Okay, the dictator vs democracy has pretty much played its course IMO.
Since there is largely an American audience here, let's play convervative vs. liberal. I see liberals as the friend to the totalitarian side, extracting freedom for "goodies". I see conservatives as trying to revert to freedom, with all its *dread* responsibilities.
I suppose we'd all have to reevaluate what a dictatorship is. Currently, the US is run as a corporate dictatorship. The Cons and democrats are really just two heads on the same dragon. It's been this way for the last 50 years. Who you vote for doesn't really matter ALL that much in the fact that we're on a long established path that was determined long ago. The only difference the party vote will make is how we go about meeting are predetermined goals.
Thats why people like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich pose such a threat to the status quo.
>I suppose we'd all have to reevaluate what a dictatorship is.
Indeed, especially since some governments operate under a 'democratic cloak', when clearly their political dispositions are anything but. Vlad Putin for example, has stated he will not run for reelection in 2008 although a recently passed election bill forbids creating a “negative image” of political opponents, which means that challenging Putin or his policies will be illegal.
He has dramatically strengthened the secretive Federal Security Service, and appointed almost all of the government’s most important positions to people who, like Putin, served in the KGB.
And has engaged in over 17 different categories of human rights infringements.
For all intents and purpose, on lookers will see a Russian government diseased with corruption and bids for absolute power. Yet, by definition, the rest of the world apparently views Russia (USSR blah watever) as being an archetypal Democracy. Bah ha ha.
The same could be said of many middle-eastern establishments. I wonder how many leaders preside with a democratic title yet, at the same time are members of some extremist party. The president of Syria has openly been a long standing member of the baath (left wing secular arab nationalist ) party. Does that raise any eyebrows?
If you ask me, the terms Democracy and dictatorships have lost their true meaning in todays tumultuous political arena. Political "Spin" it seems, has made sense nonsensical.
So, since the US government treats corporations as people now, would you not say that we could be living in a corporate dictatorship? Or since more than one corporation is pulling the strings of our politicians, would that not count?
So, an oligarchy is not a dictatorship. Then Sadam and his sons where not part of a dictatorship, just a respectable oligarchy.
In Saudi Arabia it's the royal family. Very nice rulers, with a massive secret police.
I never said an oligarchy is necessarily respectable, or even reputable. I simply indicated that a ruling group, rather than an individual, is an oligarchy rather than a true dictatorship. Ranking members of an oligarchy can certainly act in a dictatorial manner, even among the others of the group. If an individual has such power, then perhaps the oligarchy has become a dictatorship.
To put it to you in a manner you yourself referenced: Exactly what do you think the likely results for Saddam's sons would have been had they chosen to oppose him on something?