What is dictatorship? Concept, meaning, forms

There are various that are used in certain countries: autocracy, democracy, monarchy, republic, dictatorship. The latter is the most interesting and in the modern world is rare. Nevertheless, there are still countries that live under this form of government. Let's see what the dictatorship is, what are its features, advantages and disadvantages. It will also be interesting to consider modern countries in which this form of government is applied.

what is dictatorship

What is dictatorship?

This is a form of government. With her, all power belongs to just one political figure - a person (dictator) or the ruling party. Also at the head of the dictatorial regime may be a group of persons, the ruling union.

In political science, dictatorship is a form of power in which the ruling dictator or group administers a country in a directive way. This regime does not allow opponents to appear on the political front; therefore, its functioning is necessarily accompanied by repressive and radical measures against them.It is also possible to suppress or physically eliminate citizens who have the courage to oppose the current government. In some cases, repressive measures against people can be applied even if they do not directly criticize the authorities, but the opinion is different from the “official” one.

Note that in some cases, the dictatorship is a fairly effective form of government. It all depends on how the people themselves perceive this form, whether it understands the need. Also important is the form of society’s attitude to power and its ideological justification.

dictatorship of the proletariat

Citizen Perception

At the moment, the dictatorship of the state is perceived in a negative light. The concept itself is distorted in the negative direction, and it is applied to the state in which strict censorship is established, the irremovability of the leader or the ruling party takes place, where legislation is severely limited and the government itself is not restrained by political or public institutions.

Form benefits

Proponents of dictatorship usually distinguish the following advantages of this form:

  1. The strength of the change of power and unity.
  2. A sole dictator is an unbiased political figure.
  3. With this form of government there are opportunities to make long-term changes in the life of the country. That is, the term of election is virtually absent, which allows for many years to hold one political and ideological course. True or not, that is another question.
  4. Dictatorship provides an opportunity to make major changes in the country that are needed in the long run, but are not popular in the short run. In this regard, regimes with re-election of power are inferior to dictatorship, since few people make unpopular changes, the results of which may be reaped by other leaders in the future.

Note that dictatorial regimes often try to compare with monarchist regimes. However, the monarchy is different. In particular, the dictatorship has the following advantages:

  1. The dictator is always an intelligent and disciplined person with excellent organizational skills, will and a great store of knowledge. However, under monarchy, power is inherited. As a result, it can be received by a person who is not at all ready for his duties.Therefore, the continuity of power "by chance of birth" is a clear disadvantage.
  2. The dictator better understands the position of the people and the real life of the state.


Despite the obvious advantages, the dictatorship has several disadvantages:

  1. If the dictator is sole, then he is less confident in the endurance of his power. Therefore, there must be political repression.
  2. After the death of the leader in the country, political upheaval begins, which can even end in civil wars.

If we compare this device with the republic, we can identify the following disadvantages:

  1. There is a theoretical probability of transformation into a monarchy (the shortcomings of the monarchy are already explained above).
  2. Sole dictator is not responsible before the law and does not bear any responsibility for their actions. This may lead to the fact that a number of measures will be taken that contradict the interests of the state.
  3. The diversity of opinions is either greatly weakened or completely absent.
  4. If the policy of the dictator is contrary to the interests of the people, then there are no legal ways to change the power and eliminate the dictator.

If we compare the dictatorship with the monarchy, then there are the following disadvantages:

  1. Dictatorship is rarely considered a "pious" form of government.
  2. The monarch, unlike the dictator, knows from early childhood that in the future he can become the leader of the state. Therefore, from an early age he already studies the qualities necessary for a position. However, this is only in theory; in practice, everything can be different.

Forms of political dictatorship

In the modern world, a dictatorial type of system can exist only in several forms - totalitarianism and authoritarianism. These forms are very different from each other, however, they have important characteristics of the dictatorship. In particular, authoritarianism is a less rigid form of government, in which the country may have an opposition, parliament and even "free" media. However, both the parliament and the media are strictly controlled by the state, and if criticism of the authorities is allowed, then only superficial and harmless. Today, authoritarian regimes exist in developing countries: Latin America, Africa, Asian countries.

forms of dictatorship

As for totalitarianism, this is pure dictatorship in all its glory. In this form of government, any dissent is prohibited,There can be no opposition of the official authorities, the whole country follows only the course set by the party, and an attempt to change it is strictly punished. Most often dictatorial regimes rely on the army. In developing countries, the spread of the so-called military dictatorship, when the leader of the state is the army general. Typically, this mode is set after the military coup. An excellent example is the Pinochet regime in Chile, which was established in 1971.

