Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by the authority of the state in a republic or union. Authoritarianism is marked by indefinite political tenure. A political system controlled by nonelected rulers.
Authoritarian political systems depends on performance or demands of the people and it is a challenge to authoritarianism to adapt to changes or to accommodate growing demands on the part of the populace or even groups within the system. Totalitarianism is considered to be an extreme version of authoritarianism.
Paul C. Sondrol of the Univ of Colorado argues that the while both authoritarians and totalitarianism are forms of autocracy, they differ in "key dichotomies":
(1) Unlike their bland and generally unpopular authoritarian brethren, totalitarian dictators develop a charismatic 'mystique' and a mass-based, pseudo-democratic interdependence with their followers via the conscious manipulation of a prophetic image.
(2) Concomitant role conceptions differentiate
totalitarians from authoritatians. Authoritarians view themselves as indvidual beings,
largely content to control; and maintain the status quo. Totalitarian self-conceptions are
largely teleological. The tyrant is less a person than an indispensable 'function' to
guide and reshape the universe.