The political regime is a set of forms and methods of political power. At first glance it comes to assessing only the functional component in the structure of the political system. In fact, the political regime characterizes the conditions of work of state bodies, political organizations and movements, and the specifics of political relations and forms of ideology, the type of political culture, etc. It reflects the level of political freedom and the relationship between power, society and the individual. In other words, the political system embodies the essential features of the political system as a whole.
Scientists distinguish totalitarian, authoritarian and democratic regimes.
A totalitarian regime means full government control over the entire life of society and the life of every person. Many political scientists agree that the essential features of a totalitarian regime are:
– The official state ideology, which is mandatory for all citizens and does not admit the existence of other ideologies;
– Monopoly on power is the only mass political party, whose leader in the public mind is endowed with supernatural features, creating a personality cult of the leader;
– Total police control over the whole society;
– Control of the ruling party over the media, the rigid censorship;
– Centralized economy, a system of bureaucratic management.
Authoritarian regime is characteristic of the political system in which power has signs of the dictatorship of one person or group of persons (the oligarchic groups, the military junta and the like). This power is not under the control of citizens. It can rule by laws, which takes at its discretion, the main thing – relying on force. However, as a rule, the authoritarian regime does not use terror. The most important feature of the authoritarian regime is the monopolization of policy in the absence of total control over society. This means that the political opposition is not allowed, but the economy, culture, religion can develop without government interference. Thus, retained a certain freedom of action in different areas, but the policy is the exclusive function of government.
Democratic regime is based on a framework of principles and values, among which first principle is democracy. It should not be interpreted as all citizens have the same interests and aspirations. Therefore, democracy is realized primarily through majority rule. This means that mechanisms exist to ascertain the will of the majority, the main among them are elections and referendums. Citizens vote by taking the politically important decisions only in the first case, the election of deputies to the supreme legislative body or highest official in the state, while the second – the acceptance or rejection decisions on the most important public issues (such as the Constitution).
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