Every country needs a government system to survive and keep the welfare of its citizens on track, and it is very important for the leaders and the people to determine which type will work best for them. One of the most popular forms of government is dictatorship, which is used by several countries, including North Korea and Cuba, where one ruler is bestowed with unlimited power. Throughout history, this way of leadership has acquired a very negative reputation, with the world witnessing the rise and fall of dictators like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein, which is believed by most people to be caused by the dictators’ actions and the fact that they ruled without consent of the governed. Nevertheless, there are also people who find this political system to be effective. After all, like any other form of government, dictatorships have their own set of pros and cons.
List of Pros of Dictatorships
1. Ability to Make a Country Progressive
Normally, any type of government is prone to making mistakes and has flaws in handling issues and implementing policies. Though other political systems are able to make good decisions and enforce effective laws, there have always been challenges that are delaying progress, thus should be resolved quickly. It in this aspect where dictatorships play a big role, as they can calibrate the legal framework without the need of a coalition to come up with decisions and implement laws. Simply put, matters will be dealt with as soon as possible. With this ability, dictators will be able to concentrate on their goals and vision of furthering progress. Since they do not have to protect any special interest, as opposed to democracies, they are more capable of modernizing their countries.
With just a single individual making all the decisions, government processes can move forward at a rapid pace, as no time will be needed for a group of people to come to an agreement. Also, there is no opposing authority to veto any decision, so there will never be any backtracks done to reach a compromise. In times of crisis, this ability of dictatorships is very beneficial.
Having one person to control all decisions can create a very stable base, where there is no infighting amongst government officials that can hinder advancements. And unlike other forms of government, such as a democracy, where leaders are selected on a frequent basis, dictatorships tend to have leaders who remain in power for long periods of time. By keeping one leader in power, a country will be able to maintain its focus and direction.
4. Economic Benefits
Those who support dictatorships argue that elections can be very expensive, considering that these include the electoral process, propagandas, campaigns and all the other relevant costs. This means that the country can save more money that can be spent on other important projects, such as financial aid to victims of calamities and housing. As for democracies, they have to shoulder this financial burden.
5. Low Crime Rates
As one person gets to decide what the laws are in dictatorships, he has all the power necessary to see that these regulations are enforced. These form of government often carry very severe penalties for even minor violations of the law, resulting to crime rates that are generally very low.
List of Cons of Dictatorships
1. Abuse of Power
One of the biggest arguments pushed by opponents of dictatorships is the tendency of a dictator to abuse his power, making him more self-serving and greedy. They also argue that such a leader would be surrounded by security personnel and armies that are complete with heavy armory, which makes it easier for him to do what he pleases at the expense of the citizens.
In several cases, dictatorships do not last long, as there is a very high chance that the citizens will try to overthrow the government at a certain point of time. Also, most dictators in history never reached a point where they were willing to turn over their power to someone else, generally retaining their positions until they were forcefully taken away from them. And if a dictator dies, this would create a power vacuum because people would struggle to claim his position for their own or to establish a different government system.
3. Political Unrest
While supporters argue that dictatorships are good for the economy, critics state the exact opposite. They say that with the absolute power dictators hang on, there would come harsh laws and penalties, including those that are self-serving. The people will sooner or later not be able to take the situation they are in, which can lead to political unrest where they would attempt to overthrow their leaders. When this type of situation arises, there would be chaos and even civil war. Moreover, critics add that even if this form of government ends through people power, it will be difficult for the country to recover and resolve problems for the next few years.
4. High Probability of Mass Killings
Another undesirable setback brought about by this form of government is the rising number of killings of innocent people. Having one leader and a small circle of individuals in control over a country would make it possible for people to go against the government by engaging in overt or secret operations. Of course, dictators would not be happy about this and then use the strict laws and the advantage that no one would go against his actions to easily get rid of people whom he considers as enemies or threats to his governance. In fact, there are countries under dictatorships where people are living in fear because innocent victims who are wrongfully accused of rebellion are punished and killed.
Like several other forms of government, dictatorships are definitely not perfect and are not spared from criticisms even when supporters have been expressing their views. There will always be benefits and setbacks for these systems, especially when it also focuses on serving only a single person. But by looking at how countries ruled by a dictator run and with the pros and cons listed above, you can reach an opinion yourself whether dictatorships are good for the people or not.