Causes of the Modern Dictatorship

Dictatorship is a type of government that is being led by a single person or party who decides and holds all political power of a nation. Some examples of dictators are Hitler from Germany, Mao Zedong in China, and Benito Mussolini in Italy. Dictatorship makes the government more stable since only one person decides for the entire nation. As well as the country not being prone to corruption. Today discus Causes of the Modern Dictatorship.

Causes of the Modern Dictatorship

The twentieth century witnessed a bumper crop of dictators. In the interwar period (1919-39), dictatorship rise in Italy, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Soviet Russia-and other countries. After the end of the World War II (1939-45), it rise in China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Burma, Sudan, Egypt, Iraq and other countries.

Reaction against Democracy :

Modern dictatorship rise as a strong reaction against democracy, which had its brief golden period in the first two decades of the twentieth century. During the interwar period (1919-39), democracy became a casualty in several European countries; and even the old democracies were rudely shaken to their foundations. States; which were carved out on the principle of self-determination, had democratic constitutions, which unfortunately could not bear the strain of the challenging times. In the new democracies, progress was painfully slow, and all the drawbacks of democracy were evident.

Causes: Modern dictatorship rise owing to the following causes :

1. Arrogance of Victorious Powers:

Victorious powers like Britain and France were arrogant. While the victorious powers of World War I like Britain spoke of high-sounding principles like self-determination on the one hand, they arrogantly followed capitalist and imperialist policies on the other. The defeated powers like Germany were treated very harshly and with contempt, and a spirit of revenge animated the people in countries, which were laid in dust. The defeated and humiliated powers bore a grudge against the victorious powers.

The principle of self determination was denied to several subject countries like India. Double standards were followed, and efforts were made by self-righteous leaders of the world to keep down peoples in the various parts of the world. In several countries, there was a clear trend favoring totalitarian dictatorship.

2. Failure of Democracies:

In the interwar period, hollowness of democracies was thoroughly exposed, and this led to the spread of dictatorship like an epidemic.  Democratic constitutions were made for countries in which the necessary conditions for the smooth working of democracy were totally lacking. The genius of people in different countries did not match the letter and spirit of the democratic constitutions. Though President Woodrow Wilson of the USA had triumphantly declared that the world was made safe for democracy, conditions were unfavorable in several countries for democracy to strike roots.

In Germany, for instance, the democratic Weimar Constitution was unable to face the challenge of the times. Germany’s great distress after World War I beggared description. People lost faith in democracy, as inflation, unemployment. and demoralization were mounting day by day. Hitler then rose to power, and held out a rosy future for Germany.

In Italy, the disgruntled victor of World War I too, the people were frustrated, and Benito Mussolini was able to be the dictator

In other countries like Spain, Poland, Yugoslavia, Rumanian, Bulgaria, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Portugal, Turkey and Japan democratic institutions broke down. In some Latin American States, instability and revolution gave rise to dictatorship. Ix Spain, Primo de Revera became dictator then there was civil war after which Franco became dictator.

In Russia, the Tsarist regime was overthrown in 1917, and the communists came to power. Lenin exercised dictatorial power in the name of the proletariat, and after him Stalin established bis ruthless dictatorship. Stalin was succeeded by Malenkov, who was followed by Bulganin, In 1958 Bulgarian was ousted by Nikita Khrushchev, who remained in saddle till 1964, when he was overthrown by Alexei Kosygin.

In China, which became a republic in 1911 conditions were favorable for the rise of a communist dictatorship, as the republican leaders failed to solve the problems of the people. In 1949, the Kuomintang Government of Chiang Kai-shek was overthrown, and Mao Tse-tung became China’s dictator.

Japan witnessed the rise of the dictatorship of Tojo.

Thus dictatorship spread everywhere like an epidemic.

3. Rise of Men of Extraordinary Ability:

In several countries, men of extraordinary capacity rose to lead people from despair to hope. They captured -the imagination of the people, and used the army to seize power. They disliked the long and meandering tracks of democracy, and had the short-cut of dictatorship. The masses of people were shepherded and made to obey dictators; there was not much opposition, as perhaps people felt that democracy was not worthy to be saved.

