Dictators are the glue that holds some countries together. Dictatorship is small a price that we may have to pay just for order and stability to prevail.
We tend to think of dictators as bugs that ought to be eliminated from the system. After all, in a world that has progressed, dictators have not seat at the table of leadership. So we think?
Could we be missing something? That countries are not because dictators have made them but dictators are because the prevailing circumstances have dictated.
It could be that a certain set of circumstances, geographical location, ethnic make-up, cultural values held by a certain society could all work in unison to produce dictators. And that dictators are because the countries they lead are.
We need to begin asking why dictators arise in certain societies while it’s nearly impossible in others. Why is it easy for an African country to have a dictator compared to a Western country?
Is there something we’re missing? Could we be missing something about the incomes in the countries being compared? Could we be missing a multi-ethnic concept? What about the concept and meaning of country to the citizens? Does Uganda mean to Ugandans what America means to Americans?
Others have argued that it’s much better to rid countries of dictators as the stability they provide is no real stability in the long run. In other words, better to accelerate the inevitable chaos than rely on a temporal order dictators provide. That’s assuming that first, dictators are removed without external intervention. In most cases, the disorder that cuts over after the ousting of a dictator could be blamed on the foreign intervention. As such, an imported solution being exerted on a local problem.
There’s also the assumption that in all cases, when a dictator dies in power, instability comes next. Is this so? Haven’t we witnessed a peaceful transition when dictators die in power?
We need to begin examining our views of dictators, dictatorship, authoritarian rule in the light of the countries in question. When discussing why certain leaders have overstayed in power, we end up missing the turn when we generalize, when we make one-size fits all descriptions.
Maybe, it’s time we accepted that we could get the same results democracy preaches, with other forms of rules. Striving for democracy in certain circumstances could be a heavy price that many countries may pay with no clear returns. It’s time we acknowledged that democracy doesn’t work in every situation. Every country is unique and the leaders and how they rule reflect that uniqueness.