A dictatorship is an authoritarian form of government, characterized by a single leader or group of leaders with either no party or a weak party, little mass mobilization, and limited political pluralism. According to other definitions, democracies are regimes in which "those who govern are selected through contested elections"; therefore dictatorships are "not democracies". With the advent of the 19th and 20th centuries, dictatorships and constitutional democracies emerged as the world's two major forms of government, gradually eliminating monarchies, one of the traditional widespread forms of government of the time. Typically, in a dictatorial regime, the leader of the country is identified with the title of dictator, although their formal title may more closely resemble something similar to "leader". A common aspect that characterized dictators is taking advantage of their strong personality, usually by suppressing freedom of thought and speech of the masses, in order to maintain complete political and social supremacy and stability. Dictatorships and totalitarian societies generally employ political propaganda to decrease the influence of proponents of alternative governing systems.
The word "dictator" comes from the classical Latin language word dictātor, agent noun from dictare (dictāt-, past participial stem of dictāre dictate v. + -or -or suffix.) In Latin use, a dictator was a judge in the Roman Republic temporarily invested with absolute power.
Right after the end of World War II, with a more relaxed political and social climate, several studies regarding the classification of various forms of government have been conducted. Among these, has been intensely discussed by historians and political scientists the conceptualization and definition of the dictatorship form of government. Eventually, it has been concluded that dictatorship is a form of government in which the absolute power is concentrated in the hands of a leader (commonly identified as a dictator), a "small clique", or a "government organization", and it aims the abolition of political pluralism and civilian mobilization. On the other hand, democracy, which is generally compared to the concept of dictatorship, is defined as a form of government where the supremacy belongs to the population and rulers are elected through contested elections.
A new form of government that, in the 20th century, marked the beginning of a new political era and is commonly linked to the concept of dictatorship, is known as totalitarianism. This form of government is characterized by the presence of a single political party and more specifically, by a powerful leader (a real role model) who imposes his personal and political prominence. The two fundamental aspects that contribute to the maintenance of the power are: a steadfast collaboration between the government and the police force, and a highly developed ideology. Here, the government has "total control of mass communications and social and economic organizations". According to Hannah Arendt, totalitarianism is a new and extreme form of dictatorship composed of "atomized, isolated individuals". In addition, she affirmed that ideology plays a leading role in defining how the entire society should be organized. According to the political scientist Juan Linz, the distinction between an authoritarian regime and a totalitarian one is that while an authoritarian regime seeks to suffocate politics and political mobilization, totalitarianism seeks to control politics and political mobilization.
However, one of the most recent classification of dictatorships, formulated, do not identify Totalitarianism as a form of dictatorship. In Barbara Geddes's study, she focused in how elite-leader and elite-mass relations influence authoritarian politics. Geddes typology identifies the key institutions that structure elite politics in dictatorships (i.e. parties and militaries). The study is based and directly related to factors like: the simplicity of the categorizations, cross-national applicability, the emphasis on elites and leaders, and the incorporation of institutions (parties and militaries) as central to shaping politics. According to Barbara Geddes, a dictatorial government may be classified in five typologies: Military Dictatorships, Single-party Dictatorships, Personalist Dictatorships, Monarchies, Hybrid Dictatorships.
Military dictatorships are regimes in which a group of officers holds power, determines who will lead the country, and exercises influence over policy. High-level elites and a leader are the members of the military dictatorship. Military dictatorships are characterized by rule by a professionalized military as an institution. In military regimes, elites are referred to as junta members; they are typically senior officers (and often other high-level officers) in the military.
Single-party dictatorships are regimes in which one party dominates politics. In single-party dictatorships, a single party has access to political posts and control over policy. Other parties may legally exist, compete in elections, and even hold legislative seats, yet true political power lies with the dominant party. In single-party dictatorships, party elites are typically members of the ruling body of the party, sometimes called the central committee, politburo, or secretariat. These groups of individuals controls the selection of party officials and "organizes the distribution of benefits to supporters and mobilizes citizens to vote and show support for party leaders".
Personalist dictatorships are regimes in which all power lies in the hands of a single individual. Personalist dictatorships differ from other forms of dictatorships in their access to key political positions, other fruits of office, and depend much more on the discretion of the personalist dictator. Personalist dictators may be members of the military or leaders of a political party. Yet, neither the military nor the party exercises power independent from the dictator. In personalist dictatorships, the elite corps is usually made up of close friends or family members of the dictator. These individuals are all typically handpicked to serve their posts by the dictator.
