Authoritarian Rule and Economic Decline

Many nations in the world still face low levels of development. Underdevelopment can be related to many interconnected factors such as poor governance and lack of good economic governance. Research has proved that countries with good leadership patterns have strong economies. The super powers in the world such as America, China, France, and Japan rose to their current position after a series of reforms. The underdevelopment of some countries can be associated with lack of good leadership. Authoritative rule can be a serious hindrance to economic progress. Authoritative form of government is accompanied by thrilling submission to the authority.

In Authoritative rule, power and authority rest among a small group of individuals. Authoritative leadership hinders development because of many factors. The authoritative form of government obstructs individualism and attainment of liberty for individuals. The people in power do everything to ensure that the power rests on them. The authoritative leadership emphasizes the application of law, and they never uphold the rules of law. The individuals in power never practice democracy, so individuals suffer a lot. Any citizen who goes against the will of those in power always ends up having problems.

The authority does all it can to ensure that people remain submissive to them. Citizens live in fear, and they never get full access to their rights and freedoms. Authoritative forms of government always enjoy less opposition because no individual has the power to challenge the authority. Many authoritative governments concentrate on maintaining their power structure, and they focus on economic development less. Many countries have faced the problem of authoritative rule. Lack of motivation to engage in economic activities occurs as a direct effect. Citizens live in deplorable situations because their economic activities are affected to a large extent.

Some of the countries that have faced authoritative rule include Zimbabwe and Egypt among others. It can be clear that these nations have faced serious economic challenges. Authoritative rule has been a crucial cause of economic underdevelopment. Authoritative rule creates a hostile environment for economic development. This has always led to poor economic performance among these countries.

How Authoritative Rule Has Led to Poor Economic Performance in Zimbabwe

The government of Zimbabwe has the worst economy in the world. Zimbabwe economy has experienced the highest inflation levels in the past few years. The country reported an inflation rate of 100, 000% in 2008 (Bornstein 2008, p. 25). The majority of the people in Zimbabwe have lived under sheer deplorable levels of poverty because of low economic development. The cost of living has risen highly due to the hyperinflation. The gross national production has declined to a large extent. Under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe, the country has trailed through extremely hard economic situations. Research has proved that Zimbabwe has a lot of unutilized resources that can be used to steer economic growth. The main factors behind the low levels of economic underdevelopment can only be associated with the poor governance of President Robert Mugabe. The authoritative governance practiced by Mugabe appears to be extremely hostile to any economic development. Everyone blames President Mugabe for the low economic growth. It appears ironical that the dictator Mugabe never concentrates on economic improvement even with the negative economic growth.

President Mugabe made one of the most famous reforms in the whole of Africa. Mugabe introduced the land reforms where the whites who owned shambas were chased away. In his view, this offered relief to many Africans who had remained landless for a long time. The whites owned a significant part of Zimbabwe. They owned the majority of the plantations in the country. History reveals that Europeans contributed a large part of the gross income of Zimbabwe. They produced the exports such as tobacco, and they also produced food to sustain the country. The land reforms affected Zimbabwe to a large extent. The blacks who replaced the whites in the farms did not have experience in agriculture. This led to reduced agricultural productivity. The country could not produce enough food to sustain the population. Many people especially children suffered a lot. Hunger resulted in poor health due to malnutrition and people could not engage in economic activities.


The policies of the authoritative government cause many challenges to the country. Sanctions have been one of the major causes of poor economic performance in Zimbabwe. The European nations have imposed serious sanctions on the Zimbabwe government. The sanctions immediately followed the land reforms that Mugabe introduced. They have affected the economy in many ways. The European nation such as Britain has declined to trade with Zimbabwe. This has led to shrinking markets for Zimbabwe exports especially tobacco. Lack of a market has led to numerous losses, and the farmers feel discouraged today, and their motivation is lowered.

The African countries rely on European nations for grants. The grants and donations help to seal the economic deficits in the budgets. Zimbabwe could not sustain its own economy to cater for all the needs of the economy. Major donors have withdrawn their support for Zimbabwe, and this has led to serious economic crises. The donors fund some of the major projects in a country. Donors fund mega projects such as roads and other parts of infrastructure which require a lot of funds. Due to lack of donations Zimbabwe has not been capable of developing an effective infrastructure network. Lack of infrastructure presents a significant threat to economic development.

The sanctions have substantially impacted the economic decline in Zimbabwe. The Sanctions have led to excessive balance of trade, which leads to poor economic performance. When the balance of trade rises, the country mainly relies on imports, and it produces fewer exports. The economy of any country relies on trade with other countries. When a country does not export goods the economy declines. The situations worsen because the declining economy leads to high poverty levels, and individuals do not have money to import goods. The authoritative rule has cost the economy of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe economy never gets foreign income because of poor relations with other countries.

