It’s a politician who rules a country with total authority.
Often, dictators take power by force. Or rig elections so they’re sure to win!
Dictators are therefore political leaders that the people did not choose freely: that means the country is a dictatorship and not a democracy.
How can dictators still be in power?
Firstly, they really want to hang onto power. Like Julius Caesar! In ancient Rome, the dictator’s mission was to fix a crisis in 6 months.
When Julius Caesar was named, he gave himself a 10 year mandate, then became dictator for life!
Secondly, by making people afraid. It’s quite effective but sometimes not enough to protect them.
In the spring of 2011, demonstrators in Tunisia and Egypt risked their lives to get rid of their countries dictators.
These stories help us see what a dictator really is: someone who wants power so much they steal it and never give it back.
That’s why there are no good dictators!
Even if some dictators say they are acting for the sake of the people, following religious or political convictions.
In reality, they use extremist ideas as excuses for reducing freedom, including the right to criticize them.
In the film The dictator, Charlie Chaplin mocks the ridiculous behavior of the dictators Hitler and Mussolini. By making fun to denounce them, he shows the joys of democracy!