Monarchic dictatorships are regimes in which "a person of royal descent has inherited the position of head of state in accordance with accepted practice or constitution". Regimes are not considered dictatorships if the monarch's role is largely ceremonial but absolute monarchies, such as Saudi Arabia can be considered hereditary dictatorships. Real political power must be exercised by the monarch for regimes to be classified as such. Elites in monarchies are typically members of the royal family.
Hybrid dictatorships are regimes that blend qualities of personalist, single-party, and military dictatorships. When regimes share characteristics of all three forms of dictatorships, they are referred to as triple threats. The most common forms of hybrid dictatorships are personalist/single-party hybrids and personalist/military hybrids.
One of the tasks in political science is to measure and classify regimes as either dictatorships or democracies. Freedom House, Polity IV and Democracy-Dictatorship Index are three of the most used data series by political scientists.
Generally, two research approaches exist: the minimalist approach, which focuses on whether a country has continued elections that are competitive, and the substantive approach, which expands the concept of democracy to include human rights, freedom of the press, and the rule of law. The Democracy-Dictatorship Index is seen as an example of the minimalist approach, whereas the Polity data series, is more substantive.
Between the two world wars, four types of dictatorships have been described: Constitutional, Communist (nominally championing the "dictatorship of the proletariat"), Counterrevolutionary and Fascist. Since World War II, a broader range of dictatorships has been recognized, including Third World dictatorships, theocratic or religious dictatorships and dynastic or family-based dictatorships.
During the Republican phase of Ancient Rome, a Roman dictator was the special magistrate who held well defined powers, normally for six months at a time, usually in combination with a consulship. Roman dictators were allocated absolute power during times of emergency. In execution, their power was originally neither arbitrary nor unaccountable, being subject to law and requiring retrospective justification. There were no such dictatorships after the beginning of the 2nd century BC and later dictators such as Sulla and the Roman Emperors exercised power much more personally and arbitrarily. As the Roman Emperor was a king in all but name, a concept that remained anathema to traditional Roman society, the institution was not carried forward into the Roman Empire.
After the collapse of Spanish colonial rule, various dictators came to power in many liberated countries. Often leading a private army, these caudillos or self-appointed political-military leaders, attacked weak national governments once they controlled a region's political and economic powers, with examples such as Antonio López de Santa Anna in Mexico and Juan Manuel de Rosas in Argentina. Such dictators have been also referred to as "personalismos".
The wave of military dictatorships in South America in the second half of the twentieth century left a particular mark on Latin American culture. In Latin American literature, the dictator novel challenging dictatorship and caudillismo is a significant genre. There are also many films depicting Latin American military dictatorships.
In the first half of the 20th century, Communist and Fascist dictatorships appeared in a variety of scientifically and technologically advanced countries, which are distinct from dictatorships in Latin America and post-colonial dictatorships in Africa and Asia. Leading examples of modern totalitarian dictatorship include:
After World War II, dictators established themselves in the several new states of Africa and Asia, often at the expense or failure of the constitutions inherited from the colonial powers. These constitutions often failed to work without a strong middle class or work against the preexisting autocratic rule. Some elected presidents and prime ministers captured power by suppressing the opposition and installing one-party rule and others established military dictatorships through their armies. Whatever their form, these dictatorships had an adverse impact on economic growth and the quality of political institutions. Dictators who stayed in office for a long period of time found it increasingly difficult to carry out sound economic policies.
The often-cited exploitative dictatorship is the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled Zaire from 1965 to 1997, embezzling over $5 billion from his country. Pakistan is another country to have been governed by 3 military dictators for almost 32 years in 7 decades of its existence. Starting with General Muhammad Ayub Khan who ruled from 1958-1969. Next was General Zia-ul-Haq who usurped power in 1977 and held on to power the longest until he died in an air crash in 1988. Ten years after Zia, General Pervez Musharraf got control after defeat against India in the Kargil war. He remained in power for 9 years until 2008.
The global dynamics of democratization has been a central question for political scientists. The Third Wave Democracy was said to turn some dictatorships into democracies (see also the contrast between the two figures of the Democracy-Dictatorship Index in 1988 and 2008).
