What is the difference between totalitarianism and dictatorship?

I'm so confused because they seem the same to me... Please help

2 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    A dictatorship is a form of totalitarianism.

    Totalitarianism is a system of government.

    A dictatorship is a type of government.

    Just like an apple is a fruit, but a fruit is not an apple because a fruit could be many things, but an apple can only be one thing, the same kind of thing applies. A dictatorship is a form of totalitarianism, but totalitarianism is not a form of dictatorship, there can be many different kinds of totalitarianism.

    However, a dictatorship is only a dictatorship just like an apple can only be an apple, but a fruit can be both an apple OR an orange just like totalitarianism can be a dictatorship or perhaps a police state.

    Here are types of totalitarianism:



    Carceral state


    Inverted totalitarianism

    Nineteen Eighty-Four

    Police state

    Single-party state

    Total institution

    Totalitarian democracy

    But here are types of dictatorship:


    Likewise, here are types of fruits:








    But here are types of apples:


    Put another way,

    Totalitarianism means that the people have no power, regardless of who rules. It could be one person or many.

    A Dictatorship is the form of Totalitarianism in which just ONE person rules, by force.

    Does this help?

  • Mercy
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Totalitarianism is a political concept of governance of state, where private as well as public life of every member of the society is controlled and monitored by the POLITICAL PARTY in power.

    (North Korea, China, Iran)

    Dictatorship refers to an autocratic system of governance, where a SINGLE PERSON rules with absolute control over the people, government, military, and judiciary. In dictatorship no rule of law exists and the whims of the dictator are considered as law to be obeyed by all and sundry.

    Germany under Hitler, Uganda under Idi Amin, Cuba under Fidel Castro, Libya under Muammar Gaddafi, and Zaire under Mobutu Sese Seko are some of the infamous dictatorships, the world has seen.

    Read more: Difference Between Totalitarianism and Dictatorship. | Difference Between | Totalitarianism vs Dictatorship. http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/pol...

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