Styles of Government

Listed and described below are 27 styles of government which are common in countries around the world. They are primarily differentiated into three categories: governments with libertarian, neutral, or authoritarian views on personal freedoms. They are further subcategorised by their views on political and economical rights. The particular style of government is then labelled by a neutral, left-wing, and right-wing view.

Libertarian views on personal freedom


  • Description: Citizens live in a state of perpetual fear, as a complete breakdown of social order has led to the rise of order through gangs.
  • Classification: Utopian Capitalism.Libertarian views on personal, political, and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Anarchism
    • Left-wing: Post-Revolution Embryonic Society
    • Right-wing: Lawless Wasteland

Civil Rights Lovefest

  • Description: Libertarian rule, with less emphasis on the economy and more on civil and political rights. Citizens hold their civil and political rights very dear, although the wealthy and those in business tend to be viewed with suspicion.
  • Classification: EverydayLiberalism.Libertarian views on personal and political freedoms, neutral views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Anarcho-socialism
    • Left-wing: Brave Progressives
    • Right-wing: Nation-Hating Hippies

Left-wing Utopia

  • Description: The democratic government grants broad civil rights but keeps a tight leash on business. Citizens are free to do what they want with their own bodies, and vote for whoever they like in elections; if they go into business, however, they are regulated to within an inch of their lives.
  • Classification: Utopian Socialism. Libertarian views on personal and political freedoms, authoritarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Egalitarian democracy
    • Left-wing: Utopia
    • Right-wing: Drugged-Out Hippies


  • Description: It’s all about business. Civil rights are generous. Citizens enjoy some of the most opulent lifestyles in the region, unless they are unemployed or working-class, in which case they are variously starving to death or crippled by easily preventable diseases.
  • Classification: Liberated Capitalism. Libertarian views on personal and economical freedoms, neutral views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Anarcho-capitalism
    • Left-wing: Self-Congratulatory Merchant Bankers
    • Right-wing: Freedom-Loving Libertarians

Left-Leaning College State

  • Description: What would happen if college students ruled the world. Civil rights are the main priority, followed by political rights. Citizens enjoy extensive civil freedoms, particularly in social issues, while business tends to be more regulated.
  • Classification: Bureaucratic Liberalism. Libertarian views on personal freedom, neutral views on economical and political freedoms.
    • Neutral: Liberalism
    • Left-wing: Paradise
    • Right-wing: Deluded Tax and Spend Hypocrites

Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

  • Description: High taxes, tons of civil freedom, but a weak economy. Citizens enjoy extensive civil rights and enjoy a level of social equality free from the usual accompanying government corruption.
  • Classification: Liberated Socialism.Libertarian views on personalfreedom, authoritarian views on economical freedom, and neutral views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Egalitarianism
    • Left-wing: Normal
    • Right-wing: Gay Marriage State

Benevolent Dictatorship

  • Description: A dictatorship ruled by someone who pays no attention to the people and allows them to do whatever they want, except challenge the government. Citizens enjoy great individual freedoms in everything except elections, which, where they exist at all, are populist shams for a dictatorship government that has no intention of ever giving up power.
  • Classification: Capitalist Paternalism. Libertarian views on personal and economical freedoms, authoritarian views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Feudalism
    • Left-wing: Temporary Liberal State of Emergency
    • Right-wing: Temporary Conservative State of Emergency

Libertarian Police State

  • Description: The state does nothing to impede on your private life, yet will require you to register everything down to your shoes with a bureau of some sort. Citizens are proud of their wide-ranging civil freedoms, and those who aren’t tend to be dragged off the streets by men in dark suits and hustled into cars with tinted windows.
  • Classification: EverydayPaternalism. Libertarian views on personal freedom, neutral views on economical freedom, and authoritarian views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Benevolent monarchy
    • Left-wing: Slightly Overzealous Peoples Democracy
    • Right-wing: Government-Enforced Political Correctness Society

Iron Fist Socialists

  • Description: The state is omnipresent, and will provide everything for its people except political freedom. Citizens are ruled with an iron fist by the socialist government, which grants its people the freedom to do whatever they like so long as it doesn’t involve getting richer than anybody else or challenging the government.
  • Classification: LiberatedAutocracy.Libertarian views on personal freedom, authoritarian views on economical and political freedoms.
    • Neutral: Communist dictatorship
    • Left-wing: Equality and Tolerance Society
    • Right-wing: Inevitably Bloody Result of Liberal Ideals Mugged By Reality

neutral views on personal freedom

Corporate Bordello

  • Description: Free market, free elections, not-so-free merchandise. Civil rights are moderate; political rights are generous. Citizens are effectively ruled by a group of massive corporations, who run for political office and provide their well-off citizens with world-class goods and services. Their poorer citizens, however, are mostly starving to death while being urged to go out and get real jobs. The populace has reasonably extensive civil rights, although these are mostly aimed at allowing them to buy whatever they like.
  • Classification: Everyday Capitalism.Neutral views on personal freedom, libertarian views on political and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Capitalist democracy
    • Left-wing: Blood-Sucking Capitalist Leeches
    • Right-wing: Patriotic Business Zone

