Political dictatorship

Autocratic rule
Government by a single person, as opposed to a ruling clique. Rule tends to be maintained by intimidation, use of secret police and the armed forces, and by economic control. These encourage the persistence of social inequalities and elitism, and halt political and social development.

Some dictatorships, particularly in African nations, are based on traditional values where the structure of oppression already exists. The dictator merely diversifies the instruments of control, strongest of which may be the emphasis on traditional values and institutions. Most dictators do not appoint delegates based on their intelligence, but rather based on their lack of intelligence, lack of character, lack of constitution and courage, as these are the people who will neither challenge nor defy a dictator's rule. In its extreme form, dictatorship may become tyrannical, resulting in many excesses.

Despotism has been recognized as a form of government since the era of classical Greek philosophy when it was applied particularly to practices in Persia and the East. Despotism has been recorded through history to modern times and found an especially vivid expression in the absolutist monarchies in France and elsewhere in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries.
1. Lacking any understanding of the mechanisms of development, dictators and tyrants have imposed by force theories and concepts which run counter to the interests of their peoples. The rules governing a normal society are reversed. Instead of the rulers being subordinated to the will of the people and acting in its behalf, whole nations are forced to bow to the decisions and do the bidding of tyrants, with wholly absurd results. Even in the most practical and technical matters, the attempt is made to bend economic mechanisms to the dictator's decisions, although he may totally lack any understanding of the issues.

Any such dictator and his family are alone allowed to have anything they want, without anyone having the right to question how they acquired it. Thousands are at their service: some are kept busy finding the finest food products; others are concerned with the maintenance of their many homes and villas used for rest and recreation; and many more are deployed for his protection during his travels. The dictator's merest pronouncement is repeated as propaganda, learnt by heart, and is used as a motto in books, magazines and newspapers, ultimately to become official dogma.

2. The most despotic feudal lord of the past is but a pale shadow compared to the all-powerful dictator of today, who holds absolute sway over the entire territory of his country; all its material goods and all that lives and breathes. The inhabitants of the country are his chattel and he holds the right of life or death over them. Those who cross his path are at the mercy of his moods and whims. Those of the dictator's inner circle then vie to outdo each other in executing his intentions regarding any individual who has fallen into disfavour, putting that person through torments that people in civilized society can hardly believe possible.

Civil rights and liberties are voided. Repression holds sway. Every citizen becomes a suspect. Those closest to the leader are under suspicion because they might be thinking of taking his place. Thus they are constantly rotated, transferred, replaced, until they are finally made to disappear. Those who have contacts with foreigners are required to have permission before they can talk and must often present written reports describing what was said. The Leader's ideas and conclusions, no matter how obviously faulty and prejudicial, are pronounced sacred and inviolable. Teachers have to teach them in school, schoolchildren and students may ridicule them in private but are obliged to recite them in class, people in offices and institutions of every kind have to learn them by heart, as do the farmers in their villages. Not only to comply; they must manifest their enthusiasm and applaud their leader's "old thinking". Everyone plays along, fully aware of their own dishonesty; the teachers, in order to keep their posts, students in order to be promoted, the population at large in order not to incur the fury of those who have the power to oppress them, and these, in turn, in order to avoid being removed from their positions by the all-mighty tyrant.

(C) Cross-sectoral problems