Dictatorship has certain merits and demerits. First of all we shall discuss the merits and then the demerits so as to come to a correct conclusion.
Merits of Dictatorship:
(1) Establishment of a strong Government:
In Dictatorship the weakness of the government is ended and a powerful government is established at the Centre. The tendencies of decentralization are ended and complete unity is established. The conflicts of caste, colour, creed, religion and provincialism are ended and a strong nation emerges, which is honoured in foreign countries also.
(2) Stable and efficient Government:
The Dictator has not to fight periodical elections. He remains in power for a long time with the help of his party and military, with the result that the government becomes stable. The Dictator exercises unlimited powers of the government and he appoints able persons to-high posts and abolishes red-tapism and nepotism from the administration. In this way, the government becomes efficient and there are no undue delays in carrying out government policies. Everybody receives justice and the hardships of the people are mitigated.
(3) Economic Prosperity:
Dictators try to improve the economic condition of the country. For doing so they lay stress on increasing the production and stopping the strikes in the industries. In Communist countries, the workers are not allowed to go on strike.
Hitler and Mussolini made special efforts to bring about industrial peace and established Industrial Courts for the settlement of disputes between the capitalists and wages for the workers and award severe punishment for violating industrial laws. They smash the hoarders, black-marketers and smugglers by making use of force. They reform the economy of the country by fixing prices and by streamlining the system of distribution.
(4) Social Reforms:
Dictators bring about social reforms in order to make the country strong and they eradicate social evils through laws and propaganda. Mustafa Kamal Pasha brought about basic changes in the social structure of Turkey. Before his coming to power, Turkey was called the sick-man of Europe. But he made her healthy and strong with tireless efforts.
He removed the evil of veil among the ladies, and brought about its modernisation. After that he laid stress or the development of education, science and industries. Other dictators also brought about reforms in the educational structure of their country, infused the spirit of patriotism among the people and inculcated the spirit of militarism and sacrifice.
(5) Facing the crisis boldly:
The Dictators face the economic and political crisis firmly because all powers are concentrated in them. They seek advice from some able persons, take decisions without any delay and keep their decisions secret. Any leakage of secrets can prove dangerous.
Demerits of Dictatorship:
The following are the defects of dictatorship:
(1) Curtailment of the rights and liberties of the people:
The main defect of Dictatorship is that liberty and rights are curtailed in it. Dictators cannot tolerate any opposition and impose restrictions on the press, political parties and adverse propaganda.
(2) Establishment of Absolute Government:
In Dictatorship, an absolute government is established. People are deprived of taking part in the administration, with the result that they do not take any interest in the government. In such type of administration the question of training in local self-government does not arise.
(3) Dictators lead the country to war:
Dictators believe in victory, war and violence, with the result that the country is engulfed in war. This brings ruin to the country. The policies of German dictator Hitler and Mussolini of Italy were responsible for the World War II, in which they were defeated and many other countries were destroyed.
(4) Dictators do not leave behind capable successors:
In a dictatorship, none but the dictator is allowed to show his ability, with the result that after the death of the dictator the problem of finding out a capable successor becomes acute. In case of non-availability of a capable successor, the country suffers a great loss.
(5) No importance of individual:
No importance is attached to an individual in Dictatorship. Individual is a means and the state is an end in a Dictatorship; which retards the development of individual. Individual does not enjoy many rights and adequate liberty for the development of his personality and he is always forced to act according to the directives of the state.
(6) Fear of rebellion and revolution:
There is always a danger of rebellion and revolution in dictatorship, because the dictators smash all rival view-points with force. Opposition parties think that since the government cannot be changed with votes, it can be overthrown only by a rebellion and revolution. This makes the government unstable. Only a government based on public opinion is stable, because it provides opportunity to the opposition parties to express their views.