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Types of Government

There are many forms of government. Some are just adjustments of another type of government. Below is a list with a short description. You may wish to do further research to understand each one better so as to know what to use and what not to use in any story or world you built.



Anarchy: No form of rule is available either by choice or by an extreme event like a civil war.

Aristocracy: is a form of government where power is kept by an elite (from a caste, class, family or even some individuals).

Authoritarianism: describes a form of social control characterized by strict obedience to the authority of a state or organization, often maintaining and enforcing control through the use of oppressive measure. Authoritarian regimes are strongly hierarchical.. In an authoritarian form of government, citizens are subject to state authority in many aspects of their lives, including many matters that other political philosophies would see as erosion of civil liberties and freedom. There are various degrees of authoritarianism; even very democratic and liberal states will show authoritarianism to some extent, for example in areas of national security. Usually, an authoritarian government is undemocratic and has the power to govern without consent of those being governed.

Autocracy: is a form of government in which the political power is held by a single self appointed ruler. The term autocrat is derived from the Greek word autocratic (lit. "self-ruler", or to: "rule by one's self"). Compare with oligarchy (literally means rule by the few) and democracy (rule by the people).Today it is usually seen as synonymous with despot, tyrant and/or dictator, though each of these terms originally had a separate and distinct meaning.

Communism: is a term used by many political scientists to describe a form of government in which the state operates under a one-party system and declares allegiance to Marxism-Leninism or a derivative thereof. Communist states may have several legal political parties, but the Communist Party is constitutionally guaranteed a nt role in government. Consequently, the institutions of the state and of the Communist Party become intimately entwined.Historically, the primary features of a Communist state are a one-party dictatorship, totalitarian control of the economy and society, repression of civil liberties, centralized economic planning resulting in enormous economic failures, including shortages of vital products, sometimes to the extent of famine, militarism, and omnipresent propaganda to cover up the systematic failures of the government. Genocide is a common occurrence in Communist states.

Corporatocracy: (sometimes corporocracy) is a neologism coined by proponents of the Global Justice Movement to describe a government bowing to pressure from corporate entities. According to the Global Justice Movement, while anyone can become a shareholder in principle, in reality it is frequently only the wealthy who can afford to own enough stock to directly influence the voting (and hence the activities) of a large corporation. As a result, the corporatocracy might be considered somewhat synonymous with plutocracy, government by the rich.

Deomcracy: In political theory, Democracy describes a small number of related forms of government and also a political philosophy. A common feature of democracy as currently understood and practiced is competitive elections. Competitive elections are usually seen to require freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and some degree of rule of law. Civilian control of the military is often seen as necessary to prevent military dictatorship and interference with political affairs. In some countries, democracy is based on the philosophical principle of equal rights. Majority rule is a major principle of democracy, though many democratic systems do not adhere to this strictly - representative democracy is more common than direct democracy, and minority rights are often protected from what is sometimes called "the tyranny of the majority". Popular sovereignty is common but not universal motivating philosophy for establishing a democracy. Direct democracy, classically termed pure democracy, comprises a form of democracy and theory of civics wherein sovereignty is lodged in the assembly of all citizens who choose to participate. Depending on the particular system, this assembly might pass executive motions, make law, elect and dismiss officials and conduct trials. Where the assembly elects officials, these are executive agents or direct representatives, bound to the will of the people. Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of popular sovereignty by the people's representatives. The representatives form an independent ruling body (for an election period) charged with the responsibility of acting in the people's interest, but not as their proxy representativesÔ€”i.e., not necessarily always according to their wishes, but with enough authority to exercise swift and resolute initiative in the face of changing circumstances. It is often contrasted with direct democracy, where representatives are absent or are limited in power as proxy representatives.

Despotism: is a form of government by a single authority, either an individual or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute political power. In its classical form, a despotism is a state where one single person, called a Despot, wields all the power and authority, and everyone else is considered his slave. This form of despotism was the first known form of statehood and civilization; the Pharaoh of Egypt is exemplary of the classical Despot. The term now implies tyrannical rule. However, in enlightened absolutism (also known as benevolent or enlightened despotism), which came to prominence in 18th century Europe, absolute monarchs used their authority to institute a number of reforms in the political systems and societies of their countries. This movement was probably largely triggered by the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment.

Dictatorship: is an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by a dictator. It has three possible meanings: Roman dictator was a political office of the Roman Republic. Roman dictators were allocated absolute power during times of emergency. Their power was originally neither arbitrary nor unaccountable, being subject to law and requiring retrospective justification. There were no such dictatorships after the beginning of the 2nd century BC, and later dictators such as Sulla and the Roman Emperors exercised power much more personally and arbitrarily. In contemporary usage, dictatorship refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state. For some scholars, like Joseph C.W. Chan from the University of Hong Kong, dictatorship is a form of government that has the power to govern without consent of those being governed, while totalitarianism describes a state that regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior of the people. In other words, dictatorship concerns the source of the governing power (where the power comes from) and totalitarianism concerns the scope of the governing power (what the government regulates). In this sense, dictatorship (government without people's consent) is a contrast to democracy (government whose power comes from people) and totalitarianism (government controls every aspect of people's life) corresponds to liberalism (government emphasizes individual right and liberty). Though the definitions of the terms differ, they are related in reality as most of the dictatorship states tend to show totalitarian characteristics. When governments' power does not come from the people, their power is not limited and tend to expand their scope of power to control every aspect of people's life.

