Opinion

How is dictatorship Better than Democracy?

In dictatorship, decisions are made only by one individual which result in copping up with any kind of emergencies since it eliminates the ambiguity regarding what actions should be done. The strict rules and regulations, which are passed by a dictator decreases the crime rates in the regimes. He does not wait for public opinions or discussions rather he immediately passes the law which result in the lack of common citizens’ protection against power of arrest. These types of leaders also have the power to impose martial law and curfews any time they please. Thus, people are careful not to misbehave or violate the laws for fear of getting punished or imprisoned. With the power of dictators to strict policies, they can enforce discipline and order in society.

Adolf Hitler said, “I use emotions for many and reserve reasons for the few”

If a dictator is great and has the heart for the people, he or she will be implementing laws and creating a platform that will bring prosperity and abundance to the country.

When it comes to punishments, rules, rewards and penalties, dictators are quite strict and precise, which cause employees in governance less corrupt.

Dictators often have a single, or few, major goals that they are trying to get accomplished. Since they are in complete control of everything from laws to the economy, they are able to move towards these goals very quickly.

Since dictatorship has strict rules and regulations, everyone has a core knowledge of their responsibilities, apparently it may be a pressure but it helps in making a state stable and efficiently managed.

In democratic governments, however, elections are held regularly. This can result to shaky governments since there will be new leaders after several years. Laws and policies will be modified every now and then, which can result to unstable governments. Elections after every few years can also disrupt long term government projects, according to advocates.

Any kind of government can make mistakes and have flaws in the way it handles issues and implement policies. However, it can also make good decisions and have effective laws. But there will be challenges that might cause delay and which may need to be resolved quickly. In this aspect, this is where dictatorships play a big role. Since they can calibrate the legal framework and do not need coalition to implement laws and come up with decisions, matters will be dealt with the soonest time possible. With this ability, dictators can focus more on their goals and vision of running progressive countries. Since they don’t have special interests to protect as opposed to democratic governments, they are more capable to modernize their countries and make progress in the country.

Dictatorships result in the betterment of economy. Advocates for dictatorships say that elections can be very expensive, including the electoral process, campaigns, propaganda and all the other costs of holding an election. This is something that democratic countries have to shoulder but not countries run by dictators. People who are in favor of dictatorships add that the money can be spent on other important government projects such as housing and help for victims of natural calamities.

Asian Tigers became Asian Tigers under dictators before they became democratic. There is not a single example of a developing country that became a developed country since WW II. Development gap between China, a one-party state, and India, a democracy, is huge and growing. Developed countries in Europe and North America took centuries to develop under democratic systems. Asian Tigers did it much faster under dictators. China is doing so now. Asia’s experience has shown that democratic processes act as speed breakers to slow pace of development and stymie efforts to reduce poverty, ignorance and disease to deliver higher living standards. Let’s examine these statements and see how they apply to Pakistan.

Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea experienced a dramatic rise under authoritarian regimes from 1960s through 1990s. The dictators who led these states also showed the way to fellow Asian dictators in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and China who also industrialized and prospered using the same formula that rejected the Washington Consensus of democracy and free markets as the basis for development of all nations.

Effects on Pakistan:

Pakistan saw rapid social and economic development under military regimes in 1960s, 1980s and 2000s. Each time the torch passed to a civilian government, both the economy and social sectors suffered a significant slowdown. If Pakistan had 30 years of continuous military rule with sustained growth without several lost decades, it would have been an economy several times larger than it is today.

Pakistan saw yet another confirmation of accelerated economic and human development under military rule in years 2000-2007. Pakistan’s HDI grew an average rate of 2.7% per year under President Musharraf from 2000 to 2007, and then its pace slowed to 0.7% per year in 2008 to 2012 under elected politicians, according to the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”.

At 0.515, Pakistan’s HDI is lower than the average HDI value of 0.558 for South Asia which is the second lowest among the various regions of the world tracked by UNDP. Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered annual growth of 1.43% in HDI value, which is the highest of the regions. Afghanistan achieved the fastest growth (3.9%), followed by Pakistan (1.7%) and India (1.5%), according to the United Nations Development Program.

Overall, Pakistan’s human development score rose by 18.9% during Musharraf years and increased just 3.4% under elected leadership since 2008. The news on the human development front got even worse in the last three years, with HDI growth slowing down as low as 0.59%,  a paltry average annual increase of under 0.20 per cent.

Who’s to blame for this dramatic slowdown in the nation’s human development? Who gave it a low priority? Zardari? Peoples’ Party? Sharif brothers? PML (N)? PML (Q)? Awami National Party? Muttahida Qaumi Movement? The answer is: All of them. They were all part of the government. In fact, the biggest share of the blame must be assigned to PML (N).

Sharif brothers weren’t part of the ruling coalition at the center. So why should the PML (N) share the blame for falling growth in the nation’s HDI? They must accept a large part of the blame because education and health, the biggest contributors to human development, are both provincial subjects and PML(N) was responsible for education and health care of more than half of Pakistan’s population.

Going further back to the decade of 1990s when the civilian leadership of the country alternated between PML (N) and PPP, the increase in Pakistan’s HDI was 9.3% from 1990 to 2000, less than half of the HDI gain of 18.9% on Musharraf’s watch from 2000 to 2007.

Furthermore, if we talk about Musharraf’s era, he had taken the charge and imposed martial law on 12th Oct, 1999. It was the most important day in the history of Pakistan. Progress was on its peak at that time. He started a plenty of new projects for the development of the Pakistan. The impact of that was an increasing number of jobs in his era. He opened up almost 99,000 educational institutions in Pakistan.

According to the Economic Survey 2005, poverty in Pakistan in 2001 was 34.46%. And after 7-8 years of Musharaf, poverty in 2005 was 23.9%. Thus, poverty decreased by 10.56%. Overall, 12 million people had been pushed out of Poverty in 2001 – 2005. Many other progresses were also made in the Musharaf’s dictatorship period.

Acceleration of HDI growth during Musharraf years was not an accident. Not only did Musharraf’s policies accelerate economic growth, helped create 13 million new jobs, cut poverty in half and halved the country’s total debt burden in the period from 2000 to 2007, his government also ensured significant investment and focus on education and health care. In 2011, a Pakistani government commission on education found that public funding for education has been cut from 2.5% of GDP in 2007 to just 1.5% – less than the annual subsidy given to the various PSUs including Pakistan Steel and PIA, both of which continue to sustain huge losses due to patronage-based hiring.

Had Pakistan’s development continued on the 1960s trajectory, it is quite conceivable that Pakistan would be a prosperous democracy like the Asian Tigers today.

Dictatorships are not spared from criticisms even if supporters have expressed their views. There will always be benefits and setbacks for government types especially those which focus on serving only a small group of politicians or a person.

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