On air: Do some countries need dictators?

Pakistan traumaIn yesterdays editorial meeting, the WHYS team kicked around some ideas for today’s show. We discussed President Karzai and President Zardari’s meeting in Washington on how to tackle the Taliban. One of the team mentioned her conversation with an Afghan taxi driver who said that his country could never function as smoothly as the UK. “Look at that pedestrian crossing” he said, “people are obeying the rules. That would never happen in Afghanistan.” It got us thinking about whether some countries actually need dictators.Many believe that the rise of countries in South East Asia has been down to their “authoritarian advantage” but it doesn’t seem to have worked wonders for all. Countries like Somalia and Congo, who both suffered terribly under dictatorships spring to mind. But then again, their attempts at democracy haven’t been successful either.

As Pakistan’s condition continues to deteriorate some have been asking whether the country was better off under the military rule of General Pervez Musharraf. Others disagree blaming him for the country’s present day misery.

But how do you balance human rights, which generally suffer under dictatorships, with stability?

Russians are renowned for liking strong leaders, despite the abuses of power that can bring. And some people argue that much of the Arab world for example is not suited to democracy

There are leaders who start off as conquering heros and drift towards dictatorship – Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe are cases in point. Can dictators be helpful up to a point? Do the problems just arise when they overstay their welcome?

112 Responses to “On air: Do some countries need dictators?”

  1. 1 A.R.Shams, Pakistan
    May 8, 2009 at 10:44

    No, we have heard, experienced and observed that even the worst possible democracy is better than the best possible dictatorship.

    • 2 Manoj(US?India)
      May 8, 2009 at 18:33

      ..My view from my experience of 15yrs oflife inINDIA and 10 yrs in USA….. Two party democracy is alwys better then multi party democracy like in India..as it leads to better decision making.But the diversity that India has is unlike China and so comparing China with India is not fair. Furthur even if a country can prosper under a dictator (Communism) economically it can never be healthy emmotionally because the very people is never t represented and freedom is far more importnt for human civilization then to remain as slaves under excuse of economic boost….

    • 3 Peter sc
      May 8, 2009 at 19:04

      China is not run by a dictator. The government sits for 2 terms only. A system of leadership renewal is built in by the National Peoples Congress. Candidates are selected based upon merits and loyalty. It is similar to the Vatican and actually copied from them. Communist Party is like the Roman Catholic Church.

  2. 4 deryck/trinidad
    May 8, 2009 at 10:53

    It seems as if some countries need dictators especially those where there are countless tribes, sects and ethnic groups. In countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya and Indonesia just to name a few the presence of many tribal and ethnic groups leads to a power struggle as these groups vie for the limited resources and they use their differences during political campaigns to get into power. Violence is often the result as the other ethnic groups feel they don’t have a voice and hence no choice. The problem with democracy in certain countries is that many ethnic and tribal groups have a volatile and acrid history.Democracy demands that there be trust among the people of a country to be fair and objective in the treatment of all citizens but the underlying distrust of each other in these countries causes the democratic process to founder. When this happens a Strongman or dictator steps in and binds the people together or at least try to do that.

  3. 5 Ngaro Regency Rendze
    May 8, 2009 at 11:13

    From my own point of view i don’t think any country will like a dictator. But in another perspective, in a country where the citizen don’t obey the lights or the laws governing that country, then she needs a dictator who will impose laws on the citizens in other to meet up with the regulations of that country.

  4. 6 Syed
    May 8, 2009 at 12:39

    the world has very poor behaviour when peoples are leaving their home and living in open sky because to protect international intrest. During this time world should act pro-activtely and help the democratic govt in Pakistan financially and morally. 100’s of thousands peoples left their homes, why because our kids are dying to protect western and American kids, our womens are scrifying their dignity to protect American and Western womens intrest. Our elders are distructed to give peace and stability in America and Western.
    It’s time for America and western alliance to come forward and show a positive response to provide necessary help. Stop sponsoring the organization that is working against the democracy. Stop pupming money to those who is working to destablised the Pakistan and it’s peaceful peoples. All these are against nation are well trained in Afganistan by Indian and American forces to fight in Pakitan.

    Show us that you’re true frined of Pakistan. It’s time to prove now with action not with words.
    Why it’s so difficult to help our womens and childerns to have a peacful life?

  5. 7 TrnOvrANewLeaf
    May 8, 2009 at 12:48

    I was taken aback when I saw this query. Discussing if some countries should have dictators is in itself unsettling due to the far-reaching implications it may bring. But kudos for raising this up because taboos stem progress.

    No, I don’t think any country needs a dictator. Nor do I think it is moral that any of us argue a particular country demands a dictatorship. Here is why.

    We are born with human rights. The mere fact you are born a human comes with these inalienable rights. To live life with dignity and worth requires our human rights to be respected and protected. We all live life once in this world and you cannot live life to the fullest if you can’t speak out against injustice, challenge your government’s actions or expose yourself to unfiltered information without being intimidated, jailed or tortured. A Spanish adages reads, ‘A life lived in fear is a life half lived’. You miss out on life when you live under a dictatorship.

    Race has no genetic basis. This is science, not social science. Science tells us there is no one gene that distinguishes one race from another. Two simple reasons: (1) we humans have not been around long enough to evolve into subspecies, and (2) we have always been mixing with one another since our ancestors from Africa began to tramp the continents. There is nothing coded in any one group of people that goes ‘this human has to be dictated be someone else’. If you were born in a dictatorship but raised in a free country, would you fail to adapt unless you were subjected to persecution? Nobody is inferior to anybody else.

    Just spare a few seconds and imagine how you would feel if your whole life were in the hands of someone else? I shudder. Where has our empathy gone?
    I am disturbed that this is raised.

  6. 8 John in Salem
    May 8, 2009 at 13:16

    People have short memories and some countries need to experience a dictator occasionally just to remind them of why dictators are such a bad idea.

  7. May 8, 2009 at 13:36

    A democracy itself is only a transitional government. History has shown us that time and time again. What they need is a truly free society. A republic.
    A republics power structure is like this. The people have the most power, then the states or provinces, then the federal government. In a democracy the first and last are reversed.
    No one should have a dictatorship.

    • 10 Lynn
      May 8, 2009 at 20:38

      No one should have a dictatorship control their country . Ever. Some have suggested a benevolent dictator, but I’d like to see the plans on how they would pick a “benevolent” dictator out of a lineup. I wish Gene Roddenberry had written a manual on how his Idealistic Federation was achieved. I’d love to see his plans. But, a Democracy is not always possible in this current world. President Bush’s desire to bring Democracy to the Middle East was very presumptuous. Given the regions history, which is long and detailed, a true Republic may be possible. There is a long and winding road to follow to achieve a government that truly reflects their people’s desires and needs, and it doesn’t start with a Dictatorship.

