Dictatorship is a governmental regime in which all the powers of the State are concentrated in an individual , a group or a party . The dictator admits no opposition to his actions and ideas, and has a large part of the decision-making power. It is an anti-democratic regime in which there is no participation of the population.
In democratic regimes, power is shared between the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. In dictatorships there is no such division, all powers remain in only one instance. Dictatorship also has several aspects of totalitarian government regimes, that is, when the State is in the hands of only one person. Dictatorship is usually implemented through a coup d’état.
The first signs of dictatorship appeared in antiquity, when Rome was in crisis, a dictator was called to take power and make the government return to normality. The period in power could not exceed six months. During the time of the Roman Empire, tyrannies also happened, when the king oppressed his subjects and used violence to get what he wanted.
Military dictatorship is a form of government in which power is controlled by the military. This type of regime was very common in America, especially in Brazil, where it lasted more than 20 years (from 1964 to 1985).
In a figurative sense, the word dictatorship serves to describe a situation in which someone exercises absolute authority. Ex: I grew up under a dictatorship, my father wouldn’t let me do anything.
Features of a Dictatorship
Dictatorship is an undemocratic regime based on the rule of a dictator. To exercise it, the leader relies on only one political party whose ideology will be the only one considered correct and censored.
The dictator is often considered a special being, where citizens owe obedience and it is not possible to question him.
Dictatorships can be right-wing, left-wing, religious, monarchical, etc., and even tend to use democratic resources such as elections to disguise their authoritarian character.
A military dictatorship is one exercised by a military man or group of military men.
In modern times, the first military dictator was Napoleon Bonaparte when he proclaimed himself First Consul of France, after the Coup of the 18th Brumaire . In this way, civil power came to be exercised by a general who concentrated all powers in his person.
In the 20th century, several countries in Latin America suffered military dictatorships due to the fragility of their democratic institutions.
In Europe, we observe this phenomenon in Italy – with Benito Mussolini (1922 to 1943), in Germany – with Adolf Hitler (1933 to 1945) and in the Soviet Union – with Josef Stalin (1922 to 1953).
Also in Africa and Asia, we have countries that suffered military dictatorship, such as Libya, led by Gaddafi (1969 – 2011) or Cambodia, governed by Pol Pot (1963 to 1979).
Differences between Democracy and Dictatorship
The main differences between democracy and dictatorship are:
Model of elections : in a democracy, elections are direct, that is, the people themselves vote. In a dictatorship, elections are usually indirect, in which the rulers are chosen through an electoral college.
Type of State : in a democracy, obviously, the type of State is democratic, while in a dictatorship the State is authoritarian and totalitarian.
Division of powers : in a democracy there is division of powers. The legislature, executive and judiciary function independently of each other. In dictatorships, powers are concentrated in the hands of a single person or group.
Protection of rights : a democratic state protects and guarantees rights, in addition to constantly legislating new ones. In a dictatorship, rights are often disrespected.
Popular demonstrations : popular demonstrations are common in a democracy, in view of freedom of expression. A dictatorial government often uses censorship to prevent popular demonstrations, news or any type of publication contrary to its ideals.
Understand what is the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
According to the philosophers Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, creators of Marxism, the dictatorship of the proletariat is a transitional stage of a government of a country where a socialist revolution has occurred.
The dictatorship of the proletariat aimed to suppress the State and end the difference between social classes, with the oppression of the bourgeois class over the working class and with the dominance of the bourgeoisie over the means of production.
This phase would anticipate the creation of a communist society, serving to destroy the system of power created by the bourgeois who only sought to obtain profits. This type of dictatorship should be exercised by the proletariat, which would take measures to exclude the social classes that exploit the others