Scaring Away Investors

The authoritative way of leadership has been a leading threat to potential investors. Every country aims at attracting new investors so as to attain economic growth. Contributions of investors to the expansion of an economy can be boundless. Foreign investors provide revenue to the government in terms of taxes. On the other hand, local people get employment in the industries, and they get a source of income. This reduces the level of unemployment in the country. However, an enabling environment has to be created so as to attract investors. The enabling environment can only exist when a good political environment flourishes in the country. Authoritative rule disrupts political environment. The authoritative regime always opposes democracy and equity and its leaders do not like to share their political power with other bodies of the government.

In Zimbabwe, separation of power among the major arms of the government does not exist. Constant rebellions and conflicts occur in the attempt to change the situation. This unfavorable situation discourages the investors. The authoritative government opposes individualism; in relation to this, investors may fear that their investments may be converted to state property. The authoritative government champions monopoly in the provision of goods and services, and this can also be a potential threat to investors. In other situations, the country may have viable resources like minerals but lack the technical capacity to exploit incomes or resources. This is just one of many explanations why foreign investors are needed. In Zimbabwe, the government of President Mugabe has introduced policies which do not favor potential investors. Many investors feared their lives, and they fled away. Most investors pulled out their investments in Zimbabwe, and they settled in other countries. That resulted from the fact Mugabe government could not provide adequate security for the investors. The supporters of Mugabe attacked the businesses of foreign investors and robbed them. This discouraged the investors. This has led to economic decline in Zimbabwe, because the government lacked income in terms of taxes. Zimbabwe has a lot of minerals which can be exploited for economic gain of the country. However, Zimbabwe does not have the required technology to facilitate the exploitation of the minerals. The potential investors who have the required technical capacity cannot invest in Zimbabwe due to the political crises in the country. Minerals that could be used for economic development are left unexploited.

The authoritarian rule does not just affect the foreign investors only. The authoritarian rule also discourages the local investors. Many people tend to run away from countries with the authoritative rule. Individuals who could be productive resources in their countries end up running away. In most cases, the elites and the young people form the majority of the migrants. This group forms the most productive portion of the population. The country loses the required manpower that has the knowledge and skills to stimulate economic progress. Economic decline occurs as a direct consequence of lack of skilled manpower.

Authoritarians like Mugabe try to address the colonial injustices that occurred during the colonial times. They attempt to empower the poor, yet they never provide economic stimulants required for the economic progress. The government lacks finances to lend out to the farmers, so that they can build up themselves. Research has proved that crucial matters such as health can only be attributed to the democratic form of government. The authoritative leaders concentrate on less serious matters such as military strengthening, and they ignore issues of health. Unhealthy people cannot participate in economic activities and their productive capacity declines. Authoritarian rule cannot provide good conditions that can stimulate the economic progress in a country.

The economic policies that the authoritarian governments advocate for may not aid the economic development. Economists have argued that the authoritarian governments do not consult enough before making economic decisions. The authoritarian governments consist of small numbers who may not have the required knowledge that can be applied when making economic decisions. The larger population may feel that the government did not consult them, so the policies may remain ineffective. The majority of the countries with authoritative rule do not enjoy good economic conditions. The political situations in countries with the authoritative rule experience uncertainty conditions all the time. This continued fear leads to decline in the value of the currency and inflated cost of goods. Studies have revealed that the authoritative governments face high levels of corruption. Corruption has been a serious hindrance to economic progress of any country. The increasing corruption levels can be attributed to lack of checks and balances among the government institutions. Democratic governments report fewer cases of corruption as compared to the authoritative governments. This has seen the democratic countries reporting higher economic growth rates compared to the authoritative governments. Needless to say, corruption reduces public confidence and demotivates people.

Authoritarian Rule in Egypt

Egypt has experienced a series of economic challenges for a long time. However, it is necessary to note that despite numerous challenges, Egypt still lies ahead of many African countries in terms of development. The fact that the authoritarian rule has played a stake in the underdevelopment in the country cannot be ignored. Throughout the Egyptian history, the dictators have ruled the country for an exceedingly long time.

Several military coups have occurred in Egypt as the authoritative leaders have tried to establish themselves. The authoritative rule in Egypt backdates to 1950s, when a successful coup d’etat occurred. The dictators always established means of survival to ensure that they consolidated support. Government conducted executions of those who could be seen as rivals.

Not all authoritarian leaders affect the growth of the economy badly. Quasi autocracies try to practice democracy and economic crises do not occur. However, in the modern world where democracy has to be upheld, the authoritarian rule faces a lot of opposition. A lot of differences can be seen through the rulings of popular Egyptian Presidents such as Mubarak, Sadat, and Nasser. All the presidents practiced authoritarian rule and they presented almost similar styles of leadership.