Hybrid modes

Speaking about what dictatorship is, it is imperative to touch upon hybrid regimes that combine elements of authoritarianism and totalitarianism. A good example would be the dictatorship of Franco or Salazar in Portugal established in Spain. This also includes national-socialist and fascist dictatorships in Germany and Italy. In the USSR, under the rule of Stalinism, the totalitarian regime also took place.

state dictatorship

Modern dictatorship

Although a democratic regime has been established in many countries, there is still a dictatorship. Just modern dictatorships to preserve their privileges, simulate democratic processes (holding elections, etc.)e.), however, parties themselves from employees who are content with this established dictatorship participate in the political processes themselves. Also in the parties may be dependent politicians, in which the intelligence services have compromising. The state system under such regimes is permeated by the violence of services that secretly suppress initiatives against the state.

With regard to economic issues, in modern dictatorship there is a state banditry. The government does not produce anything new, does not participate in scientific and technological developments, its main task is to make a profit. All possible resources are used for this:

  1. New deposits of raw materials are not being developed, old ones are used to the last
  2. Factories and plants work out in full. The equipment is not written off even ten years after wear. It is repaired and re-operated. Unprofitable enterprises are simply closed, and not modernized.
  3. Established unreasonable taxes. This may be a tax before the inspection of the car, on the admission of the car to the roads, the excise tax on fuel, the tax on remittances, etc.
  4. The introduction of policy levies from the public. For example, it may be mandatory paid installation of intercoms, contributions to various funds.

The media may be present in the modern dictatorship, but they mostly do not notice the flaws in power. Most of the media belong to the oligarchs and politicians. Therefore, the objectivity of news channels can not count. That's what dictatorship is in the modern world - it has adapted to hide. Moreover, it sometimes hides how well it is that citizens do not even understand (or are completely satisfied with it) that they live under such a regime. Therefore, from democracy to dictatorship is one step.

Dictatorship of the proletariat

Speaking about this form of government, one cannot help but touch upon the dictatorship of the proletariat. This definition, which denotes the period of transition from the collapse of the capitalist system to communism. It is necessary for the working class for the period of the revolution, during which capitalism is transformed into communism.

political dictatorship

The main guiding (read - the ruling) force of such a state system is the Communist Party, which consists of representatives of the working class.The system of proletarian dictatorship includes workers' organizations: trade unions, youth unions, national representative bodies. Therefore, this form of government is the highest type of real democracy, which sets as its goal the attraction of the masses to governing the state.

The forms of the dictatorship of the proletariat can be different, and when they use this phrase, they most often have in mind not a specific political regime, but the essence of the state.

Countries with obvious dictatorship

At the moment there are countries in the world where the strictest dictatorship is established in its pure manifestation, where there is no other opinion than the official state, where every sphere of a citizen’s life is strictly controlled by the authorities.


Sudan is the first country to be one of the largest in Africa. It is headed by President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, who gained power after a military coup. As soon as he received the authority, he immediately banned political parties, canceled the effect of the constitution. Despite the fact that there are many Christians in Sudan, the president insists on regulating the life of the people by sharia.

Known Omar Hassan on suspicion of organizing mass killings of blacks during the war in Darfur. In 2009, for the first time in history, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of the President of Sudan, but Omar Hassan remains in his position to this day.


from democracy to dictatorship

North Korea today flashes on all news channels. The strictest totalitarian regime, headed by Kim Jong-un, is also established in this country. He inherited power from his father Kim Jong-il.

According to various information, in the country about 150 thousand people are engaged in forced labor in camps for political dissidents. The state has established the strictest censorship, news channels broadcast daily on the successes of the DPRK and its leader.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is another example. And although a monarchical form of government was established here, the structure of this country also corresponds to the characteristics of the dictatorship. There are no elections for the ruler, there are restrictions for women (they can not travel, work and even drive a car). In the kingdom, the death penalty and torture are applied to prisoners, extrajudicial arrests.

proletarian dictatorship


Now you know the meaning of the word "dictatorship" and understand what form of government it means. It is in all respects a vile state system that always leads to the collapse of the state. Revolution and dictatorship are very closely related phenomena. Usually, a revolution is a consequence of the discontent of citizens who can no longer tolerate the rule of their dictator.

Fortunately, in the modern world, due to the development of Internet technologies and free access to various sources of information, such a state system is gradually disappearing, but in undeveloped countries it still exists. However, this form is changing, and even in countries with democratic regimes, the so-called “behind-the-scenes dictatorship” secretly operates.

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