Features of Dictatorship
1. One Party, One Leader and One Programme:
In dictatorship only one party is allowed to exist and it is the dictator’s own party. Other political parties, associations and organizations are not allowed to function. These are banned. All opposition to the dictator is ruthlessly suppressed. Hitler used to say, “Swastika or gallows”.
Under dictatorship, leadership is given to a single man. Full faith is to be concentrated in the leader. The leader is supposed to represent national unity. He is considered to be a symbol of national prestige. He is the final authority in every matter and his word is supreme.
The whole country is supposed to have one political programme and it is the programme of dictator’s own party.
2. Absence of Individual Liberty:
The individual does not enjoy any liberty or rights under dictatorship. Maximum obedience to the laws is equated to the maximum liberty. People are not allowed any liberty of speech, association and press. All agencies of education and propaganda such as schools, colleges, radio, papers and films are controlled by the state. In the words of Mussolini “people do not want liberty but they want law and order.
” No criticism against the dictator is tolerated. People are supposed to believe and obey. Democratic slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity are replaced by slogans like duty, discipline and sacrifice. Mussolini asserted, “Liberty is a dead carcass, I kick it.”
3. National Glorification:
Dictators glorify their nations to an illogical extreme. A mad sense ol patriotism is inculcated in the minds of the people. They are made intensely nationalistic.
The state is regarded as the march of God on earth. The state is considered to be the end and the individual a means to that end. People are supposed to sacrifice their lives on the alter of state.
4. Glorification of War:
Dictators glorify war. War is considered to be essential for the normal health of body-politic. The state is all powerful and it must enhance its prestige. The dictators adopt a war-like policy and glorify brute force as the means for achieving national greatness. In the opinion of Hitler, “In eternal warfare, mankind has become great; in eternal peace it will be ruined.”
To quote Mussolini, “War is to the man what maternity is to the woman.”
5. Totalitarian State:
Dictatorship is a totalitarian state which controls each and every aspect of human personality, and takes into its fold all human activities in the social, economic, political, educational, religious and cultural spheres.
No margin for individual liberty is left behind. “Nothing against the state, everything for the state, nothing outside the state” is the basic principle of dictatorship.
Dictators preach racialism. The Germans under Hitler regarded themselves to be superior to the people living in the rest of the world. They claimed that they belonged to the ancient Aryan stock. As such they regarded themselves to be superior to others.
Similarly, the Italians claimed that they belonged to the race of the ancient Roman conqueror and that they had a divine mission to conquer the world.
Dictatorship was a mad doctrine. World War II was the direct result of these dictatorships. Democratic camp led by U.S.S.R., England and America uprooted dictatorship from the world and gates for the growth of democracy were again opened.