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Difference between Dictatorship and Totalitarianism/comparison table

Both totalitarianism and dictatorship are autocratic governments, that is, governments in which power is only in the hands of a single person. The most popular forms of autocracy are monarchy and dictatorship. A dictatorship is the form of government in which the dictator is the only representative of the state and has absolute power over it. The totalitarianism , on the other hand is the political power that the state controls absolutely every aspect of the country, restricting even the rights or individual rights of its citizens. Difference between Dictatorship and Totalitarianism

Comparison table Difference between Dictatorship and Totalitarianism

Dictatorship
Totalitarianism
DefinitionA dictatorship is the form of government in which power is in the hands of a single figure: the dictator. In a government of this type there is no division of powers, which is why it tends to be used to commit arbitrary acts such as benefiting minorities.A totalitarian government is one in which freedom is completely eliminated. Absolute power is in the hands of a single political party. This party usually (or pretends) to be the only party. Through strategies such as the use of propaganda , they exalt the masses and control society.
EtymologyDictatorship comes from the Latin “dictatorship” and means “government in which a single person is in charge.”On the other hand, totalitarianism comes from Latin and means “power in a single political party.”
Who has the power?In a dictatorship, power is in the hands of a single person; the dictator. Difference between Dictatorship and TotalitarianismOn the other hand, in a totalitarian government, power is in the hands of a political party. Therefore, although they have or usually have a single representative, the decisions are not made by him alone.
ExamplesSome of the most famous dictatorships that have taken place throughout history include: 

  • The Roman dictatorship (in ancient Rome).
  • The Cuban dictatorship, in the hands of Fidel Castro and Raúl Castro.
  • The government of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
  • The dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz “el porfiriato” in Mexico.
  • The government of Francisco Franco in Spain.
  • The government of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, among others.
As for the best known totalitarian governments are: 

  • The Hitler government, where the German National Socialist Workers Party had the power behind the figure of Hitler.
  • As for modern totalitarian countries, there are Belarus, Somalia, South Sudan, Chad, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, among others.

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