One of the rationales that the Bush Administration employed periodically during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq is that deposing Saddam Hussein and installing a democratic government in Iraq would promote democracy in other Middle Eastern countries. However, according to The Huffington Post, "The 45 nations and territories with little or no democratic rule represent more than half of the roughly 80 countries now hosting U.S. bases. ... Research by political scientist Kent Calder confirms what's come to be known as the "dictatorship hypothesis": The United States tends to support dictators [and other undemocratic regimes] in nations where it enjoys basing facilities."
Mancur Olson suggests that the emergence of dictatorships can be linked to the concept of "roving bandits", individuals in an atomic system who move from place to place extracting wealth from individuals. These bandits provide a disincentive for investment and production. Olson states that a community of individuals would be better served if that bandit were to establish himself as a stationary bandit to monopolize theft in the form of taxes. Except from the community, the bandits themselves will be better served, according to Olson, by transforming themselves into "stationary bandits". By settling down and making themselves the rulers of a territory, they will be able to make more profits through taxes than they used to obtain through plunder. By maintaining order and providing protection to the community, the bandits will create a peaceful environment in which their people can maximize their surplus which means a greater taxable base. Thus a potential dictator will have a greater incentive to provide security to a given community from which he is extracting taxes and conversely, the people from whom he extracts the taxes are more likely to produce because they will be unconcerned with potential theft by other bandits. This is the rationality that bandits use in order to justify their transformation from "roving bandits" into "stationary bandits".
In the period between the two world wars, four types of dictatorships were described by a number of smart people: constitutional, the communist (nominally championing the "dictatorship of the proletariat"), the counterrevolutionary, and the fascist. Many have rightfully questioned the distinctions between these prototypes. In fact, since World War II, we have recognized that the range of dictatorships is much broader than earlier posited and it includes so-called Third World dictatorships in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and religious dictatorships....They are also family dictatorships ....
Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.Some monarchies have a weak or symbolic legislature and other governmental bodies the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Countries where monarchs still maintain absolute power are: Brunei, Eswatini, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the individual emirates composing the United Arab Emirates, which itself is a federation of such monarchies – a federal monarchy.Benevolent dictatorship
A benevolent dictatorship refers to a government in which an authoritarian leader exercises absolute political power over the state but is perceived to do so with regard for benefit of the population as a whole, standing in contrast to the decidedly malevolent stereotype of a dictator. A benevolent dictator may allow for some economic liberalization or democratic decision-making to exist, such as through public referenda or elected representatives with limited power, and often makes preparations for a transition to genuine democracy during or after their term. It might be seen as a republican form of enlightened despotism.
The label has been applied to leaders such as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk of Turkey, Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, and France-Albert René of Seychelles.Communist state
A Communist state (sometimes referred to as Marxist–Leninist state or workers' state) is a state that is administered and governed by a single party, guided by Marxist–Leninist philosophy.
There have been several instances of Communist states with functioning political participation processes involving several other non-party organisations, such as trade unions, factory committees and direct democratic participation. The term "Communist state" is used by Western historians, political scientists and media to refer to these countries. However, contrary to Western usage, these states do not describe themselves as "communist" nor do they claim to have achieved communism—they refer to themselves as Socialist or Workers' states that are in the process of constructing socialism.Communist states are typically administered by a single, centralised party apparatus, although some provide the impression of multiple political parties but these are all solely in control by that centralised party. These parties usually are Marxist–Leninist or some variation thereof (including Maoism in China), with the official aim of achieving socialism and progressing toward a communist society. These states are usually termed by Marxists as dictatorships of the proletariat, or dictatorships of the working class, whereby the working class is the ruling class of the country in contrast to capitalism, whereby the bourgeoisie is the ruling class.Dictator
