Despotism

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Despotism

1. A theory that the best form of government is rule by one person (or group) who knows best how people ought to live. Most governments now are democracies (at least officially) and so despotism has been more or less discredited as a theory.

2. A despotic state or government.
References in periodicals archive ?
Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and the Modern Prospect, by Paul A.
Montesquieu's theories in L'Esprit des lois concerning different types of government and the need, if despotism were to be avoided, for separation, within government, of the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers, came to be seen as highly relevant.
Warmongering liberals have effectively been as great a bane to human liberty at home and abroad as any foreign dictator, and a considerable number of modern despotisms have emerged from the wreckage of misguided liberal zeal.
If Vargas Llosa does not share the apparent naivete of his former socialist comrades-in-arms about the future of Latin America (and this despite the recent liberalization of many Latin American regimes in the 1980s and '90s), it is perhaps due to his conviction that the region has more than once before experienced the giddiness that comes with a seeming liberation from the weight of historically outmoded despotisms.
These were all possibilities elsewhere - China or Japan or India or the Middle East - but the other places, he says, with their despotisms trying to keep society fixed the better to control and tax it, entirely muffed it.