Can A Dictatorship Last?

The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of a dictator is:a ruler who has complete power over a country, especially one who has gained it using military force. Considering this, it seems almost inevitable that a dictator will consequently become power mad like Adolph Hitler or be prone to making some kind of catastrophic missjudgement like Mao Zedong resulting in their overthrow from power, by their people, another country or another leader.

The abolishment of dictators has been stikingly common throughout history, like Julius Ceaser in 44BC who was assassinated by his fellow consul. More recently in Iraq, Sadam Hussein was overthrown by the multinational forces in 2003 because of his corrupt dictatorship.

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The Arab Spring in 2011 is an example of the masses demolishing their tyrannical rulers.     In George Orwell’s book 1984, Big Brothers slogan was ‘War is Peace,’ Orwell suggest that in order to immortally maintain totalitarian control of a country, it must be in a constant state of war, in order to ‘preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierachal society needs.’ This theory is similar to Mao’s of the ‘continuos struggle,’ in many ways this was effective. Mao used the cultural revolution so the masses were either forced to hide their criticisms and hence conform to their dictator or became almost brainwashed, like the red guards into a zealous support of Mao.


By rallying the people to achieve their utmost loyalty, Mao secured his power. Yet although Mao had a great knowledge if how to keep the masses loyal, he could not control the maintenance of agriculture or industry, this was proved in the Great Leap Forward in 1958, for example Mao’s fatal miscalculation of the backyard steel campaign. Without exterior knowledge and assistance, it is impossible for one person to apprehend every aspect of a country’s needs and it is impossible for the welfare of the proletariat to be secure. This is why force is common in dictatorships to keep control but ultimately leads to their subsequent collapse.

However one could argue that a country can prosper and survive under a dictatorship, for example in Cuba where Raul Castro rules. Although the people of Cuba have no free speech, freedom of religion or freedom of the press. They thrive in other areas with a secure standard of living that provides for all and gives the country greater economic standing, although this is debateable, Cuba dos has an annual growth rate of 2.1%.

Moreover Cuba attains a 99.8% literacy race and an infant mortality rate lower than many developed countries. The Republic of Cuba was founded in1959 and proceeded as a totalitarian communist state from then on. China too had an expansive growth rate annually of 10.3% and its GDP is a massive $5.88 trillon. The Republic was established in 1949, and the communist party has held control since, confirming the argument that a dictatorship can survive.

However this control could be said to be quite unstable, Hu Jintao(Chinas paramount leader) imposes heavy censorship on the press and internet, to the extent that the Chinese were left ignorant of the occurrence of the Arab Spring because of its possible influence over the attitudes of the Chinese people.


Furthermore in March drastic security measures were taken in response to calls for protests in Bejing. Yet it is impossible to know the real depth of these issues as the gravity of the discrepancy is possibly scaled down by the government.

In conclusion it is impossible to really know whether a dictatorship can truly maintain itself without knowing the outcomes of the present totalitarian ruled states, or for that matter, if any type of government can last. The everlasting dictatorship of three superstates, Orwell envisaged is a quite improbable outcome of the near future so the idea of a everlasting state of war is impossible. Moreover it seems the present dictatorships are destined to destroy themselves in time, for it is human nature for people to mutiny when they are left without rights, as the Arab Spring proves.

However through suppressing the people and making them live in fear of speaking out against their governments consequently none will speak out, and therefore no revolution can spread to overthrow their dictator.

Therefore in this way dictatorships can succeed in having a firm grip over their nations.



Georgie W


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