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Authoritarianism Is Authority Of State In Republic History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

“Authoritarianism describes a form of government characterized by an emphasis on the authority of state in a republic or union. It is a political system controlled by typically non-elected rulers who usually permit some degree of individual freedom.” [1] Authoritarianism is a form of government where high-status people want to have everything and give orders to the people, regardless their beliefs and ideals. The Authoritarian system does not accept different opinions and always maintains social control.

In this essay I will discuss authoritarianism but from two different perspectives. The books that I will use are Animal Farm by George Orwell and In The Time of The Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. After showing both perspectives of authoritarianism I will compare and contrast them and try to show that authoritarianism is present on the side of the revolutionaries as well as on the side of the dictators. This will be discussed on the basis of the examples that are found in the books.

Animal Farm is a book that is based on the Russian revolution. It talks about the process that the animals had to go through in order to become free from humans. In this farm the animals are divided into two sections. In the first section there are the pigs, which have all the power; they are the intellectuals because they can read and write. In the second section are the rest of the animals which are not free, they are totally controlled by the pigs. The rest of the animals are the ones who do all the work and receive less food. The book describes how the rest of animals began their revolution and the principles they had, but as time passed the pigs started to change these principles and this is how authoritarianism became a factor in their revolution, against authoritarian humans.

In the Time of the Butterflies also talks about a political movement, three sisters who were against their government. This story took place in the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo era. This book talks about the repressions that were made against Dominican people. In this book we have the presence of authoritarianism from Trujillo. One thing that characterized Trujillo is that he was a dictator who had no heart when he eliminated his opponents. A clear example is when Trujillo sent to kill the Mirabel sisters and hides all the evidence so people would think that it was an accident.

In Animal Farm there are many acts of authoritarianism “The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia destroy any possibility of a Utopia. While this novel portrays corrupt leadership as the flaw in revolution (and not the act of revolution itself), it also shows how potential ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if smooth transition to a people’s government isn’t satisfied.” [2] This novel basically talks about how the pigs took control of the farm and the way they treated the rest of the animals.

The pigs that were the most important animals were inspired by some Russian revolutionaries because of the actions they took and the role they played in the revolution against Mr.Jones. Napoleon was the pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after the Rebellion and his character was based on Joseph Stalin. Napoleon was a bad leader because he forced everyone to follow his orders. For example when he forced all the hens to give up their eggs because he had already sold them and the hens decided to fight against this order by throwing their eggs. He also decides to take the puppies and makes them his personal army. “Napoleon took them away from their mothers, saying that he would make himself responsible for their education. He took them up into a loft that could only be reached by a ladder” [3] the pigs were the only ones that had the capacity to walk on two legs in occasions and therefore only napoleon could reach them.

Napoleon decided to start killing the hens that did not want to follow his orders. At the beginning of the revolution they had their commandments which were sacred but then napoleon took the decision to change each commandment but to his personal interests. “No animal shall kill another animal [4] ” but when he started killing the animals that did not obey him, he added to this commandments “no animal shall kill another animal without a reason. [5] ” Acts like these make him a dictator with in a revolutionary movement. It is evident that authoritarianism is present on the side of the revolutionaries. For example the behavior that the pigs had towards the other animals is similar to the behavior that Trujillo had towards the rebels and like these example we find many more.

Before Napoleon there was another pig that was in charge of the revolution he was a good leader and he was inspired by Leon Trotsky, he was intelligent, passionate, eloquent, and had the sympathy of the rest of the animals but unfortunately he was liquidated by Napoleon. And then there is another pig that is in charge of spreading propaganda. This pig is controlled by Napoleon and he has the duty of convincing the animals that Napoleon is a good leader and that he is not authoritarian.

“Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina (1891-1961) presided for 31 years over what was probably the most absolute and ruthless dictatorship in Latin America at that time. Coming to power in 1930, he controlled the government of the Dominican Republic until he was assassinated” [6] Trujillo controlled his country with some commands that were exaggerated. For example, people had to have a picture of him in their houses; he had to be worshiped like God. Another command was that people could speak critically about him, because there were a secret police who was always heard conversations and observed houses. This was implemented to try and stop underground movements against his government.

He also had the power to do whatever he wanted with people; he incarcerated Don Enrique Mirabel just to prove to Minerva who had the power. He also took Minerva’s degree and therefore she could not work as a layer even though she had finished the university. He also took repercussions against Virgilio and as a result he had to ask for political asylum. This was an absolute act of authoritarianism because he did not tolerate bad opinions and he acted in a despotic way. He did not tolerate that Minerva did not want to have sexual relations with him. He abused his power and had practically destroyed Minerva’s life with his acts of repression. It is similar to the behavior that the pigs had towards the other animals and also is similar to the behavior that Trujillo had towards the rebels and like these example we find many more.

After analyzing the authoritarian characters from both books, I have concluded that even though these two characters are not from the same period of time, they are authoritarian rulers. One important thing that can be deduced from this is that authoritarianism is a problem that has been present in all revolutionary movements. And many times this changes the perspective of the political movements, for instance what happened to the rebellion in Animal Farm. At the end of this rebellion the pigs started behaving like humans, and instead of helping the animals they got them in to a worst problem. The rest of the animals saw this and could not distinguish the pigs from the humans. For example the behavior that the pigs had towards the other animals is similar to the behavior that Trujillo had towards the rebels.

Whit this essay I realized that authoritarianism is everywhere; no matter the context it is very common that people become authoritarian when they reach the power. In 2006 Oaxaca had a big problem with the A.P.P.O, they were fighting against the governor, but at the middle of this movement their leader betrayed them and now days the A.P.P.O has a movement which is not defined or does not follow its original objectives. Trujillo and the pigs were leaders who only wanted to be the highest authority. With these two books we can appreciate how important authoritarianism is and how it affects people.

Both napoleon and Trujillo took decisions that concerned their society or country. Napoleon changed their anthem “So beasts of England was heard no more” [7] instead they sang comrade napoleon and many other celebrations were imposed, he had his birthday celebrated as a national holiday. Trujillo did the same thing he had a special day to commemorate him. And for a short period of time he named Santo Domingo “ciudad Trujillo”

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