Difference between Dictatorship and Autocracy

Dictatorship and autocracy are both forms of a government system in which the affairs of the state are controlled by only one person. However, there are still some points of distinction between the two types of governments.

Dictatorships are referred to a kind of system in which a military head causes a lot of unrest in the state and exercises some extreme powers to get hold of the affairs. On the other hand, autocracy can be good for the state in which it is very difficult to implement a democratic system. However, it may also have some negative effects on the state as everything is in the hands of one person.


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    It is a form of government in which one individual, known as a dictator, controls all the affairs of the state. The rule of Adolf Hitler in Germany during the Second World War is considered as one of the perfect examples of dictatorship as all the state’s decisions related to social, political or economical affairs were taken by him. Besides, another common example of dictatorship includes the rule of Idi Amin in Uganda during the 1970s.

    The power of the dictator is unlimited and is not controlled by any institution or group of people in the state. Furthermore, he is not accountable for any of the consequences of his bad decisions to anyone. Besides, no legal action can be taken against him during his rule in any court of law. He is the ultimate and supreme leader in the state and can make any amendments in the laws and can take any decision regarding any matter without any kind of consent from other officials.

    The dictatorship can be of a single ruling political party in the state or of a military head who assumes all the powers to himself.

    Image courtesy: gettyimages.co.uk

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    It is a government system in which only one individual, called as an autocrat, holds all the power of the state and can take any decision without any kind of external or internal constraint. Autocrats can be considered as the modern day emperors and monarchs who ruled the ancient Greece.

    In autocracy, no other official of the state possesses any power to overrule the orders of the autocrat. Although, autocracy is very close to dictatorship, but it is considered as lesser evil form of a government as compared to the latter.

    Image courtesy: gettyimages.co.uk

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