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Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not

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Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 135, Date : 09-APR-2019
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Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not out of any intrinsic commitment or conversion to democratic ideals, but rather because they foresee or recognize that certain changes and mobilizations in civil society make it impossible for them to hold on indefinitely to absolute power.

Three major types of changes can contribute to a society's no longer condoning the continuation of authoritarian rule. First, the values and norms in the society alter over time, reducing citizens' tolerance for repression and concentration of power and thus stimulating their demands for freedom. In some Latin American countries during the 1970s and 1980s, for example, this change in values came about partly as a result of the experience of repression, which brought in its wake a resurgence of democratic values. As people come to place more value on political freedom and civil liberties they also become more inclined to speak out, protest, and organize for democracy, frequently beginning with the denunciation of human rights abuses.

In addition to changing norms and values, the alignment of economic interests in a society can shift. As one scholar notes, an important turning point in the transition to democracy comes when privileged people in society-landowners, industrialists, merchants, bankers-who had been part of a regime's support base come to the conclusion that the authoritarian regime is dispensable and that its continuation might damage their long term interests. Such a large-scale shift in the economic interests of these elites was crucial in bringing about the transition to democracy in the Philippines and has also begun occurring incrementally in other authoritarian nations.

A third change derives from the expanding resources, autonomy, and self-confidence of various segments of society and of newly formed organizations both formal and informal. Students march in the streets demanding change; workers paralyze key industries; lawyers refuse to cooperate any longer in legal charades; alternative sources of information pierce and then shatter the veil of secrecy and disinformation; informal networks of production and exchange emerge that circumvent the state's resources and control. This profound development can radically alter the balance of power in a country, as an authoritarian regime that could once easily dominate and control its citizens is placed on the defensive.

Authoritarian rule tends in the long run to generate all three types of changes. Ironically, all three types can be accelerated by the authoritarian regime's initial success at producing economic growth and maintaining social order--.success that, by creating a period of stability, gives citizens the opportunity to reflect on the circumstances in which they live. The more astute or calculating of authoritarian rulers will recognize this and realize that their only hope of retaining some power in the future is to match these democratic social changes with democratic political changes.
1. Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main point of the passage?

(A) Authoritarian rulers tend to undertake democratic reforms only after it becomes clear that the nation's economic and social power bases will slow economic growth and disrupt social order until such reforms are instituted.
(B) Authoritarian regimes tend to ensure their own destruction by allowing opposition groups to build support among the wealthy whose economic interests are easily led away from support for the regime.
(C) Authoritarian policies tend in the long run to alienate the economic power base in a nation once it becomes clear that the regime's initial success at generating economic growth and stability will be short lived.
(D) Authoritarian principles tend in the long run to be untenable because they demand from the nation a degree of economic and social stability that is impossible to maintain in the absence of democratic institutions.
(E) Authoritarian rulers who institute democratic reforms are compelled to do so because Authoritarian rule tends to bring about various changes in society that eventually necessitate corresponding political changes.


2. The author's attitude toward authoritarian regimes is most accurately described as which one of the following?

(A) Uncertainty whether the changes in authoritarian regimes represent genuine progress or merely superficial changes
(B) Puzzlement about the motives of authoritarian rulers given their tendency to bring about their own demise
(C) Confidence that most authoritarian regimes will eventually be replaced by a more democratic form of government
(D) Insistence that authoritarian rule constitutes an intrinsically unjust form of government
(E) Concern that authoritarian rulers will discover ways to retain power without instituting democratic reforms


3. Which one of the following titles most completely summarizes the content of the passage?

(A) "Avenues for Change: The Case for Dissent in Authoritarian Regimes"
(B) "Human Rights Abuses under Authoritarian Regimes: A Case Study"
(C) "Democratic Coalitions under Authoritarian Regimes: Strategies and Solutions"
(D) "Why Authoritarian Regimes Compromise: An Examination of Societal Forces"
(E) "Growing Pains: Economic Instability in Countries on the Brink of Democracy"


4. Which one of the following most accurately describes the organization of the passage?

(A) A political phenomenon is linked to a general set of causes; this set is divided into categories and the relative importance of each category is assessed; the possibility of alternate causes is considered and rejected.
(B) A political phenomenon is linked to a general set of causes; this set is divided into categories and an explication of each category is presented; the causal relationship is elaborated upon and reaffirmed.
(C) A political phenomenon is identified; the possible causes of the phenomenon are described and placed into categories; one possible cause is preferred over the others and reasons are given for the preference.
(D) A political phenomenon is identified; similarities between this phenomenon and three similar phenomena are presented; the similarities among the phenomena are restated in general terms and argued for.
(E) A political phenomenon is identified; differences between this phenomenon and three similar phenomena are
presented; the differences among the phenomena are restated in general terms and argued for.


5. It can most reasonably be inferred from the passage that

(A) Many authoritarian rulers would eventually institute democratic reform even if not pressured to do so
(B) Citizen dissatisfaction in authoritarian regimes is highest when authoritarian rule is first imposed
(C) Popular support for authoritarian regimes is lowest when economic conditions are weak
(D) Absolute power in an authoritarian society cannot be maintained indefinitely if the society does not condone the regime
(E) Citizens view human rights abuses as the only objectionable aspect of authoritarian regimes


6. Given the information in the passage, authoritarian rulers who institute democratic reforms decide to do so on the
basis of which one of the following principles?


(A) Rulers should act in ways that allow occasional curbs on their power if the health of the nation requires it.
(B) Rulers should act in ways that offer the greatest amount of personal freedoms to citizens.
(C) Rulers should act in ways that speed the transition from authoritarian rule to democracy.
(D) Rulers should act in ways that ensure the long term health of the nation's economy.
(E) Rulers should act in ways that maximize their long-term political power.