New York Times Democracy

  • Description: Liberal democracy, with elections heavily influenced by the media. Citizens enjoy a sensible mix of personal and economic freedoms, while the political process is open and the people’s right to vote held sacrosanct.
  • Classification: ResponsibleLiberalism. Neutral views on personal and economical freedoms, libertarian view on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Democracy
    • Left-wing: Corporate-Dominated Sham Democracy
    • Right-wing: New York Crimes So-Called Democracy

Liberal Democratic Socialists

  • Description: There is a centralized economy, but it is more democratic than Democratic Socialists. Citizens love a good election, and the government gives them plenty of them. Universities tend to be full of students debating the merits of various civil and political rights, while businesses are tightly regulated and the wealthy viewed with suspicion.
  • Classification: Everyday Socialism.Neutral views on personal freedom, authoritarian views on economical freedom, libertarian view on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Socialist democracy
    • Left-wing: Open-Minded Education State
    • Right-wing: Ivory Tower Reality Disconnect Zone

Capitalist Paradise

  • Description: No restrictions whatsoever are placed on trade; civil rights and political rights are not repressed but take a back seat to the economy. Citizens are either ruled by a sleek, efficient government or a conglomerate of multinational corporations; it’s difficult to tell which.
  • Classification: Bureaucratic Capitalism.Neutral views on personal and political freedoms, libertarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Capitalism
    • Left-wing: Corporate Slave State
    • Right-wing: Decent Hardworking Self-Starters

Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

  • Description: Where the people have a good mix of political and civil rights as well as security. Citizens have some civil rights, but not too many, enjoy the freedom to spend their money however they like, to a point, and take part in free and open elections, although not too often.
  • Classification: Responsible Conservatism. Neutral views on personal, political, and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Republic
    • Left-wing: Fascists
    • Right-wing: Communists

Democratic Socialists

  • Description: Political Freedoms in this state would be regarded as average, while the government is omnipresent and has much say in the economy, with citizens having few economic rights. Citizens are fiercely patriotic and enjoy great social equality; they tend to view other, more capitalist countries as somewhat immoral and corrupt.
  • Classification: Bureaucratic Socialism. Neutral views on personal and political freedoms, authoritarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Socialism
    • Left-wing: Ordinary Caring Intelligent World Citizens
    • Right-wing: Hell

Compulsory Consumerist State

  • Description: Like Capitalist Paradise, except that the government does not allow dissent. Citizens are rabid consumers, partly through choice and partly because the government tells them to and dissenters tend to vanish from their homes at night.
  • Classification: Responsible Plutocracy. Neutral views on personal freedom, authoritarian views on political freedom, libertarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Corporatism
    • Left-wing: Consumerist Wage Drones
    • Right-wing: Aspirational Worker State

Father/Mother Knows Best State

  • Description: The government allows moderate freedoms, but has the final say (like a parent). Citizens are ruled by a mostly-benevolent dictator, who grants the populace the freedom to live their own lives but watches carefully for anyone to slip up.
  • Classification: Responsible Paternalism. Neutral views on personal and economical freedoms, authoritarian views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Monarchy
    • Left-wing: Suspiciously Conservative Democracy
    • Right-wing: Suspiciously Liberal Dictatorship

Corrupt Dictatorship

  • Description: A state in which the government has lowered political and economic rights and adopted a moderate civil rights policy. Citizens are ruled with an iron fist by the dictatorship government, which ensures that no-one outside the party gets too rich. In their personal lives, however, citizens are relatively unoppressed; it remains to be seen whether this is because the government genuinely cares about its people, or if it hasn’t gotten around to stamping out civil rights yet.
  • Classification: Everyday Autocracy. Neutral views on personal freedoms, authoritarian views on political and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Authoritarian communism
    • Left-wing: Well-Meaning Dictatorship
    • Right-wing: Corrupt Liberal Dictatorship

authoritarian views on personal freedom

Free-Market Paradise

  • Description: People are free to vote and make money but have few civil rights. Citizens enjoy frequent elections, which are uniformly corrupted by big-spending corporations buying politicians who best suit their interests.
  • Classification: Rigid Capitalism. Authoritarian views on personal freedom, libertarian views on economical and political freedoms.
    • Neutral: Right-wing democracy
    • Left-wing: Randroids
    • Right-wing: Paradise