A dictator is a political leader who possesses absolute power. A state which is ruled by a dictator is called a dictatorship. The word originated as the title of a magistrate in the Roman Republic appointed by the Senate to rule the republic in times of emergency (see Roman dictator and justitium).Like the term "tyrant" (which was originally a non-pejorative Ancient Greek title), and to a lesser degree "autocrat", "dictator" came to be used almost exclusively as a non-titular term for oppressive rule. Thus, in modern usage, the term "dictator" is generally used to describe a leader who holds or abuses an extraordinary amount of personal power. Dictatorships are often characterised by some of the following: suspension of elections and civil liberties; proclamation of a state of emergency; rule by decree; repression of political opponents; not abiding by the rule of law procedures, and cult of personality. Dictatorships are often one-party or dominant-party states.A wide variety of leaders coming to power in different kinds of regimes, such as military juntas, one-party states, dominant-party states, and civilian governments under a personal rule, have been described as dictators. They may hold left or right-wing views, or may be apolitical.Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist philosophy, the dictatorship of the proletariat is a state of affairs in which the working class hold political power. Proletarian dictatorship is the intermediate stage between a capitalist economy and a communist economy, whereby the government nationalises ownership of the means of production from private to collective ownership. The socialist revolutionary Joseph Weydemeyer coined the term "dictatorship of the proletariat", which Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels adopted to their philosophy and economics. The Paris Commune (1871), which controlled the capital city for two months, before being suppressed, was an example of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In Marxist philosophy, the term "Dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" is the antonym to "dictatorship of the proletariat".The term "dictatorship" indicates the retention of the state apparatus, but differs from individual dictatorship, the rule of one man. The term 'dictatorship of the proletariat implies the complete "socialization of the major means of production", the planning of material production in service to the social and economic needs of the population, such as the right to work, education, health and welfare services, public housing.
There are multiple popular trends for this political thought, all of which believe the state will be retained post-revolution for its enforcement capabilities:
Marxism–Leninism follows the ideas of Marxism and Leninism as interpreted by Vladimir Lenin's successor Joseph Stalin. It seeks to organise a vanguard party, as advocated by Marx, and to lead a proletarian uprising, to assume state power on behalf of the proletariat and to construct a single-party "socialist state" representing a dictatorship of the proletariat, governed through the process of democratic centralism, which Lenin described as "diversity in discussion, unity in action". Marxism–Leninism forms the official ideology of the ruling parties of China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam, and was the official ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the late 1920's, and later of the other ruling parties making up the Eastern Bloc.
Libertarian Marxists criticize Marxism–Leninism for perceived differences from orthodox Marxism, opposing the Leninist principle of democratic centralism and the Marxist-Leninist interpretation of vanguardism. Along with Trotskyists, they also oppose the use of a one-party state which they view as inherently undemocratic, although Trotskyists are still Bolsheviks, subscribing to democratic centralism and soviet democracy, seeing their ideology as a more accurate interpretation of Leninism. Rosa Luxemburg, a Marxist theorist, emphasized the role of the vanguard party as representative of the whole class, and the dictatorship of the proletariat as the entire proletariat's rule, characterizing the dictatorship of the proletariat as a concept meant to expand democracy rather than reduce it - as opposed to minority rule in the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.In The Road to Serfdom (1944), the neoliberal economist Friedrich Hayek wrote that the dictatorship of the proletariat likely would destroy personal freedom as completely as does an autocracy. The European Commission of Human Rights found pursuing the dictatorship of the ploletariat incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights in Communist Party of Germany v. the Federal Republic of Germany (1957).Estado Novo (Portugal)
The Estado Novo (Portuguese pronunciation: [(ɨ)ʃˈtadu, -ðu ˈnovu], "New State"), or the Second Republic, was the corporatist far-right regime installed in Portugal in 1933. It was deeply rooted in Catholic social thought that was highly influential among both liberals and conservatives in Portugal. It evolved from the Ditadura Nacional ("National Dictatorship") formed after the coup d'état of 28 May 1926 against the democratic and unstable First Republic. Together, the Ditadura Nacional and the Estado Novo are recognised as the Second Portuguese Republic. The Estado Novo, greatly inspired by conservative and autocratic ideologies, was developed by António de Oliveira Salazar, President of the Council of Ministers of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, when illness forced him out of office. After 1945, his corporatist economic model was less and less useful and it retarded economic modernization.
