Twentieth Century Dictatorships

by Paul Brooker

New York University Press, 1995


The characteristic feature of the modernized, twentieth-century dictatorships was their possession of an official ideology and political party. In some cases this involved simply an otherwise old-fashioned military dictatorship establishing an official ideology and party, as in the case of Primo de Rivera's and Franco's regimes in Spain. But many other examples were produced by an ideologically committed political party seizing power and establishing a dictatorship, as in the case of the Communist regime in Russia and the Fascist and Nazi regimes in Italy and Germany.

The fact that these modernized, twentieth-century dictatorships appeared in several different guises probably explains why they have been categorized by political scientists under several different headings. For example, the concept of 'totalitarianism' was normally used to highlight the peculiarities and novelty of only the more extreme examples of the new form of dictatorship. The other examples were usually categorized as not totalitarian but 'authoritarian' - a term which is often given such a wide meaning that it seems to include virtually any non-democratic regime. A narrower and more appropriate category was that of 'one-party state', which at least was based upon one of the characteristic features of the twentieth-century form of dictatorship. However, for some reason the term was not applied to any examples which had been established by the military, despite the fact that these dictatorships met the criterion of having one - and only one - political party. Instead they were categorized as military regimes like all the old-style, party-less military dictatorships.

The most accurate categorical or conceptual description of the twentieth-century form of dictatorship would be to term it an 'ideological one-party state'. But the long-established prejudice against referring to any military dictatorship as a one-party state means that separate civilian and military sub-categories have to be created to make it clear that military dictatorships equipped with an official ideology and party are being categorized as ideological one-party states. Therefore, the terms 'party-state' and 'military-party...


The first example of a fascist one-party state was the Fascist party-state regime established in Italy in the 1920s - a regime which gave its name to the generic term of 'fascism'. After the First World War some of the more rightwing war veterans established the small fasci di combattimento (groups of combatants) movement and its paramilitary wing, the 'squads'. The fasci found their political mission in a very violent response to the social unrest that plagued the kingdom of Italy as it moved towards a truly democratic form of constitutional monarchy. What became known as the biennio rosso (red years) of 1919-20 saw constant expressions of revolutionary rhetoric as the Marxist Socialists and other leftists mobilized the masses into trade unions and political parties. In fact the Fascist regime would later propagate the myth that the fasci movement's violent attack - through its squads of street fighters - on the leftwing parties and trade unions had saved Italy from 'Bolshevism', from a leftist revolution like the one which the Bolsheviks had staged in Russia in October 1917.

However, the Fascist movement became an effective counter-revolutionary force only in 1921, after the revolutionary impulse among the workers had been extinguished by the failure of their move to take over the factories. (The Fascist movement had a membership of only some 20000 at the end of 1920 but by the end of 1921 the newly created Fascist Party could boast a membership of almost 250000.3) Nevertheless, the fear and class hatred that had been aroused during the 'red years' was a major factor in stimulating upper- and middle-class support for the Fascists and in winning over the support of much of the state apparatus, many of whose members assisted or allowed the Fascists to perpetrate their lawless violence against the left. Finally, in October 1922 the Fascists staged a weak attempt at a coup, the March on Rome. The constitutional government resigned and left the King to make the crucial decision of whether to use the army against the Fascists or find a political solution. He chose to end the crisis by appointing the Fascists' leader, Mussolini, to be his new Prime Minister.

Despite the Fascist description of the March on Rome as a revolution, there was to be no social revolution and for a time there was no political revolution either. The leader of the Fascist Party had been undemocratically but quite constitutionally appointed Prime Minister and proceeded to rule according to the provisions of the existing Constitution. Mussolini seems initially to have been seeking a political arrangement in which the Fascist Party would share power with amenable allies behind a facade of competitive multi-party democracy - and under his rule as Prime Minister. But from 1925 onwards he set about establishing a one-party state and propagating an official ideology, Fascism.