4. No Savior for Democracy:

Democracy had no savior in many countries, People disowned democracy, and welcomed dictatorship, as it was purposeful and meaningful to them. In countries in which national pride was hunt, the people were thrilled to hear the inspiring speeches of prospective dictators. The Germans were humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles (1919). But Hitler was able to capture their imagination, and bring them to national honour. In backward countries like Turkey, people were led by force. Here too leaders like Mustapha Kemal Pasha emphasized patriotism and nationalism. In Soviet Russia, people were terrorized, and bullied into submission. The indifferent attitude of the masses of people, or their least concern for democracy was a highly favorable factor for the growth of dictatorship.

5. Helplessness of League of Nations:

The League of Nations could do nothing to save democracy, It was toothless and spineless, and it did little to safeguard peace and democracy, when Hitler’s Germany went on committing a series of aggressive acts, When Mussolini’s Italy annexed. Ethiopia, when Soviet Russia attacked East European countries, and when Japan seized Manchuria from China.

Features of Modern Dictatorship:-

The following are the salient features of modern dictatorship:

1. Authoritarianism of One Man or of Minority Group.

Modern dictatorship is authoritarian. An authoritarian Government is characterized by the possession of supreme authority either by one person or by a minority group in no way accountable to the people over whom control is exercised.There are two forms of authoritarianism:

  1. The Fascist in Italy, Germany, Portugal and Spain; and
  2. The Communist in Soviet Russia and the People’s Republic of China. It is based on brute force, and not consent.

2. Totalitarian Supervision and Control:

Dictatorship some states is totalitarian. Italy under Mussolini, Germany under Hitler, Soviet Russia under Stalin, Krushchev and others, and China under Mao Tse-tung are totalitarian states. In these states, the individual’s personality is suppressed, and all aspects of his life are brought under state control.

3. Ruthless One-Party Rule:

In a dictatorship, the party to which the dictator belongs exercises ruthless control in the state from top to bottom, allowing no individual or party to rise against the ruling party. Even though there may be a written constitution outlining the formation of various institutions in which the people can work, one single party dominates national life. Brutal methods are used to keep out anti-party people and to weed out the enemies of the government and the party. There is no difference between the party and the government. The Nazi party in Hitler’s Germany, the Fascist party in Mussolini’s Italy, the communist party in Soviet Russia and the Flange in Spain exercised complete dictatorial control.

4. No Rights:

Rights, which people enjoy in democratic states, are denied to people under a dictatorship. People do not have political and civil rights: They are not allowed to express their opinion or criticize, and those who venture to do so are sent to concentration camps or slave labor camps or are liquidated.  All agencies of public opinion and means of communication are controlled and censored by the state. Only rights which are allowed by the dictator can be enjoyed by the people. People have to remain silent, and suffer totalitarian control and humiliation with stoic patience. Dictators manage to control both the body and the soul of the individual.

5. Cruel Suppression at Home and Aggression Abroad:

All modern dictatorships use brute force to realize their goal numerous ways, fear is struck into the minds of the people, who are forced to toe the dictator’s line. Secret police are employee to deal with the enemies of the state. Confessions are taken, and justice is meted out. Undesirable elements are killed or hounded out of the state so that others are terror-struck and made submissive. The atmosphere is charged with fear and suspicion, and there is all round ruthless suppression. In the external sphere, a policy of aggression is followed. The dictatorships of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were based on brute force, aggressive nationalism and imperialism. Stalin and Mao Tse-tang developed the communist brand of imperialism.

6. Wide Gulf between Dictator and People:

In a dictatorship, there is a wide gulf between the dictator and the people; and there is no distinction between state and government. Like the absolute monarch Louis IIV of France, the dictator regards himself as the state. As power is based on coercion and not on consent, the dictator suspects all and takes steps to protect himself from any plots and conspiracies against his life.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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