An absolute monarchy is a form of governance in which a single person or party has all of the authority, known as a dictatorship. This denotes total authority in the hands of the king or ruling party.
Table of Contents
What is a Dictatorship?
In a dictatorship, the rights of the people are often greatly restricted. With the support of strong individuals, dictators are often able to rule. In most cases, dictators come to power due to major societal problems, such as a severe economic crisis or widespread social unrest.
The dictators commonly maintain their authority by suffocating any dissent to their policies and rules. Often, this is done using dubious measures, such as intimidation, incarceration (legal or illegal), physical assault, or even assassination. There is a lack of freedom under dictatorships.
Even while some dictators are harsher and more oppressive than others, for the most part, dictatorships rob people of their freedom, dignity, and the ability to participate in politics. As a result, social and democratic institutions have been dismantled, and political parties have been banned.
When required, a dictator may also try to rewrite or modify the country’s constitution to give themselves and their supporters more power, wealth, or other advantages.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his party proposed constitutional changes that would allow him to extend his time in office until 2036 in 2020, an acceptable illustration of this.
Because of their religion, sexual orientation, or economic background, people under dictatorships are routinely persecuted. The employment of secret police, indefinite detention, and concentration camps are all common tactics dictators use to keep their grip on power and control.
The Five Kinds of Dictatorship
The means the dictator employed to achieve and hold power usually determine the sort of dictatorship a nation is controlled under.
Authors Natasha M. Ezrow and Erica Frantz put out five sorts of dictatorships in their book Dictators and Dictatorships: Understanding Authoritarian Regimes and Their leaders.
1. Military dictatorship:
Military strength is the means through which power is gained and maintained. Force of arms is used to maintain military supremacy when the military seizes power (often via an overthrow) and establishes a dictator of its choice (generally the highest-ranking military member).
Through familial ties, one may gain and pass on power. Dictatorships and monarchies are all forms of authoritarianism.
3. Personalistic dictatorships:
No matter how much support they get from outside forces, the leader still has considerable authority, particularly when deciding who should hold specific government positions. They rely largely on their charm to keep things under control.
People loyal to dictators are typically placed in positions of authority, whether or not they are qualified, and personality cults are fostered to influence public opinion in their favor. They frequently use secret police and brutality to keep detractors at bay, as do most tyrants.
4. Single-party dictatorships:
One-party rule is sometimes known as a dominant party dictatorship or a one-party state. As long as there are two or more political parties, only one can govern and control every facet of every election (which may only have one candidate), guaranteeing they win every time.
When a dictator dies or is ousted from power, they are the longest-lasting dictatorships because they are more likely to be replaced quickly.
5. Hybrid dictatorships:
The four other forms of dictatorships are combined in hybrid regimes. Namely, there were the 1977-88 Personalised/Military dictatorship in Pakistan and the 1948-84 Single-Party/Military dictatorship in El Salvador.
What it’s like to live under a Dictatorship.
The clear and considerable power disparity in a dictatorship is one of its defining features. All of the country’s power is in the hands of one guy. Because of this, the whole nation is governed by one person’s whims.
Even though a dictator has a staff of advisors and aides to assist in running the government, these individuals have little real power or influence. When it comes to a dictatorship, ordinary folks have no say in most decisions.
The dictator holds absolute power. Life under a dictatorship is like being in an abusive relationship or living arrangement from the outside. On the other hand, many citizens in long-standing dictatorships like North Korea and Cameroon have never known life without a dictatorship.
People who benefit from looking in from the outside regard dictatorships as much more harsh and immoral.
The Modern World’s Dictatorship Countries
52 countries have a dictator or authoritarian government in power, including three in Latin America and South America, 27 in Asia and the Middle East, and 22 on the African continent as of 2020.
Even though Africa is politically unstable, there are some long-standing tyrants throughout the continent. 26 African nations have seen power shifts in the previous six years alone.
Democracy is still unstable in many nations, which are engaged in violent religious insurrections. The risk of any fallen ruler being immediately replaced by another tyrant is high.
Currently, there are 22 tyrants in Africa, some of them worse than the others. The president of Equatorial New Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, has been in office for decades.
Following the execution of his uncle Francisco Macias Nguema in 1979, President Obiang became the country’s first democratically elected president. It’s reported that he’s worth about $600 million.
His family’s fortunes were bolstered by an oil boom that came at the cost of the people of Equatorial Guinea. State-sanctioned kidnappings, torture, and illegal executions are common practices under Obiang’s government. There has never been any evidence substantiating that Obiang was a cannibal.
A Global View of Dictators
When other people address dictatorships’ leaders, they aren’t labeled as such. Since most dictators use common titles like President or Prime Minister, they must look at their policies and behavior rather than their title to determine who they are.
