Difference Between Communism and Dictatorship

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 28, 2023


Difference Between Communism and Dictatorship

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When the people were few, there was no governing body or government that existed. The division of a ruler and the ruled occurred initially within the family. In earlier tribes and villages, they were nothing but associations of a group of families represented by their family heads or Rulers. As the civilisation spread and the population rose in number, there were larger groups of people and each group had its leader who governed them and stood up for them. Divisions into countries and states demanded political systems and governments get established for a proper set of rules and regulations for the people to follow.

The world has seen many rulers over the years. Every ruler had its ideologies and principles on which the whole territory used to function and follow. As time passed by, many political reconstructions happened, and new forms of rule and government have been experienced till now by this world and its people. Some leaders continued the same principles as the previous one; some created their principles, adding another new form of government in political history.

A government is a system or an institution consisting of a group of people to govern or manage a state or country. Some forms of government include- democracy, monarchy, autocracy, communism, oligarchy, aristocracy, socialism, dictatorship, and so on. We will discuss the difference between Communism and Dictatorship in this article as we move further.

Communism vs Dictatorship

Both Communism and Dictatorship are different forms of government and have absolutely distinct characteristics and power control. They vary in their beliefs as to how a country should be run. Communism is a political and socio-economic ideology which advocates in favour of a classless society. It is a form of governance in which all property and wealth are owned communally and not by individuals. Dictatorship, on the absolute contrary, is described as a form of government in which absolute power is exercised by one person or a small group of people.

The main difference is that communism holds that centralized organizations should handle the economy to bring about statelessness and classlessness. Dictatorship, on the other hand, follows that one person should take control of everything. The dictator and his office hold all the power and make all the decisions.

Difference Between Communism and Dictatorship in Tabular Form

Parameters of ComparisonCommunismDictatorship
DefinitionCommunism is an economic ideology that advocates for a classless society.A dictatorship is an autocratic government run by the dictator or authoritatively by an oligarchy or a central political party.
PowerNo particular individual is given the power in a Communist society.The dictator is considered the most powerful in Dictatorship.
Profit ShareProfit is shared among the people equally regardless of their class.Profit is shared by only one absolute powerful authority.
OwnershipCommunism is run by common ownership within the people of the state or country.Only the Dictator is the sole owner of everything. He has all the powers.
AdvantageIn Communism, equal and efficient distribution of resources is carried out.In Dictatorship, there is less room for corruption. The crime rate is seen to be lesser during dictatorship rule.
ParliamentThere is an absence of Parliament in communist society, which also means the constitution is also absent.A parliament can be present in Dictatorship sometimes.
Political StabilityThere is political stability in a communist rule given that there are no restrictions on people.In a Dictator rule, there is no political stability. There is no opposing party. It is a one-party rule.

What is Communism?

Communism is a political and socio-economic ideology that places itself against liberal democracy and capitalism, advocating for a classless system in which the means of production are possessed communally and private property is non-existent or severely trimmed. The communist ideology is the opposite of a capitalist one, which relies on democracy and the production of capital to form a society. Communist thinking was developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Some examples of modern communist governments include the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the People's Republic of China (PRC), North Korea, the Soviet Union, Cuba, Cambodia and Laos.

Characteristics of Communism

  • The objective of ‘Communism’ is equalizing society so that every individual performs and obtains income based on their necessities and abilities.
  • All the properties within the framework of government are owned by the public. This public ownership would eliminate disparities between intellectual and manual labour, bridge the gap between rural and urban life, and create the possibility for future human development in every industry and category.
  • Communism is against Democracy. Democracy involves the freedom to enter private organizations into the market, among other things. Communist ideology does not bear privatization as it is an obstruction in the route of a classless society.
  • The fundamental aim of a Communist society is creating Social equality. In simple words, it is a society in which there is no discrimination between rich and poor, everybody has the right to get all privileges.
  • The abolishment of Private property is also an aspect of Communist ideology. The idea behind this abolishment is that – when private organisations enter the production market, they lean to focus more on profit. As their earnings increase, their lifestyles change drastically. Obviously, their state is ought to be dissimilar from people who don’t have enough money. To avoid this money level between people, Communism stands against private property.

History and Origin of Communism

  • Communism emanated from the French word ‘communisme’, developed from the Latin word ‘communis’. One of the first modern uses of the word ‘Communism’ stemmed from a letter by Victor d’Hupay around 1785. In this letter, he represented himself as an auteur communiste or communist author. John Goodwyn is given the credit for the first English use of the word ‘communism’ in 1840.
  • It was because of Marx, developed this doctrine, and later it was accepted as a practice. He believed that the germs of inequalities in society originate from the uneven allocation of wealth due to Capitalism and private ownership.
  • Vladimir Lenin proposed significant modifications in the theory and practice of Marx’s Communist ideology. Lenin suggested that- change in society must be led by a privileged class of intellectual middle-class individuals. He advocated authoritarian control over the state.
  • The idea of a classless, egalitarian society first appeared in Ancient Greece. Aristotle and Plato have been considered communist or socialist theorists, as the initial authors who gave communism serious contemplation and thought.
  • Communist ideology is found in the works of the 16th-century English writer Thomas More. In his treatise Utopia, Thomas illustrated a society based on shared ownership of property.

