Strong Dictatorship or Fragile Democracy - Which is better?

Strong Dictatorship or Fragile Democracy - Which is better?

Strong Dictatorship or Fragile Democracy - Which is better?

Democracy stands for freedom, initiative and rule of law. All men and women are equal in the eyes of the law and their freedom of speech, expressions and thought cannot be taken away without due process of law. The government is controlled by the representatives of the people who should hold offer for a fixed tenure and give up their office if they lose elections. Even the world's most powerful state, the US elects the American president for a term of four years and an additional term, following which he cannot seek presidency again.

Dictators, on the other hand, seize political power generally in the name of the people, especially when democracy is fragile. The political leaders squabble and fight among themselves. Dictators have ruled in many countries and region of the world for years; Latin America, Africa, Caribbean and Asia (especially the Middle East). Surely a fragile democracy looks better than a strong dictatorship. Do we need another Hitler or Saddam Hussain? Let us explore in this group discussion and see where power play can benefit humanity the most.

Strong Dictatorship is the way to stay disciplined and grow!

1. Fragile democracy weak

Rule of law, freedom of judiciary and press are vital for democracy. In a fragile democracy, they may be weak and often slow down social reforms or economic growth. Too much time may be lost in debates and discussions and decision making may be slow.

2. Encouraging Segmentation of Society

In a fragile democracy, politicians are petty, selfish and unscrupulous. They encourage the division of society and their infighting is ugly and hopeless. At this juncture, a strong dictator may appear better than a fragile democracy. This is because a strong dictator can put an end to squabbles and enable progress by taking quick decisions and enforcing discipline and order in the system.

3. Discipline more important than democracy

Some countries have seen a boost in socioeconomic development under authoritarian governments. It was the case for Dominican Republic under Trujillo, Argentina in the 60's, Chile in the 70's under Pinochet, Singapore or Turkey. For these leaders, their countries were not ready for democracy because dictatorial governments could better impose rational, long-term development planning. Even the father of Singapore’s authoritarian political system, Lee Kuan Yew, declared that discipline is more essential for a developed country than democracy.

4. No consensus in fragile democracy

In a dictatorship, there are no riots against the government or its affiliates, a single party is more likely in power, the ruler has unlimited power, plans are executed efficiently and in a fashion manner, most efficient during emergencies, and less room for corruption. In a democracy, however fragile it may be, opinions of different people may confuse the issue and the fact that leaders are answerable to the people may contribute to inertia in decision making.

5. Fragile democracy not representative of the people

While the majority of a population is represented, there is always going to be a portion of the population that is not, in a fragile democracy. Society is a large and unwieldy thing, and some would argue that trying to apply something as potentially volatile as elections to it is a recipe for disaster.

6. No dissent, quick decisions

Instead, by giving all of the power to one person, the government can move quickly, and more like a machine. A dictator is a leader who possesses exceptional talent in the fields of organization, and administration, and is also able to act decisively and without fear of dissenting opinions.

Fragile Democracy is still Democracy!

1. No freedom in a dictatorship

A justification for dictatorship is progress in that it will be faster and better. But how can this be when freedom of speech and expression are clamped down and people are subjected to the whims and fancies of a single leader?

2. Not good for mankind

Past years have shown that dictatorship is not good for mankind. Stalin purged Russia and many were sent into Siberian camps. Hitler seized power and wreaked havoc in Germany and the world in WW2. Fate of Pakistan has not been good either. Problems of poverty and backwardness have not been solved despite several rounds of dictatorships in the past decades, in many countries.

3. Enterprise and initiative destroyed

Dictatorships are not good for individual freedom, initiative or enterprise. In USSR, people would be whisked away by the Soviet Police, jailed or tortured without justification. Any dissent is looked at with suspicion and doubt. A small camp close to the dictator wields power and can take a nation to the brink of disaster and destruction at a moment's notice. Consider how Kim Jong Un is arming North Korea for war against the US and its allies and how this could damage entire nations across the globe.

4. New leadership possible in a democracy

Democracy derives its power from all of the people, and not just a small group. This is also part of the reason democracy is thought to be a safeguard against a revolution. Considering the people in charge were put there by the people themselves, there is less of a need to overthrow the government violently. Instead, the people can simply elect someone else if they feel they are being under served.

5. Overall improvement of society

Democracies foster growth in the arts, sciences, literature, invention, and innovations of every kind. When the people are free to work as they see fit, they will have more opportunity to make overall improvements to all of society.

6. Dictators stifle the will of the people

Censorship, propaganda and media blackouts are often cited as problematic issues in dictatorships, because it is important that the people living under the government not get too many ideas from sources that contradict their leader. There is no freedom in a dictatorship, and that extends all the way down to basic freedoms like thought and speech. People can and do get into trouble for speaking out against the government.

7. Dictatorships unstable

It goes without saying that there is no allowance for political diversity, and often no allowance for individual expression or creativity in a dictatorship. This can lead to extremely unhappy people, and often, violent revolutions.

In the long run, dictatorships are not successful and they are overthrown by the people in the form of revolt or the mistakes of the dictatorship himself, unleashing war. Democracy, as Sir Winston Churchill observed, is the worst form of government except others. Even a fragile democracy is better than a strong dictatorship for the growth and progress of the individual and the nation.
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