What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Military Dictatorship?

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

There are arguably few advantages and more disadvantages of military dictatorship governments, with advantages including the possible deposition of a prior, ineffective government and disadvantages including a totalitarian and oppressive government whose authority derives from military power and intimidation rather than democratic choice of the people. Because a military dictatorship typically evolves from a coup d’etat in which a nation’s military takes over the government and remains in power due to superior force, it is generally not considered to be a fair and equitable form of government.

Advantages for those living under a military dictatorship are typically few and far between, but those who are in power tend to enjoy advantages such as unquestioned authority, nearly unlimited power, and access to a wider range of resources than are typically offered to citizens within the same nation. Additionally, military dictatorships tend to be ruled by a single individual who has no real accountability. Military dictators tend to lead their countries for a long time, very rarely stepping down voluntarily, meaning that violent struggle is necessary to implement a different style of government.

The current North Korean government is an example of a military dictatorship; the rulers of this nation have all been of the same family and have carried out oppression and harsh imprisonment against their own people.