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Difference Between Dictatorship And Democracy

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The main difference between dictatorship and democracy is the decision control over people or nations entirely or partially. In a dictatorship, the complete decision control of the country, its people, and even political parties is with the leader without any limitations of authority. In contrast, in democracy, the elected leader represents the voice of the nation's people.

Democracy and dictatorship are two different concepts but are related to the decision-making for the nation. Being utterly opposed to each other, the role is defined under the power and control of government institutions. No interruption by anyone is done in a dictatorship. On the other hand, democracy is all about the people, the people, and the people where the people of the country are involved in everything.

Before going to the difference between both precisely, understanding democracy and dictatorship individually will be a wise idea.

What is a Dictatorship?

Nazi Germany, the most famous Dictatorship

Dictatorship is a sort of governance where a single person or a group of people has the rule or power of the country without interference of constitutional limits/authority. Only one person/group is in charge of the entire nation without inspecting their power and decisions.

Whatever orders, rules, and commands are given to the population, they have to obey them by any means. In a dictatorship government, neither there is a place for people's voice nor their opinion matters. Apart from being unfavorable for the citizens, it is not as bad as it seems because great philosophers and authorized people have the power of rule. 

What is a Democracy?

The United States Congress, where elected representatives of the people exercise Democracy

Elected government members by people, democracy is the kind of system that works for the people, of the people, and by people. Here, citizens have the right to decide the person they want them to rule. In short, it shows that people have the liberty to accept or disagree with laws or rules implemented by the legislature. Apart, people are free to acquire or sell property, follow any religion, and do whatever they like. 

Public opinion is the priority in democracy, and people are happy with their rulers because they are elected by the people with the maximum votes count. Everything from all rights to live with own perception, there are no obligations on people except few rules to follow for everyone as a citizen of the country.

Differences Between a Dictatorship and a Democracy

Elections or Votes

Knowing that ruler rules over citizens without any interference from them in a dictatorship, there are no chances of elections to be held or regulated. No political parties or gatherings are present in the country having a dictatorship government system. 

On the other hand, democracy is famous as the people's system, free and fair elections are held between two or more political parties. People are the ones who will select one among those parties to maintain control in a nation and take reasonable steps for the betterment of people. 

Fundamental Rights

Talking about dictatorship, neither people nor other authorized members have any significance. Whatever the decision passed by the ruling person is the final statement to be followed by everyone in every manner. People do not have a single right to do anything of their choice and are subjected to brutality, monitoring, policing, etc.

In democracy government, people have fundamental rights written and preserved in the country's constitution. Every citizen in the nation has the right to do anything apart from harassment or violence, such as joining any political parties, following any religion, speaking and sharing opinions openly, etc. People are not the victim under any rules, power, or restrictions unless there are any harmful intentions.

Involvement of Media/Press

Known as the mouthpiece of the dictatorship government, the media shows what the dictator asks for. The media is not allowed to share everything that the ruling person or party does to maintain the cult of personality. 

However, in a democratic government system, media is free and is not pressured by the elected government leader and other party members. Considering media as the fourth pillar of democracy, they play a significant role in watching the moves/steps taken by the government and showing them to people. If any wrong step is taken, they are free to criticize while appreciating the government when the correct and best decision is made. 

Judiciary System

Having the single party or person as a dictator, every decision is dependent on them. There is no role of judiciary present in the dictatorship government system, which can be unfair and biased working.

Coming to a democratic country, the judiciary acts as the independent institution that is never answerable to the ruling or elected government. Vested judiciary rights in the nation's constitution ensure unbiased and fair decisions or operations, even if the verdict is against the government. The government is not involved in the judiciary, so every decision taken is appropriate for the development and welfare of the public.

Comparison Table: Dictatorship Vs Democracy

Right to freedomNoYes
Ruling Party SelectionNot by peopleBy the maximum vote of people
Time Period Of RulingNo limit (can rule for decades)The time period set for three to five years for different positions
JudiciaryNot presentPresent as an independent and separate system without the involvement of elected government
Media/pressUnder the dictatorFree to share everything
Involvement of people and their opinionNoInvolved in everything 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between dictatorship and democracy in a decision-making case?

Democracy is totally on the idea of negotiation and deliberation concerning about public that leads to some time in making decisions. At the same time, dictators in dictatorship governments do not bother about the public option, and judgment is done faster.

Which is better: democracy or dictatorship?

Democracy is considered the better choice because any government has no conflict or control over people. Power is shared among people in a democracy. However, in a dictatorship, power is in one hand/ruler.

What are the types of democratic government?

Different types of democracies are a representative democracy, direct democracy, monitory democracy, and constitutional democracy.


Discussing the difference between dictatorship and democracy showed their distinct characteristics. Both being contrary to each other, there are different methods and rules present in their respective type of government. 

Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.

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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
All Posts Written By Nicolas Seignette

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