Fascist Ideology

Fascism was an extensive ideology that covered everything from economics to aesthetics but it was based upon the sacred principles or values of nationalism and statism. A foreign observer of the regime came to the conclusion that 'the Nation as the supreme ethical unit dominates the Fascist scheme of values'. The concern for national solidarity was used to support the regime's anti-liberalism and anti-socialism, while nationalism was used to support the imperialist strand in Fascist ideology. Italy was depicted as being a young, 'proletarian' nation exploited and constricted by the older nations, such as Britain and France, that had acquired their empires in earlier times and now wished to prevent Italy, too, from acquiring an empire. And as Fascist nationalism emphasized Italy's ancient Roman heritage, the desire for a Mediterranean colonial empire was presented as the desire for a new Roman Empire. Similarly, the ancient Roman values were used to support Fascism's fervent militarism, displayed in Mussolini's famous pronouncements that 'War alone... puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it', and that Fascism was 'education for combat'.

The imperialism and militarism espoused in Fascist ideology legitimated the regime's imperialist and bellicose foreign policy of the mid-1930s onwards. The invasion and conquest of Ethiopia in 1935-6 was the first outward sign of the serious intent of the new foreign policy. It was followed by military intervention in the Spanish Civil War and then by the invasion and conquest of Albania. By 1938 Mussolini was publicly proclaiming that Italians were now 'permanently mobilized for war', and in private he was setting the goal of having the economy prepared for a major war? (In fact his foreign policy was already having a major effect on the regime's economic policy, which was by now aimed at rearmament and an autarkic, self-sufficient economy.) However, Nazi Germany initiated a full-scale European war in 1939, several years ahead of Mussolini's schedule. His initial, prudent policy of staying out of the war was hard to justify after the bellicose ideological and propaganda emphasis of recent years. But his later disastrous decision of June 1940 to join his German ally in apparently finishing off the defeated French and British - and dismembering their empires - could easily be legitimated by Fascist ideology.

Statism was almost as important as nationalism in Fascist ideology, and in fact Mussolini in 1932 depicted the Fascist State as being the 'keystone' of Fascist doctrine. The extremist nature of Fascist statism was epitomized by the Fascist notion of the 'totalitarian State', summed up in Mussolini's famous slogan, 'Everything in the State, nothing outside of the State, nothing against the State. Such statism was also evident in the development and implementation of Fascism's economic doctrine of the Corporative (or Corporate) State.

The Fascist doctrine of the Corporative State was regarded by many foreign observers as Fascism's main claim to be an ideology equal in significance to liberal democracy or to Communism. Fascist corporativism envisaged an economy organized into combined employer-employee syndicates or corporations, each covering a particular branch of industry or sector of the economy. Originally it was envisaged that these syndicates or corporations would collectively manage the economy, but in the mid-1920s the corporativist ideal was given a more statist interpretation. Any idea of economic self-government by the corporations was no longer taken seriously except in the regime's propaganda. The creation by law in 1926 of thirteen syndicates was aimed not at introducing a degree of corporativist economic management but instead at providing the means and ideological justification for instituting state control over labour contracts and disputes. (Moreover, these syndicates were not the originally envisaged combined employer-employee bodies; there were separate syndicates for employers and for employees.) In 1934 the regime did establish twenty-two combined employer-employee corporations with powers to regulate prices and production as well as labour relations and wages. But these powers were ultimately controlled by the state, and the new corporations were in practice no more than state-controlled forums for discussing industry or sector problems and plans.

A new and important component was added to the ideology in 1929 when the atheist Mussolini signed a Treaty and Concordat with the Vatican and began a mutually beneficial alliance with the Catholic Church. The strong anticlerical wing and tradition of the Fascist Party were silenced and Catholicism was incorporated into the Fascist ideology as one of the things Fascism held to be sacred. By the mid-1930s Fascist Italy 'was a confessional state, unique among the great powers of contemporary Europe'." The new relationship between Church and Fascist state began stormily and was strained by the regime's adoption of Nazi-style racism and anti-Semitism in the late 1930s. But the ideologically recognized alliance with the Church certainly succeeded in increasing the regime's legitimacy in the eyes of the Catholic section of the population.

