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About definition[edit]

In my opinion the "three possible meanings" postulated give a very poor flawed picture of the use of the word its diffrent concepts. It should be rewritten. It´s sad, how people cannot distinguish between different meanings of a word. Miekkaniekka (talk) 05:23, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Benevolent Totalitarian Dictatorships[edit]

Dictatorship in no way implies "authoritarian" OR "totalitarian". Dictatorships are merely governments led by one person, not following the herity of monarchal rulers. There are Benevolent and Totatalitarian Dictatorships, but "Dictatorship" should never be used to show suppression of rights.

Indeed; I believe Hans Hermann-Hoppe argued that democracy can actually be inferior to dictatorship. Tisane talk/stalk 17:50, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Somebody should redact the human rights article!

Removed this:

Ironically, several dictatorships include the word democratic in their official names, such as Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The irony is a lot more complex than this reader realizes.

And much more dubious than this commentator realizes as well. The alleged status of Communist regimes as 'dictatorships' is a matter of debate, however the notion that the term of 'democratic' is befitting of these regimes is factually incorrect. The citizens of North Korea are unable to vote and ellect political movements which embody an alternative to that representing the current regime or the system of the country, and are actively persecuted by the current regime if they commit to such alternative movements underground. This makes the country unqualified to be considered a democratic republic in anything but the name, which makes the two words dubious in the context of North Korea's full & official title. 10:54, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Democratic should be included in dictator page since it is an example of how dictators attempt to hide the fact that only the dictatorial leader of the country will lead the country even though there are 'democratic' elections.

The average citizen would be intimidated into voting 'for' the dictator for fear of imprisionment, torture, or death. See Iraq for a good example.

Other dictatorships allow multiple parties on the ballot all of which are hand picked by the dictator to nominate the dictator as leader.

Other methods include fradulent counting of votes and other election rigging.

The conception of the term "democratic" under Communist regimes refers to more than just voting. It's viewed more in a class or an socio-economic sense than political.


That part about communits regimes gravitating to socio-economic equality would be a welcome addition to the general info on North Korea, Soviet Union, Cuba and other communist countries past and present.

Such an addition would make the article biased, given the rather large gap between theory and practice the recent history of Communist nations has forced us to take into consideration.

Keep it relevant[edit]

This is about the system of government, not the person running it. That information belongs in dictator. Some of the text needs to be removed so we dont repeat ourselves. --Jiang 23:46, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I have moved the following from the article. I don't see much relevance, nor can I verify the authenticy of the quote - google find exactly two hits which are wikipedia mirrors. As I side-note: similar quotes were inserted into Computer science and Afterlife and reverted as nonsense. andy 07:30, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"Being in power is like a lady".If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
Navin Kumar

This is an essay[edit]

This article is more likely an essay. It has not the objectivity and clarity of an encyclopedic article.

  • Etimology and definition for dictatorship

I think that definition need to more concise and it should be only one definition for the concept. Special particularities could be moved on chapter "Style".

  • Style

"In the 20th century, the term dictatorship has come to mean a form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in the hands of a dictator and sometimes his supporters" - It is exactly the political system of the Middle Age, only that the dictator called himself/herself in some other ways. Hitler wanted for his "Reich" to last for 1,000 years, as the Dark Age lasted in Europe. The term of dictatorship re-appears in the 20th century, the concept and the model is far more old. Speaking of "style", it seems there are so many styles of dictatorship.

  • Types of dictator ship

I am not sure that I understand what is the difference beetween "type" and "style".

These initials chapters should have a higher degree of abstractisation. And then, the concretisation:

  • History of dictatorship

Based on the "types" and "styles" of dictatorship, I think the history of dictatorship will be more clear, complete and objective. This is the place for examples, and I suppose it could be a very good example of collaborative work in order to complete this history.

Or rather the article should refer only on the "modern" dictatorship. In its actual form, the article "Dictatorship" is contradictory with the article about "Napoleon Bonaparte". --Vasile 15:32, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Vasile, you're right on target here. This article was unsavable-- a mess like so many of the related topics, so I have replaced it with a passable, if brief, rewrite. 172 06:49, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

172 Rewrite[edit]

The old dictatorship page wasn't that good. The re-write done by 172 I think does improve things overall. However, I'm not sure about removing all the links to various examples of dictatorship. Really the whole idea of "dictatorship" is so nebulous. As the US Supreme Court said in regards to porn, its a definite "know it when I see it" type of thing. So having all the examples is useful.

