Authoritarianism is a form of social control characterized by strict obedience to the authority of a state, organization, or individual; the central authority figure often maintains and enforces control through the use of oppressive measures.
Common examples of authoritarianism include:
- Authoritarian family structure: children submissive to their parents, with the wife submissive to her husband (or sometimes the husband submissive to his wife)
- Note that the former arrangement (wife submissive to husband) is commonly what is meant when a family structure is described as "traditional".
- Authoritarian state (or form of government): the people submissive to their leaders, with lower-level officials submissive to a strong central committee or individual.
There are two types of authoritarian followers, right-wing and left-wing:
- Right-wing followers advocate submission to traditional authorities, such as churches or other religious institutions, and the government.
- Left-wing followers are submissive to a radical leaders who seek to overthrow the status quo.