It's important to understand and define terms when talking about authoritarianism, or political philosophies in general. Are you referring to
A) The concept of sovereignty and it's application
B) Crazy dictators
With the latter, the answer is no, of course not, don't be a fool. No one supports that.
If you take the former, there are still yet more questions. What form does it take? Is it a parliamentary dictatorship? A fascist dictatorship? A monarchy? An aristocracy?
Most often, authoritarianism is defined by what it is not. It is not democratic, ie, sovereignty does not lie with the people, and that is as far as most go.
Rather there should be more clarity here on what people are referring to.
If you are referring to a classic "one man as executive, legislative and judiciary", there is no reason why that man, with power, has any reason to oppress anyone. It's absolutely ludicrous to assume that he would just because he could.
Statecraft in general is a game of power, you are dealing with a society, in where many factions have lots of power. Every action that he does that annoys someone without harming them, he loses power and influence. He cannot go and just do what he wants. If he does, he will quickly find himself out of a job.
His legislative power in particular is limited by the police and their willingness to enforce law, by the people and their general willingness to obey law, by the PERCEPTION THAT THE CONTRACTS HE MAKES ARE JUST. Determining that perception of justice is culture, religion, history, etc.
Whether the society is "free" depends on how much that society values freedom as you would define it. If it does not, then it is unlikely to be a free society.
Why do you think Asian dictatorships tend to be rather brutal, and European ones fairly benign?
By definition, an authoritarian society is one which requires absolute submission to the state, or even to the whims of a ruling clique. There can be no freedom where citizens are not allowed to express themselves openly or have no framework of laws to protect their rights. Look at North Korea, where even the dictator's uncle can be thrown to the dogs for displeasing him. There can be no freedom in a society like that.
No, in any government that you have, there will never be a complete freedom for the people. The government is still going to make them pay taxes, and is still going to have laws that prevent them from doing certain things, so you are never going to be really free.
There is no real freedom is you are not free to choose leaders to help you create a world that you want. Without democracy there is no real freedom because you are not truly represented. With an authoritarian society, it's only the will of a select few that get to be realized.
No, there is not any real freedom in an authoritarian society, because the people who are not in power are given little choice over their lives. In the authoritarian society, people who are in charge at the top tell everyone else what is good for them. The people live in oppression.
Authoritarian society is ruled by obedience and is often thought of as the anti-thesis to real freedom. I do not believe you can have this type of government and at the same time have citizens who enjoy real freedom. This system is more about a brainwashed mindset that is controlled by the government, which is far from the ideals of freedom.