On the plus side, these lists help make the encyclopedia more navigable, with its Wikilink systes, but this one had to go. Since Wikipedia lacks a professional review board, and prohibits "original research," editors could never properly determine a way to categorize regimes throughout history, and make consident judgments on which ones are worth reporting as widely regarded as "dictatorships." There is also the issue of differences in the definition, depending on the source, which the new article is careful to work around in order to stay neutral. 172 06:57, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps the single best way to measure the level of undemocratic tenure within any given regime is by the amount of annual fugitives fleeing the country on the risk of losing their lives, even though there is no immediate threat of military conflict within the country neither by internal nor external causes. When a person is willing to risk their life and that of their children in order to emigrate from a country through any means required, it may well be indicative of the problems within their country of origin which seem to transcend the problems a person fiercely opposed to the Bush administration experiences while living in America, to give but one example. 10:44, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The lists by Wallechinsky certainly aren't "oringinal research." Are you suggesting that the regimes cited are *not* correctly categorized? If so, I'd like to see some citations to defend that position.

Merge dictator ?[edit]

Merge because it's a fork. Santa Sangre 22:52, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

That makes no sense. Dictator covers the use of the title, in many historical instances, often not in a dictatorship, while most dictatorships used another style, or didn't even have an (individual) dictator but a collective, such as a junta or politburo. It might make more sense to merge in articles on specific types of dictatorship, although in time that could well become to long. Fastifex 11:41, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

no, why should we do that? 19:10, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that dictators should be seperate. In the dictators section you can have historic dictators, in dictatorship just have the history of this form of government. Just like the pages for the other types of governments.

As with over govermental pages the position, in my opinion should be left seperate.

19th century[edit]

I've removed this:

In the 1860s, Queen Victoria of Great Britain expressed fears of dictatorial tendencies in her Prime Minister William Gladstone.

It doesn't seem enough to justify a section called "19th century". I'm not sure if this section is needed either. At the moment the article deals with Roman dictators and 20th century. If we add an overview of dictatorship throughout history, we might as well refer to History since some form of dictatorship has always been the rule much more than the exception. I don't think it would be valuable. Someone should outline a structure for this article, something to start from. And the most important thing on a page like this is the linking to other pages such as absolute monarchy, Chinese Emperors, and so on. Not just a link in "See also" but some description. On the whole I think the best thing for this page would be to restart from scratch. Piet 12:17, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Integration[edit]

Stub articles were merged in per WikiProject Integration. Cwolfsheep 20:35, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Present Day[edit]

This article requires a section concerning present day dictatorships in the world. We should be able to ensure political neutrality if it is made clear that the named countries are effectively dictatorships as the result of the actions of the current rulers who incorporated the principles of dictatorship and autocracy within their style of rule, and thus not neccesairly due to the imposed systems of these nations. 11:13, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The map[edit]

China and Saudi Arabia aren't dictatorships? Yeah, tell that to this guy. Also, the "former dicatorship" crap is useless, seeing as every country in the world before the 19th century was a dictarship. --The monkeyhate 20:52, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Suppression, even persecution, of free speech is not the same thing as totalitarian dictatorship. By the way, that guy didn't die, the gruesome images of crushed carcass some show as a sequel is from somewhere else. 15:19, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Article Not Inclusive[edit]

Some political theories and government bodies have used the term "dictatorship" in other senses, such as the communist-socialist "dictatorship of the proletariat," referring to a government in control of a specific and not necessarily small or oligarchic group of people. In Chinese constitution, the term "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat" is used, meaning a democratic government in hands of the proletarians. Some other political theories call the exclusive democracy of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, even modern democracies that exclude women/slaves as dictatorships of special groups. Although this form of government is not necessarily or is no longer practiced, it is an extremely influential concept that is not included in the article. 15:19, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Use of "Dictator" in Wikipedia[edit]

Please see here for debate, thanks. Tazmaniacs 15:34, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Pro-USA dictatorship = Democracy?[edit]

USA is hyprocrite, she always put blame on China, Pakistan and Burma for lack of democracy, but why never blame Mikheil Saakashvili for his dictatorship over George .