Opposed to communism, socialism, anarchism, fascism, liberalism and anti-colonialism, the regime was corporatist, conservative, and nationalist in nature, defending Portugal's traditional Catholicism. Its policy envisaged the perpetuation of Portugal as a pluricontinental nation under the doctrine of lusotropicalism, with Angola, Mozambique, and other Portuguese territories as extensions of Portugal itself, and it being a supposed source of civilization and stability to the overseas societies in the African and Asian possessions. Under the Estado Novo, Portugal tried to perpetuate a vast, centuries-old empire with a total area of 2,168,071 square kilometres (837,097 sq mi), while other former colonial powers had largely already acceded to global calls for self-determination and independence.Portugal joined the United Nations (UN) in 1955, and was a founding member of NATO (1949), OECD (1961), and EFTA (1960). In 1968 Marcello Caetano was appointed the new head of government. On 25 April 1974, the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon, a military coup organised by left-wing Portuguese military officers – the Armed Forces Movement (MFA) – overthrew the Estado Novo regime. Fiercely criticised by most of the international community after World War II and decolonisation, it was one of the longest-surviving authoritarian regimes in Europe. By the fall of the Estado Novo in 1974, Portugal had the lowest per capita income in Western Europe, as well as the highest rate of preventable deaths and infant mortality rate in Europe.Francoist Spain
Francoist Spain (Spanish: España franquista), known in Spain as the Francoist dictatorship (Spanish: dictadura franquista), officially known as the Spanish State (Spanish: Estado Español) from 1936 to 1947 and the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España) from 1947 to 1975, is the period of Spanish history between 1936 and 1975, when Francisco Franco ruled Spain as dictator with the title Caudillo.
The nature of the regime evolved and changed during its existence. Months after the start of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936, Franco emerged as the single rebel military leader and was proclaimed Head of State on 1 October 1936, ruling a dictatorship over the territory controlled by the Nationalist faction. The 1937 Unification Decree merged all parties supporting the rebel side led to Nationalist Spain becoming a single-party regime under the FET y de las JONS. The end of the war in 1939 brought the extension of the Franco rule to the whole country and the exile of Republican institutions. The Francoist dictatorship originally took a form described as "fascistized dictatorship", or "semi-fascist regime", bringing a clear influence from Fascism in fields such as labor relations, the autarkic economic policy, aesthetics, or the single-party. As time went on the regime opened up and became closer to developmental dictatorships, although it always preserved residual fascist trappings.During the Second World War, Spain's entry in to the Axis alongside its supporters from the civil war, Italy and Germany, never came to be after Franco's demands for the war-torn country to join proved too much for the other members to accept. Spain nevertheless helped Germany and Italy in various ways while maintaining its neutrality. Spain was isolated by many other countries for nearly a decade after World War II and its autocratic economy, still trying to recover from the civil war, suffered from chronic depression.
Reforms were implemented in the 1950s and Spain abandoned autarky, delegating authority from the Falangist movement, which had been prone to isolationism, to a new breed of economists, the so-called technocrats of the Opus Dei. This led to massive economic growth, second only to Japan, that lasted until the mid-1970s, known as the "Spanish miracle". During the 1950s the regime also changed from being openly totalitarian and using severe repression to an authoritarian system with limited pluralism. Spain joined the United Nations in 1955 and during the Cold War, Franco was one of the world's foremost anti-Communist figures: his regime was assisted by the West, and it was asked to join NATO. Franco died in 1975 at the age of 82. He restored the monarchy before his death, which made his successor King Juan Carlos I, who led the Spanish transition to democracy.Greek military junta of 1967–1974
The Greek military junta of 1967–1974, commonly known as the Regime of the Colonels (Greek: καθεστώς των Συνταγματαρχών, kathestós ton Syntagmatarchón [kaθesˈtos ton sinˈdaɣ.matarˈxon]), or in Greece simply The Junta ( or ; Greek: Χούντα, romanized: Choúnta [ˈxunda]), The Dictatorship (Η Δικτατορία, I Diktatoría) and The Seven Years (Η Επταετία, I Eptaetía), was a series of far-right military juntas that ruled Greece following the 1967 Greek coup d'état led by a group of colonels on 21 April 1967. The dictatorship ended on 24 July 1974 under the pressure of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The fall of the junta was followed by the Metapolitefsi ("regime change"), and the establishment of the current Third Hellenic Republic.Military dictatorship
A military dictatorship is a dictatorship wherein the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority, and a dictator is often a high ranked military officer.