Conservative Democracy

  • Description: People are free to vote, and usually use it to outlaw civil rights. Citizens are known throughout the region for their efficiency and work ethic, as well as their general suspicion of leisure.
  • Classification: Democratic Conservatism. Authoritarian views on personal freedom, libertarian views on political freedom, and neutral views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Religious democracy
    • Left-wing: Conservative Hell
    • Right-wing: Conservative Paradise

Tyranny by Majority

  • Description: Pure democracy without minority rights. Citizens enjoy great social freedoms and frequent elections, where the majority of the populace regularly votes to increase its benefits at the expense of various hapless minorities.
  • Classification: Rigid Socialism. Authoritarian views on personal and economical freedoms, libertarian views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Populism
    • Left-wing: Tyranny By Bourgeois
    • Right-wing: Thieves

Right-wing Utopia

  • Description: A conservative state where little change is desired or put into action. Religion will usually play the role of the media. Citizens are free to succeed or fail in life on their own merits; the successful tend to enjoy an opulent (but moralistic) lifestyle, while the failures can be seen crowding out most jails.
  • Classification: Capitalist Conservatism. Authoritarian views on personal freedom, neutral views on political freedom, and libertarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Right-wing republic
    • Left-wing: Corrupt Thieving Uneducated Fascist Fundamentalists
    • Right-wing: Utopia

Moralistic Democracy

  • Description: The people have a say in the government, but choose to ban almost everything. Citizens are highly moralistic and fiercely conservative, in the sense that they tend to believe most things should be outlawed. People who have good jobs and work quietly at them are lauded; others are viewed with suspicion.
  • Classification: Everyday Conservatism. Authoritarian views on personal freedom, neutral views on political and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Theocracy
    • Left-wing: Narrow-Minded Backwoodsy Bigots
    • Right-wing: Ordinary Decent Hardworking People

Authoritarian Democracy

  • Description: Citizens have little freedom except some say in the government. Citizens are prohibited from doing almost everything except voting, which they do timidly and conservatively.
  • Classification: Socialist Conservatism. Authoritarian views on personal and economical freedoms, neutral views on political freedom.
    • Neutral: Semi-Populism
    • Left-wing: Mouth-Breathing Creationists
    • Right-wing: Slightly Oppressive But A Little Discipline Never Hurt Anyone State

Corporate Police State

  • Description: The government = big businesses. Individuals have few rights and have to buy from the top corporations. Citizens are ruled with an iron fist by the corrupt, dictatorship government, which oppresses anyone who isn’t on the board of a Fortune 500 company. Large corporations tend to be above the law, and use their financial clout to gain ever-increasing government benefits at the expense of the poor and unemployed.
  • Classification: Everyday Plutocracy. Authoritarian views on personal and political freedoms, libertarian views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Authoritarian corporatism
    • Left-wing: Halliburton
    • Right-wing: Entrepreneurial Freedom Zone

Iron Fist Consumerists

  • Description: This is an oppressive state that focuses on the economy. Supply and Demand are the two commandments. Citizens are kept under strict control by the oppressive government, which measures its success by the nation’s GDP and refers to individual citizens as “human resources.”
  • Classification: Regulated Plutocracy. Authoritarian views on personal and political freedoms, neutral views on economical freedom.
    • Neutral: Fascism
    • Left-wing: Imperialist Pig Dog Oppressors
    • Right-wing: Champions of Commerce

Psychotic Dictatorship

  • Description: Corrupt, authoritarian state where everyone is considered the leader’s toy. Citizens are ruled without fear or favour by a psychotic dictator, who outlaws just about everything and refers to the populace as “my little playthings.”
  • Classification: Rigid Autocracy. Authoritarian views on personal, political, and economical freedoms.
    • Neutral: Dictatorship
    • Left-wing: Fascist Dictatorship
    • Right-wing: Communist Dictatorship

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Sexy Son Hypothesis‏

The sexy son hypothesis suggests that females obtain future fitness benefits from mating with polygynous males through the inheritance by their sons of traits contributing to mating success. It proposes that a female animal’s optimal choice among potential mates is a male whose genes will produce male offspring with the best chance of reproductive success.

What matters are her so-called sexy sons’ future breeding successes (like that of their promiscuous father) in creating large numbers of offspring carrying copies of the female’s genes.

