democracies, dictatorships & oligarchies

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Democracies, Dictatorships & Oligarchies. Civics Studies 11 MUNDY 2007. Dictatorships – RULE BY ONE. Dictatorship occurs when one person or small group holds all power in a government Dictators decide upon their own rules for the country’s people and businesses - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Civics Studies 11MUNDY 2007

  • Dictatorship occurs when one person or small group holds all power in a government

    Dictators decide upon their own rules for the countrys people and businesses

    People are not given chance for elections to change government

  • Dictators do not allow criticism or dissent, frequently using countrys military and courts to control anyone who objects

    Rule of law not followed dictator is above law

    Dictators often justify their rule by persuading people that they are doing this for the benefit of the peoples wealth, safety

  • Dictators have appeared throughout history in a variety of countries across the political spectrum (left to right):Julius CaesarRomeBenito MussoliniItaly - FascistIdi AminUganda NationalistJoseph StalinRussia Communist

  • Dictators take power either by coup detat, revolution or through general support of people

    Many dictators enjoy popular support initially due to poor economic or political chaos people want tough leader to bring order to country

  • Termed by Greek philosopher Aristotle to mean rule of a country by a few priviledged individuals as a group

    Aristotle felt that rule by a few of the best and brightest would be ideal form of government, what he called ARISTOCRACY

    If a government, however, was ruled only by wealthy group, this was PLUTOCRACY

  • The ruling members of an oligarchy can be made up of people of similar:

    Race (South Africa white rule)Wealth (Upper Canada Family Compact)Family (Kazakhstan Nazarbayev)Religion (Saudi Arabia Wahhabism, now monarchy)

  • Oligarchies are very similar in their control over their countrys people:

    Stifling freedom of pressAuthoritarian control through army/policeLack of independent judiciary (courts)Banning opposition parties in elections

  • Purpose of oligarchies is to spread wealth and privileges amongst the rulers and those they wish to include

    Example: South Africa allowed businesses, civil rights and legal benefits for white people only, barring black majority populace from these liberties

  • democracy comes from Greek word demos meaning people

    Democracy means people hold the power in a country; power over their legislators and their overall government.

    This is typically called majority rule through elections in which the government is chosen by the majority of people.

  • First instance of democracy was in Ancient India in 11th Century BCE, later organized as sabha (assembly, primarily chieftains) and samiti (a meeting of people in tribe), who kept control over a king by voting on matters Second instance is in the 5th Century BCE Mesopotamia (now Iraq), where kings required consent from senate and men of the town (assembly) to go to war

  • Greek government was a DIRECT DEMOCRACYDIRECT DEMOCRACY involves all citizens in a country in its decision making (bills, laws, etc.) by having them meet and decide in personIn Greece, all adults (18 and up) who were born within the country and not slaves were expected to participate in public dialogue on issues

  • Greek leader Pericles, first to endorse direct democracy in Greece:Our system of government does not copy the systems of our neighbors: we are a model to them, not them to us. Our constitution is called a democracy, because power rests not in the hands of the few but of the many... We differ from other states in regarding the man who keeps aloof from public life not as private but as useless

  • In Greece, citizens met at the Pnyx, near the Acropolis in Athens, to debate issues important to the welfare of the countryThe speakers Corner at PnyxAthens, Greece

  • Citizens were able to express their concerns and directly vote on laws and policies that mattered to them

    One pitfall of the direct democracy process was the emergence of DEMAGOGUES

    Demagogues use lies to prey on peoples fears and prejudices in order to manipulate them into voting for their policies

  • H.L. Mencken, political critic and humorist, wrote that demagogues, will preach doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.

    Yes, demagoguesexist even today!

  • Todays democracies are known as REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACIES

    Representative Democracies differ from Direct Democracies in that they allow its citizens to vote not directly on the proposed laws and policies, but for officials who will represent them in parliaments when deciding upon new laws.

  • Any country using a democratic form of government can be seen as either:




  • Countries with FULL DEMOCRACIES have the following characteristics:A constitution that guarantees individual rights and freedomsMajority ruleProtection of minority rightsRule of lawChoice of political partiesFree and fair electionsIndependent judiciaryCivilian control over armed forces

  • Tony Benn video on Democracy

  • With PARTIAL or EMERGING DEMOCRACIES, any range of elements of a FULL DEMOCRACY are weak or not present, such as:A judiciary (courts) that is influenced by a leader or the wealthy (corrupt)Only one political party allowed to campaign in electionsPress and media (TV, internet news) are censored by government


    EMERGING DEMOCRACIES are attempting to reform their countrys government to incorporate more democratic elements to reach FULL DEMOCRACYWhereas PARTIAL DEMOCRACIES have governments who wish for no changes towards FULL DEMOCRACIES

    ***"His Excellency President for Life Field Marshal Al Hadji Dr. Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular"*******************