Difference between Democracy and Dictatorship

There are no such different terms as democracy and dictatorship. The first refers to the ownership of joint power in the citizenry, while the dictatorship is the consolidation of power in a single figure or in a body considered elite.


It is a type of social organization in which power is found in the citizenry. It is a State organization in which the collective decisions adopted by the people through direct or indirect participation confer legitimacy to their representatives. It is a form of social coexistence in which members are equal and free and social relations are established according to contractual mechanisms.

There are two types of democracy, indirect or representative, where decisions are made by representatives recognized by the people as such. Participatory democracy that has a model that allows citizens to associate and organize themselves to influence public decisions and direct democracy, which allows the decision to be adopted by all members of the people. These three types of democracy are not mutually exclusive and can be integrated as complementary mechanisms.


It is a type of government in which power is concentrated only in an individual in an elite, generally through the consolidation of a de facto government. It is characterized by the absence of the division of powers, by exercising command for the benefit of the minority that supports it, the independence of the government with respect to the presence of the governed and the impossibility that through an institutionalized process the opposition manages to reach to the power.

Dictators come to power after a coup by the armed forces or a civil-military coalition, or they may inherit power from a previous dictator. The dictatorship has its origin in Rome when, in cases of war or emergency, the Senate endowed a man with absolute powers for 6 months without repealing the political and legal order. It can be authoritarian or totalitarian.

Differences between democracy and dictatorship

  • Democracy is the government of the people. This decides and selects representatives or exercises power over the decisions that affect the State.
  • A dictatorship is a government where power rests with a person or a group that supports the government.
  • The dictatorship can be authoritarian or totalitarian.
  • Democracy can be indirect, participatory or direct.

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