The city regime is the oppressive government of The City which monitors all communication, controls the media, and even has policies which include the outlawing of smoking and alcohol.


Over time, the government slowly changed from democracy to authoritarianism and totalitarianism. The City is now monitored by many security cameras and City Protection Force patrolling the City. Some citizens didn't mind the heightened security and restrictions to life, for it allowed them to live more "comfortable" lives. Others went against this, however, and began to protest against the new restrictive standards of living ushered in by the totalitarian regime, which eventually led to the November Riots.

The Runners came into play soon after people began to realize that even the smallest amount of private information was watched by the government as it is passed from one thing to another. The Runners are not actually fighting this form of government, per se; they are simply going against it and allowing citizens of the City to have their own personal lives.

Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism regimesEdit

Totalitarianism is an extreme version of authoritarianism. Authoritarianism primarily differs from totalitarianism in that social and economic institutions exist that are not under governmental control. Building on the work of Yale political scientist Juan Linz, Paul C. Sondrol of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has examined the characteristics of authoritarian and totalitarian dictators.

Sondrol argues that while both authoritarianism and totalitarianism are forms of autocracy, they differ in “key dichotomies”.

  • Unlike their bland and generally unpopular authoritarian brethren, totalitarian dictators develop a charismatic “cult of personality” and a mass-based, pseudo-democratic interdependence with their followers via the conscious manipulation of a prophetic image.
  • Concomitant role conceptions differentiate totalitarians from authoritarians. Authoritarians view themselves as individual beings largely content to control, and often maintain, the status quo. Totalitarian self-conceptions are largely centered on teleology. The tyrant is less a person than an indispensable “function” to guide and reshape the universe.
  • Consequently, the utilisation of power for personal aggrandizement is more evident among authoritarians than totalitarians. Lacking the binding appeal of ideology, authoritarians support their rule by a mixture of instilling fear and granting rewards to loyal collaborators, engendering a kleptocracy.

The term “Authoritarianism” denotes a state in which the single power holder, an individual “dictator”, a committee or a military dictatorship/junta or an otherwise group of political elite, monopolizes political power. However, a totalitarian regime attempts to control virtually all aspects of the social life, including the economy, education, art, science, private life, and morals of citizens. “The officially proclaimed ideology penetrates into the deepest reaches of societal structure and the totalitarian government seeks to completely control the thoughts and actions of its citizens.”

Authoritarianism primarily differs from totalitarianism in that social and economic institutions exist that are not under governmental control.

Compared to totalitarianism, “the authoritarian state still maintains a certain distinction between state and society. It is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty. Totalitarianism, on the other hand, invades private life and asphyxiates it.” Another distinction is that “authoritarianism is not animated by utopian ideals in the way totalitarianism is. It does not attempt to change the world and human nature.” Carl Joachim Friedrich writes that “a totalism ideology, a party reinforced by a secret police, and monopoly control of, industrial mass society” are the 3 features of totalitarian regimes that distinguish them from other autocracies.

Thus, compared to totalitarian systems, authoritarian systems may also leave a larger sphere for the private sphere, lack a guiding ideology, tolerate some cultural pluralism in social organization, lack the power to mobilize the whole population in pursuit of national goals, and exercise their power within relatively predictable limits.

According to Soviet writer Fazil Iskander, “Under the totalitarian regime, it was as if you were forced to live in the same room with an insanely violent man.”


Totalitarianism Authoritarianism
Charisma High Low
Role conception Leader as function Leader as individual
Ends of power Public Private
Political corruption Low High
Official ideology Yes No
Limited pluralism (political philosophy) No Yes
Legitimacy Yes No

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