A dictatorship is a type of authoritarianism, in which politicians regulate nearly every aspect of the public and private behavior of citizens. Dictatorship and totalitarianism societies generally employ political propaganda to decrease the influence of proponents of alternative governing systems, in the past different religious tactics were used by the dictators to maintain their rule. Like the Monarchy system in the west, in the 19th and 20th centuries, traditional monarchies gradually declined and disappeared. Dictatorship and constitutional democracy emerged as the two major forms of government. Since World War II a broader range of dictatorships have been recognized including Third World dictatorships, theocratic or religious dictatorships, in the Roman Empire, a Roman dictator was the incumbent of a political office of legislate of the Roman Republic. Roman dictators were allocated absolute power during times of emergency and their power was originally neither arbitrary nor unaccountable, being subject to law and requiring retrospective justification. There were no such dictatorships after the beginning of the 2nd century BC, and later such as Sulla. After the collapse of Spanish colonial rule, various dictators came to power in many liberated countries, such dictators have been also referred to as personalismo. The wave of military dictatorships in Latin America in the half of the twentieth century left a particular mark on Latin American culture. In Latin American literature, the dictator novel challenging dictatorship and caudillismo is a significant genre, there are also many films depicting Latin American military dictatorships. After World War II, dictators established themselves in the new states of Africa and Asia. These constitutions often failed to work without a middle class or work against the preexisting autocratic rule. Some elected presidents and prime ministers captured power by suppressing the opposition and installing one-party rule, whatever their form, these dictatorships had an adverse impact on economic growth and the quality of political institutions. Dictators who stayed in office for a time period found it increasingly difficult to carry out sound economic policies. The often-cited exploitative dictator is the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko, the global dynamics of democratization has been a central question for political scientists. The Third Wave Democracy was said to turn some dictatorships into democracies, the DD index is seen as an example of the minimalist approach, whereas the Polity data series, relatively more substantive. The most general term is despotism, a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power and that entity may be an individual, as in an autocracy, or it may be a group, as in an oligarchy. Despotism can mean tyranny, or absolutism, or dictatorship, dictatorship may take the form of authoritarianism or totalitarianism
Image: Bundesarchiv Bild 183 S33882, Adolf Hitler retouched
Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin are two people often used as examples of 20th century dictators from two different ideologies.