The journalist Mikhail Makogon publicly and logically explained the difference between the two types of government:
“How do totalitarian regimes differ from authoritarian ones? There is an idea, which is fundamentally wrong, by the way, that totalitarianism is a spoiled authoritarianism. This is such an authoritarianism, where the siloviki won and repressions took precedence over propaganda.
All wrong. The key difference is in goals: totalitarian states always go to some kind of bright future: to a world revolution or an expansion of living space. They have an image of the “city of the sun” that is supposed to be built, and this city is so inhumanly beautiful that any sacrifices here are good.
Authoritarian states do not build anything. They just want to preserve themselves, just to stop a wonderful moment so that any tomorrow is exactly the same as any yesterday.
Therefore, they, for example, have no ideology. If self-preservation requires a monument to Stalin - there will be a monument to Stalin, if a minority is found to be persecuted - they will be persecuted by a minority, they must be baptized and bow down to the ground - they will be baptized and bow down, they must build “dashing 90s” - their horrors will increase every year , but it is necessary to build Yeltsin. The center is absolutely apologetic in this 90th - there will be Yeltsin. The center.
The temple of the Ministry of Defense, where everything was mixed up, where the faces of the saints in the ranking just below the hammer and sickle, a meeting on the development of small business with undisguised longing for the Soviet regime, is authoritarianism as it is.
Authoritarianism does not like to work, it will never do more than the minimum required for self-preservation.
If the Internet is small, only a few millions use it - why control and censor it? Does it somehow interfere with saving the status quo? Not. Well, let's pay attention to it when it becomes a problem.
If repressions against political opponents can be dispensed with, if they are weak, split, if the propaganda apparatus is enough for us, then why should these repressions be carried out at all?
There is no need to blame anyone proactively and on distant approaches for kitchen conversations, we will solve problems as they come. Winter protests of 2011 take place, problems have arrived, old means have stopped working - now we will solve the problems.
Why don't they close down radio Echo of Moscow? Or Dozhd TV channel? Why not put Sindeeva and Venediktov in jail, and send all the employees to Magadan? What for? Is the audience big enough to compete with federal propaganda? Oh no. Well, let them live for themselves.
Authoritarianism does not need totality. The totality of repression or propaganda. No need to build everyone. He needs to promptly resolve the challenges arising for the status quo. If freedom that does not interfere with it can exist, then let it exist until it interferes.
Moreover, if it is necessary to expand freedom, if some operational tasks, for example, the World Cup in football, require forgetting everything that has been said since 2012 and bringing complete cosmopolitanism, transparency and tolerance, then this will not be the case either.
The same goes for elections.
As long as it is possible to win back and forth by the relevant rules, as long as we have sufficient basic support and our opponents are passive and demoralized, there is much to be afforded to.
It is possible to improve the procedure, interact with the observing community, put COIBs and cameras, hold round tables with the recognized “foreign agent” movement “Voice”.
As long as we get our 50 +% relatively honestly, we throw another 10-15% in regions with electoral anomalies - then there is no need to completely discredit the voting process itself. There are other instruments, first of all, inadmissibility, and secondly, a monopoly on public activity.
This is precisely what is significant from the point of view of legislative changes in recent days aimed at profaning the procedure and broadcasting the rules of “popular vote” already for the current election.
This is not a whim and not a "show of strength", it is simply that it is no longer won in the old way. The procedure is suitable in 2018, in 2020 it already threatens the status quo..."