Finally, while the Fascists clearly had a basically negative attitude to democracy, Fascist ideology did not completely renounce any claim to incorporate some kind of democracy. Mussolini strongly attacked not only the form of democracy practlsed by contemporary Western states but also the very principles of majority rule and of political equality - as manifested in the practice of universal suffrage. Yet he went on to argue that 'if democracy may be conceived in diverse forms', then 'Fascism may write itself down as "an organized, centralized and authoritative democracy".



The coming to power of Hitler and his Nazi Party, the National Socialist German Workers Party, is one of the most written about topics in modern history. Even if the Nazis had not gone on to become a byword for evil, their spectacular rise to power through the ballot box rather than revolution or coup would have attracted much academic attention. A party which had won less than 3 per cent of the vote in the elections of 1928 saw its leader become the head of government in 1933 in accordance with the constitutional proprieties and, unlike the Fascist Party in Italy, because it held the largest number of seats in parliament.

It is often pointed out that Hitler and the Nazi Party did not come to power in truly democratic fashion. The Nazis and their Nationalist allies could not command a majority in the German parliament (the Reichstag) when Hitler became head of government (Reich Chancellor) on 30 January 1933. For the Nazi Party had won less than 33 per cent of the vote in the November 1932 elections to the Reichstag. As this had marked a significant decline from the more than 37 per cent of the vote that the Nazis had won a few months earlier in the July elections, there was also reason to believe that the Nazi phenomenon had lost

its momentum. (In particular the Nazis had been unable to break into the unionized working-class constituencies of the Social Democratic and Communist parties or into the Catholic constituency of the Centre Party.) Furthermore, the actual decline in voting support between July and November seems to confirm that the earlier, 1930-2 massive rise in the Nazi vote was largely a protest vote produced by the cataclysmic economic crisis, known as the Great Depression, that had begun in 1929 and by late 1932 was beginning to ease.

Nevertheless, when President Hindenburg appointed Hitler to the office of Chancellor and head of a new government, the President was acting in a comparatively democratic manner. Since 1930 President Hindenburg had been using his emergency powers, given him by Article 48 of the Constitution, to appoint and support Chancellors and governments that could not command a majority in the Reichstag. When these governments were unable to pass legislation, the President would use his emergency decree powers to implement their policy. In 1932 the President resorted to appointing as Chancellor first a minor conservative politician, Papen, and then an unknown military man, General Schleicher. In comparison to his appointment of these two figures, the President's reluctant decision to turn to Hitler was a relatively democratic move and produced a government that could credibly claim to have major, albeit not majority, support from the public.

Nazi Ideology

The Nazis' radically rightist, fascist ideology of National Socialism differed in several ways from its Fascist counterpart in Italy. For example, National Socialism did not espouse a corporativist ideal like the Corporative State and instead was committed to a form of 'socialism' and to the fraternal/populist ideal of a 'Volk community'. However, the most significant difference between the two fascist ideologies was that National Socialism was based not on nationalism and statism but on racism.

The most famous or notorious element of National Socialism was its racial Weltanschanung (world view) of a perpetual conflict between the 'culture-creating' Aryan race and the parasitical but cunning Jewish race. The cunning of the Jews was supposedly to be seen in their being behind such outwardly opposed forces as Bolshevism in Russia and international financial capitalism in New York. Nazi racial doctrines also included a Social Darwinist belief in the 'survival of the fittest', both in the deadly struggle between the races and in the social forms of struggle that existed within a race. An accompanying eugenic belief in the need to maintain the purity and health of the race would be used to legitimate not only the Nazis' eugenic policies, including the sterilization of 'defectives', but also the anti-Semitic 'Nuremburg' Laws for the Protection of German Blood. Yet although the racial doctrines of Nazi ideology were used to legitimate many aspects of the regime's persecution of German Jews, these anti-Semitic doctrines were not used to legitimate publicly the ultimate, genocidal 'Final Solution', which was kept secret from the German people and even from the ordinary membership of the Party.

