Is dictatorship evil or good?

The Concept of Dictatorship

The concept of a tyrant or the word "dictatorship" has been largely used in a derogatory context, giving the impression of a bad leader or a barbaric system of government. However, a critical study of the regime shows that there is a type of dictatorship that acts for the good of the entire population. This type of totalitarian regime, which focuses on benefiting its people, is referred to as a benign dictatorship. The true meaning of dictatorship does not define whether the mode of government is bad or good, but interpreting the word relies on personal translation. A person is referred to as a dictator according to the system of governance he or she heads.

Examples of Dictatorship

For instance, both Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea, and Park Chung-hee, the former South Korean president, are considered dictators. The opinion of many people around the globe is that the current North Korean form of governance is a bad dictatorship (Muhs, 2015). Before he became the president of South Korea, Park Chung-hee was a military commander who took power with the help of his troops. Although many consider him as a dictator, South Koreans agree that Park Chung-hee contributed majorly to the economic growth of the country (Chong, 2012). In this paper, Park Chung-hee is used as an example of a good dictator. The key focus of the essay is to show that there is a need for dictatorship in organizations, including family units. A leader should have some level of power to carry out his/her duties, and parents should have total control over the affairs of their children, or else there would be problems.

Good and Bad Dictatorship

The supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un can be referred to as a bad dictator. He uses his power inappropriately by carrying out public executions, and many innocent people have died from his hand. According to a report by the United Nations (UN), 10 percent of the North Korean population is facing starvation (Noland, 2016). That is approximately 2.8 million people who lack basic needs such as food and clothing. Besides, a good part of the population is malnourished and survive without crucial protein and fat contents in their meals. Much of the food and other important supplies have been given to the military forces and government officials. Kim Jong-un can be compared to Hitler, who totally disregarded his people and focused on establishing the strongest military forces. Kim pretends to be acting for the good of his subjects, but in fact he abuses and oppresses them. In one of his public speeches Kim revealed his intention of forming a strong military force which will show the world that his country is as mighty as the army (Jong-un, n.d). The consequences of focusing on establishing a strong military force through heavy defense allocations has lead to an impoverished population.

Park Chung-hee headed South Korea for 18 years before his assassination in 1979. He was considered by many as a dictator since he seized power in a military coup. However, he was a different kind of a dictator who focused on developing the country and improving its economy. His first task was to deal with tax evasion problem by prosecuting firms that evaded paying taxes to the government. He spearheaded the drafting of economic policies, curbing the tax evasion menace to the country. Park used his authority to ensure that companies paid taxes to the government instead of destroying their functionality. The idea was to have control over country's resources so that they could be channeled to the lead developed sectors of the government. Many organizations as well as a large number of South Koreans were against Park's regime, so they hatched plans in secret to protest against the regime. In response, Park Chung-hee created the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) to suppress any opposition to his system of governance. The KCIA misused their powers by arresting criminals as well as torturing innocent people. Despite heading a questionable form of leadership, the rapid economic expansion of South Korea is attributed to Park. In his book Park Chung-hee: from poverty to power, Chong emphasizes the importance of education and strong economic base in building a strong nation (Chong, 2012).

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the definition of dictatorship depends on the perspective of an individual. Good dictatorship focuses on developing the country and improving the lives of its subjects. Having total control over operations in an organization is comparable to good dictatorship and is geared towards improving all the sectors. Parents should use their authority to provide development and improve the lives of family members. Similarly, governments should utilize their mandate to ensure economic growth in their countries. Bad dictatorship should be avoided at all cost since it leads to an economic recession in a country. Park Chung-hee used his authority to improve the economy of South Korea. The description of a person as a dictator should be based on his/her actions and the contribution to the development of the organization or country. Kyi asserts that what corrupts the minds of people is the fear of losing the authority they have (Kyi, 2014).


  • Aung san Suu Kyi. “Freedom from Fear.” The public's library and digital archive. (1991): 20 Apr 2014. Medium. Retrieved from http:\/\/\/obl\/reg.burma\/archives\/199405\/msg00061.html

  • “Kim Jong-un.” Xplore Inc., 2014. 30 April 2014.Retrieved from http:\/\/\/citation\/quotes\/quotes\/k\/kimjongun495478.html#UrFaVZwQUxQsBo6Y.99

  • Lee, Chong. Park Chung-Hee: from poverty to power. Palos Verdes, Calif.: KHU Press, 2012. Print.

  • Muhs, J. (2015). Militaristic Propaganda in the DPRK-The heritage of Songung-Politics in the Rodong Sinmun under Kim Jong-Un. Bachelor's thesis, University of Twente

  • Noland, M. (2016). The North Korean famine. Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History, 234.

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