Imagine the next time you step into the voting booth your ballot only lists one candidate
to choose from. Or perhaps your ballot lists four candidates, but they are all from the
Liberal party. Dictatorships are one party political systems that are ruled by one leader or
an elite group of people under the principle of authoritarianism. Some feel that
dictatorships are the most effective form of government because decisions are made
quickly and extreme nationalism benefits the military and economy. These individuals
value order, nationalism, and authority. However, these systems often result in violence,
repression of the public, and few provisions for changes to the system. Democracies are
multiparty political systems that rest on the principle of rule by the people. Most people
that live in democracies have civil liberties1, and political rights2. Individuals who feel
that multiparty systems are the best government value equality, accountability, and
freedom. Nations that have multiparty political systems will meet the needs of the public
better through the means of political equality, a higher standard of living3, and civil
Dictatorships often occur when a nation is economically and politically unstable.
An example of this is Napoleon’s coup d’ etat in 1799 France. In a system of
authoritarian rule decisions are made efficiently because very few people are involved
The Emergence of Nationalism By the end of the Middle Ages in the 14 th century, a new belief of nationalism appeared in Europe. Simultaneously, the feudal system was crumbling. The Hundred Year War helped develop nationalism, because the commoner had become more of a necessity in battle, thus making the nobility a less significant force. The peasants revolts, due to many economic and social ...
in the decision making process. The leader or elite group at the head of the government
decides on new policies and economic measures, then makes sure that the public
abides by them by using tactics of force and indoctrination. Dictatorial systems have
helped nations recover from economic turmoil many times in the past. The extreme
nationalism that is born from propaganda and government sponsored youth
organizations encourages people to work harder for the benefit of their country. Newly
motivated work forces easily meet their production goals. If the leader of a dictatorship is
capable the country can rise to hold a great amount of international power. Building up
the military is an important step to gain power. A strong military will discourage other
countries from attacking and also discourage the citizens of the country from rebelling.
The force of nationalism, and new laws that can be easily passed regarding education
(such that every male of a certain age must serve time in the military) allow military
strength of dictatorships to multiply.
The Soviet Union experienced a dictatorial system from 1917 to 1985. Under the
rule of Vladimir Lenin, and later Joseph Stalin, one political party attempted to control all
aspects of political, economic, and social life. The people of the USSR endured rapid
industrial development, victory in World War II, and improved literacy rates. They also
experienced elements of force, indoctrination, controlled participation, limits on dissent,
and a lack of the accountability of government. In 1917 Lenin initiated the Bolshevik
seizure of power and became the first soviet government. Lenin established communist4
society in Russia before passing away shortly after (1924).
Stalin, the general secretary
for the communist party gradually gained power and by 1928 was in control of the
When you are talking about the Soviet people and say that they are non-political people who don't believe in ideology you need to examine it more. From the time the Soviet Society evolved into the communist society that they were until they lost the stigma of being a communist society these statements were by and large true. After they lost their communist traits everything changed. The Soviets ...
government. Under Joseph Stalin’s leadership the USSR was transformed into a world
power, and a totalitarian state. Lenin had introduced the New Economic Policy in 1921,
which proposed the creation of a mixed economy. In this system the state controlled
large industries but small scale enterprises and farming were run privately. By 1936 the
NEP had helped The Soviet economy to recover to the levels it was at before WWI.