National Socialism's conception of a racial clash of good and evil between Aryans and Jews was complicated by the existence of 'sub-human' races, such as the Negroes and Slavs, and by the existence of national or ethnic subdivisions within the Aryan race. But as the German subdivision of the Aryan race was supposedly the purest and most valuable, German nationalism could be accommodated within the racial ideological framework. The Nazis could exploit the already long-established doctrines of German nationalism by presenting their National Socialist ideology and propaganda in nationalist as well as racist guise.

However, neither nationalism nor racism was publicly used to support National Socialism's imperialist doctrine, for this Lebensraum doctrine was not propagated among the German people as part of the regime's official ideology. The Nazis were reticent about presenting the doctrine, let alone the actual policy implications, of the German Aryans' supposed need for more Lebensraum (living space) in the east, in the territories inhabited by the Slavs. Not surprisingly, the policy implications of this doctrine - a war of conquest against Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union - were not spelled out in public. Instead Hitler portrayed himself as seeking to use peaceful means to attain Germany's limited and nationalist, not imperialist, foreign policy goals. Even the rearmament policy that would culminate in the autarkic Four Year Plan of 1936 was portrayed as helping to attain Germany's international goals peacefully, by allowing Germany to negotiate from a position of strength. Outwardly National Socialism had little in common with the open, almost bombastic imperialism and bellicoseness of Fascist ideology.

In contrast to the reticence shown in espousing the imperialist Lebensraum doctrine, great publicity was given to the Nazis' social ideal of the Volksgemeinschaft (Volk community), of establishing a fraternal and populist community of Aryan Germans free of class divisions and selfishness. The Volksgemeinschaft ideal was one of the key elements of National Socialist ideology and was used to legitimate much of the regime's social policy - not to mention providing support for the Nazis' opposition to liberal individualism and Marxist class antagonism. It was also linked to the socialist component of National Socialism, which was a social-welfarist 'German' socialism or 'socialism of the deed' that was expressed in such measures as the Winter Relief fundraising campaign to help the poor through the winter months.

The leader principle (Fuhrerprinzip) was National Socialism's highly publicized and pervasive authority principle. It sought an end to collective (committees and parliaments) and rule-governed (bureaucratic) forms of authority and to have them replaced by a personal form of authority exercised by individual leaders. As Hitler himself put it, such leaders were 'to receive unconditional authority and freedom of action downward, but to be charged with unlimited responsibility upward'. Throughout German society and even in the civil service there was an attempt to conform to the Nazi regime's leader principle. It was also used to legitimate the regime's production-oriented policy of increasing employers' power to direct their work-force - the 1934 Law for the Ordering of National Labour transformed employers into authoritarian 'leaders' of their employees. Furthermore, the leader principle legitimated the regime itself (or at least the form the regime took) by legitimating Hitler's absolutist leader position over the regime and the German people.

Therefore, not surprisingly, the Nazis were as ideologically opposed to democracy as the Fascists were in Italy. In his writings of the 1920s Hitler referred to majority rule as being 'mass rule' and made his opposition to parliamentary democracy very clear. Later in his political career he used the concept of 'German democracy' to describe the system of absolutist leaders chosen by the people, but nothing was said by him or other ideologists about how the people could remove or replace a leader.


The ideology of the Communist regime would prove to be the most influential developed this century, becoming eventually the basis of dozens of other regimes' ideologies. But the original Communist ideology was itself the product of three generations of ideologists - Marx (and Engels), Lenin and Stalin. Marx had died thirty-four years before the establishment of the first regime to call itself Marxist, Lenin would die less than seven years after the regime was established, and Stalin would preside over the ideology of 'Marxism-Leninism' until his death in 1953.