Feudalism: a term first used in the early modern period (17th century), in its most classic sense refers to a Medieval European political "system" comprising a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals, and fiefs. Although derived from the Latin word feodum (fief), then, in use, the term feudalism and a "system" it purports to describe was unknown to people living in the Medieval Period.

Kleptocracy: (sometimes cleptocracy) (root: klepto+kratein = rule by thieves) is a government that extends the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats) at the expense of the population. A kleptocratic government often goes beyond merely awarding the prime contracts and civil service posts to friends (a common feature of corrupt government. They also create projects and programs at a policy level which serve the primary purpose of funneling money out of the treasury and into the pockets of the executive with little if any regard for the logic, viability or necessity of those projects.

Kritarchy: is a political system based on equal justice for all and the concept of natural rights. It differs from other political systems by its application of the rules of justice. Under kritarchy even courts of law, police forces and other organisations that look after the day-to-day business of maintaining law, are denied any power, privilege or immunity that is not in conformity with natural law. Every person is entitled to offer judicial or police-services to willing others; no person can be forced to become a client of any court of law or police force against his will. In short, under kritarchy judicial and police-services are offered on a free market, which is considered to be the natural law of the human world insofar as exchanges of goods and services are concerned. Kritarchy is essentially the natural rights form of anarcho-capitalism seen from a legal perspective. A krytocracy should be contrasted with a kritarchy. Both are governments ruled by judges, but the difference lies in the manner of the judgement's conception. Judgements in a krytocracy are arrived at by the personal opinions of the judge, whereas judgements in a kritarchy are arrived at by judging whether a person's natural rights have been violated.

Meritocracy: is a system of a government or another organization wherein appointments are made and responsibilities are given based on demonstrated ability (merit) and talent rather than by wealth (plutocracy), family connections (nepotism), class privilege, cronyism, popularity (as in democracy) or other historical determinants of social position and political power. The word "meritocracy" is now also often used to describe a type of society where wealth, position, and social status are in part assigned through competition or demonstrated talent and competence, on the premise that positions of trust, responsibility and social prestige should be earned, not inherited or assigned on arbitrary quotas. Meritocracy is used both to describe or even criticize competitive societies, that could accept large inequalities of income, wealth and status amongst the population as a function of perceived talent, merit, competence, motivation and effort.

Minarchy: is a type of government that has a minimal government. Its only purpose is to protect personal property and freedom. And perhaps provide defenses from nonminarchial government's invading armies.

Monarchy: from the Greek "one," and "to rule," is a form of government in which a monarch, usually a single person, is the head of state. Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government where the monarch has the power to rule his or her land or country and its citizens freely, with some laws or legally-organized direct opposition in force. Although some religious authority may be able to discourage the monarch from some acts and the sovereign is expected to act according to custom, in an absolute monarchy there is no constitution or body of law above what is decreed by the sovereign (king or queen). As a theory of civics, absolute monarchy puts total trust in well-bred and well-trained monarchs raised for the role from birth. A constitutional monarchy or limited monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of state, as opposed to an absolute monarchy, where the monarch is not bound by a constitution and is the sole source of political power. (The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy even though it does not have an actual written constitution.) The process of government and law within a constitutional monarchy is usually very different from that in an absolute monarchy. Most constitutional monarchies take on a parliamentary form, like the United Kingdom, Canada or Japan, where the monarch may be regarded as the head of state but the prime minister, whose power derives directly or indirectly from elections, is head of government.

Ochlocracy: (Latin: ochlocratia) is government by mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities. In English, the word mobocracy is sometimes used as a synonym.. As a pejorative for majoritarianism, it's akin to the Latin phrase mobile vulgus meaning "the easily moveable crowd."

Oligarchy: (Greek Oligarkha) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or military powers). The word oligarchy is from the Greek words for "few" and "rule" (arkho). Compare with autocracy (rule by one person) and democracy (power in the people).

Plutocracy: refers to the rule or power through wealth or by the wealthy. In a plutocracy, the degree of economic inequality is high while the level of social mobility is low. This can apply to a multitude of government systems, as the key elements of plutocracy transcend and often occur concurrently with the features of those systems. The word plutocracy (Modern Greek: ¤€╬╗╬┐¤…¤„╬┐╬║¤ü╬▒¤„╬»╬▒ - ploutokratia) itself is derived from the ancient Greek root ploutos, meaning wealth and kratein, meaning to rule or to govern.