(USA supports pro-American dictator Mikheil Saakashvili via Rose Revolution.) 04:54, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Distinction between Dictatorship, Monarchy, and Despotism[edit]

I think that this article, as well as the other ones I mentioned, fail to answer a question of mine that I think many others have: What is the technical difference between a monarchy, a dictatorship, and despotism. Aren't monarchy and despotism simply another word for dictatorship? Fusion7 (talk) 19:03, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

No, monarchy and despotism is not another word for dictatorship. Stalin and Hitler are dictators, but not monarchs. British Queen is not a dictator, but monarch. Monarchs, typically inherit position by hereditary ascension and use system of aristocratic titles. Napoleon was both monarch (self-proclaimed Emperor) and dictator. "Despot" is a more general word and may also carry meaning of economical oppression.Chelentano (talk) 04:47, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Merge with "autocracy"[edit]

The very first line of this article states that dictatorship is a form of autocratic government. This is self-evident that the two articles refer to the same idea. I think they should be merged. Dust429 (talk) 13:56, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Autocracy specifically refers to rule by one man. A dictatorship may involve several persons like in juntas.Ultramarine (talk) 14:02, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Nope. No merge. Since etymologically, the term historically has not had the identical meaning as it does today. Far from it.

Not sure this is the best place for this comment [my first ever post to Wikipedia--forgive me if I commit any faux pas], but regarding the following passage in the third paragraph of the article: "In this sense, dictatorship (government without people's consent) is a contrast to democracy (government whose power comes from people) and totalitarianism (government controls every aspect of people's life) opposes pluralism (government allows multiple lifestyles and opinions). Though the definitions of the terms differ, they are related in reality as most of the dictatorship states tend to show totalitarian characteristics. When governments' power does not come from the people, their power is not limited and tend to expand their scope of power to control every aspect of people's life."

I disagree with the "...totalitarianism...opposes pluralism {government allows multiple lifestyles and opinions)." I think it would be more correct to describe totalitarianism as opposing not a governmental form that allows such and such, but rather a system with minimal governmental control over anything. Is this Libertarianism--I don't know, I'm not a political scientist. The article should say something like, "...and totalitarianism (government controls every aspect of people's life) opposes ________ (minimal governmental control; people control every aspect of their lives)" —Preceding unsigned comment added by UncleGee (talkcontribs) 15:37, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, forgot to sign--told you I was new to this! UncleGee (talk) 15:40, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Etymology and Definition[edit]

The article lacks etymology.

Only provides recent, modern tense of the word; being generally synonymous with despotism, brutal autocracies and tyranny.

The term had a different tense, for example, in the 19th century, and the era of writers such as Karl Marx. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:21, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Was Lenin a dictator?[edit]

Could someone explain to me (with references please) why is Lenin listed here? Was he ever a dictator? For example, here dictatorship of Lenin is described as a myth. Perhaps, the dictatorship of proletariat may have caused this confusion. I understand he was one of leaders of the revolution, a founder of a state, and a charismatic person. But then a number of American presidents may qualify as dictators. (Igny (talk) 05:54, 5 October 2008 (UTC))

Even though I disagree with your last sentence (and I'm sure there's an entire potential flame war that could erupt over it :-)), I agree that Lenin isn't a dictator. He led the Russian Revolution, but he was not a dictator. Stalin was the dictator. If you would like to change the article to reflect that, I would have no problem with it. By the by, even Lenin's own article doesn't describe him as a dictator. TNX-Man 13:23, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Not that I agree with my last sentence either. I would edit the article a bit later if noone raises objections here. (Igny (talk) 13:43, 5 October 2008 (UTC))
  • Of course Lenin was a dictator. Answer these questions 1) Who elected him? 2) Who had the power to remove him? 3) Who had the power to curb or control his powers or place any checks or balances on him? The answers to all these questions is NO-ONE.

