We all must have heard of the word “Dictator” as a political term. Some of us –excluding myself- even watched “the dictator” comedy movie which was released in 2012. Personally, I doubt a comedy Hollywood movie would convey the right definition of a political term, so I looked it up. It turns out that this word actually has a common definition, a history, and a modern version that you will know more about in this essay.
The common definition of a dictator is a ruler who doesn’t rule by democracy. While democracy is a political term that describes a government that is decided by the people. In other words, the supreme power of the country is in the citizen’s hands in a direct or indirect way. Dictatorism is the exact opposite. A dictator ruler has absolute power, control, and authority of a country and often rules in a selfish, brutal way putting his personal benefit and interest first.
The word was originated in ancient Rome to rule the republic in times of emergencies. However, it didn’t have the negative meaning as it does today, Rather, a Roman dictator was a person given absolute power (unlike the normal ancient Roman way of dividing the ruling between a board of consuls) for a limited and specific time period in order to handle emergency situations. When his time period ends, he is supposed to step down and give the power back to the board of consuls and receive punishment for any wrongs he did during that period.
In the modern version of a dictator, it is often associated with oppression and brutality. Also, and as a result, it is used as a term of abuse or an insult in political debates towards opponents. Many dictators are not only narcissists but also vain and full of ego. Some of them actually go to the extent of creating honorees and titles for themselves. Also, lots of them are crazy power maniacs and control freaks.
Apparently, a dictator isn’t only a political ruler who rules by anything but democracy, an ancient Roman leader in emergencies, or a power maniac who makes false honor titles for himself, but also, anyone who has much arrogance and likes to boss people around can be called a dictator. So, always remember, dictators aren’t very lovable freaks, so try your best not to act as one, both in political and social life manners.
Courtney from Study Moose
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