Authoritarianism and democracy are similar in form of government. The difference is that in an authoritarian state, elections and referendums of the population are formal. Coercion dominates persuasion. The people can express an opinion that differs from the opinion of the government, but the authorities will not take it into account. Authoritarianism is a tougher form of government than democracy.
Remember: The process of learning a person lasts a lifetime. The value of the same knowledge for different people may be different, it is determined by their individual characteristics and needs. Therefore, knowledge is always needed at any age and position.