Democracy is highly prevalent in governments all over the world today, however, as our list of the 10 biggest countries ruled by dictators will reveal, some regimes still exert authoritarian grips over their citizens.
Contrary to popular belief, a dictatorship doesn’t have to include only one person that makes all the important decisions that affect the country, as the most powerful executive in one state can also be a political entity. Some of the most famous dictators in history include, of course, Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Nazi Germany from 1933-1945, Benito Mussolini, ruler of fascist Italy from 1922-1945, and Joseph Stalin, Communist Leader of Russia from 1922-1953. The term itself has been used for such people so frequently that it has emotional connotations with it, which is why a dictator is automatically assumed to be evil and inhumane. However, the reality is that numerous governments give negligible power to the people, but face little or no protest, and are accepted by their citizens. The real issues with dictatorship arise because of arbitrary arrests by the government, outrageous and absurd laws, crippling economies and a stubborn refusal to relinquish power.
Some of the de facto dictatorships in the world today are unusual in the sense that certain unexpected positions have the greatest hold over the country, especially Communist one-party states, where the General Secretary is considered the head of state. Another surprising political system of governance followed today in several countries is a monarchy, a method considered obsolete by most of the world, but held dear by some. Don’t believe it? Take a look at our list of 10 countries that have a king or queen.
Perhaps the worst aspect of dictatorship is the fact that once in control, the dictator alters the constitution to consolidate and maximize their authority, if it isn’t already, which makes them virtually impossible to depose by legal means. As a result, people start protesting on the streets, thrusting the country into a state of political turmoil, which is difficult to be rescued from.
The countries that we have listed are not de jure dictatorships, i.e. technically they claim to have systems of government that involve the people in some way or the other, but in reality, most of the decisions are made by one person, making it a de facto one-man rule. We have sorted them according to population, which we have taken from the report issued by the United Nations, “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision”.
Now that we’ve thoroughly gone over the literal meaning of dictatorship and how it’s interpreted in the modern day era, let’s move on to our actual list of 10 biggest countries ruled by dictators.