- President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai of Afghanistan
- President Abdelmadjid Tebboune of Algeria
- President João Lourenço of Angola
- President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan
- King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain
- Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh
- President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus
- Sultan Haji Waddaulah of Brunei
- President Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi
- Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia
- President Paul Biya of Cameroon
- President Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic
- President Idriss Deby of Chad
- President Xi Jinping of China
- President Félix Tshilombo Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo
- President Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba
- President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti
- President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt
- President Teodoro Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea
- President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea
- Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia
- President Albert-Bernard Bongo of Gabon
- Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of Iran
- President Barham Salih of Iraq
- President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan
- President Bounnhang Vorachith of Laos
- President Nouri Abusahmain of Libya
- Min Aung Hlaing of Myanmar
- President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua
- President Kim Jong-un of North Korea
- Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said of Oman
- Emir Tamim Al Thani of Qatar
- President Vladimir Putin of Russia
- President Paul Kagame of Rwanda
- King Abdullah Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia
- President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of Somalia
- President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan
- President Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan of Sudan
- King Mswati III of Eswatini/Swaziland
- President Bashar al-Assad of Syria
- President Emomalii Rahmon of Tajikistan
- Chairman Losang Jamaican of Tibet
- President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey
- President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow of Turkmenistan
- President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda
- King Sheikh Khalifa Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates
- President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan
- President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela
- President Nguyễn Phú Trọng of Vietnam
- President Brahim Ghali of Western Sahara
- President Abd Al-Hadi of Yemen
Is China a dictatorship?
Most political analysts consider China’s government a dictatorship because of its heavy censorship and tight control over its people. This administration is known as a people’s democratic dictatorship in the Chinese constitution. Many individuals may find this to be a contradiction in words.
The people’s democratic dictatorship concept is that the Chinese Party of China and the state represent and act on behalf of the people but have and may utilize powers to counteract the forces of regressiveness.
With President Xi Jinping as the current head of state, he also serves as the General Secretary of China’s communist party, the Chairman of its Central Military Commission, the Vice President of China, the head of its Party School, and a member of its Politburo Standing Committee.
Do you consider Russia to be a totalitarian state?
Semi-presidential, federal republic of Russia, which is also an oligarchy. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, is in the midst of his fourth term in office.
Even though he had previously said he would step down in 2024, Putin sponsored a 2020 constitutional revision that would let him continue in office until 2036. Whether or not Vladimir Putin is a tyrant is up to question.
His opponents are imprisoned, freedom of expression is curtailed, and the government has been rebuilt to give him greater and longer-lasting control, those who feel he is a dictator claim. Additionally, Putin has judicial and legislative powers, which allows him to amend the law to suit his interests.
People’s Republics (The difference between an Autocracy and a Dictatorship)
A lot of people use the phrases autocrat and autocracy interchangeably with dictatorship. Because of this, it’s understandable. It’s a kind of governance in which the autocrat is the only decision-maker, and he or she has unrestricted and indisputable authority.
However, two key distinctions must be made between autocracies and dictatorships.
There are two main differences between autocracies and dictatorships. First, autocracies almost invariably place authority in the hands of a single individual, but dictatorships (especially one-party dictatorships) sometimes distribute power among a limited number of individuals.
Also See: Democratic Socialist Countries 2022
Secondly, although the word dictatorship is usually understood to imply inherent abuse of power — there is perhaps no such thing as a benign dictator – history gives countless instances of autocrats who attempted to do what was best for their people.
Perhaps the earliest human rights proclamation can be attributed to Cyrus the Great of Persia, Solomon in the Bible, Marcus Aurelius in the Roman Empire, and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yue in Asia.
Governments that autocrats rule may not necessarily face opposition from people who want a bigger role in how policy is made, though.
|Afghanistan||Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai||President||41128.7710|
|Bahrain||King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa||King||1472.2330|
|Cambodia||Hun Sen||Prime Minister||16767.8420|
|Central African Republic||Faustin Archange Touadera||5579.1440|
|Djibouti||Ismail Omar Guelleh||President||1120.8490|
|DR Congo||Joseph Kabila||President||99010.2120|
|Egypt||Abdel Fattah al-Sisi||President||110990.1030|
|Equatorial Guinea||Obiang Nguema Mbasogo||President||1674.9080|
|Ethiopia||Abiy Ahmed||Prime Minister||123379.9240|
|Iran||Ali Khamenei||2nd Supreme Leader||88550.5700|
|Kazakhstan||Kassym-Jomart Tokayev||Acting President||19397.9980|
|Nicaragua||Daniel Ortega Saavedra||President||6948.3920|
|North Korea||Kim Jong-un||President||26069.4160|
|Oman||Qaboos bin Said Al-Said||Prime Minister||4576.2980|
|Qatar||Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani||Sheikh||2695.1220|
|Republic of the Congo||Denis Sassou Nguesso||President||5970.4240|
|Saudi Arabia||Fahd bin Abdul Aziz||King||36408.8200|
|Somalia||Hassan Sheikh Mohamud||President||17597.5110|
|South Sudan||Salva Kiir Mayardit||President||10913.1640|
|Sudan||Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan||President||46874.2040|
|Turkey||Recep Tayyip Erdoğan||Prime Minister||85341.2410|
|Uganda||Yoweri Kaguta Museveni||President||47249.5850|
|United Arab Emirates||Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan||Sheikh||9441.1290|
|Vietnam||Nguyễn Phú Trọng||President||98186.8560|
|Western Sahara||Brahim Ghali||President||575.9860|
|Yemen||Ali Abdallah Salih||President||33696.6140|