A military dictatorship is different from civilian dictatorship for a number of reasons: their motivations for seizing power, the institutions through which they organize their rule and the ways in which they leave power. Often viewing itself as saving the nation from the corrupt or myopic civilian politicians, a military dictatorship justifies its position as "neutral" arbiters on the basis of their membership within the armed forces. For example, many juntas adopt titles such as "Committee of National Restoration", or "National Liberation Committee". Military leaders often rule as a junta, selecting one of themselves as a head.Occasionally military dictatorship is called khakistocracy. The term is a portmanteau word combining kakistocracy with khaki, the tan-green camouflage colour used in most modern army uniforms.Military dictatorship in Brazil
The Brazilian military government was the authoritarian military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from April 1, 1964 to March 15, 1985. It began with the 1964 coup d'état led by the Armed Forces against the administration of President João Goulart—who, having been vice-president, had assumed the office of president upon the resignation of the democratically elected president Jânio Quadros—and ended when José Sarney took office on March 15, 1985 as President. The military revolt was fomented by Magalhães Pinto, Adhemar de Barros, and Carlos Lacerda (who had already participated in the conspiracy to depose Getúlio Vargas in 1945), governors of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Guanabara. The coup was also supported by the State Department of the United States through its embassy.The military dictatorship lasted for almost twenty-one years; despite initial pledges to the contrary, the military government, in 1967, enacted a new, restrictive Constitution, and stifled freedom of speech and political opposition. The regime adopted nationalism, economic development, and anti-communism as its guidelines.
The dictatorship reached the height of its popularity in the 1970s with the so-called "Brazilian Miracle", even as the regime censored all media, and tortured and exiled dissidents. João Figueiredo became President in March 1979; in the same year he passed the Amnesty Law for political crimes committed for and against the regime. While combating the "hardline" inside the government and supporting a re-democratization policy, Figueiredo couldn't control the crumbling economy, chronic inflation and concurrent fall of other military dictatorships in South America. Amid massive popular demonstrations in the streets of the main cities of the country, the first free elections in 20 years were held for the national legislature in 1982. In 1985, another election was held, this time to elect (indirectly) a new president, being contested between civilian candidates for the first time since the 1960s, which was won by the opposition. In 1988, a new Constitution was passed and Brazil officially returned to democracy. Since then, the military has remained under the control of civilian politicians, with no official role in domestic politics.
Brazil's military regime provided a model for other military regimes and dictatorships around Latin America, systematizing the “Doctrine of National Security”, which "justified" the military's actions as operating in the interest of national security in a time of crisis, creating an intellectual basis upon which other military regimes relied. In 2014, nearly 30 years after the regime collapsed, the Brazilian military recognized for the first time the excesses committed by its agents during the years of the dictatorship, including the torture and murder of political dissidents. In May 2018, the United States government released a memorandum, written by Henry Kissinger (who was Secretary of State at that time), dating back to April 1974, confirming that the leadership of the Brazilian military regime was fully aware of the killing of dissidents. It is estimated that 434 people were either confirmed killed or went missing (not to be seen again) during the military dictatorship in Brazil. While some human rights activists and others assert that the true figure could be much higher, the armed forces have always disputed this.Military dictatorship of Chile (1973–1990)
The military dictatorship of Chile (Spanish: dictadura militar de Chile) was an authoritarian military regime that ruled Chile between September 11, 1973 and March 11, 1990. The dictatorship was established after the democratically-elected socialist government of Salvador Allende was overthrown in a coup d'état on 11 September 1973. During this time, the country was ruled by a military junta headed by General Augusto Pinochet. The military used the alleged breakdown of democracy and the economic crisis that took place during Allende's presidency to justify its seizure of power. The dictatorship presented its mission as a "national reconstruction." The coup was the result of multiple forces, including pressure from conservative and women’s groups, certain political parties, union strikes and other domestic unrest, as well as international factors. Although it was widely reported that the CIA was directly involved in orchestrating and carrying out the coup, subsequently released sources suggest a much reduced role of the US government.The regime was characterized by the systematic suppression of political parties and the persecution of dissidents to an extent unprecedented in the history of Chile. Overall, the regime left over 3,000 dead or missing, tortured tens of thousands of prisoners, and drove an estimated 200,000 Chileans into exile. The dictatorship's effects on Chilean political and economic life continue to be felt. Two years after its ascension radical neoliberal economic reforms were implemented, in sharp contrast to Allende's leftist policies, advised by a team of free-market economists educated in US universities known as the Chicago Boys. Later, in 1980, the regime replaced the Chilean Constitution of 1925 with a new constitution. This established a series of provisions that would eventually lead to the Chilean national plebiscite, 1988 on October 5.
