal.
  • Administrative courts on the reduced legal proceedings which were applied against rich peasants ("Kulaks"). Everything had to be complete for several days without the right on protection and the appeal. Execution followed within a day after adjudgement when there was no time left any more for the appeal of a sentence.
  • Deportation of the whole peoples – Karachays, Kalmyks, Crimean Tatars, Chechens, Ingush people, Balkars, Poles, Germans of the Volga region, Bulgarians, Greeks, Koreans, Meskhetian Turks. Ukrainians have avoided this fate because Ukrainians was too much – more than 40 million. [6]

Dictatorship of the proletariat


According to Karl Marx, power must belong to the proletariat under socialism. The proletariat were a minority of the population in Russia before the October Revolution 1917. Rymon Aron concluded that statement "the power must belong to the proletariat" was demagogy, because dictatorship of the proletariat did not take into account the opinion of the majority of the population. In practice, according to Rymon Aron, the power belonged to the ruling group of Communist Party. Social democrats (so-called "Mensheviks") considered that socialist revolution will doom of workers on half a century of despotism. The leader of 2 International Karl Kautsky has told after the October revolution the well-known words: "It is not dictatorship of the proletariat, but dictatorship of party over the proletariat". Leon Trotsky justified of power capture in 1917, but Leon Trotsky criticized of soviet bureaucracy. However, as Rymon Aron specifies that the bureaucracy is necessary for management of a planned economy: the number of officials has surpassed of number of industrial proletariat by August, 1920. Officials were 4 million, and workers were 1,7 million. The Soviet bureaucracy wanted to see of Joseph Stalin as own leader instead of Leon Trotsky with his theory of "permanent revolution"; revolution in another countries was not necessary for Russian bureaucracy. Leon Trotsky began to doubt in the truth of Marxism at the end of his life. [7].

Similarity between fascism and communism:

  • Similarity of sources: [8].– the forcible seizure of power by the armed minority. These extremist parties have forbidden activity of other parties and free multi-party elections after seizure of power, first of all, these extremist parties have condemned liberalism. There was at power one party which has been armed with the inspiring ideology.
  • Combination of ideology and terror. These regimes used terror widely against ideological enemies, these regimes considered of ideological enemies as more dangerous, than criminals. The working class is one of the main sources of replenishment of party ranks under this regimes.

Russian Empire


There were following features of similarity between the USSR and Russian Imperia:

  • Existence of bureaucratic hierarchy.
  • State ideology (Orthodoxy or communism).
  • The alerted relation to the West that was shown in a dispute between Westerners and Slavophiles.[9].
  • Soviet regime and Russian Imperia are an Asiatic mode of production.

Citations and references.

  1. Neil Smelser. Sociology. New-Jersey Prentice Hall 1988. Chapter 17. Political system. Types of the political power.
  2. Neil Smelser. Sociology. New-Jersey Prentice Hall 1988. Chapter 17. Political system. Democratic states.
  3. Neil Smelser. Sociology. New-Jersey Prentice Hall 1988. Chapter 17. Political system. Authoritative states.
  4. Raymond Aron. Democracy and Totalitarianism: A Theory of Political Regimes. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969. Chapter XIII. Soviet Constitution - fiction and reality
  5. Raymond Aron. Democracy and Totalitarianism: A Theory of Political Regimes. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969. Chapter XIII. Soviet Constitution - fiction and reality
  6. Raymond Aron. Democracy and Totalitarianism: A Theory of Political Regimes. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969. Chapter XIV. Ideology and terror.
  7. Raymond Aron. Democracy and Totalitarianism: A Theory of Political Regimes. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969. Chapter XVI.The Soviet regime and attempts to understand his.
  8. Raymond Aron. Democracy and Totalitarianism: A Theory of Political Regimes. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969. Chapter XII. Silk thread and sword blade.
  9. Raymond Aron. Democracy and Totalitarianism: A Theory of Political Regimes. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969. Chapter XVII. Where is the Soviet regime going?