Difference between Totalitarianism and Dictatorship

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The democracy is the government system that can be observed in most of the countries at the present time but there are other forms of governments are also prevailing in various countries at the same time. It is a true fact that a government system fails to runs and not able to fulfill the desired things of the citizens which they deserve to have then a new type of government is set up. In the new type of the government system, not all the things are changed but the optimistic attributes of the earlier government are preserved and only exclude the negative attributes of the previous edition of the government system. On the basis of this phenomenon, the government systems of the Dictatorship and Totalitarian were come into existence having the anti-democratic setups. Both of them have lots of things that are common in nature but these government systems are not similar at all as they are based on different factors such as their definitions, ideologies, characteristics, structure, and lots of other things. From the point of view of definition, the term of the Dictatorship is referred to “A type of government where political authority is controlled by an individual or a political entity” but the Totalitarian on the other hand, is known to be “A government type that permits no individual freedom”. The true form of the Dictatorship has come into existence in 19th century AD but the roots of the Totalitarian is very old that can be found in the era of 4th century BC. If you wish to have the system which caters you the faster process, minimum chances for corruption, low level of the crime rate then the Dictatorship is the best government system between two of them in this regard. In the Totalitarian, you will obtain quicker process for the system, simpler law making procedure and a few chances for bribery. There is the presence of the majority rule in the Dictatorship even though it has negligible importance. There is no concept of the Majority Rule in the Totalitarian.


The Totalitarianism is a very strict political concept of governance of state. In this system, the life of every member of the society including his/her private as well as public aspects is controlled and watched by the political party which is ruling the state. The civil institutions of the country are bound to follow the dictated agenda given by the ruling party. The Totalitarianism is the government system in which the loyalty of the citizens to the state is unquestioned. The civilians are bound to this faithfulness as their holy obligation. The political ideology of the ruling party, the ideology of their supporters and the state ideology is the same. The Human value of a citizen is truly referred to his/her respect and devotion to the state. The system of the Totalitarianism is produced and implemented in order to command in aggressively nationalistic manner and implements the law brutally without concerning the intentions of the citizens. The people who are favor in the Totalitarianism system are comfortable in seclusion, but they don’t accept the penetration of the liberal thoughts in general people. In the past, Nazi rule in Germany and the Communist rule in Soviet unions are the examples of the Totalitarianism. At the present time, you can see the implementation of the Totalitarianism in North Korea, China, and Iran. Just because of the implementation of the Totalitarianism in a society, there is a great chance of the racial hegemony as was seen in Iraq under vigorous nationalist Saddam Husain. In some countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, some rules of the Totalitarianism are followed based on the religious beliefs and strictures as they are taken to shape the core of state constitution of these types of countries.


According to William R. Basset,” The One man control is the best in the world if that one man is big enough to manage everything”. The system of the Dictatorship follows this reference as it is an anti-democratic system of governance in which a single person is given the authority of ruling over the people. This ruling person is well equipped with absolute control over the citizens, government, military, and judiciary and therefore, he or she is all in all. The dictatorship is the government system where you will never see the existence of law, but the whims of the dictator are well thought-out as law that has to be obeyed by every person living in the state. In the process of acquiring powers of the dictatorship, there is no consent of the people is involved. A dictator forcefully obtains the authorization of sticking to power by harshly suppressing every voice of oppose. Every form of democracy is seized by the dictator. It is the duty of the administration to manhunt, scare, and physically get rid of the one who has intention to disobey any order given by the dictator. As the dictator doesn’t have the right of government in actual sense, therefore, he/she is continuously under the fear of being brought down by the powerful and ambitious opposition if created in the state. This is the main reason that the dictators have to show cruel and even barbaric behavior all the time to control the general public. The inheritance, military coup, highly controversial constitutional such as the crisis and even the election in a democratic set-up held in the fragmented shape are the major sources of dictatorship acquiring process. The dictators can be supported, financed, and protected by the powerful business people and manipulative foreign power as they wish to obtain their motives via this procedure.

Key Differences

  • The government of the Totalitarian is characterized by a single party rule. In the dictatorship, the government is ruled by a single person.
  • The governments based on the Totalitarian have unlimited authority and power to exercise great influence over the lives of the general public in their state. In the Dictatorship, the system is controlled by a single person or a small group of people having full authority.
  • The dictatorship is implemented forcefully and there is no consent of the people is involved, but on the other side, people are agreed to provide one party rule as a better form of supremacy for them.
  • The Power accumulated in the hands of a single dictator or a few people selected by the dictator. A single political party holds the power in totalitarianism.
  • The ruling party is chosen by the people in the Totalitarian. But in the dictatorship, one person or few people forcefully implement the governing rules.

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