  8. May 8, 2009 at 13:43

    I don’t think there should be dictatorship in any country. There should be special punnishment for dictators because there is no justification for their actions. As far as I know, every one should be given the chance and right to have a say in some critical decision makings of their country.

    Mohammed Kondawa

    Monrovia Liberia

  9. 12 TrnOvrANewLeaf
    May 8, 2009 at 14:03


    I hope you don’t actually believe different tribes and ethnic groups all live a happier, prosperous and meaningful life under a dictatorship. Tell this to Jews who survived the concentration camps, or Black South Africans who lived through the Apartheid, or the tribes in Darfur that are being slaughtered as I type this out.

    It is true that democracy is not always easy to achieve. However, there are a lot more democratic nations in this world than there were a few decades ago. People have struggled and even sacrificed their lives to make this happen. Had they believed that dictatorship was the solution, this world would have been void of a greater part of humanity. Democracy is an aspiration that we have always worked towards with perseverance.

    May 8, 2009 at 14:10

    One can feel very sorry for a country that has a dictator. As if that is not enough, look at Pakistan. This country is suffering multiple dictators; non of which is listening to each other.
    On one hand you have a central government dictating its will on Pakistan.
    America and its allies seem to have a different view which they are dictating by defining who is inclusive or not.
    The Taliban too are dictating what they perceive will to the Pakistanis.

    There is a case too of moderates from hardcores.

    Everyone has been protesting with their points though now they seem to be fighting it out. However, none shall win without human sacrifice though some are paying heavily. At present, this argument has turned bloody. It is not clear who will emerge the winner and in what shape Pakistan shall be in the end.

    May 8, 2009 at 14:18

    Traffic lights may not work in Kabul. Not yet. Who wants to halt in place where a suicide bomber could be larking?
    Afghanistan is still undergoing change from donkey to motorized transport. it will take time. Give them time.

  12. May 8, 2009 at 14:24

    No, i don’t think any country or any individual needs to have dictaors. We have come from dictators, King’s, Police state to democratic state. Thinking of having dictators means, again we are simply scarifying our basic rights like right to freedom, right to equality which we have adopted with great struggle from dictators, kings and police state. It’s we “people” who can erase such thinking by obeying laws by ourselves.

  13. May 8, 2009 at 14:26

    In many Asian and African nations government is a dirty word. Politics is at the service of a few, but some sort of government is needed. Diplomacy, for what it is worth, parliamentary rule, overrated as it may be, elections, useless as they are, and some form of leadership is considered vital for every nation.
    Dictatorship, meaning fascism, tyranny in the form of Communism, democracy in the guise of anarchy are some of the choices available today.
    Zardari is useless, and he knows it. Karzai will be there as long as he enjoys the trust of the Americans. President Obama, for all his rhetoric, we are lumbered with him for the next four years.

  14. 17 Justin Mann
    May 8, 2009 at 14:27

    Opressed countries do need dictators. How could a free idea like democracy thrive when freedom is not a paramount in their culture

  15. May 8, 2009 at 14:37

    For some countries benign dictatorship is better than a democratic rule. It’s the mentality of the people in a country that decides the kind of rulers they deserve. As long as there are people who themselves can’t abide by the rules affecting their daily lives, like not throwing rubbish in the street and respecting road code either in the presence or the absence of a policeman, such people still to be under the tutorship of a leader who should keep them under his grip. If they are given more freedom, they’re likely to turn more chaotic.

    Democracy means plurality and the right to have different opinions. It means accepting defeat by recognizing and respecting the winning side. In some countries, especially in Africa, elections are marked with fatal violence. To put it mildly such countries are still on the first step of the mile of the democracy they should reach. When things settle, their situation hardly improve in terms of governance and progress. For them a good dictator is better than a fake democracy which is just a means for the self-serving and the powerful to legitimize their grip on the power at the expense of the legitimate rights of the people they’re supposed to serve.

    In short, democracy can be successful if both the leaders and the people are all qualified to play by the rules.

  16. 19 Robert
    May 8, 2009 at 14:39

    There will not be a country in the world were you couldn’t show that some short period in its history a weak government cause problems which a dictatorship would have been been able to resolve. This is NOT a good reason to allow dictorships.

    Dictators don’t give up power. In the early days I’m sure all they do is for the good of the country. They more often than not confuse this with they’re own good by the end of their power. At this point they end up destroying the country they think they are protecting. Any prolonged dictatorship will cause problems, inflict suffering and do harm to the country. Countries need strong government yes, but not dictators.

  17. 20 globalcomedy
    May 8, 2009 at 14:44

    Personally, I’d say no. But in a broader sense, look at what the States have done throughout history. You could argue that the U.S. continues to try and be the world’s dictator. One example: trying to impose “American Democracy” on other countries. Why? Because that’s the only “real” democracy.

    If that’s true, then how come many don’t want it?

  18. 21 Chedondo, Johannesburg
    May 8, 2009 at 14:46

    No country needs a dictator, ever. It may take several cycles of leaders for a country to fully recover from a dictatorship, largely because the newly freed people don’t quite know how to handle their freedom. Democracy has a rather long incubation period.
    I live in Africa and we have lots of those. Believe me we don’t need them. Of course Mugabe will beg to differ, but try to tell to convince a mad man that he is insane.

  19. May 8, 2009 at 14:52

    In the Arab world there are monarchies and republics. It is acceptable for a monarch to be the head of state for life.

    What is peculiar for the Arab republics is that leaders never change through the ballot. They can be a new leader just through a coup, or as a result of the death or the assassination of the president. They seem to have presidents for life. There is even tendencies for presidents to be succeeded by their sons as it was the case in Syria. There are rumours that the presidents of Egypt, Yemen and Libya are likely to be succeeded by their respective sons.

    Is dictatorship good for Arab countries? Well, for some where killing a women who has had sex outside marriage for the honour of her family is still widely supported, they still deserve a dictator as long as dictatorship is still practiced in homes and where the father still has great authority over everyone in the family.

  20. 23 Kakule kiza celestin
    May 8, 2009 at 14:53

    I think some countries would need to be led by dictators because in politics there are a lot of challenges , when it comes to rule over people adhering to different views and opinions, it’s adviseable to use obsolute political power for showing one’s authority and leadership. If the president is not a dictator there would be be danger for him to lose some competences on ruling the country.