Sexual selection by direct and/or indirect benefits as well as sexual conflict determines the evolution of animal mating systems. Female mating preferences are widely recognized as being responsible for the rapid and divergent evolution of male secondary sexual traits. In 1976, Richard Dawkins wrote in The Selfish Gene:

‘In a society where males compete with each other to be chosen as he-men by females, one of the best things a mother can do for her genes is to make a son who will turn out in his turn to be an attractive he-man. If she can ensure that her son is one of the fortunate few males who wins most of the copulations in the society when he grows up, she will have an enormous number of grandchildren. The result of this is that one of the most desirable qualities a male can have in the eyes of a female is, quite simply, sexual attractiveness itself.’

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Handicap Principle‏

It was only in the mid 1970’s that the husband and wife scientist couple of Amotz and Avishag Zahavi published a book titled The Handicap Principle. In the book, they put forward a novel idea to explain several previously baffling aspects of animal behaviour, including the famous tail of the peacock.

Male Blue Peacock in Melbourne Zoo, Australia.

The male Pavo Cristatus or Blue Peacock

The principle relies on three chief tenets: a) Animals communicate with each other through signals; b) these signals, in order to be effective, must be honest, and c) honest signals are expensive, i.e., the animal producing an honest signal incurs a cost in doing so.

A desirable male is one who is fit in spite of the handicap he carries.

The peacock carries its tail as an advertisement of its fitness. They suggested that the elaborate tail is a means of saying that “in spite of carrying the handicap of a cumbersome tail, I am able to carry on my daily activities as well as a peacock which has a lesser tail”.

The Zahavis argue that a signal is liable to be effective when it is honest, that is, when it conveys a true measure of how fit the signaller is. An honest signal, however, must be expensive. Why? Because signals do not come for free. They cost something (e.g., energy) to produce.

The stronger you are, the more easily you can bear this cost. A strong individual can afford to incur a larger cost than a weak individual can. The upshot is this; if you convey the impression that you are handicapping yourself, and if the nature of the handicap is such that a weak individual could not afford it, you are signalling that you are strong. Assuming that you are not a fool (and fools do not survive long).

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Homosexuality in the Ancient World

Women in Lesotho engaged in socially sanctioned long term, erotic relationships, named motsoalle. Male Azande warriors in the northern Congo routinely took on boy-wives between the ages of twelve and twenty, who helped with household tasks and participated in sex with their older husbands.

Homosexual and transgender individuals were common among other pre-conquest civilizations in Latin America, such as the Aztecs, Mayans, Quechuas, Moches, Zapotecs, and the Tupinambá of Brazil.

Ancient Asyrria
In the ancient Assyrian society, homosexuality was present and it was also not prohibited. Religiously, there was nothing amiss with homosexual love between men. Some ancient religious Assyrian texts contain prayers for divine blessings on homosexual relationships.

Ancient China
Homosexuality has been acknowledged in China since ancient times. Nearly every emperor in the Han Dynasty had one or more male sex partners.

Ancient Greece
The ancient Greeks did not conceive of sexual orientation as a social identifier as Western societies have done for the past century. Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behaviour by the gender of the participants, but rather by the role that each participant played in the sex act, that of active penetrator or passive penetrated.

Ancient India
Kama Sutra, the ancient Indian treatise on love talks about feelings for same sexes. The Laws of Manu, the foundational work of Hindu law, mentions a “third sex”, members of which may engage in non-traditional gender expression and homosexual activities.

Anient Rome
The “conquest mentality” of the ancient Romans shaped Roman homosexual practices. In the Roman Republic, a citizen’s political liberty was defined in part by the right to preserve his body from physical compulsion or use by others; for the male citizen to submit his body to the giving of pleasure was considered servile.

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Apophasis and Praeteritio

An apophasis is a rhetorical device where the speaker asserts or emphasizes a topic by pointedly seeming to pass over, or ignore the point; whereas in reality, the speaker nevertheless hints at the point he wants to make.

The Latin counterpart is known as a praeteritio (also known as occupatio) which is a rhetorical device where the speaker emphasizes a topic by mentioning the fact that the topic is not going to be mentioned – mentioning by not mentioning.

In most cases these rhetorical devices are one and the same, except in clear-cut cases where the speaker is very forthright. In this case we refer to the remark as a praeteritio:

“If you were not my father, I would say you were perverse.” – Antigone

“I will pass over the fact that Jenkins beats his wife, is an alcoholic, and sells drugs to children, because we will not allow personal matters to enter into our political discussion.”

Whereas the apophasis can be more subtle:

“Of course, I do not need to mention that you should bring a No. 2 pencil to the exam.”

