Democracy and dictatorship stand in sharp contrast to each other. One is the antithesis of the other. The following points clearly bring out the differences between the two:
1. Democracy emphasizes rights whereas Dictatorship emphasizes duties:
Democracy lays emphasis on the rights of the individual, whereas dictatorship emphasized duties. The concept of democracy is based on individual liberty. The greater the individual liberty in a country, the more democratic it will be. The dictators consider individual liberty to be something out of place.
They lay stress on the obedience of laws and faithful performance of duties. The democratic slogan of liberty, equality and fraternity is replaced by them in the form of duty, discipline and sacrifice.
2. Democracy believes in equality where as Dictatorship believes in hierarchy:
Democracy believes in equality between man and man. Dictators, on the other hand believe in hierarchy.
3. Democracy glorifies the man where as Dictatorship glorifies the State:
Democrats emphasize the individual, whereas dictators emphasize the state. Democracy is based on the notion that the individual is the end, whereas the state is only a means to the end.
Dictators regard the state to be an end and the individual as a means to that end. They glorify the state and call it the march of God on earth. The individual is completely subordinated to the state and is expected to sacrifice himself for the preservation of the whole, i.e., the state.
4. Democracy encourages free thought whereas Dictatorship suppresses free thought and action:
Democracy believes that freedoms of speech, press and association are the basic postulates of good government. Dictators, on the contrary, categorically deny these freedoms. No opposition to the dictator’s party is tolerated. All political organizations arc banned.
The press is completely subordinated to the government. Democracy, on the other hand, is based on the principles of free growth of political parties and free press.
Dictators believe in one political party, one national programme and one leader. The leader is to be regarded as the sole representative of people’s will.
5. Democracy believes in pacifism while Dictatorship believes in application of force:
Democracy favors pacifism and opposes application of force in the settlement of political affairs within or outside the country. It urges the settlement of all disputes by patient discussion and agreement. Dictatorship, on the other hand, believes in the argument of force and all disputes are solved by resort to arms.