Short Essay on the Demerits of Dictatorship

“At best a dictatorship is run as an elaborately organised house of correction, in which inmate is assigned his task and vigilantly inspected as to the manner in which he discharges it.”

This is good enough for the delinquent and defective members of society, but not for normal men or men towering above others in character and ability.

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A centralised and coercive direction of public life destroys the possibility of development of human personality, learning, literature and art. According to Mussolini, the Fascist doctrine did, not recognise the individual except “in so far his interests coincide with those of the State.”

Totalitarianism, therefore, “has meant the crushing of individual liberty and the suppression of human personality, violence at home and unashamed aggression abroad, the brutalising of human nature and the militarisation of a whole people”

Moreover, the administrative efficiency, which dictatorship secures, is suicidal to the very spirit of the people. The dictator dictates and everyone else is expected to do his duty. It is tantamount to killing the initiative and enterprise of the individual.

Force and fear are natural foundations of authority for those who regard national power and glory as ends in themselves. But indiscriminate use of force involves dangers.

The lessons of history are, says Benedetto Croce, “that regimes of force can survive only among decadent peoples; that they can figure only as temporary expedients in nations that are growing and in the ascendant; and that repressions only produce more violent explosions of the forces they would restrain.”

What is created by force is destroyed by force. Force, is not the stabilising basis of the State. Consent of the governed is its real and enduring basis. As dictatorship does not derive its authority from the consenting people, the dictator can never be sure of his position.

He adopts violence and coercive measures to suppress even the slightest opposition. Such a policy spells disaster for the future, for to eliminate all differences is to eliminate all that keeps the community mentally and spiritually alive.

Glorification of the national power fosters international intimidation. The ideal of totalitarian State is a national State “well-ordered internally but aggressive, and bent on expansion.” It is opposed to international amity and is thus, the bankruptcy of human reason and intelligence.

Can we, under the circumstances, regard dictatorship as a suitable alternative to democracy? Dictatorship, according, to a modem writer, is a tyrant’s paradise, “the totalitarian State is a prison and its subjects are closed in by walls, nonetheless real because they are invisible.” The dictatorial rule and its methods are repugnant to the finer feelings of man and are disastrous to the promotion of higher values in life.

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