    • 24 Jessica in NYC
      May 8, 2009 at 17:48

      Why should one want for a job like leading a country to be easy? No one should have absolute power and control over people, because the only way to keep it is by terrorizing its citizens to make them submissive by making them fear for their lives.

      This country you think “it’s advisable to use absolute political power for showing one’s authority and leadership” better have a plan to sustain itself. Because, when a hand hand gets chopped off after someone steals a loaf of bread to feed his/her family, people will cry “human rights violation” to the world for help.

  21. 25 Tom K in Mpls
    May 8, 2009 at 15:07

    The answer to this specific case will only be known in hind sight. In general, democracy is still a rather new and untried system. It’s strength is it’s weakness. This would be it’s stability or inertia if you prefer. This lessens the impact of both good and bad leaders. Also, change with any system is not easy and creates vulnerabilities. Like any human system, it is not perfect.

    As for dictatorships, they give leaders exceptional power. So if you have a great leader, great! If not…. Historically we have seen most leaders are not really fit to lead. I have found that people that want power are not fit, due to their desire. In this case, it may be the right person, in the right place,at the right time. Only time will tell.

  22. 26 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    May 8, 2009 at 15:15

    Picture a landlocked, mountainous country poor in natural resources that has several linguistic, religious and cultural traditions, located between several larger, more powerful neighbors.

    That describes Afghanistan, but it also describes my own Switzerland. Switzerland has been a democracy for over 700 years! Except for a civil skuffle a couple of centuries back, it has been at peace since 1291. It is one of the most peaceful, prosperous countries in the world.

    Now compare THAT to Afghanistan. Democracy is at the root of Switzerland’s success.

  23. 27 Dan
    May 8, 2009 at 15:32

    When you have an unsophisticated and illiterate population and a weak economy a strong leader with a clear vision to improve the lives of his people is almost a necessity.
    Such was the leadership of Singapore’s Lee Quan Yew who guided his country from a volatile, underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into a stable, First World country.

  24. 28 Savane, Nairobi
    May 8, 2009 at 15:35

    Dare I throw a spanner on the works? Why not?

    Growing up, in a 2-parent 4-children home, we had a dictator…….a benevolent one who is affectionately referred to as Mama! Today, I’m part of a 2-parent-2-children family and I’m called Mama, BD, part II, (I have one sister who’s one too, BD, part III!) and my mum’s still The Number I Benevolent Dictator, now affectionately referred to as Cucu and Nana to her grandkids!

    A benevolent dictator leads by positive example, instils positive self-values and self-confidence and pride of self and others (read nationalism, not tribalism or any other negative ‘-ism’ ), leads through direction and doing, consults but is not bound to make decisions for the benefit of some, but for the benefit of all. Tantrums and defiance are silenced with dirty looks (and the occasional spanking, not thrashing or whipping, or loss of life!)…..and life does go on!! We survive and grow!

    So yes, I think there is room for benevolent dictators in some countries (like Kenya) and I think there have been some successful ones like Kagame of Rwanda and the Singaporian President – can’t remember his name, sorry – (he made chewing gum illegal, among other things!).

    Dare I also say, I believe that the one way Obama’s “Yes We Can” will work for the US, is with a degree of benevolent dictatorship??

  25. 29 viola
    May 8, 2009 at 15:40

    No. A dictatorship is the easy way to solve a problem–like swinging harder with the hammer when you can’t hit the nail.

  26. 30 archibald in oregon
    May 8, 2009 at 15:43

    The only country that needs a dictator is one that was created by a dictator………. At least that seems to be the logic of most dictators. So in answer to your question, NO. Countries do not need them, but, if they do not decide on what they want collectively and in some sort of civil fashion, it is not long before they get one.

  27. 31 viola
    May 8, 2009 at 15:51

    Everybody likes a strong leader. However, strong should not degenerate into brutal. That question is like asking, “Would you rather live with a spineless weakling who opens the door to your home to all the thieves and bullies, or would you prefer to live with a brutal pig whose price for protecting you is the threat of getting beat up if you don’t behave exactly like he tells you to?

    • 32 Jessica in NYC
      May 8, 2009 at 17:38

      Not to minimize the problems by simplify the problem, but how much of the situation comes from a lack of hope? During bleak times we can all feel “things” will never change.

      What I cannot respect is people who bring kids into this world without trying to give them a better life than they had. I do idealize this, but without the vision of my founding fathers the US would not be where it is today. We are not perfect and my leaders commit many-many mistakes, but the democracy I live in allows for it to evolve with its people.

  28. 33 Tom D Ford
    May 8, 2009 at 15:52

    “But how do you balance human rights, which generally suffer under dictatorships, with stability?”

    Here in the US we suffered the last eight years under what was essentially a dictatorship disguised as a “Unitary Executive”. Bush ignored the Congress and the Courts and just wrote up Executive Statements to do whatever he wanted.

    Our human rights suffered, our right of Habeas Corpus, a centuries old Right established by the English with their Magna Charta in, I think, 1216 CE, and continued into the US Constitution, was eliminated.

    Our “Unitary Executive” dictatorship illegally spied on Americans.

    Our Bush “Unitary Executive” Dictatorship illegally tortured people.

    Our “Unitary Executive” Dictatorship created Anarchy in the world finance markets and drove us into our current world recession.

    Our Intelligence Agencies have issued a report saying that the world recession has made it possible that many people thrown into poverty might be attracted to terrorism to solve their problems.

    So. In fact, our Bush “Unitary Executive” Dictatorship has destabilized our USA and the world and is living proof that a dictatorship is the wrong way to go.

  29. 34 m.mohsin
    May 8, 2009 at 16:00

    Democracy has a definition with many flavours. So is Dictatorship.

    The whole idea of ruling a country is to improve the overall happiness of its people (not only citizens).

    As long as the people are strong, wise, intelligent and reasonable (it also has many definition but I consider a person reasonable when s/he has same standard of desire for her/himself as mine or other fellow human being), it doesn’t matter whether you are ruled by king/queens, autocrats, tzars, governors, presidents for life or for short terms, emirs, prime ministers.

    Problem is: dictators like Saddam Hossain, destroys apperently normal human being to think rationally (and tribal people are guided by ‘clan rules and believes’ and not by reasons)

  30. 35 Patti in Cape Coral
    May 8, 2009 at 16:02

    I think dictatorships are more vulnerable to corruption. I admit there is corruption in the most democratic systems, but where all decisions are decided by one person that was not chosen by the people, there is more chance of corruption. If you know you cannot be voted out, you have no one to please but yourself.

