How Do Dictators Come to Power?

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Dictators come to power primarily during times of national weakness, such as economic downturns and during national emergencies. During national struggles, dictators emerge as powerful and confident leaders offering to provide fellow citizens with guidance and direction.

Sometimes, weak or corrupt internal national policies on economy and policy facilitate the rise of dictators to power. Dictators see weaknesses in national plans, and propose convincing alternatives for making changes. During times of war, dictators often sway the public by providing plans for rapid defeat of enemy troops.

Dictators will also sometimes play on the perceived weaknesses of government officials to attract support. They criticize governments for actions such as spending too much money, causing economic troubles, increasing taxes and other national policies that impact citizens. Dictators then outline plans for improvements, which are implemented when they gain power.

Dictators use quite a bit of psychological sway to attract the attention of voters. They offer messages of hope and strength during hard times, and emerge confident and hopeful. Some government systems, primarily those with unequal branches of power, make it easier for dictators to emerge. In contrast, governments like the United States, which feature a system of checks and balances, never let one branch dominate the others.