Stalin introduced his famous 5 year plans, to develop industry further, and the NEP was
abandoned for a communist economy. The first 5 year plan (1928-1932) expanded
heavy industry such as steel making and mining. Private farming was eliminated, with
much bloodshed, and collective farms were established. The second 5 year plan
(1933-1937) began the development of natural resources in Siberia and the far east. It
also further expanded heavy industry at the expense of consumer goods. Stalin’s third 5
year plan (1938-1941) directed funds to areas of defense. In WWII Nazi Germany
invaded the USSR, creating an instant alliance between the USSR and two of the
world’s greatest powers; Britain and the USA. The Soviet Union pushed the Germans
out of its territory and Eastern Europe, thus accelerating the end of the war. Trade
increased between USSR and the two other powers, and the Soviet has been
recognized and commended for helping to end WWII. Another benefit of central planning
was the massive educational effort that raised literacy rates in the USSR. The
communist government wanted to develop a skilled and educated labor force. Millions
of people learned to read and write, in an education system that centered on scientific
In order to enforce communist policies the Soviet Union built a large militia5. The
secret police (consisting of agents and informants) were used as an instrument of terror
The population growth has caused concern for many Americans because of the terms of numbers and poverty that comes with this growth. There is a pattern showing of wealth transferring from poorer nations to the richer nations of the globe and the information technology revolution is speeding this cycle up. With population growth reaching new heights new concerns for increasing urban growth has ...
to ensure that the communist party stayed in power. The secret police kept foreigners
and those who traveled abroad under close surveillance. They also censored the mail,
and monitored telephone conversations. Indoctrination and censorship encouraged
nationalism and spread the communist ideology. The government sponsored youth
groups such as the “little octoberists”, and the communist ideology was taught in school.
With only one newspaper and one radio station (both government owned) people had
very little control over their own beliefs because they were constantly exposed to only
one side of every issue. This excerpt is from the Soviet’s only newspaper, “Pravda6” .
“Stalin is the architect of the tremendous creation
called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. he
is the source of all life in the he soviet union.
His thoughts set the whole mechanism of Soviet
life in motion.”
Glorification of a leader is common technique used in dictatorships to ensure that
citizens are faithful and committed to the government in power. In the early 1920’s and
30’s people of the USSR were expected to vote publicly by raising their hands. This
caused a very low voter turnout so a secret ballot system was instilled. All candidates (if
their was more than one) were selected by the communist party, so the voting was quite
meaningless since it lacked the element of real choice. Officials manipulated counts to
make voter turnout appear higher than it actually was, and if one were to disagree with
the choices listed on the ballot they were to mark the ballot publicly and be subject to the
wrath of the secret police. The lack of accountability in the USSR was so shocking that
anyone who observed it and still lives will be emotionally scarred forever. The “great
purge” from 1936 – 1939, began with few show trials that symbolized fair justice but
never provided enough real evidence to base a conviction on. These trials were for
members of the government who had supposedly plotted against Joseph Stalin.
The Five Themes of Geography Geography: The study of people, their environments, their resources and the interactions among them The Five Themes of Geography are: 1. Location 2. Place 3. Human Environment Interaction 4. Movement of People Goods and Ideas 5. Region 1. Location: Where something is located on the Earth's Surface Relative - Location of Something in relation to something else (Ex: A ...
Following these trials, the secret police purged all institutions (education, media,
government) of possible threats to the communist party, and sent millions of people to
forced labour camps. When this horror came to an end in 1939 it was too late for the
millions of people who died, completely innocent of any crime.
It is true that Stalin’s reign enabled many people to learn to read and write, but at
what cost? If they were not killed in a labour camp, the point of having employability
skills seems faint when every adult after 1938 was required to have a “labour book.”
Without a labour book one could not be employed, and once a person way employed
their labor book was kept with the employer. This way employees could not easily
change jobs. Developing employability skills if you are not able to pressure the
employment that truly interests you is a wasted effort.
In the USSR political rights and political equality were merely a facade. Although
the show of voting made it appear that people had the right to elect the leader of their
choice, the public was not given the option of free choice. Also in the USSR speaking
out against the government and dissenting was strogly forbidden and could result in
exile or execution. Civil liberties were virtually non existent. People did not have the
freedom to develop their own views and ideas because they were constantly being
indoctrinated with the ideas of the government. If one were to exercise the freedom of
assembly or demonstration in a dictatorial system they would be killed or imprisoned
(Tienneman square in China).
It is difficult to find exact numbers that help us determine
the standerd of living in the USSR during Stalin’s regime. However, from the stories of
the forced concentration camps and black market for food and other consumer goods
anyone can deduct that the standard of living was low. Russia’s standard of living today
emphasizes the effect that a previous authoritarian government can have on a nation. In
Russia the adult literacy rate is quite impressive, 98%. The GDP per capita is very low
$3050 (in US dollars).
