Comparing Democracy and Authoritarianism

Democracy Authoritarianism
Governmental leaders are selected by free and fair elections where all citizens can vote. Competing for power with the ruling group is either limited or nonexistent.
Leaders are limited in the power they can exercise, and follow existing laws. Authoritarian leaders often exercise power arbitrarily and without regard to existing bodies of law.
The top leader seeks advisors with expertise and experience in particular areas. The top leader often uses personal loyalty as the main criterion for choosing advisors.
Decisions are generally reached based on benefits to the country and its citizens. Decisions are generally reached based on benefits to the top leader and his supporters.  
Non-violent protest and alternative views are welcomed. Protesters are often arrested. There is little to no toleration of dissent
Media is free to express its views. Media is controlled by the government.

Democracy is not guaranteed — it is a rare and fragile thing by Tobias Stone, May 4, 2022

We cannot take democracy for granted; those of us living in democracies are enjoying a rare moment of freedom in human history.