( ( 19:21, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Many people confuse Lenin with Stalin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:49, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

  • I think there is consensus in the fact that Lenin was not a dictator. I consider vandalism his addition to the list made by I undid the revision. If you think on the contrary please first discuss that, with sources, in the Vladimir Lenin article. Alchaemist (talk) 17:25, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • If you believe that I strongly suggest you stop sniffing the nail polish. I suppose next you'll be telling me that Hitler wasn't actually a dictator and that the Pope is a Muslim. [[1]]

( ( 03:12, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

  • OK, I'll disregard the nasty comments, as I am not very fond of Lenin, but my opinion on him is not really relevant. With that source you made your first step into civilization. Now... just adding him to a list is not a big contribution. Wikipedia needs (ideally) coherence between its articles, and as such, Lenin cannot just be added here. Lenin's article is semiprotected, so perhaps you should register an account, contribute in other articles, and once you have autoconfirmed, then you'll be able to edit (with encyclopedic sources) Lenin's article, and if your edits survive, then, and only then, Lenin would be added here. Regards. PS: if anybody thinks I am loosing my time, keep in mind that this might be somehow constructive. Alchaemist (talk) 07:27, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Lenin is not a dictator. On November 8 , 1917, he was elected as the Chair of the Council of People’s Commissars by the Russian Congress of Soviets. The Congress was at that time a multi-party entity (6 political parties). The Russian Congress of Soviets had power to elect and reelect. Lenin served one and a half term, total 6 years though the last 2 years he had limited influence due to his illness. Note, that American president F. Roosevelt, served 3 terms, or 12 years. Chelentano (talk) 04:17, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, the oh-so-clever figleaf of the 1917 Congress of Soviets. Lenin rigged that Congress and was proud of his efforts to do so. They delayed the Congress until some delegates had to leave, they packed the Congress with massive numbers of delegates from Soviets that they controlled, they refused to seat delegates from Soviets they didn't control. They initmidated delegates with force of arms. And lastly, were quite ready to completely ignore the Congress if it had (by some possibility) gone against Lenin's wishes. Lenin was an autocrat. He autocratic in Switzerland, and it only got worse when he began directing his own army, secret police, and death squads. He is the epitome of a dictator. Capitalismojo (talk) 04:39, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  • "They initmidated delegates with force of arms." - Could you provide a link to this info? Chelentano (talk) 05:41, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Chiang Kai-shek[edit]

Recently this article was subject to vandalism. Between others, Chiang Kai-shekChina 1928-1931, 1943-1949, was added. I removed it not because I particullarly like the guy, but because such claim should be first sustained in this discussion, to colectively determine if he matches the criterion to be included in the list. Whoever thinks he should/shouldn't be in the list please present your reasons and sources here. Thanks! Alchaemist (talk) 03:27, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Semi-protection request[edit]

This article, specially its "Dictators List", is subject to a constant level of anonymous IP vandalism. Whenever somebody doesn't like a politician, president, whatever... they just add trash here. And the definition of somebody as "dictator" is really tempting. Personally I think, this article should be semi-protected, so only autoconfirmed accounts can edit it. I'd like to know if there is consensus on this. Regards! Alchaemist (talk) 17:20, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

  • OK, one week passed, and nobody added comments here, also the article was vandalized about 15 times in the last ten days, so I am requesting the semiprotection. Regards! Alchaemist (talk) 19:00, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Just some stats.... From the last 50 edits, approx 30 were IP edits, and approx 28 were vandalism. That makes it nearly a 60% of vandalism for this article. Alchaemist (talk) 19:11, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The protection request was turned down by tariqabjotu, he basically says The disruption is far from unmanageable. While yes, it's true that it can be managed, it requires an effort, and many times vandalizations stay there for a day or so, making this article to loose its credibility. IMHO unless others put their opinions in this section, things will not change. Regards! Alchaemist (talk) 19:19, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with the idea that this should be semi-protected. It is easy to semi-protect this article from vandalism. It's not about whether or not it's "manageable", it's about protecting the credibility of this fabulous online resource. Political issues are a very important thing to keep impartial, and I can see if political pages become the recipients of lasting vandalism, then all faith will be lost in wikipedia's credibility. mrout t 09:32, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I am going to have to second the request to semi-protect this article. As you can see in the above topics (especially on Lenin) there is too much of a problem with opinions, rather than facts. I would much rather see this article edited by somebody contributing meaningful content rather then their opinion on who they believe is a dictator based on personal beliefs and opinions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thatguynameded (talkcontribs) 20:06, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (Kuwait) & Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah (Bahrain)[edit]

Removed Kuwait and Bahrain.

