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An ideology which affirms that individual rights and liberties do not matter and that the decisions of how society should be run should be left to a single dictator or a small group of elites. Some of the characteristics of authoritarianism include: A centralized government which attempts to gather all power to itself; intolerance for dissent from official government positions; large bureaucracies which become self-perpetuating, existing for their own sake rather than that of the people; closed-door political decisions reached in secret; and high levels of corruption. While liberals frequently accuse conservatives of being authoritarian, the truth is that modern liberalism is far closer to authoritarianism. Whereas conservatism strives to minimize government authority and intrusiveness, in order to allow the best of the public to excel, liberalism encourages dependency on an ever-larger (and less efficient) centralized government.1