Autocracy Vs. Dictatorship: 5 Major Difference

They are comparable governmental systems that are occasionally used interchangeably.

Sometimes, autocratic regimes are not viewed as all that horrible. However, dictatorships are always viewed negatively and as being repressive. While dictators have a strong personality that helps them obtain the authority they desire, autocrats frequently lacked this trait.

The main difference between an autocracy and a dictatorship is that an autocracy is a type of government and a dictator is the person in charge of a dictatorship.

Autocracy Vs Dictatorship

What is an Autocracy?

An autocracy is a type of government in which all power is in the hands of a single leader who makes both political and legal decisions.

An autocrat is in charge of his power all by himself and doesn’t have to explain anything to anyone. He makes decisions based on his own ideas and judgment.

Autocratic regimes don’t have to deal with political fights between different groups because there aren’t any.

Characteristics of autocracy

The following are signs of autocratic governments:

  • Leaders make decisions without much or any input from the people they lead or the people on their team.
  • Leaders make their own decisions about policies and procedures.
  • The leader is always directly in charge of everyone on the team.

What is a Dictatorship?

A dictatorship is a way of running a country where one person or a small group of people are in charge. Different ways are used by dictators to keep power in their hands.

Dictatorships are a type of authoritarianism, which means that the people in charge have control over every part of their public and private lives. His only kind of government is promoted with all kinds of political propaganda.

Who is a dictator?

A dictator is a person in charge of the government who has total power and uses it in an oppressive way. A dictatorship is a state that is run by a strong leader. The word comes from the name of a judge in the Roman Republic who was chosen by the Senate to run the republic in times of crisis (see Roman dictator and justitium).

Like “tyrant,” which was once a respectable Ancient Greek title, and “autocrat,” to a lesser extent, “dictator” came to be used almost exclusively as a non-titular word to describe harsh or even abusive rule, but it was rarely used as a title in modern times.

In modern times, the word “dictator” usually refers to a leader who has a lot of power and/or abuses it, especially the power to make laws without being stopped by a legislative assembly. Dictatorships often have some of the following characteristics: the suspension of elections and civil liberties, the declaration of a state of emergency, rule by decree, and the suppression of political opponents without following the rules of the rule of law. This includes a one-party state and a cult of personality.

The word “dictator” is similar to, but not the same as, the ancient word “tyrant.” Originally, both “tyrant” and “dictator” didn’t mean anything bad. People who come to power in different types of regimes, such as military juntas, one-party states, and civilian governments run by one person, have been called dictators. They might be on the left or the right, or they might not care about politics at all.

Characteristics of Dictatorships

  • No Genuine Constitution.
  • Monopolization of Power.
  • Complete Control over the Propaganda Machinery.

Key Differences Between an Autocracy and a Dictatorship

  • There isn’t much difference between a dictatorship and an autocracy. In both, a single man runs the country. But dictatorship is seen as bad, while autocracy is seen as the lesser of two evils.
  • An autocrat doesn’t have the charisma or personality cult of a dictator, which probably keeps him from making extreme decisions that could hurt his people a lot.
  • Another difference is that a dictatorship could be run by a single party or class (like Hitler’s Germany or Myanmar’s military junta), while an autocracy is always run by a single person.

Similitudes Between an Autocracy and a Dictatorship

  • In both situations, there is only one person in charge.
  • Both have huge and unlimited power to make decisions.

Comparison Table: Autocracy Vs Dictatorship

GovernmentCentralized, there are almost no different groups in the government.Get power through force, untruths, coercion, or terror.
AuthoritySupreme power is in the hands of just one person, who can do whatever he or she wants without being limited by the law.The dictator is in charge of everything.
Monarchical systemAutocracies can be run by a monarchy or another type of government.Dictatorships don’t have to be monarchs
LeadershipAutocrat doesn’t have much charm, which probably keeps him from making big decisions.Anyone who fights against a dictator could get hurt.


Is dictatorship an example of autocracy?

Both totalitarian dictatorship and military dictatorship are often thought of as autocracies, but they don’t have to be. Totalitarianism is a political system in which the government tries to control all parts of life and society.

What is the difference between autocratic and authoritarian?

Most people know that autocratic leadership is a style of leadership in which the leader has a lot of power and authority, while authoritarian leadership is a style of being in charge that usually has bad results (e.g., House, 1996).

What does autocratic dictatorship mean?

An autocracy is a type of government in which one person is in charge and has the power to make all the decisions. Autocracies have been around since ancient times, when kings and emperors ruled over large countries and tribal lands. They still exist today in the form of absolute monarchies and dictatorships.

What country is a dictatorship?

China, Cuba, Eritrea, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam are all one-party states. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is also a one-party state, but the UN doesn’t recognize it.

What is dictatorial leadership?

The first kind of leadership is called dictatorial or authoritarian. A leader who is authoritarian has all the power. This style doesn’t give people a chance to give input. The leader makes all the decisions, keeps important information to themselves, and sets the rules.


We’ve seen that a dictatorship is just a type of autocracy with some small or big differences.

Even if an autocrat has complete power, in its purest form, he or she will use it or try to use it for the good of the people in the form of written rules.

A dictatorship is a takeover of power, and sometimes it’s the fault of a state whose only goal is to keep its control over the whole population by limiting their freedom.

Even though there have been many dictatorships in the past, there are now much better ways to run a country, such as democracy. There are still some problems with this, but everything can be made better.