Why would somebody put the Khalifa and AL-Sabah in this list. I will delete them because it is just simply not true. Also other people on this list get them out of here like King Abdhullah of Saudi Arabia —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Abdullah of Saudi Arabia[edit]

Regarding what was stated by in the previous section, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is a king in a monarchy, his power was inherited under monarchal rules, and finally I guess that most of Saudi Arabia supports monarchy after all. So I consider that he should be removed as well. He might be totalitarian, absolutist, whatever, but I think he's not a dictator in the strict sense. If you think the opposite, please elaborate here to support your statement. Regards! Alchaemist (talk) 23:33, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

What made you assume that the biggest dictator in the world (and especially in a country where the dictatorship is a prominent reason for creating jihadi terrorists, like Bin laden) is loved by his countrymen? Your statement sounds like what Indian Prime minister Manmohan Singh said about GW Bush, that Indians loves that mass murderer. (talk) 06:55, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Please keep your political rants out of the discussion. Provide some reliable sources to that effect and then we can begin to discuss your claims. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:05, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
There is nothing to prove. If you are taking it politically, let it be. Even a right wing magazine, Economist puts Saudi as the 7th most authoritarian regime in the world. Saudi is the best example of a dictatorship, where the absence of democracy given birth to terrorists like Laden. Why you are taking side of terrorists and Stubborn authoritarians? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:22, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
In countries where monarchs are titular head of state, they are no way dictators. In other cases please explain how a dictator differs from monarch? Without an explanation, don't play a dictator here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:26, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
The definition of dictatorship clearly states "the power rests entirely on the person or group of people, and can be obtained by force or by inheritance. (talk) 13:47, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
A definition it shares with absolute monarchy, but similar attributes does not make them the same phenomenon. You will need to find a reliable source for the dictatorship appellation. --Saddhiyama (talk) 19:57, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Vladimir Putin[edit]

Former Russian President Vladimir Putin was elected by people, served 2 terms or 8 years and left his position of president, according to Constitution. Yes, he is now a Prime Minister and still has huge influence, but I don't think he is a dictator in the strict sense. I believe, he must be removed from the list. Chelentano (talk) 04:27, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Saddam Hussein on his throne.jpg[edit]

The image File:Saddam Hussein on his throne.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --19:02, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


There are almost no citations for the article. Anyone able to find some? Gordonlighter (talk) 19:33, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

has the exact text for one of the opening paragraphs. Who copied who? If it's copied from the Princeton page, we can cite that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:53, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

God as a dictator[edit]

I've added God into the "fiction" section of dictatorships, in almost all religious context god meets the requirements of the definition of "dictator" or at best "autocrat". Any ones personal opinions aside, it should be included as a valid example, well known to many.

I have removed your addition, as it is unsourced and seems to constitute original research. --Saddhiyama (talk) 18:13, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Alexander Lukashenko[edit]

What about this man? Belarus has been called "the last true remaining dictatorship in the heart of Europe" by former and current European and American leaders.--DaleMartinWatson (talk) 17:12, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Electoral Dictatorship?[edit]

I can find no mention in the article about the largest group of authoritarian regimes the last 20 years, namely those that are self-described as "democracies", which celebrate contested elections, but where the playing-field is so tilted, and/or the voting is so rigged, that the outcome always and without exception is the re-election of the same person. Examples can be found in the 2012 book "The Dictator's Learning Curve" and include Belarus, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and more. --Dr Ulf Erlingsson (talk) 23:56, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Selfpublished source[edit]

I deleted the section named history, as it only contained a quotation from a selfpublished book, which even if it hadn't been selfpublished, would have qualified as WP:UNDUE, considering that it was not a monograph on dictatorship, but apparently some kind of theological treatise. --Saddhiyama (talk) 18:16, 8 January 2013 (UTC)