In that referendum, the Chilean people denied Pinochet a new mandate, opening the way for the reestablishment of democracy in 1990. Consequently, democratic presidential elections were held the following year. The military dictatorship ended in 1990 with the election of Christian-Democrat candidate Patricio Aylwin. However, the military remained out of civilian control for several years after the junta itself had lost power.Military junta
A military junta () is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term junta comes from Spanish and Portuguese and means committee, specifically a board of directors. Sometimes it becomes a military dictatorship, though the terms are not synonymous.National Reorganization Process
The National Reorganization Process (Spanish: Proceso de Reorganización Nacional, often simply el Proceso, "the Process") was the name used by its leaders for the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. In Argentina it is often known simply as última junta militar ("last military junta"), última dictadura militar ("last military dictatorship") or última dictadura cívico-militar ("last civil-military dictatorship"), because there have been several in the country's history.The Argentine military seized political power during the March 1976 coup, as part of the Operation Condor over the presidency of Isabel Perón, widow of former President Juan Domingo Perón; a time of state terrorism against civilians (as well as neoliberal economic policies) started, with the dictatorship labeling its own use of torture, extrajudicial murder and systematic forced disappearances as "a Dirty War". After losing the Falklands War to the United Kingdom in 1982, the military junta faced mounting public opposition and finally relinquished power in 1983.
Almost all of the Junta members are currently serving sentences for crimes against humanity and genocide.Night-watchman state
In libertarian political philosophy, a night-watchman state is a model of a state whose only functions are to provide its citizens with the military, the police and courts, thus protecting them from aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud and enforcing property laws. The nineteenth-century UK has been described by historian Charles Townshend as standard-bearer of this form of government among Western countries.People's democratic dictatorship
People's democratic dictatorship (simplified Chinese: 人民民主专政; traditional Chinese: 人民民主專政; pinyin: Rénmín Mínzhǔ Zhuānzhèng) is a phrase incorporated into the Constitution of the People's Republic of China by Mao Zedong, the then leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The concept, and form of government, is similar to that of people's democracy, which was implemented in a number of Central and Eastern European Communist-controlled states under the guidance of the Soviet Union.
The premise of the "People's democratic dictatorship" is that the CPC and state represent and act on behalf of the people, but in the preservation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, possess and may use powers against reactionary forces. Implicit in the concept of the people's democratic dictatorship is the notion that dictatorial control by the party is necessary to prevent the government from collapsing into a "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie", a liberal democracy, which, it is feared, would mean politicians acting in the interest of the bourgeoisie. This would be in opposition to the socialist charter of the CPC.State Peace and Development Council
The State Peace and Development Council (Burmese: နိုင်ငံတော် အေးချမ်းသာယာရေး နှင့် ဖွံ့ဖြိုးရေး ကောင်စီ [nàɪɴŋàɴdɔ̀ ʔédʑáɴθàjajé n̥ḭɴ pʰʊ̰ɴbjó jé kaʊ̀ɴsì];
abbreviated to SPDC or နအဖ, [na̰ʔa̰pʰa̰]) was the official name of the military government of Burma, which seized power under the rule of Saw Maung in 1988. On 30 March 2011, Senior General and Council Chairman Than Shwe signed a decree that officially dissolved the Council.From 1988 to 1997, the SPDC was known as State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), which had replaced the role of Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP). In 1997, SLORC was abolished and reconstituted as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The powerful regional military commanders, who were members of SLORC, were promoted to new positions and transferred to the capital of Rangoon (now Yangon). The new regional military commanders were not included in the membership of the SPDC.
The SPDC consisted of eleven senior military officers. The members of the junta wielded a great deal more power than the cabinet ministers, who were either more-junior military officers or civilians. The exception was the Defence Ministry portfolio, which was in the hands of junta leader Than Shwe himself. On 15 September 1993, it established the Union Solidarity and Development Association which was replaced by Union Solidarity and Development Party in 29 March 2010 in time for the elections.