  31. 36 peter
    May 8, 2009 at 16:03

    Under the guise of democracy so much of dirty deed is done.If attacking Iraqu was part of democracy i would rather prefer a dictatorship.
    When there are various races in a country the majority race will rule suppressing. the minorities eg Srilanka. This leads to various forms of agitations and they are put down by the ruling race stating that they have been elected democratically. How do you put an end to this type of indecent democracy?
    the irony is some democracies support dictator ships in neighbouring countries as long as fall in line with their thinking.
    Hence if there is a benevolent dictator it may be good or bad as democracy..

  32. 37 Anthony
    May 8, 2009 at 16:03

    Simon Bolivar was a “good” dictator who helped MANY South American countries. If you can get a good person who cares to become the dictator, then it would be good for the country.

    Also, a dictatorship can evolve into other governments like democracy.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 38 Patti in Cape Coral
      May 8, 2009 at 17:16

      Simon Bolivar is considered a hero in Colombia, but I’m sure he is rolling in his grave now.

    • 39 Jessica in NYC
      May 8, 2009 at 17:32

      This is a good example, but the circumstances are different so Bolivar’s cannot be a blueprint for the middle east. Furthermore, South America was “saved” from the Spanish Monarchy, this set up many of the countries for centuries of internal civil wars and military states. Only in recent decades have some of them, become independent thriving nations.

      Peru as example had it’s ex-President Fujimori convicted of ordering massacres during the dirty war LAST month. Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia and the list goes on have their government problems that prevent them from developing into a democracy…. I could write and talk about this for hours. (I know, big shocker.)

  33. 40 Tom D Ford
    May 8, 2009 at 16:04

    I have heard in two recent news reports that the Pakistan region of Swat is Feudalistic. Feudalism is a sort of Dictatorship by Landlords.

    I had thought that the horrible practice of Feudalism was eliminated hundreds of years ago.

    I am not surprised that Pakistani people would be attracted to the Taliban as an alternative to Feudalism. Neither practice is good or desirable but Feudalism is just absolutely horrible and the world ought to help eliminate it and free the Pakistani people.

  34. 41 Dan
    May 8, 2009 at 16:11

    @Tom D Ford
    I do not think that Pakistani’s under Taliban rule where they are kept ignorant, in poverty and their daily lives brutally controlled is “freeing” the Pakistani people..

    • 42 Tom K in Mpls
      May 8, 2009 at 18:48

      I think Tom has a bit of the facts wrong. That being said, any person or group can find life so bad that any change is an improvement. Look into Vietnam’s history. Economically raped by the French democracy. They looked for communism. Brutalized by the US democracy they still looked for communism. Abandoned by the US they fell to feudalism under the Khmer Rouge. Then, finally left alone, the Khmer Rouge failed and finally they have a thriving communism.

      There is no perfect/always answer and sometimes any change is an improvement.

  35. 43 Luz Ma from Mexico
    May 8, 2009 at 16:28

    The only thing I can say that was a real positive outcome of having the PRI -the ruling party for 70 years in Mexico- was that they didn´t allow military dictatorships in Mexico, contrary to what happened in other Latin American countries. We were spared of a Pinochet or a Somoza. So we had a veiled dictatorship (some call the PRI the perfect dictatorship) instead of a disastrous military dictatorship. We were lucky…

    In my opinion, democracy will never be completely fulfilled or perfect. It is an utopia, but it is a work in progress, it is something that will not work quite well at the beginning and it needs societal changes that need time and effort.

    Despite all this imperfection, it is the best governmental system in the world, compared with the alternative.

    • 44 Jessica in NYC
      May 8, 2009 at 17:18


      A democracy is not prefect. The beauty of it is that it is meant to evolve and change with its people, because it has checks and balances. What we have in the US and in most developed countries took centuries and countless bloodshed to gain.

      Progress comes at a high price for its citizens; the effort and sacrifice will only be reaped by future generations. So the question for Afghans and others really comes down to how much do you love your children? Is THEIR life worth your sacrifice?

  36. May 8, 2009 at 16:40

    James from Kenya

    I think some countries need dictators. But the dictator needs to be charming to disarm his critics (moi) and somewhat appeal to the masses. I support the idea coz if people fear a dictator there is likely to be some order. When former president Moi was in power the leaders of terror gangs that terrorise us today were scared to hell of him to cause terror. I got to say “good” authoritative dictators can be polarizing. I support those so long as there is order.

  37. 46 viola
    May 8, 2009 at 16:46

    The fact is that people like to have order in their lives. Wolf packs provide a model for what your question today implies–that the need for order in a country trumps every other issue and value. In such a model, the viciousness of the alpha leader who is challenged is an absolute imperative and is an integral part of pack dynamics. Aside from such challenges, the leader may exhibit great affection and tenderness toward the rest of the pack. Think Saddam Hussain.

    So do we in fact need to accept and embrace that particular model for human behavior all the way from families to entire countries because we are animals driven by animal needs that are embedded in our genes or that are ensured through natural selection?

    I think democracy is a better model. It replaces election of leaders by fighting with election of leaders by ballot. Over time, through natural selection, it should have a better result for humans as a whole.

    It remains to be seen if such a model of peace and cooperation can prevail over more primitive models.

  38. May 8, 2009 at 16:49

    The debate is good for Africa. “The best way to rule Africa is to use dictatorship” one politician said! and this is really typically African. Dictatorship is better here in Africa because we have not democracy. many do prefer this dictatorship than where are signs of democracy. With bad democracy “dictatorship” people are free, many things are done easyly, while whith those who try democracy instead things become very hard and people start to suffering.

    • 48 Chedondo, Johannesburg
      May 9, 2009 at 08:29

      So things get done quickly in a dicttatorship. How come we (in Africa) have not been able to solve our problems of hunger, disease and drought? Why didn’t the dictators cook up quick and effective solutions to these problems in the past 60 years? Dictatorships do things quickly – like quickly throwing the opposition into jail, quickly signing arms deals with China , quickly (and quietly) opening bank accounts in Switzerland, quickly blaming the former colonial masters for all the problems they cannot solve.

      Dictatorships kill debate, and without debate there can be no progress.

  39. May 8, 2009 at 16:52

    In Africa where is dictatorship we have peace we do not care about corruption.

  40. 50 TrnOvrANewLeaf
    May 8, 2009 at 16:57

    We can bet our bottom dollar on this.

    Anyone who lives in a dictatorship except those o the governing class wishes they lived in a democracy.