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Dunglish is an interlanguage of Dutch and English sometimes known as Dutch English. It is a language term for the typical mistakes native Dutch speakers make when speaking English. Here are some examples of serious Dutch English linguistic accidents:

“I can stand my little man”
– Dries van Agt (former Dutch prime minister)

Transliteration of ik kan mijn mannetje staan, a Dutch idiom meaning roughly “I can stand up for myself”. The inevitable misunderstanding needs little explaining.

“Golden showers”
– Frits Bolkenstein (former leader of the Dutch Liberal Party)

Bolkestein repeatedly referred to economic prospects as “golden showers”, as he was clearly unaware of the term’s quite obvious sexual connotation.

“The Dutch are a nation of undertakers”
– Joop den Uyl (former Dutch prime-minister)

The Dutch verb ondernemen is literally the English verb to undertake (as onder is under, and nemen is take). The Dutch noun ondernemer is thus literally undertaker; in English however, the French loanword entrepreneur is used. (In Dutch, the word begrafenisondernemer means funeral director.)

– Pieter Gerbrandy (former Dutch prime-minister)

Gerbrandy once had a meeting with Churchill in London. Gerbrandy entered the room and shook Churchill’s hand, saying: “Goodbye!” Churchill responded: “This is the shortest meeting I have ever had.” Gerbrandy had erroneously translated the Dutch goedendag meaning “good day”, which in Dutch can be both used as a greeting and a valediction.

“I fok horses”
– Joseph Luns (former Dutch foreign secretary)

One of the best quoted examples of Dunglish was said to have taken place between the Dutch foreign minister Joseph Luns (a man whose main foreign language was French, the language of diplomacy prior to World War II) and John F. Kennedy. At one point Kennedy inquired if Luns had any hobbies, to which he replied “I fok horses” (the Dutch verb fokken meaning to breed). Likely taken aback by this strangely obscene reply, Kennedy asked “Pardon?”, which Luns then mistook as the Dutch word for horses (paarden) and enthusiastically responded “Yes, paarden!”

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Football War

The Football War was fought by Central American countries El Salvador and Honduras in 1969. In fact, it also went by the name of the 100 Hours’ War, and in reality there were a host of issues at the root of the troubles. Migration, trade and simmering land disputes on the border all conspired to spark social unrest between the two, but it wasn’t until the best-of-three World Cup qualifiers in 1969 that the tipping point was reached.

Shaded relief map of Honduras, in year 1985, s...

A map of Honduras

The first game – a 1-0 win for Honduras – in Tegucigalpa witnessed disturbances but things deteriorated significantly come the second in San Salvador: visiting Honduran players endured a sleepless night before the game, with rotten eggs, dead rats and stinking rags all tossed through the broken windows of their hotel; Honduran fans were brutalised at the game, and the country’s flag and national anthem were also mocked. “Under such conditions the players from Tegucigalpa did not, understandably, have their minds on the game,” admitted the Honduras coach Mario Griffin after his team lost 3-0. “They had their minds on getting out alive. We’re awfully lucky that we lost.”

Tension continued to increase before the decisive third match in Mexico, with the press stoking the frenzy. And on June 27 – the day of the play-off – Honduras broke off diplomatic relations with their neighbour. El Salvador eventually triumphed 3-2 after extra-time, booking their place in the 1970 World Cup (where they would lose all three of their group games without scoring). By July 14, El Salvador had invaded Honduras.

When the Organisation of American States negotiated a ceasefire on July 20, approximately 1,000 to 2,000 people had lost their lives and 100,000 more had become refugees. Troops from El Salvador were withdrawn in August, but it wasn’t until 11 years later that a peace treaty between the nations was agreed. A civil war in El Salvador ensued between 1980 until 1992, when the International Court of Justice awarded much of the originally disputed territory to Honduras.

On a happier note, two years previously football stopped a war – albeit temporarily. The opposing sides in the Biafran war declared a two-day truce in September 1967 so that they could watch Pele and his touring Santos team play in two exhibition matches.

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Schools of Ethics Compared

Deontological ethics
Analyses the actual action.

  • Goal: Morality is a question of adhering to a set of rules.
  • How it works: Judge which norm (moral rule) is the most important in which particular situation.
  • Pitfall: “Befehl ist Befehl” (an order is an order).

Teleological ethics (Consequentialism)
Analyses the consequences of the action.

  • Goal: Morality is a question of realising ideals.
  • How it works: Judge what behaviour contributes most to realising the requested ideal.
  • Pitfall: “The ends justify the means.”

Virtue ethics
Analyses the intention of the action (behaviour) in question.

  • Goal: Morality is question of wanting to be a good (virtuous) human being.
  • How it works: Look in the mirror and decide who you want to be.
  • Pitfall: “I meant no harm.”

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