Although the regime retreated from the totalitarian Burmese Way to Socialism of BSPP when it took power in 1988, the regime was widely accused of human rights abuses. It rejected the 1990 election results and kept Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest until her release on 13 November 2010. The council was officially dissolved on 30 March 2011, with the inauguration of the newly elected government, led by its former member and Prime Minister, President Thein Sein.Technocracy
Technocracy is a proposed system of governance in which decision-makers are selected on the basis of their expertise in a given area of responsibility, particularly with regard to scientific or technical knowledge. This system explicitly contrasts with the notion that elected representatives should be the primary decision-makers in government, though it does not necessarily imply eliminating elected representatives. Leadership skills for decision-makers are selected on the basis of specialized knowledge and performance, rather than political affiliations or parliamentary skills.The term technocracy was originally used to advocate the application of the scientific method to solving social problems. Concern could be given to sustainability within the resource base, instead of monetary profitability, so as to ensure continued operation of all social-industrial functions. In its most extreme sense technocracy is an entire government running as a technical or engineering problem and is mostly hypothetical. In more practical use, technocracy is any portion of a bureaucracy that is run by technologists. A government in which elected officials appoint experts and professionals to administer individual government functions and recommend legislation can be considered technocratic. Some uses of the word refer to a form of meritocracy, where the ablest are in charge, ostensibly without the influence of special interest groups.Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political concept of a mode of government that prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is regarded as the most extreme and complete form of authoritarianism. Political power in totalitarian states has often been held by rule by one leader which employ all-encompassing propaganda campaigns broadcast by state-controlled mass media. Totalitarian regimes are often marked by political repression, personality cultism, control over the economy, restriction of speech, mass surveillance and widespread use of state terrorism. Historian Robert Conquest describes a "totalitarian" state as one recognizing no limits to its authority in any sphere of public or private life and which extends that authority to whatever length feasible.The concept was first developed in the 1920s by both Weimar jurist (and later Nazi academic) Carl Schmitt and, concurrently, by the Italian fascists. Italian fascist Benito Mussolini said "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state". Schmitt used the term Totalstaat in his influential 1927 work on the legal basis of an all-powerful state, The Concept of the Political. The term gained prominence in Western anti-communist political discourse during the Cold War era as a tool to convert pre-war anti-fascism into postwar anti-communism.Totalitarian regimes are different from other authoritarian ones. The latter denotes a state in which the single power holder – an individual "dictator", a committee or a junta or an otherwise small group of political elite – monopolizes political power. "[The] authoritarian state [...] is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty". Authoritarianism "does not attempt to change the world and human nature". In contrast, a totalitarian regime attempts to control virtually all aspects of the social life, including the economy, education, art, science, private life and morals of citizens. Some totalitarian governments may promote an elaborate ideology: "The officially proclaimed ideology penetrates into the deepest reaches of societal structure and the totalitarian government seeks to completely control the thoughts and actions of its citizens". It also mobilizes the whole population in pursuit of its goals. Carl Joachim Friedrich writes that "a totalist ideology, a party reinforced by a secret police, and monopoly control of [...] industrial mass society" are the three features of totalitarian regimes that distinguish them from other autocracies.United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship
The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) (Thai: แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาติ; นปช., alternatively translated as National Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship), whose supporters are commonly called red shirts, is a political pressure group opposed to the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the 2006 Thai coup d'état, and supporters of the coup. Notable UDD leaders include Jatuporn Prompan, Nattawut Saikua, Veera Musikapong, Charan Ditthapichai, and Weng Tojirakarn. The UDD allies itself with the Pheu Thai Party, which was deposed by the 2014 military coup. Before the July 2011 national elections, the UDD claimed that Abhisit Vejjajiva's government took power illegitimately, backed by the Thai Army and the judiciary. The UDD called for the Thai Parliament to be dissolved so that a general election could be held. UDD accused the country's extra-democratic elite—the military, judiciary, certain members of the privy council, and other unelected officials—of undermining democracy by interfering in politics. The UDD is composed of mostly rural citizens from northeast (Isan) and north Thailand, of urban lower classes from Bangkok, and of intellectuals. Although the movement seems to receive support from former prime minister-in-exile Thaksin Shinawatra, not all UDD members support the deposed prime minister.