6 Reasons Why America Hates Dictators

There are 52 countries in the world that are classed as authoritarian states. Many of these are dictatorships. These are states in which one single person holds almost all power and personally makes many of the pollical decisions. Famous dictatorships include Nazi Germany, China and North Korea. However, one thing that many people note is that America – the most economically and military powerful country in the world, seems to really hate dictatorships. Why is this? Well, we’ll break it down…

1. Dictators Oppress Their Own People

A first reason why America hates dictators is because they oppress their own people.

Dictators hold no democratic mandate to rule their nation. They come to power through the use of force or political manoeuvring, and therefore lack legitimacy. As a result, dictators use oppression to prevent uprisings against them, either from the masses pushing for democracy or from other people who may wish to install themselves as dictator. This means all dictators must abuse human rights and use a degree of violence to stay in power.

America is a proud democracy. The country is founded on the principles of the rule of law and equality. Although the US has not always lived up to these ideals, it still holds them as a core part of the country’s identity. This means that America will always be at-odds with dictators. America has often acted against dictators because of the human rights abuses their regimes are undertaking. This is one reason why America could be said to hate dictators.

2. Dictators Often Limit America Economic Expansion

A second reason why America hates dictators is because they often are against US economic expansion.

Dictators are almost always at the head of an economic system that is not capitalist. This is partly because non-capitalist economic models help to promote dictators, but also because economic systems, such as socialism, help dictators retain greater control over their economies. They also limit the ability of foreign nations, and their businesses, to enter into the country’s markets. This limits investment and often keeps dictatorial countries poor.

America benefits from global capitalism. It allows American companies, that are often large, well-funded and innovative, to dominate foreign markets. However, when dictators oversee economic systems that limit capitalism and outside investment, it means the US economy cannot expand to those markets. This is one reason why America is against dictators.

3. America Believes In Promoting Freedom Around The World

A third reason why the US is against dictators is because America believes in promoting freedom around the world.

As we’ve said, dictators stay in power by oppressing their people. As they lack legitimacy, their only means of continuing to rule is by stopping democracy from happening or ensuring that coups or revolutions against them don’t happen. This means dictators, inherently, must limited the freedoms of their people. Many dictators take extreme measures to subjugate their populations, including allowing the use of arbitrary detention, torture, shootings on peaceful protestors, extreme surveillance and monitoring and other human rights abuses.

America is a country that believes in individual freedoms. The country may not have always upheld these ideals itself, but it does aim, generally, to promote the idea that people should not live under oppressive regimes. This means that America, generally, hates dictators because the it feels, rightly or wrongly, that it should promote freedoms around the world.

4. America Has A History Of Fighting Dictators

Another reason why America does not like dictators is because of its long history fighting against them.

America was founded, in some ways, by fighting against a dictator – King George III of England. When the US gained independence, it established a political and economic system based on individual freedoms. Throughout American history the country has hated, and often fought huge wars, against regimes that are opposed to these values.

A few examples of conflicts the US has fought against dictators include World War Two, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the First and Second Iraq Wars. It is possible to argue the justifications and legitimacy of these conflicts, and if America should have fought them, however it cannot be disputed that America has a long history of fighting against repressive regimes. This history informs America’s decision making today, and is one reason why the country is seen to hate dictators.

5. Dictators Often Cause Conflicts

One reason why the US is against dictators is because they often cause conflicts.

Some historians argue that no two fully democratic nations have ever gone to war against each other. Wars are fought by either democracies against dictators, or dictatorships against each other. There is some truth in this. Dictatorial regimes often begin conflicts, either with other nations or internally.

Dictatorships lack the feedback mechanisms and accountability needed to make good decisions consistently. They also consolidate power in one, or just a few, people. This makes it much more common for dictatorships to start wars. As we’ve already covered, dictators also oppress their own people, meaning that civil unrest and violent uprisings, which can lead to major conflicts, can result from dictatorships.

America sees the conflicts dictators cause, and the human suffering that results, and is rightly outraged. The US has intervened to stop brutal wars started by dictators, such as in Bosnia in 1992 and Kosovo in 1999. This is one reason why many people say America hates dictators.

6. America Benefits From Hating Dictators

A final reason why America hates dictators is because it benefits the US.

There are a many ways that America actually benefits from its aggressive stance against dictators. One way is that, as we’ve covered, America is able to expand economically into areas when dictators fall. This incentivizes the US to destabilize and work against dictators. Another benefit America sees from hating dictators is by having a global enemy against which to rally around. Many of the most famous dictators in the world are household names in the US. Ensuring the American public know of these dictators’ horrific regimes and aggressive acts, allows the US to push foreign policy goals and continue to fund an enormous armed forces.

There are many reasons why America is against dictators, the fact that this stance actually benefits the US is one that is rarely talked about.

Global Affairs Explained

Global Affairs Explained is an ongoing project aiming to provide concise guides to world events. Focusing on international relations, history, and geo-politics, Global Affairs Explained uses original research and data to answer questions often not covered by traditional media.

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