Definitions

Types of Dictatorship/Characteristics/Military/dictators

A dictatorship is a regime of government in which power and decisions are concentrated in one person or group . It is a government regime contrary to democracy in which the participation of citizens does not exist, with all government power concentrated in the interests of the dictator. Types of Dictatorship

A dictatorship is a form of government that has cruel consequences for the people and the country, mainly through excessive control over citizens and the violation of human rights.

Military dictatorship

In a military dictatorship, the concentration of political power is located in the hands of groups formed by the military.

In most dictatorships of this type, the military’s rise to government takes place through a coup d’état. The coup occurs when a group manages to remove from power the government that held it legitimately.

However, this coup does not necessarily happen through violent means. For example, the approval of a change in the law that allows the removal of the government from power is also a form of coup d’état and, in this case, the coup does not happen through violence. This situation is less common, but it can happen that a dictator comes to power through a process with characteristics of democracy, only demonstrating its dictatorial nuances after assuming power. Types of Dictatorship

It is important to know that the coup receives this name because it is a sudden change that affects the legitimate government that held the position until that moment.

Characteristics of a Dictatorship

Dictatorial regimes, although different from each other, have some characteristics in common.

The main characteristic is the concentration of power , which can be in the hands of a person or a group. Along with this, there is a disrespect for the separation of State Powers (Legislative, Executive and Judiciary), and decisions regarding these Powers are also taken by the dictator. In a democratic regime, the functions of each of the Powers are respected, as well as the separation between them. Types of Dictatorship

Another characteristic common to dictatorships is the existence of censorship , which is mainly used to prevent people who disagree with the regime from having the means to express their opinions.

In addition to banning citizens’ freedom of expression, some dictatorial regimes also censor the media and the internet to prevent citizens from being informed. This measure is used to prevent the population from developing a critical conscience that allows them to criticize the regime.

Is there a civil, socialist and communist dictatorship?

There is talk of the existence of a civil (or civil-military), socialist or communist dictatorship. But do these types of dictatorship really exist?

There are those who defend the existence of a civil-military dictatorship based on the justification that a dictatorship, however cruel, can count on the participation of members or organizations of civil society.

However, it is important to clarify that civil dictatorship is a misnomer . An example of this case is the dictatorship that existed in Brazil between 1964 and 1985. Although it had the complicity of some citizens or members of civil society, it was a government exercised and supported by the Armed Forces. Thus, the Brazilian dictatorship was a military dictatorship. Types of Dictatorship

Venezuela is another example. The country has lived under the command of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela since 1999, when Hugo Chávez assumed the presidency. The government has some characteristics of a dictatorial government, even if it is based on socialism.

Some people refer to the government of that country as a “Bolivarian” or socialist dictatorship, but this classification is also incorrect. Thus, despite some authoritarian measures, it is not appropriate to identify the Venezuelan government as a dictatorship.

The difference between socialism, communism and dictatorship

It is not possible to confuse a regime of socialist or communist bases with a dictatorship, although some of these regimes have certain dictatorial characteristics. Thus, to end this confusion it is necessary to know the bases of these theories.

It is also necessary to remember that many countries may not live under democratic regimes, but that does not mean that they can automatically be classified as countries under dictatorships. Cuba is a good example of this situation as it is a non-democratic country, with a government classified as communist. Types of Dictatorship

Dictatorship of the Right and Dictatorship of the Left

It is interesting to know that any political regime, whether right or left-wing, depending on the decisions taken by the government, can turn into a dictatorship.

Thus, both right-wing and left-wing dictatorships have existed in history. Here are some examples of countries that have been under dictatorial governments:

right-wing dictatorships

  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Germany
  • Spain

left-wing dictatorships

Dictatorships that currently exist

Currently there are some countries that live governments considered dictatorial. Some are in fact under a dictatorship, others, although not defined as such, have typical characteristics of this type of regime. Types of Dictatorship

According to data published in 2018 by Freedom House , an American organization for the protection of human rights, there are now 49 countries that live under governments with characteristics of dictatorship.

Angola, North Korea, Iran and Zimbabwe are examples of countries where governments tend to act with a lot of repression, violence and control over the population. Disrespect and violation of human rights is also very common in these governments.

Cuba and China are examples of countries that are not officially dictatorships. Cuba is under a communist regime and China is a People’s Republic. However, in these two countries there is control over freedom of expression and the press, as well as persecution of people who oppose the government.

the dictators

Dictators, even though they are different people, tend to have some characteristics in common, especially in relation to the way they act, their speeches, the historical moment in which they arise and the emotional appeal they generate in the population. Types of Dictatorship

Many of the dictators that emerged in the world had a strong charismatic appeal and managed to gain support from the citizens through this influence, managing to introduce their ideas through the sympathy they gained with the people.

It is common for the dictator to be able to establish a connection with his governed, making them feel that there is an identification between them. Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin , for example, are considered by many historians to be extremely influential dictators, who exercised a certain fascination over citizens despite the cruel practices they were able to commit during their governments.

Another point in common with many dictators is the historical moment in which they emerge. Many dictators are known to the population in times of crisis, especially in economic crises. Taking advantage of this moment and using the identification with the population, they end up being considered as the best way out of the crisis.

Dictators are also often fervent advocates of moral values ​​important to many people, such as the defense of traditional family values, faith, and extreme love for their country, nationalism. Types of Dictatorship

Differences between dictatorship and democracy

Dictatorship and democracy are opposite regimes . In the dictatorship, the participation of the people does not exist and the decisions are imposed by the government, in a very authoritarian way. The needs and wants of the people are not taken into account. Or, the dictator says that he knows what is best for the population and therefore he decides everything.

Furthermore, in a dictatorship there are no direct elections, human rights are easily violated, and censorship of citizens and the press is common practice.

In democracy, on the other hand, popular participation is the basis of the regime, decisions are made by the people and in their favor, considering the needs and benefits that must be addressed to citizens.

In a democratic regime, elections are free, human rights are protected and censorship does not exist, with respect for citizens’ freedom of expression. Types of Dictatorship

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