The first thing to do when knowing the term autocracy is to discover its etymological origin. In this case we have to expose that it is a word called cultism that is the result of the sum of two Greek elements:
-The term "cars", which can be translated as "by itself."
-The noun "cratos", which is synonymous with "government" and "power."
More specifically there are those who believe that autocracy was a word that was shaped in the early nineteenth century by the poet Robert Southey. It was determined that he shaped him to refer to Napoleon Bonaparte. However, it seems that this is not the case because not only was it already used by the Russian czars but it can even be found in works by Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle or Plutarch.
The type of autocracy is called government whose superior law is the will of a single individual .
In an autocracy, a person holds the entire power . The notion can also be used when a set of subjects exercise power without limitations or regulations.
Among the main characteristics that define an autocracy we can highlight the following:
-The power is in the hands of a single person, which is what concentrates it completely.
- The habitual thing is that in an autocracy the human rights are violated to all the people who think differently from who holds the power.
-Violence and corruption are common in any autocracy.
-As a general rule, autocracy can be defined by terms such as authoritarianism, despotism and tyranny.
- It is also necessary to establish that in an autocracy it is often the case that an oligarchy is shaped, which means that both those who hold power and their relatives end up benefiting from the situation.
The idea of autocracy arose in a consolidated way in Russia . The tsars they were authorities that, when making decisions and implementing measures, did not face any conditioning. He absolutism from Louis XIV in France It is also often considered as an autocracy.
In general, all ancient monarchies They were approaching autocracy. The king came to power by inheritance or divine will and did not have to be accountable to any organism . The rest of the people, therefore, lacked the possibility of participating in political life (they did not vote for their representatives, for example).
With the advance of the history , the monarchies had to adapt to the principles of democracy. Thus arose the parliamentary monarchies and the constitutional monarchies , where the powers of the king are limited and there are other figures and agencies of power (prime minister, president, legislators, etc.).
It can be said, in short, that the opposite of autocracy is the democracy . In a democratic system, power is distributed in society through various mechanisms. This makes the decisions taken by the rulers have legitimacy since whoever governs does not do so in his name, but on behalf of the people.