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a concept that characterizes a system of exercising power in a state. The term has two fundamental meanings: (1) the essence of state power, which ensures the political power of the economically dominant class, (2) the method of exercising power (dictatorial regime, dictatorial methods, and so forth).

Both meanings of the term “dictatorship” are closely interrelated. The dictatorship of a single class (the first meaning of the term) is necessary for every class society (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 33, p. 35) and cannot be linked to any one form of state. In both monarchies and republics the dictatorship of one class is the essence of the organization of power. In other words, political dominance relies on the force of the class that occupies the key economic positions in a society, and the expression of the will of the economically dominant class through a monarch, parliament, president, or govenment depends on specific historical conditions. Regarding bourgeois society Lenin wrote: “Bourgeois states are most varied in form, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their forms, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie” (ibid.). (See also and STATE.)

Under a dictatorial regime (the second meaning of “dictatorship”), power is concentrated in the hands of a dictator or several persons, and violence and terror are in the foreground of politics. In such cases a dictatorship is characterized by unlimited, uncontrolled dictatorial power, attacks on the democratic rights and liberties proclaimed in the constitution, and limitations on the rights of representative bodies. The regime relies directly on force. As a rule, major social groups (classes; estates) act as the bearers of the dictatorship. However, outwardly the dictatorship is embodied in one person or in a group of persons (the dictatorships of military leaders and triumvirs in ancient Rome, absolute monarchies, present-day authoritarian regimes, and juntas). Historically, the establishment of dictatorial regimes has usually been connected with periods of sharp intensification of the class struggle (for example, the rise of Franco’s dictatorship in Spain and the fascist dictatorship in Nazi Germany).

As a means of exercising power dictatorship is alternative to a democratic regime. In arguing against the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the reformist and revisionist ideologists of the bourgeoisie have distorted the scientific meaning of the concept of dictatorship. Striving to play down the class nature of the present-day bourgeois state, which is a dictatorship of the monopolistic bourgeoisie, they apply the term “dictatorship” only to regimes of personal power; that is, they ignore the meaning of dictatorship as the organization of state power.


References in periodicals archive ?
The former President said that the Parliament is our shield against dictatorship.
A kind of dictatorship has appeared that honestly denies the opposite opinion, does not tolerate the components, and are bringing about massive dictatorship under the pretext of eliminating totalitarianism in politics, they :
The story--based on a supposed interview with Jara de Cabezas --painted a positive picture of the dictatorship, denied the existence in Argentina of extermination camps, and covered up not only the abduction in question but the government's genocidal policies as a whole.
Sdi said in a press conference : " The National Safety Law which sent yesterday by the government to the Parliament is a law which allow to transform the state to a hostage in the hands of one person , the prime minister ," describing the law as the law of dictatorship because it will give the powers all to the new dictator of Baghdad.
The novelist was a political prisoner of the Uruguayan dictatorship through the seventies and eighties in which the whole Southern Cone was consumed by authoritarian regimes.
Former President Michelle Bachelet, who was held and tortured during the dictatorship, praised the move.
144) Opposition to the Russian dictatorship was influenced in part by a translation of Karl Kautsky's The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, a work by a respected Marxist that was highly critical of Bolshevism.
SDSM is creating a semblance of dictatorship to be able to fight it and that is why it is renouncing power at all levels.
She insisted that this limitation is necessary not only for Iraq but for all countries to counter future dictatorship, as happened in the past.
Before Egypt is blessed with its Second Republic and its people learn to identify the defining feature of military rule, whether it was achieved via a coup or rigged elections, this declaration turns Egypt into its fourth dictatorship since July 1952 -- excluding the brief period of president Mohamed Nagib whom only ruled for a few months.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Greeks took to the streets by the tens of thousands on Saturday to commemorate the 39th anniversary of a deadly student uprising against the country's former dictatorship.