  41. 51 archibald in oregon
    May 8, 2009 at 16:57

    @ James Karuga

    Even if Daniel Moi was a polarizing figure, he used Kenyan wealth for his own selfish purpose, while much of his countrymen remained in poverty. If more of the country experienced prosperity through even distribution of wealth, the terror gangs would cease to exist, because they would have what they needed and would not need to terrorize to get it.

    • 52 Tom K in Mpls
      May 8, 2009 at 18:56

      All systems have corrupt members. You need to look beyond this. You need to ask,’overall are things better or worse?’.

  42. 53 Jessica in NYC
    May 8, 2009 at 17:09

    That didn’t work to well for the Iraqis.

    Every democracy takes time to develop into what we have in the US, progress takes effort and sacrifice from its citizens. Freedom for your kids and future generations is worth fighting for and not compromising, because it will be a long and too hard of a task.

  43. 54 deryck/trinidad
    May 8, 2009 at 17:22


    In a real and pragmatic world the ideal is not always possible and I know that the people who are under a dictatorship are generally not happy but dictators are usually born out of neccessity and functionality.Where there is an absence of a political system of any type chaos reigns. An example is Somalia and Iraq. I say Iraq because the present government is being propped up by the US administration. We in the West with our Western beliefs would like the rest of the world to be free but some cultures are not prepared to accept drastic changes to their culture and way of life.Education is the key to freeing a people.

  44. May 8, 2009 at 17:23

    Email from Lutali in Nairobi:

    Oh yes! They do need, in fact most African countries -look at what happened to Kenya if it were Moi dictator it couldnt have happened.

  45. May 8, 2009 at 17:25

    Email from Kim in Nairobi:

    Today’s discussion is unbelievably apt.if there’s a country that desperately needs a dictator,its without doubt my own country,KENYA.a country with humbling potential,but utterly disgusting politics.the level of political noise is am octave too destructive.we like to call it freedom of expression,but i call it shouting ones way towards self annihillation.a benevolent dictator would definately keep us all in line.democracy is a way of life,its culture for crying out loud!its not something to spread all over the world.EUROPEAN or AMERICAN democracy is wonderful.its rosy and romantic even.BUT,its not even remotely a devils prescription for malfunctioning political society like ours.its a sure cocktail for a dive into hell.would anyone please give us him-a one faced scar-laden dictator.

  46. May 8, 2009 at 17:29

    Email from Tom in Pennsylvania, USA:

    When this country was first being established there was a lot of discussion as to what kind of government would be best. The argument against pure democracy was that it would lead to demagoguery and leaders who would play on the fears and prejudices of the population. The argument was persuasive enough that the US went with a Republic style rather than pure democracy. And even with that we get a lot of the political pandering, but there are some checks to hopefully keep it from getting too far out of hand. It seems to me the best government would be a benevolent dictator. But it is highly unlikely that there could be such a thing. The power would probably corrupt the most well intentioned person.

    With less developed countries, with low literacy rates, probably the best government would have a strong leader with extensive powers but a safety valve that would permit him to be ejected. The safety valve should not be too easily activated so as not to get the leader tossed every time a hard decision was made.

  47. May 8, 2009 at 17:33

    Email from Mary in Oregon, USA:

    Our democracy goes back centuries. I don’t just mean back to the ratification of the constitution. We had had Britain’s example to draw as well. We’ve had all that time to refine it to where it is today.
    Democracy cannot be imposed on a country. Democracy is something that must start from within a society for it to have a chance to work. This does not mean some countries need dictators. It means that democracy can take a while to become a viable form of government in some places and it is up to the people in those countries to make it happen. We can help, but we should not impose.

  48. May 8, 2009 at 17:34

    Email from Isabelle, Belgium:

    No country needs a dictators, but dictators need counties!

  49. May 8, 2009 at 17:35

    Email from Kwabena:

    I think developing countries need a dedicated dictator whose interest is in discipline and national development and not his pocket. Democracy is indeed not good everywhere.

  50. 61 Savane, Nairobi
    May 8, 2009 at 17:43

    All those in favour of benevolent dictatorship (remember your mama), say ‘Aye’!


  51. 62 1430a
    May 8, 2009 at 17:45

    Hello Everyone,

    Yes,I do think some countries need dictators or atleast a leader who maintains a strong figure in public.The best example of a successful ‘strong’ leader would be Vladimir Putin who has,with his fear transformed Russia from being an underdeveloped nation to a superpower.In countries like Pakistan,Nepal and Bangladesh,the only solution to the turmoils would be to have a strong leader or even a dictator who can control people.

    Thank you,

  52. 63 Thomas Murray
    May 8, 2009 at 17:48

    This is a major no-brainer, but still entirely worthy of discussion.

    One of the very many reasons the American Republican Party is being flushed down the toilet is their overly simplistic idea that democracy is the only viable governmenrt for everyone.

    In reality, Saddam Hussein was just what Iraq neede to keep it from turning into anarchy. That should be obvious by now to all but the American right wing, who still think taking Saddam out was a good thing. And I fear that, after we leave, not even the collapse of the Malachi government will convince them otherwise.

    The same goes for the Taliban. One American woman said of them that they were petty-minded and brutal (I paraphrase), but, she added, at least you knew where you stood with them.

    The Taliban’s imposition of divine order is why the 12th Century societies along the Khiber pass feels comfortable with their rule. People in a potentially lawless widerness crave law the way a thirsty man craves water in the desert.

    That’s why I feel the first words of World War Three were uttered by Bush when he told Musharraf to “Take off his uniform.” Precipitating the step-down of the only man that was holding Pakistan together was the first domino in a long line of events that will eventually deliver to a bunch of religious radicals — whose only form of sexual release are beheading videos — yet another tool in their arsenal of social demolition; atomic weapons.

    This is yet another reason the Republicans are being evicted from power by the U.S. electorate.

    BTW, Freud would approve of my Taliban analysis, that is, vis-a-vis their death videos sublimating a very palpable castration complex. They’re all very sick. And they are acquiring the power to kill us all.

    I only wish I still had my Geiger Counter.

    –Really Really Really Really Really Worried in Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  53. 64 Ernesto Priego
    May 8, 2009 at 18:16

    Is this a rhetorical question? History has taught us that dictatorships and totalitarianism come forth during times of crisis, and the outcome is never a positive one.

    Democracy is a means to an end, not an end in itself, that’s why democracies fail too. People has to mature politically as well and accept their civil responsibilities and major role in deciding the destiny of their countries.

    As anyone who has survived a dictatorship can tell you, totalitarian regimes will never be the solution.