The authoritative rule has led to serious rivals between Christians and Muslims in Egypt. In an attempt to consolidate power, the dictators have established strong extremist groups in the country. These groups have affected the peace and stability in Egypt. The authoritarian leaders have a common practice of favoring a certain group and discriminating against the others (Hayes 2004, p. 67). The discriminated groups panic and flee to other countries. This affects the economic progress of a country. Egypt has experienced a quick financial progression in the past. The authoritarian government came up with policies which had steered the economic developments. Egyptian government adopted the policy of free trade in the 1990s. This resulted in increased investment, and it attracted foreign investors. The economy of Egypt started to grow at a rampant rate during that time. The economy has declined over the years with rising public debts and high inflation. The poverty level has gone up, and the rate of unemployment has risen tremendously. Many people cannot afford basic needs such as food. This can only be attributed to poor leadership and governance in the country.

The authoritarian government does not put in place conditions that can facilitate rapid economic development in the country. Even if Egypt has a relatively stable economy than some democratic states, a large percentage has been completed so as to facilitate rapid economic growth. The economic decline was evidenced during the regime of President Mubarak when the people tried to overthrow his government. During this time, a lot of destruction occurred because of the riots. A lot of economic activities came to a standstill. Businessmen closed their businesses and the economic growth started to decline. The riots disrupted peace and many investors ran away for their safety. Egypt heavily relies on the tourism sector which contributes to a significant part of the economy. Egypt relies on the Suez Canal as a significant source of income because of the royalties paid by the transporters. Disruption of peace in the region hinders smooth operations, and this leads to poor economic performance. On the other hand, the tourists activities stopped as the tourists feared losing their lives. The hotel industry which employs a significant number of people reported low sales volumes and some employers got retrenched. The tourism sector faced a significant blow in 1997 when around 60 tourists lost their lives. Many tourists opted for alternative destinations, and they lost confidence in Egypt. Today Egypt has a democratic government after the former President was overthrown. The economy has started to recover slowly. Rising number of tourists have started flocking in Egypt. Many of the economic activities cannot thrill well whenever the country experiences political instability.

The authoritative rule of Mubarak contributed to lack of confidence among investors, and many of them pulled out their investments. The cost of business operations increased significantly because of higher cost of production. The cost of capital rose, and the companies faced falling share prices due to uncertainties. The economic crises that occurred in Egypt can be a key indicator that we live in a world where economic interconnectedness exists. Every country depends on the goodwill of other countries for economic prosperity. Countries with peace and stability create a positive image among other nations and they can invest without fear.

As for Egypt, the Suez Canal acts as a link between Egypt and other nations. The canal provides a route of passage for goods of the neighboring countries. This has a significant impact on the growth of the economy. Bad governance has raised fears of the closure of the canal, and this has caused minimal activity in the canal. The shipping countries fear disruption of supplies and they opt to use alternative routes, which are exceedingly long. Major shipping companies such as Maersk and Damco stayed for some days before reopening. It can be seen that due to poor governance the country loses a substantial amount of revenue. Lack of confidence among the investors poses another threat to the economy. The investors always aim at making profits, and whenever a little indicator of disruption of their activities occurs, they pull out fast. The riots that occurred in Egypt eroded the confidence among investors, and it took time for the economic activities to kick off again.

The economic crisis in the country can only be resolved through fostering peace and stability. This can be the only way in which the confidence of the investors can be restored. Research has proved that authoritative rulers do not practice inclusive politics. The Egyptian leaders practiced “stupid politics” according to Robert Kagan. The failure to build an inclusive government has led to soaring relations between the USA and Egypt. This soar relationship has a significant effect on the economic growth of Egypt. This has provoked the USA to try and impose some strategies that would help restore peace and stability so as to enhance economic growth.

Poor governance during the regime of President Mubarak had led to a macro economic crisis which needed to be addressed immediately. The authoritative rule created different opinions among other nations. This led to poor economic relations with other nations. The country donors shunned away, and the economic activities were affected. Donors always try to impose the democratic form of government on the countries which have the authoritative form of government. Whenever the countries fail to adopt the democratic rule, sanctions occur. The USA has tried to influence some reforms in Egypt so that they can create a good environment that can facilitate economic growth.

The authoritative rule does not gain favor from international lending institutions such as IMF. These lending organizations lose confidence in authoritative governments. They hold perceptions that such governments do not exercise accountability and that corruption prevails. It can be seen that authoritative governments do not create enabling environments that can lead to rapid economic development. The unstable political conditions create uncertainty among investors, and they shun away. However, some countries have had notable economic growth despite the authoritative rule.