Republic: is a state or country that is not led by an hereditary monarch, where the people of that state or country (or at least a part of that people) have impact on its government, and that is usually indicated as a republic. Mixed government, also known as a mixed constitution, is a form of government that integrated facets of democracy, oligarchy, and monarchy. Mixed government means that there are some issues (often defined in a constitution) where the state is governed by the majority of the people, while in some other issues (also often defined in a constitution) the state is governed by few or by a single person. A constitutional republic is a state where the head of state and other officials are elected as representatives of the people, and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over citizens. In a constitutional republic, executive, legislative, and judicial powers are separated into distinct branches and the will of the majority of the population is tempered by protections for individual rights so that no individual or group has absolute power. The fact that a constitution exists that limits the government's power makes the state constitutional. That the head(s) of state and other officials are chosen by election, rather than inheriting their positions, and that their decisions are subject to judicial review makes a state republican. A parliamentary republic or parliamentary constitutional republic is a form of a republic which operates under a parliamentary system of government. Socialist Republic is a republic governed on the principles of socialism usually by a communist or a socialist party. They are usually focused on a centrally planned economy, but sometimes they mix their economy with elements of a free market A capitalist republic is a concept of government in Marxist thought.. Whereas a socialist republic is a "dictatorship of the proletariat", a capitalist republic is a "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie". In On New Democracy, Mao Zedong distinguished his vision of a New Democratic Republic from a capitalist republic, which he characterized as an "old European-American form" of government that was "out of date".

Single-party: state or one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election. Sometimes the term de facto single-party state is used to describe a nt-party system where unfair laws or practices prevent the opposition from legally getting power. Some single party states only outlaw opposition parties, while allowing subordinate allied parties to exist as part of a permanent coalition such as a popular front. Within their own countries, nt parties ruling over single-party states are often referred to simply as the Party.

Thalassocracy: a naval based government where most of the work and life is on the sea or seacoast of a nation. A historical example of this was the phoenicians with their independent cities states and independent colonies.

Technocracy: ("techno" from the Greek tekhne for skill, "cracy" from the Greek kratos for "power") is a governmental or organizational system where decision makers are selected based upon how highly skilled and qualified they are, rather than how much political capital they hold. Technocrats are individuals with technical training and occupations who perceive many important societal problems as being solvable, often while proposing technology-focused solutions. The administrative scientist Gunnar K. A. Njalsson theorizes that technocrats are primarily driven by their cognitive "problem-solution mindsets" and only in part by particular occupational group interests. Their activities and the increasing success of their ideas are thought to be a crucial factor behind the modern spread of technology and the largely ideological concept of the "Information Society." Technocrats may be distinguished from "econocrats" and "bureaucrats" whose problem-solution mindsets differ from those of the technocrats.

Theocracy: is a form of government in which a God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler. For believers, theocracy is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state, either in a personal incarnation or, more often, via religious institutional representatives (i.e.: a church), replacing or ting civil government. Theocratic governments enact theonomic laws. A theocracy may be monist in form, where the administrative hierarchy of the government is identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two 'arms,' but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.

Theodemocracy: is a political system theorized by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. As the name implies, theodemocracy was meant to be a fusion of traditional republican democracy as practiced under the United States Constitution combined with theocratic elements. He described it as a system under which God and the people held the power to rule in righteousness. Smith believed that this would be the form of government that would rule the world upon Christ's Second Coming, which he believed was imminent. It was also a partial influence for the short lived State of Deseret in the American West.

Theonomy: has been used to describe various views which see the God revealed in the Bible as the sole source of human ethics. Using the word in this sense, Cornelius Van Til argued that there "is no alternative but that of theonomy or autonomy" (Christian Theistic Ethics p. 134). Among Reformed Christians, John Calvin, the Continental Reformers, the Westminster Divines and other Puritans, and Christian Reconstructionists, have developed similar ethical perspectives, but the term is not limited to the Reformed. The non-Reformed theologian Paul Tillich used the term "theonomy" to describe his ethical perspectives, albeit in a radically different way from its use by Reformed writers in the Christian Reconstructionist movement. Between the Reformed on the one hand and Tillich on the other are found various Evangelical, Dispensationalist (usually not mentioned outside systematic theology texts) and Roman Catholic theonomies.

Timocracy: Constitutional theory defines a timocracy as either: a state where only property owners may participate in government; or a government where rulers are selected and perpetuated based on the degree of honour they hold relative to others in their society, peers and the ruling class. The word derives from the Greek words timo / ¤„╬╣╬╝╬« , meaning "honour" or "worth", and -kratia meaning "rule" (as in government). Rule by the ambitious - e.g. Auxiliaries te in this form of government - e.g. Sparta in Plato's time.

Totalitarianism: is state regulation of nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain themselves in political power by means of secret police, propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, personality cults, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, single-party states, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of tactics.

Transitional: This is a type of government that comes into existence as a nation goes from one type of government to another.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the information.

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