  54. 65 Stephen Emi
    May 8, 2009 at 18:17

    I think a benvolent dictatorship in Nigeria will save Nigeria alot of cost at a time of world economic meltdown. The Nigerians are tired of the type of democracy politicians are practicing.
    Politicians pretend to be democrats but are looters an thieves.



  55. 66 Vijay
    May 8, 2009 at 18:19

    Do some countries need dictators?

    The notion of Democracy or dictatorship hardly matter to most people,(it is merely an academic point of discussion) ,they just want their basic needs met.They just want some one who can get the job done, full stop(US English tranlation Fullstop=Period).

  56. 67 Scott - FL, USA
    May 8, 2009 at 18:24

    A dictatorship generates a nationalism that is necessary for the preservation of a nation.

    The sympathy of the population in our western democratic nations toward minorities and special interest groups will eventually result in our handing control of our countries over to these groups. And we will be cheering and patting ourselves on the back as it happens.

    • 68 Patti in Cape Coral
      May 8, 2009 at 20:29

      @ Scott – What do you mean, minorities and special interest groups have more voting power than others? Or do you mean that minorities and interest groups should not be allowed to vote?

  57. 69 Peter Wakholi
    May 8, 2009 at 18:28

    I used to be an activist for democracy in my home country Uganda. However, seeing what has happened in many stable countries when democracy is introduced, I would think a semi dictatorship is what is needed. Many societies descend into lawlessness mistaking it for democracy. A semi dictator is a strong man who clings to power through some fraudulent means or system. Examples, Museveni, Moi, Putin, etc.

  58. 70 Tom D Ford
    May 8, 2009 at 18:29

    I think that all too often the form of government is imposed by business interests for their own advantage and to the disadvantage of the people.

    On example was when Henry Kissinger overthrew the democracy in Chile, had Allende assassinated, and then installed the vicious dictator Pinochet, all for the benefit of, if I recall correctly, the fruit companies.

    I think that businesses ought to be limited and human beings and human rights ought to be placed at higher value than businesses.

    • 71 Tom K in Mpls
      May 8, 2009 at 19:05

      The biggest company was International Telephone and Telegraph ( ITT ). They requested the overthrow.

  59. 72 Anthony
    May 8, 2009 at 18:31

    In compairing democracy in India compared to Pakistan, I think it has to do with the majority religions in both areas, the hardcore fundamentalist views in Pakistan compared to the broad accepttance of Hinduism.

    I’m not saying that one is better than the other, but I think Hinduism is one of the MAJOR contributing factors as to why India has one of the best democracies in the world.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  60. 73 jade
    May 8, 2009 at 18:40

    A wise, benevolent dictator who cares about the people and communicate his vision can motivate people to embrace the same goal, and that common goal can be a solid foundation to build a Nation.

  61. 74 Ernesto Priego
    May 8, 2009 at 18:44

    Scott says:

    “The sympathy of the population in our western democratic nations toward minorities and special interest groups will eventually result in our handing control of our countries over to these groups.”

    What do you mean by our countries? In a democratic society, citizens have their say. If those “minority” and “special interest groups” are citizens, they have the same right to participate politically through the available channels.

    Modern democracies need to wake up to the fact that the world is composed by human diversity and not homogeneity. National unity in ethnic/religious/ideological difference is possible and desirable.

    A dictatorship is the ideal of the desperate, the lazy or the totalitarian.

  62. 75 Tomas Antolik
    May 8, 2009 at 18:47

    I think dictatorship can be a good option for some countries either in times of turmoil or at a certain stage of development so that the government can stabilize the situation and push through reforms and thus facilitate development even though these might not be so popular among the public in the short run and would probably not be implemented otherwise.

    The problem then is if those running the country fail to move towards democracy once the time is right.


    New York

  63. May 8, 2009 at 18:48

    To understand this conversation we have to shed the labels we are using to define these types of governments. The United States has asserted itself as a poster child for Democracy yet we do not subscribe to this type of government ourselves.

    We weren’t even intended to be a “Democracy” by our founding fathers, it was known then that such a utopian idealism is impossible.

    At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got – a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin responded, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    They knew that a pure democracy is a fallacy and tried to find middle ground with a representative system without giving any one person too much power. In response to your shows question, do these countires need a dictator? No. They need a republic with checks and balances. True democracy provides a false sense of entitlement and instability – and if left unchecked – Anarchy.

  64. 77 Kate
    May 8, 2009 at 18:48

    Historically, does anyone know of a country that has successfully transitioned from a dictatorship to another form of government or to another dictator without civil unrest ?

  65. 79 Jane S.
    May 8, 2009 at 18:53

    Many folks have said that corruption was something you would see only if the country were underdeveloped. The glaring example of the prior u.s. “president” whose name makes me sick even to think. Corruption at it worst, the highest seat in the most developed country on the planet.

    Why do we always posit these questions as either or? Democracy or dictatorship? The problem is the we have been educated to think within a very narrow range of possibilities.

    Really all you have to do is address all the women’s problems in the world, and radically reduce the birth rate. There are just too many humans on the planet. There is too much competition.

    What if all humans produced no children for ten years?

  66. 80 Vijay
    May 8, 2009 at 18:55

    The definition of literacy in India is just having the ability to sign your name and the notion of Democracy in India is just casting a vote .Both are equally limited and equally ridiculous.

  67. 81 Ricky
    May 8, 2009 at 18:55

    I think that everyone in a country has to be well-informed about the world before democracy can thrive!
    Hong Kong

  68. 82 george
    May 8, 2009 at 18:57

    it’s a question of perspective whether one person lives or not in a democrac<.. it is very possible my democracy to be different than yours..- Democracy is an western idea therefore a part of western civilization, so is not wird some countries from different civilization to have what we europeans call dicatorship. more details soon.. with an essay to..:))so please be careful when naming some countries as democracies or not

  69. May 8, 2009 at 18:58

    Dictators? Democracy? The world has developed to where it is today through monarchies and empires. These may be classified as ‘dictatorships’ but the unbridled ‘freedom’ of the West is guaranteed self-destruction. The Western media is the poison in the system which proclaims its own ‘freedom of expression’ while Rome burns. the vast differential of national and ethnic immaturity and cultural intolerance vis-a-vis one another cannot be served by one size fits all – the Western mantra. China is happily ignoring the rest of the world and moving forward with its own Empire while the West and developing nations. Let’s learn from them early since they will rule the world sooner than we think and we’d better get in tune quick if we want to enjoy the concert.

