What Is the Opposite of a Democracy?

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The opposite of a democracy is an autocracy. A democracy is a government chosen by its citizens. An individual without the input of the country's citizens governs an autocracy. Autocratic rulers make economic, social and political decisions without consent from the citizens.

An autocratic government has unlimited power over its country. Terms such as "tyrant," "despot" and "dictator" are often heard when referring to an autocratic government. Several monarchies, with power given to the monarchs based on heredity, ruled based on autocratic principles until their countries formed constitutions, resulting in diminished autocratic power.

Countries such as Russia, China and Germany have had autocratic rulers.