Politics in Minutes (2016)

Dictatorship

Within a totalitarian state, because individual rights and freedoms are restricted or even absent, the government wields considerable political power and is often concentrated to the authority of a small number of people, or even a single person, commonly referred to as a dictator. The majority of authoritarian regimes have charismatic leaders who have either spearheaded the regime’s rise to power, seized the leadership or emerged from the ranks of the ruling elite. They are often seen as dictators although they may simply be the leaders or figureheads of an authoritarian government. It is not always the case that all totalitarian regimes have gained power by force: a number of dictators were initially elected and subsequently extended their powers. Also, although dictators and totalitarian governments are generally at the extreme left or right of the political spectrum, they may have moved to this position from a more moderate stance. They are characterized more by their authoritarian methods of governance than their actual socioeconomic policies.

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Charlie Chaplin lampooned European fascist leaders in his 1940 film The Great Dictator.