Rights of the People A democracy is a system of government controlled by the people, not by one certain group or individual. In the Declaration of Independence it states that "all men are created equal," an idea which leads to the concept that all citizens should have the same rights, responsibilities, and influence in the governing of their country. In writing the Declaration of Independence ...
The average life expectancy is also low at 66.9 years, and
approximately 2.6% of the population owns computers.
In democratic systems the public decides what economic and social policies work
best for them. Democracy originated in ancient Athens. Besides the fact that only men
could vote ancient Athens exhibited a model direct democracy. On every issue each
voter was able to freely vote. The Athenians choose from two main political parties, and
no one person had any more power than another person. Decision making and decision
enforcing were the duties of every citizen. Democracy is a logical concept. Since the
public has to abide by the policies made by the government, they should be able to help
make those decisions.
The United States of America has been a democracy since it became a country.
The system of government ensures that no branch of government (executive, legislative,
or judicial) has more power than another branch. Each American voter votes to elect a
president from the political party that has a platform most similar to his or her views.
They also elect the senators and members of the house of representatives (who make
up the legislative branch).
The supreme court judges are not elected, but appointed for
life by the president and senate in order to keep their interests pure. Most laws that are
made in democratic systems reflect the views of the public. In the Us, any member of
the House can introduce a piece of legislation. This illustrates how all members are
equal and are given the right to represent the people from their state. The bill is printed
and prepared so that all members of the government can understand the details of it.
The bill will then be refereed to the appropriate committee by the House or Senate
parliamentarian. The committee ensures that the bill meets with the guidelines of the
constitution, and makes revisions and amendments to it. Now the committee of a whole7
debates and amends the bill but cannot technically pass it. Debate is limited in the
committee by certain rules and opposing side have a scheduled amount of time to
... System": he believed that rotation of people in government jobs (which required no special expertise) led to the Expansion of democracy. EXPANDING DEMOCRACY ... He serves in Congress 18 years after being President. (See the Film "Amistad." ) INDIAN ... having served in a variety of public offices for most of his life ... on their behalf. He vetoed more bills than all his predecessors combined, challenging ...
speak. The bill is also debated in the senate, without any time limit on how long The
debate can run. If the House of Representatives and the senate pass the same bill it is
then sent to the president. If the House and the senate pass different bills they are sent
to the conference committee. The president signs the bill, making it become law. The
president does have the power to veto legislation, but it is rarely used. This is because
the chamber that provided the legislation has a right to overthrow the veto if 2/3 of the
members present feel that they should do so. Also the congress has the power to
impeach8 the president if the public feels he is not performing his job adequately. In
America, every person over the age of 18 (who has not been convicted of a felony or
declared mentally incompetent by a court) has the right to vote through the practice of
secret ballot. People also have the right to speak out against the government and
dissent freely. Civil liberties are guaranteed to the people in the constitution, and no
legislation will be passed that violates any citizens civil liberties. If people feel their civil
liberties have been violated they can take the case to various courts, who will make a
fair ruling based on the constitution. Today the USA has a high standard of living
compared to other countries. It is a major world power with a democratic system and a
market economy. In 1997 the adult literacy rate was 95%, the GDP9 per capita was
$29, 181 US dollars, the average life expectancy was 76 years, and approximately 37%
of people owned computers.
The individuals who believe that dictatorial systems are more efficient and
beneficial than democracies have never experienced life in such a system, or have
never been a victim of the elite. Dictatorships do not meet the needs of the public
adequately, result in a lower standard of living than democracies, and often result in
violence. For a new policy to be implemented in a democracy thousands of people do
not have to die. This is because for the most part in democracies the policies that exist
are the will of the people. Democratic systems have been very successful in the US,
Canada, Sweden, and other countries. The freedom of choice is ultimately important,
and since the public makes the industry in nations, they will choose what is best for the