What is Dictatorship?

A dictatorship is a form of government where one person makes decisions without any constitutional limitations. The controller of politics in a dictatorship is a Dictator. A dictator is promoted by a group of aristocracies which includes generals, advisors, and high-ranking officials. The dictator maintains control by charming and pacifying the inner circle and suppressing any rival, which includes opposing political parties, armed resistance, or unfaithful fellows of the dictator’s inner circle.

History of Dictatorship

  • According to Alfred Cobbon, Dictatorship is the government of a single man who has not received his position by legacy but by power or backing, and usually by a mixture of both. 
  • Between 1919 and 1939, there was a great response against democracy and modern dictatorship established in many countries. For example- Kamal Pasha established a dictatorship in Turkey in 1921 and remained a dictator till his death in 1938. Mussolini became a dictator in Italy in 1922 by abolishing democracy.
  • The concept of a dictator was first established in the Roman Republic. The position of dictator was developed for times when a leader was required to supervise and rejuvenate stability.
  • The dictatorship was revitalized 120 years later by Sulla, and 33 years after that by Julius Caesar. Although the rule of a dictator has been described by some people as ‘temporary tyranny’ or ‘elective tyranny’; it was not regarded as tyrannical in Ancient Rome.
  • A second tyrannical dictatorship was formed by Alfred Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany. He obtained dictatorship based on electoral power, emergency powers, and violence.
  • New governments got created after the ecolonization in Africa and many of them were dictatorship governments. Early African Dictatorships were mostly those in which a single socialist would take control instead of a ruling party.
  • In the 21st century, the nature of Dictatorship changed in the world. Most dictators quit being larger-than-life figures who ruled over people using violence and terror. Instead, they started focusing on building a positive public image to strengthen support among the people in their territory. 

Pros and Cons of Dictatorship

  • One of the advantages of a dictatorship government is that crimes decrease if a dictator arises in the society. The swift and harsh punishments that are carried out when a criminal act is experienced are a massive obstruction against activities that are harmful to society.
  • Corruption in government systems is reduced under this kind of government because they are answerable to no one but themselves. There is no opposing party. Workers fear breaking rules because of the repercussions.
  • A dictator can establish great bonds with other world leaders if he has a sound mind and body, along with a patriotic streak.
  • One of the provisions that prove disadvantageous to people is that the rules and regulations can change frequently if the dictator is feeble-minded. This can become a problem for the law and judgement if the rules are not permanent.
  • Mass killings are very common during Dictatorship to establish power and authority. Mostly innocent people are killed and oppressed to designate their rule.
  • In case, a dictator decides to quit his rule voluntarily, this would pose a problem to the ruling government. It could also lead to the complete shattering of the existing government.

Main Differences Between Communism and Dictatorship (In Points)

  • Communism is a political ideology in which the rule is distributed among people. In Dictatorship, the power resides in one person- the Dictator.
  • Communism lacks smooth state machinery because the rule is distributed among a lot of people. Decision-making might be slow as everyone’s opinion is to be considered. On the contrary, there is only one person who makes all decisions. He listens to himself and smoothly makes judgements according to his own will and mindset.
  • The Communist government follows a classless system, which means there is no discrimination and oppression based on class, gender, religion, wealth, and so on. Dictatorship, on the other hand, is established by suppressing the innocent and the weak people. the elite class supports the dictators and doesn’t care who is being discriminated against.
  • As the name suggests, the Communist government is ruled by the community. The Dictatorship government has only one ruler, who is also called a dictator.
  • Communism does not empower a person to take decisions according to their aspirations. On the other hand, a dictator has a free hand in taking any judgment.
  • It is the community that manages the resources or the means of production in Communism. But in a dictatorship, the dictator handles the means of production or resources. 


Humans tend to reconstruct and honestly, distort ideologies over time. As people modernised, the communist government switched to being an Oligarchy government. It changed into being ruled by a group of elites. The avarice for power and money left a communist government which was only name-sake.

There still exist some countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Vatican City, etc. that have Dictators. Most dictatorships hold elections to maintain lawfulness and solidity. These elections are typically uncompetitive as the opposition is not permitted to win.

Communism and Dictatorship both advocate powers of different kinds. One promotes community power and the other support power in the hands of a single person. Both have their pros and cons, but the fact that they are different from each other thoroughly is highlighted in this article. Hopefully, this article was helpful enough in making you clear with the difference between Communism and Dictatorship.


  • https://www.britannica.com/topic/military-government
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictatorship#History
  • https://study.com/learn/lesson/what-is-a-dictatorship.html


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"Difference Between Communism and Dictatorship." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 15 Jul. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-communism-and-dictatorship>.

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