  70. 84 Anthony
    May 8, 2009 at 18:58

    @ Kate

    Q:”Historically, does anyone know of a country that has successfully transitioned from a dictatorship to another form of government or to another dictator without civil unrest ?”


    -Anthony, LA, CA

  71. 86 viola
    May 8, 2009 at 18:59

    I am appalled by the blithe acceptance by people of the idea that dictatorship, even if so-called “benevolent”, is a really good thing. When you say “dictatorship” I assume you mean “absolute” dictatorship. There is overwhelming evidence that anyone with absolute power will always, no exceptions ever, abuse that power, thereby completely disproving all arguments for so-called “benevolent” dictatorships.

    Clearly, freedom has no value to a lot of people. Even in families the apparent absolute power of parents over their children is moderated by law or custom. Nobody is allowed to kill a child just because he challenges the parent. Yet, that is exactly what is being advocated by adherents of “benevolent” dictatorships.

    May 8, 2009 at 19:28

    I would rather be under a dictator who ensures that there are equal opportunities for what I see here is an endless wish list for a utopian concept called democracy. Do not agree with me but my take is that democracy is not infallible and right now it is the most abused form of government probably due to lack of a competitive ideology. It is not even sufficient otherwise why do we need globalization which has led us nowhere? Every now and then we are told of the new world order.
    Democracy is a system that is now used to plunder others by the wealthy and those in power. It has not made the world better else we would not be having lopsided trade agreements that impoverish others. Look at all the plunder that has led to the current economic crisis. Which country is spared? No democracy is only for the very rich and powerful. What democracy does resource less people have when everything is stolen from them? Currently democracy is not about fairness but ruthless competition for resources by a few well placed individuals leaving the rest with empty freedom. Right now it is the most abused because it is manipulated by political power brokers and big business.
    As for dictators they are good but let us not confuse this with despots who are imposed on people by others. There are countries under dictators but the citizens still lead a decent life because there is fairness. Here in the third world democracy is absent. What it is happening happening is only increase of lawlesness due to poverty and plunder.

  73. 88 Peter sc
    May 8, 2009 at 20:03

    What is a dictatorship? All business organisation is run by a dictatorship. Can a business be run democratically by its employees. Possible. But what is the chances of success. With people of a single mined focus can an organisation succeed But only in utopia can a such people exist. Some belive in luck, others believe they are blessed. Likehaving good neighbours we better belive we are blessed to live in such a good country.

  74. 89 Ernesto Priego
    May 8, 2009 at 20:53

    @ Kate

    Q:”Historically, does anyone know of a country that has successfully transitioned from a dictatorship to another form of government or to another dictator without civil unrest ?”


    -Anthony, LA, CA

    On April 7, 2009, Fujimori was found guilty of murder, bodily harm, and two cases of kidnapping. He was the first elected head of state to be extradited back to his home country, tried, and convicted of human rights violations.

  75. 90 Hisham
    May 8, 2009 at 21:08

    The Singapore example is a good one as dictatorship, with a leader who wants a better life for his country, but this type of dictatorship need to be followed with an educational system that promote democracy, in any form or shape, to ultimately, people in that country have a say in how the country should be govern.
    Countries in the middle east and south American needs this form of dictatorship.

  76. May 8, 2009 at 23:19

    It is the disenfranchisement of people that needs to be addressed. I think that people are less likely to feel represented under a dictator but a “democracy” wherein multinational corporations operate freely is not representative. The fabulously wealthy and powerful don’t even need to conspire with one another to be acting in concert. Their agendas are very much the same and they need only work out how they wish to divide the spoils. The “free world” talks a good line but foreign nations that elect leaders that cannot be bribed or otherwise controlled are soon forced to ‘rethink’ their decision. Look at Iran’s Mosaddeq in the 1953, Haiti in 2004, or Palestine’s election of Hamas. The west wants to continue to disenfranchise people so it has a choice of trying to fool them with a totally bought democracy like Saddam Hussein when he was our ally or a totally bought dictator like the Saudis or so many others. I don’t think the powers that be care which but virtually everyone who isn’t wealthy enough to be pulling the strings would like a real, truly representative democracy.

  77. 92 David
    May 9, 2009 at 03:05

    Make no mistake, some of the “dictators” we have had in the past and have today are a biproduct of “western demogratic” authoriterian regimes.

    I would really be happy for some one without bias to define the two regimes and how they function. May be that is the starting point of discusion.

  78. 93 David
    May 9, 2009 at 03:28


    Very well said.
    “A wise, benevolent dictator who cares about the people and communicate his vision can motivate people to embrace the same goal, and that common goal can be a solid foundation to build a Nation”

    I can not agree with you more.

  79. 94 Luis Arturo Martinez N.
    May 9, 2009 at 05:55

    NO country need a dictator, democracy is full of mistakes but it can be improved, people can say what they think is wrong and make actions to do better. The dictators think they are better than the rest of the country. They do not accept diferent opinions. Nowadays we have have a new kind of dictators, the ones who have elections every year but they control these elections, they control justice which means there are not justice. Venezuela has one of these new Hitlers, a chivo like Leonidas Trujillo or a Stalin. Mr. Chavez does not accept any oposition, any one who dare to confront or to disobey him is acussed to be a traitor, a criminal, a pityyanqui. He does not want to discuss any idea he wants to be obey. His people´s moto is “Mande mi comandante” which is not diffent to “heil Hitler”. There is just a different time a different country but a criminal is ruling a country, is ruling Venezuela.

  80. May 9, 2009 at 09:30

    I value my democratic rights in the UK enormously .I vote in every election and express myself publicly on a range of subjects via readers letters.

    Suppose law and order broke down. Suppose I was at risk every time I went out of the house. Suppose at any time a local gang could force their way into my house and take everyhting I own.

    I would care a lot less about democratic rights and a lot more about law and order at any price. It is a priveledge to live in a orderly , democratic state but practically anything is better than chaos and rule by violent sects or gangs.

    My guess is that most Iraqis ( not all ) preferred living under Sadam’s dictatorship ( preferably without draconian sanctions ) to a life in which they can vote periodically but have to live in a violent and sectarian state.

  81. 96 Daud Momodu from Auchi, Nigeria
    May 9, 2009 at 16:24

    O yes, except that the word dictator connotes being ‘blindly brutish’. Otherwise i think a country like Nigeria needs a dictator to insist that corruption, poverty, insecurity, give way to normalcy. A democratic Yar’adua can never restore peace to the Niger Delta where the poor inhabitants sleep with one eye closed.

