Can a dictatorship sometimes be good? Watch

sammynorton90
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Can a benevolent dictator sometimes be better than a corrupt democracy? If a leader is a good person, and does what is best for the people instead of looking out for his own interests, and everyone is happy, is there any need for a democracy? Have there been any examples throughout history of dictators that have been loved and been good to their people, without killing those who oppose them?
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rajandkwameali
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Liberal democracy is championed since it allows for the greatest freedom (why freedom is good, well who is to say, it's just something modern society promotes).

For this reason, people will baulk at any autocratic or even totalitarian system, since there is no guarantee that the government will uphold citizens' rights. I think though that some Roman emperors were benevolent dictators. Or even kings in Anglo-Saxon England, such as Alfred the Great or Edward the Confessor.
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cvqw1278
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What 'good' dictators are there in this modern world?
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RawJoh1
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(Original post by sammynorton90)
Can a benevolent dictator sometimes be better than a corrupt democracy? If a leader is a good person, and does what is best for the people instead of looking out for his own interests, and everyone is happy, is there any need for a democracy? Have there been any examples throughout history of dictators that have been loved and been good to their people, without killing those who oppose them?
A benevolent dictator could do good things, sure. Nothing odd about that. What are we supposed to draw from that?
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sammynorton90
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(Original post by RawJoh1)
A benevolent dictator could do good things, sure. Nothing odd about that. What are we supposed to draw from that?
Nothing, I'm just asking a question.
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rajandkwameali
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(Original post by RawJoh1)
A benevolent dictator could do good things, sure. Nothing odd about that. What are we supposed to draw from that?
that "liberal democracy" is not what it's cracked to be?
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bluesky42
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Yeah I think a benevolent dictator would be better than a corrupt democracy.

Mainly because I don't rate "freedom" higher than health care/education/equal opportunities etc.
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MagicNMedicine
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It's a fair point.

One of the main arguments for 'independence of the Bank of England' was that monetary policy should not be in the hands of politicians who would make short term decisions to boost their own popularity and chances of re-election which may not be in the best interests of the country as a whole. Some people would also say the same about fiscal policy - governments are prone to borrow now, to finance a spending windfall/tax cuts, to get re-election. If they didn't have to be accountable to the people they would be able to take a better long term view.

I remember when I studied Ted Heath's time as PM, one of the things that got said about Heath was that he would have been an excellent ruler in an autocracy...he was a very effective 'manager' and knew how to get the Civil Service to run the country so that it worked...but he lacked the personable touch and was not very good at connecting with voters in an electoral system.
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Square
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well hitler got germany out of hyperinflation and terrible economic ruin.

after that though......
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sammynorton90
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(Original post by Square)
well hitler got germany out of hyperinflation and terrible economic ruin.

after that though......
Thats the thing. Dictatorships are usually in the hands of people who want to oppress people. But if they simply want to improve the lives of the people they serve then why have a vote, where an oppressive regime could be voted in?
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RawJoh1
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(Original post by rajandkwameali)
that "liberal democracy" is not what it's cracked to be?
That doesn't follow from the obvious possibility that a benevolent dictatorship can do good things.
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RawJoh1
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(Original post by sammynorton90)
Nothing, I'm just asking a question.
OK.

Question's kind of simplistic though. Take whatever you take to be a good policy. There's nothing (conceptually) to stop a benevolent dictatorship doing that policy, provided the policy isn't something like democratic reform or something else that's inconsistent with dictatorship.

So it's in no way surprising that it's conceptually possible for a benevolent dictatorship can do good things. Does it follow from that that benevolent dictatorship is a good system of government? No. Does it follow that we ought try and institute a benevolent dictatorship? No. Does it follow that we ought not be democrats? No.

More argument is needed if we want an interesting conclusion.
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MTR_10
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I think Franco's legacy in Spain can be thought of as good and bad at the same time. If you look at modern day Spain - The systems, the order and the structure are largely owed to Franco.
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sammynorton90
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Some people say Singapore, although claimed to be a democracy is pretty much a Benevolent dictatorship, but the majority of people don't seem to care, as they' have it good, and theres not even any ethnic cleansing like there was in Hussain's Iraq or Franco's Spain.
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Stratos
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(Original post by sammynorton90)
Can a benevolent dictator sometimes be better than a corrupt democracy? If a leader is a good person, and does what is best for the people instead of looking out for his own interests, and everyone is happy, is there any need for a democracy? Have there been any examples throughout history of dictators that have been loved and been good to their people, without killing those who oppose them?
Haili Selassie, he was technically a emperor but it's basically the same thing.
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