There are various types of government, and the type of system in power would differ depending on the country. As for dictatorships, they are a form of autocracy where a single ruler, referred to as the dictator, is bestowed with the ultimate power. The type of dictatorship in power can also be of a different form depending on the time or era that is referred to. In the past, many dictatorship governments implement different types of power, and in some cases, they are ruled without the consent of the people being governed. Many countries broke away from this type of government, it is generally deemed by many as unfavorable. The US, for example, was formed on the basis of freedom under democracy. However, before you write off all dictatorships as a bad way to govern a country, it is important to look into its pros and cons first.
List of Pros of Dictatorships
Having one person to control all of the decisions in a government can create a stable base, where there is no in-fighting among the officials, which can hinder progress. Also, a dictator would remain in power for a long period of time, unlike in other forms of government, especially democracy, where the people select new leaders on a frequent basis. Though this will prevent a country from having problems related to freedom, it would create a lack of continuity. But by keeping a single leader in power, dictatorships can maintain their direction and focus.
While any type of government can always have effective laws and make good decisions, it can still commit mistakes and have flaws in the way it implements policies and handles issues. Also, there will be challenges that it would face and cause delays, thus the need to be quickly resolved. This aspect is where dictatorships will play a huge role. Since these governments are able to calibrate the legal framework without the need of a coalition to come up with critical decisions and implement laws, problems will be resolved as quickly as possible. With this ability, a dictator can focus more on his vision and goals of running a progressive country. And since such a leader does not have special interests to protect, unlike those who rule democratic governments, he/she will be more capable to modernize the country.
3. Low Crime Rates.
Generally, dictatorships put one person in the position to decide what the laws will be and have all of the power needed to see that these regulations will be enforced. Also, these governments often carry severe penalties for even minor violations. As a result, crime rates in dictatorial countries are very low in general.
As there is only one person making all of the decisions, processes in the government will move forward quickly. This is possible because there is no need of a group coming to an agreement, which typically takes more time. There will be no opposing body of authority to veto any decision, and there will never be any backtracking to reach a compromise. When times get rough, this ability will also allow the government to immediately implement new plans and respond to new developments.
5. Economic Benefits.
Dictatorship advocates say that elections can be very costly, considering all the campaigns, propagandas and other electoral processes. This is something that democracies have to shoulder, but not dictatorships. Proponents also say that the money could be used on other important projects, such as housing development and calamity recovery efforts.
List of Cons of Dictatorships
1. Too Much Power.
Giving ultimate power and control to just one person is not ideal, as it can lead to future unrest and problems. A dictator has the ability to make decisions that will have an impact on the people in many ways, and the worse part is, the people do not consent to being ruled. Also, dictatorships can lead to poor distribution of wealth and a disunited society. It is believed that placing unlimited power to the hands of just one person is a recipe for disaster.
2. Abuse of Power.
Opponents of dictatorships argue that dictators tend to enjoy the power they are bestowed with, making them more self-serving and greedy. They say that these heads of state are surrounded by security personnel and armies that are complete with heavy armory, which makes it easy for them to do as they please at the expense of the people.
History shows that dictators have been abusing power, and even if they did not intend to oppress the people, human nature to have favorites and promote own interests would take over. Dictatorships have always led to inequality and eventually unrest, as those living under such a government have no recourse of action to address such issues.
Typically, dictatorships do not last long, as there is a very high possibility that the people will try to overthrow the government at a certain point in time. As for the leaders, they mostly never reach a point where they would willingly turn over power, which means that they generally retain their position until they are forced to do so. And when a dictator dies, a power vacuum would occur, as people would struggle to claim his/her position to implement a different political system or for their own.
5. Mass Killings.
Dictatorships are often known to be accompanied by rising numbers of death and killings of the innocent. As you can see, it is possible for people to go against the government secretly or overtly, which can lead to them being considered as enemies of the government and eliminated. Critics also point out that dictatorships instill fear among its people, as those who are falsely accused of rebellion are punished and killed.
Unsurprisingly, many people view dictatorships as negative, and those who see these forms of government as beneficial are often those who benefit from the power they have. But before you label dictatorships as detrimental, it is of utmost importance to take a look at both their pros and cons.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.