  82. 97 Luci Smith
    May 9, 2009 at 17:02

    I was going to make some of the same points that Tom D. Ford made in his post about the US under George W. Bush, but you did it so much better than I can, – thank you, Tom!

    I kind of think that I might agree with some dictators and disagree with others. I have been lucky to grow up in democracies, but I find that it sure is easy to spin people in them and sway public opinion. And being part of a democracy does put demands to its citizens, to keep informed. But you can see how almost every country that goes from being a colony to being independent goes through a period of semi-dictatorship with corruption and abuse of power.
    If I was the dictator of the world, I would crack down on everybody who made wars and put them into gangs where they had to farm and build schools and libraries and hospitals instead! I would immediately outlaw wars everywhere as my first dictate.
    And then I would start gathering up everybody’s weapons for destruction and give them gardening tools instead!

  83. May 10, 2009 at 01:55

    No country needs a dictator. We in the U.S.A . had enough of a dictator in George W. Bush the former president of th United States of America!

  84. 99 AmericanGrizzly
    May 10, 2009 at 16:03

    Hell no. No to dictators. Neither right nor left. Talk about hate speech, I am glad they speak freely. It shows the true nature of their character. Now if they are a Messiah like Obama, is that any different? Rev Wright, Bill Ayers, hmmm? Or is that banned by the leftist press? No, just say no to dictators.

  85. May 10, 2009 at 18:05

    Democracy is ALMOST always successful and dictatorship is ALMOST always unsuccessful. Whether dictatorship can be successful depends on many factors, and so does democracy. If democracy has failed there is no guarantee that dictatorship will work. But, yes, some countries do need dictatorship, but only if the correct person is the dictator.

  86. 101 Filip Poland
    May 10, 2009 at 20:34

    Poland has experienced a dictatorship of masses soon after WW2 during the communism times when we were forced to be happy. We strongly recommend democracy, as it has what it takes to make people feel free. There is no better feeling than freedom and ability to influence your future:)

  87. 102 Bill Monkau
    May 10, 2009 at 21:24

    In this day and age dictators are an archaic form of governing a country. What’s unspoken here is that some nations have an unhealthy record when it comes to govern themselves.

    I believe this will be an eternal problem, since people will always appeal to western principles of human rights and equality, which only work in healthy democracies. Mainly in Western Europe and the Anglo Saxon world.

    And international watch dogs, UN and NATO to name but a few, reduced to lame ducks, won’t help either. So we’re left to muddling through, whilst putting up with the Mugabes and what have you, I’m afraid.

    Bill Monkau

  88. 103 DEREK
    May 11, 2009 at 01:43

    provided that is what a the majority of a reasonably well-educated,”secure” and healthy population want!
    now, move along

  89. 104 Sumedh Sharma
    May 11, 2009 at 08:06

    I dont think at all we need dictators to run a country.In my own country Nepal we had a dictator called gyanendra, the then king. we kicked him out of power by means of peaceful demonstrations. Not only on this we gor rid of the whole monarchy. the dictatorship has made our cointry more poorer rather than anything.So i want to make a statement that in dictatorship omly a certain group of people get benefited and many are keft behind also there is no proper mechanism to find a heir for the dictator and this results to a power crisis once the contemporarydictator leaves power. moreover getting dictatorship in some part of the world is like applying biased syrieah law in swat valley of Pakistan.
    LIke how Palistan is noe having nto fight against these elements we to may have to fight against the dictatorship later if we allow it to flourish now.

  90. 105 John In Germany.
    May 11, 2009 at 08:55

    Hi All.
    No Country needs a dictator, all it needs are Politicians of all denominations, with the People and their needs being the priority, and not the greed for political power.

    Some times I’ve had the feeling that it is not the Dictator, but the hangers on he or her need to maintain the dictatorship. Each hanger on must be fed to keep them on the line, hence corruption rearing its ugly head, more so than in a democracy.

    Revolt is in the air, the British public’s reaction to the political scandal concerning allowances. The French concerning almost anything. The German Links Partei(left wing) be able to gather enough votes to become part of the German Democracy, they are democratic.
    The media selects the interviews to broadcast on its own criteria, or that of the controlling body. Ask the man, or woman on the street, they do not have to be University educated to feel what has gone on in the last 5-6 years with banking(the tax payer is footing the bill) and global business. In these people lies the truth, and it is in a way frightening how they think, that is why such interviews are seldom made, or are not broadcast.

    Result, if the democrats are democratic enough-we do not need Dictators.

    Have a nice day
    John In Germany

  91. 106 jade
    May 11, 2009 at 13:57

    Singapore is a good example, where people stuck together for survivial, for the common good. in a dictatorship, there are always personal sacrifices.

    Democracy, like credits, is earned, not transferred. a well-informed, educated voting populace can select better leaders; and if a mistake is made, is more willing to take personal responsibility, be patient, to review & participate in change.

  92. 107 Dennis Junior
    May 11, 2009 at 16:27

    I think that in most countries e.g. Zimbabwe and Iraq they may always need a dictator….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  93. 108 TrnOvrANewLeaf
    May 12, 2009 at 04:26

    Dear moderator

    I wrote a lengthy comment in my most recent post. Since I don’t see it being published, has it been deleted? I will be most surprised because I am certain there was nothing inflammatory or offensive in that post.

    I would appreciate if you could inform me of the whereabout of the post. Thank you.

  94. May 12, 2009 at 13:00

    No country desrves a dictator, it would amonut to saying that some people are not human.

  95. 110 jade
    May 14, 2009 at 17:03

    I think the humanity, men and women, is born free. The man need to be free for realising himself, for leaving his bright light flowing freely around the world. Crimes, perversion, murders are caused by a frustated life, by a no-free mind.

  96. 111 Jim Newman
    May 14, 2009 at 20:35

    Hello again
    Personally I do not think that any country needs a dictator but judjing by the way the USA surplanted democracies with dictators in S.America and is still trying to, I would say that the USA definitely needs dictators.

  97. February 12, 2010 at 20:51

    The Bible, Quran, Dostoyevsky and Freud answered this one. People are born evil and corrupt. Even when things are going well they get bored and want to screw it up. Also, because people have finite lives, the young and stupid must learn all the same lessons again. So they are vulnerable not only to their own evil natures but also to the evil natures of demagogues who use them and manipulate them to acquire power. In the countries where dictators are the most brutal and have the most power take a look at the population. Usually they will be the most ignorant, violent, and cowardly themselves. It is not a question of if the next brutal dictator(s) will arise, but where and for how long and how bad it will be this time. And who will be the new scapegoat.

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