Differences between democracy and dictatorship

Difference between democracy and dictatorship

In democracy, the government belongs to everyone, while in dictatorship it belongs to a single person or minority group. In democracy, elections are held and the mandate of the leaders is by consensus of the governed; meanwhile, a dictator rules regardless of the opinion of the governed. Power in democracy is centered on the constitution, while in dictatorship there is no constitution. Civil liberties are protected in democracy, whereas in dictatorship there are no civil liberties. In a democracy criticism is allowed while the dictatorship prohibits it and kidnaps the media.

These are two forms of government totally differentiated by freedom and repression. Many Latin American countries have registered periods of dictatorship and democracy in their political history. They are opposite extremes of government and, even so, the two forms of government that are best known today.


Democracy is a form of government with an organized state, where collective decisions are made by the people through participation mechanisms such as voting to give legitimacy to their representatives or rulers. Democracy establishes a form of social coexistence governed by the freedom and equality of its members. In a democracy, the citizens have the power of decision. It is considered the most common system of government in Western culture.

The dictatorship

In the case of dictatorship, it is usually established by the military. It is a form of government where the executive, legislative and legal institutions are controlled by the armed forces or a civil monopoly that prevent any form of democratic control. It is established through a “coup” or military uprising against the constitutional order. It lacks ideology and it is a government that does not take into account constitutional laws, nor does it propose holding elections because it does not envision a change in the status of political power.


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