  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 34 (Test ID: LL3034 - June 2001)
  • Difficulty Level: 600

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Originally posted by Gnpth on 12 Oct 2017, 13:18.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 12 Apr 2019, 03:34, edited 5 times in total.
Completely Overhauled the Passage
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Re: Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2017, 03:03
Good passage...

Got all of them right took around 10 mins.

Please keep posting such passages.
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Re: Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2017, 09:14
Good passage, easy questions - 10.5 minutes - 1 incorrect.
Is the passage sourced from LSAT?
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Re: Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2018, 10:59
Got 5/6 correct in 12:15 min including 6 min to read the passage!
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Re: Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2019, 18:12
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1. Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main point of the passage?

(A) Authoritarian rulers tend to undertake democratic reforms only after it becomes clear that the nation's economic and social power bases will slow economic growth and disrupt social order until such reforms are instituted. - Inconsistent
(B) Authoritarian regimes tend to ensure their own destruction by allowing opposition groups to build support among the wealthy whose economic interests are easily led away from support for the regime. - out of scope
(C) Authoritarian policies tend in the long run to alienate the economic power base in a nation once it becomes clear that the regime's initial success at generating economic growth and stability will be short lived. - out of scope
(D) Authoritarian principles tend in the long run to be untenable because they demand from the nation a degree of economic and social stability that is impossible to maintain in the absence of democratic institutions. - out of scope
(E) Authoritarian rulers who institute democratic reforms are compelled to do so because Authoritarian rule tends to bring about various changes in society that eventually necessitate corresponding political changes. - in order to hold power, they undertake democratic reforms otherwise poitical change will happen which will destroy their rule.

2. The author's attitude toward authoritarian regimes is most accurately described as which one of the following?

(A) Uncertainty whether the changes in authoritarian regimes represent genuine progress or merely superficial changes - Inconsistent
(B) Puzzlement about the motives of authoritarian rulers given their tendency to bring about their own demise - Inconsistent
(C) Confidence that most authoritarian regimes will eventually be replaced by a more democratic form of government - In the last para the author said that eventually all 3 changes are going to happen. So he is confident that the authoritarian rule is going to collapse
(D) Insistence that authoritarian rule constitutes an intrinsically unjust form of government - out of scope. It never said that they are unjust
(E) Concern that authoritarian rulers will discover ways to retain power without instituting democratic reforms - out of scope

3. Which one of the following titles most completely summarizes the content of the passage?

(A) "Avenues for Change: The Case for Dissent in Authoritarian Regimes" - out of scope
(B) "Human Rights Abuses under Authoritarian Regimes: A Case Study" - Inconsistent
(C) "Democratic Coalitions under Authoritarian Regimes: Strategies and Solutions" - out of scope
(D) "Why Authoritarian Regimes Compromise: An Examination of Societal Forces" - how the rule can be collapsed. The 3 changes
(E) "Growing Pains: Economic Instability in Countries on the Brink of Democracy" - out of scope

4. Which one of the following most accurately describes the organization of the passage?

(A) A political phenomenon is linked to a general set of causes; this set is divided into categories and the relative importance of each category is assessed; the possibility of alternate causes is considered and rejected. - inconsistent
(B) A political phenomenon is linked to a general set of causes; this set is divided into categories and an explication of each category is presented; the causal relationship is elaborated upon and reaffirmed. - authoritarian rule - 3 changes - acceleration for political change
(C) A political phenomenon is identified; the possible causes of the phenomenon are described and placed into categories; one possible cause is preferred over the others and reasons are given for the preference. - Inconsistent
(D) A political phenomenon is identified; similarities between this phenomenon and three similar phenomena are presented; the similarities among the phenomena are restated in general terms and argued for. - Inconsistent
(E) A political phenomenon is identified; differences between this phenomenon and three similar phenomena are
presented; the differences among the phenomena are restated in general terms and argued for. - Inconsistent

5. It can most reasonably be inferred from the passage that

(A) Many authoritarian rulers would eventually institute democratic reform even if not pressured to do so - out of scope
(B) Citizen dissatisfaction in authoritarian regimes is highest when authoritarian rule is first imposed - out of scope
(C) Popular support for authoritarian regimes is lowest when economic conditions are weak - inconsistent
(D) Absolute power in an authoritarian society cannot be maintained indefinitely if the society does not condone the regime - this is tricky. negate the sentence. if the society accepts the regime, power can be maintained. That's the double negation used to confuse.
(E) Citizens view human rights abuses as the only objectionable aspect of authoritarian regimes - inconsistent

6. Given the information in the passage, authoritarian rulers who institute democratic reforms decide to do so on the
basis of which one of the following principles? - to hold absolute power

(A) Rulers should act in ways that allow occasional curbs on their power if the health of the nation requires it. - Inconsistent
(B) Rulers should act in ways that offer the greatest amount of personal freedoms to citizens. - out of scope
(C) Rulers should act in ways that speed the transition from authoritarian rule to democracy. - opposite
(D) Rulers should act in ways that ensure the long term health of the nation's economy. - out of scope
(E) Rulers should act in ways that maximize their long-term political power. - to hold absolute power
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Re: Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2019, 08:27
in question 5 why cant we infer option 1
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Re: Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2019, 09:50
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Hi

Option (A) in its sanguine view of the embracing of democracy by authoritarian rulers, contradicts paragraph 1 and so we cannot infer it.

jotika86 wrote:
in question 5 why cant we infer option 1

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Re: Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not   [#permalink] 12 Jul 2019, 09:50
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