Difference Between Dictatorship and Democracy


Main Difference

There are many forms of the system which are implemented in different countries to run the system. The way a political structure is divided depends on the ongoing situation in the country, and there can be no same ways since everyone has their own requirements, people and the location based on which a form of government can be decided. But two political systems that are heard over and over again are the democratic regime and the dictatorship. Both of them are poles apart, and there are no similarities between them, the way the country is run, the way decisions are made are entirely different. Some of these differences between these two distinct terms are given in this paragraph. Usually, democracy is considered the best type of government and is deemed beneficial for the people while dictatorship is said to be catastrophic for the people and the economy of a country. In a democratic system, some individuals are interested in their own country and help in choosing people who become their leaders. In a dictatorship, people do not have the right to choose who becomes their leader and do not have the decision power to shape the future of their country. One leftist difference between these two forms is that a dictatorship there are more chances that a revolution will take place since people get tired of people making all the decisions for them. While in democracy since people have the persons of their choice they accept the responsibility if something goes wrong so chances of a revolution are slim. The best feature of a democratic form is that people are free to say what they want, while freedom of speech is not possible in a dictatorship. Defining both the terms, it can be said that democracy is the rule of people by the people while dictatorship is the rule of an individual without the consent of the citizens. There are some factors which can negatively differentiate democracy from dictatorship such as this can lead to ignorance, people just choose people and become irrelevant while they also can end up picking the wrong people for an important post. Overall, both have their pros and cons, but the main differences and detailed explanation of both these types are given in the paragraphs below.

Comparison Chart

The rule of one person which is not selected by the people.The rule of many people which are elected by the citizen
Chances are more of unrestFewer chances of any sort of revolution occurring in a democratic system
In some Asian and African countriesIn most European countries

Definition of Democracy

Democracy in simple words means that the rule of the people is maintained. It can also be defined as government of the people, by the people and for the people. The modern form of this democratic system is based on the rule of representation. The people of a particular area get to elect their representatives by voting for them during the elections. The individuals who are chosen become part of the parliament and attend the sessions to act on behalf other citizens. If the person who has voted for a person are not happy with their representatives, they may not vote for them again in the next elections. It also has some other features, there is no possibility of unrest being created by the people because actually they are the ones who have selected the people to make different policies. The leaders get to take different terms and mostly are not electable after two terms in the office.


Definition of Dictatorship

It is considered the worst form of government because people do not get to select the members of their choice and whatever decisions are taken by the leaders are always seen with a critical eye. People can gain personal benefits in this form of governments because there is no one to keep a check on how things are working. There are certain advantages too, for example when an unrest takes place a federal government might not be able to take strict actions against people because they may have a political affiliation or tend to think they owe people something. But in a dictatorship, the leader can take severe actions. That said if this form of government does not exist there are very fewer chances of any sort of revolution occurring in the first place.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Democracy is the rule of many people which are elected by the citizen while dictatorship is the rule of one person which is not selected by the people.
  2. There are fewer chances of any sort of revolution occurring in a democratic system because people choose the ones they like while chances are more of unrest in a dictatorship because people tend to get tired of people ruling the roost.
  3. In most European countries the mode of government is a democracy while the style of government in the middle eastern country is a dictatorship.
  4. People tend to participate towards the development of their country in a democratic system while they are prone to become non-interested in whatever is happening in their country when they do not get to play any part.
  5. A Democratic form of government can be of different types while there is only one type of dictatorship.
  6. Most of the times army is involved when a dictator starts to rule while the military is kept away from politics in a democratic system.
  7. A democratic system makes sure no one person can rule for a long time but in a dictatorship, people can rule for decades.
  8. The Democratic regime holds everyone accountable for their actions and keeps a check on all the decisions while there is no such case in a dictatorship where there are no checks and balances.


There are forms of government which are similar to each other and then there are some forms which are totally opposite to each other, the two terms explained in this article are Dictatorship and Democracy which basically are antonyms. This space has given a brief but precise explanation of two terms to help people know what they mean.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson