Business Success in Theocratic and Secular Totalitarianism

BusinessSuccess in Theocratic and Secular Totalitarianism

BusinessSuccess in Theocratic and Secular Totalitarianism

Humancivilization functions well in the presence of government since it isprimarily based on infrastructure (such as roads, airports, railways,and waterways) that can only be developed and managed by government.In addition, government plays a critical role in the formulation oflaws that guide human as well as business practices (Anmol, 2014). Aproper function of the government requires a body that is responsiblefor setting up of processes, structures, and activities. In atotalitarian system of government, these roles are played byindividual leaders, who have a tight control over the lives of allcitizens and no accommodate the views of other people. This paperwill address two major types of a totalitarian system of government,namely the secular to totalitarian and theocratic totalitarian. Thepaper will address the similarities and difference between the twosystems and the experiences of doing business in countries withtotalitarian systems of government.


Bothsecular and theocratic totalitarianism have two major similarities.First, countries with either of the two types of totalitarianism arecontrolled by individual leaders where the government institutions,in case they exist, are directly controlled by one leader. Under thesecular totalitarianism, a military leader formulates and enforceslaws, while these functions are performed by a religious leader. Theexamples of countries with theocratic totalitarianism include Iranand Afghanistan, where some Sheiks make decisions on important issuesaffecting their countries (Anmol, 2014). Some of the countries withsecular totalitarianism leadership include Singapore, South Korea,and Taiwan.

Secondly,both totalitarian systems tend to suppress democracy. This is becauseall important decisions on matters affecting the domestic andinternational affairs of the country are determined by individualpersons. This is because totalitarian leaders do not allow thecontribution of other people in the process of decision-making(Shubhro, 2014). In addition, totalitarian countries do not haveestablished institutions that should be expected to guide thecountries in different aspects. This results in the concentration ofleadership in the hands of individual leaders.


Secularand theocratic totalitarian have three major differences. First,theocratic government passes rules irrespective of whether they areliked by the people or not (Shubhro, 2014). This culminates in humanright issues and cases of extreme prejudice. Secular government, onthe other hand, surveys the needs of the people and determinesapplicable laws. Therefore, secular government takes account of thesignificant human rights as well as the ideas of equality.

Secondly,the main objective of establishing a theocratic system of governmentis to control the masses. This means that a theocratic governmentframe laws that regulate nearly all aspects of citizens’ lives,including their relationships, sexuality, and dressing (Shubhro,2014). Deviation from the norms and rules set by theocraticgovernment results in dire consequences. Secular government, on theother hand, does not intend to control the lives of the people in anyway. The idea of the secular governance is to help in the process ofdevelopment, as well as the integration of people of differentbackground. This implies that secular governments do not imposecontrols on personal matters.

Third,theocratic governments formulate laws that are consistent withreligious principles. This is common in the Arabic countries (such asAfghanistan and Iran) where Islamic rules are integrated into thenational rules to be followed by all citizens irrespective of theirreligious background (Shubhro, 2014). In secular government, on theother hand, the military leadership controls the government in themanner that is deemed to be in the interest of the entire country.This implies that laws that are made in secular totalitariancountries accommodate the interests of individuals from allbackgrounds.

Doingbusiness in totalitarian countries

Inmost cases, companies operating in totalitarian countries face a highpolitical risk compared to those operating in non-totalitariancountries. Some of the key political risks include property seizure,violence, unexpected policy change, and terrorism (Samski, 2014). Ina normal business environment, companies are expected to balancebetween the interests of investors and their legal obligations.However, companies operating in the totalitarian countries aresubject to the directions of dictator. This means that such companiesare expected to follow the rules of totalitarian leaders irrespectiveof whether they are in the interest of investors. In addition,unethical issues (such as corruption) are common in totalitariancountries. This reduces the chances for the growth of businessesoperating in these countries. Moreover, totalitarian countries areassociated with unnecessary bureaucracy that hampers business growth.


Boththe secular and theocratic totalitarianism are characterized bysuppression of the other people, while the opinion of the overallleader is considered to be the rule to be followed by all people. Thetwo types of totalitarianism differ in several ways, including theextent to which their rules affect the personal lives of citizens,the consideration of the interests of citizens in the rules theyformulate, and the connection between religion and politics. Runninga business in the totalitarian countries is quite challenging giventhat the business has to pay close attention to the rules of adictator at the expense of the interests of shareholders and theprevalence of unethical practices in the corporate world.


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Shubhro,S. (2014). Theocratic vs. secular governance. Shup’sGarbage.Retrieved January 18, 2015, from,