As the leader of the Party Lenin encouraged and was associated with the new Communist regime's sanctification of Marx. In addition to the reverence that Lenin and other Communists felt for the originator of Marxism, there was another motive: 'Marx was to help provide legitimation for the new regime." Both before and after the October Revolution, Lenin always saw and depicted himself as only the interpreter of Marx's doctrines. Some of these 'interpretations' were actually examples of the manipulation of ideology to fit the needs or policies of the ideologist's party or regime. However, the very fact that Lenin saw a need to provide such ideological legitimation indicates how significant ideology was to the regime and, beforehand, to the revolutionary Bolshevik party.

Perhaps the most famous example of Lenin's ideological creativity was his work What Is To Be Done?, published in 1902, in which he first stated what was to become the very influential doctrine of the vanguard party. He argued that there was a need for a party of dedicated Marxist revolutionaries to act as the vanguard of the proletariat, the working class. Otherwise that class would prove to be incapable of staging the anti-capitalist revolution envisaged by Marx as the prelude to the creation of a classless, communist society. Lenin argued that without the leadership provided by such a party the proletariat would fall under the influence of the predominant bourgeois, capitalist ideology and never develop more than a 'trade union consciousness' - not a revolutionary consciousness which sought to overthrow the bourgeoisie and their whole capitalist system.

Lenin's emphasis on the need for the Marxist Russian Social Democrats to become such a vanguard party, comprising only highly committed and ideologically knowledgeable revolutionaries, was one of the reasons for the Social Democrats' split in 1903 into Bolshevik and Menshevik factions which later became separate parties. However, Lenin soon toned down this elitism and he also showed a new enthusiasm for intra-party democracy in his promotion of the principle of 'democratic centralism'. Democratic centralism essentially meant (a) the election of all party bodies and officials from below, the making of party policy by elected bodies, the free discussion of any issues not already decided upon by the party, and (b) the authority of central party organs to demand strict obedience to their directives on how members should implement the party's policies. In 1906 Lenin had the Bolsheviks adopt the principle of democratic centralism as the basic principle of their party's internal organization and activities. He was enthusiastic about the democratic component of the principle and its protection of minority opinion.

However, after the October 1917 revolution the centralist component of the principle became more evident as the Communist regime fought for survival in the Civil War and demanded extra commitment and discipline from Communist Party members. The emphasis on centralism at the expense of democracy was formalized at the 1921 Party Congress, during which Lenin successfully introduced a 'Party Unity' resolution which prohibited the existence within the Party of groups having their own policy platforms. This new, 'anti-factionalism' rule removed whatever protection democratic centralism had provided for minority opinion.

The 1921 Party Congress also saw the formal acceptance of Lenin's new doctrine that the vanguard party would continue to lead the proletariat after the proletarian revolution had taken place. By 1919 he had acknowledged that the temporary post-revolutionary 'dictatorship of the proletariat' envisaged by Marx had become in reality the dictatorship of the proletariat's vanguard, the Communist Party. At the 1921 Party Congress he successfully introduced a resolution on 'The Syndicalist and Anarchist Deviation in our Party' which implicitly confirmed that the leadership exercised by the proletariat's party over the proletariat was to continue on into the post-revolutionary era. In introducing this resolution Lenin had declared:

Marxism teaches us that only the political party of the working class, the communist party, is capable of uniting, educating and organizing such a vanguard of the proletariat of the working masses as is capable of resisting the inevitable petty-bourgeois waverings of these masses... [and] their trade union prejudices.

Marxism did not teach such a doctrine; it was Lenin himself who was ideologically confirming the post-revolutionary (and authoritarian) leadership of the Communist Party over the proletariat. As in Marxist theory the proletariat was supposed to be implementing a class dictatorship over the rest of society, Lenin had also provided the Communist Party with an ideological justification for maintaining a party dictatorship over the whole of Russian society. He had provided the first ever ideological legitimation of a party-state regime.

Lenin's two Congress resolutions, which were soon to be viewed as part of his ideological legacy of 'Leninism', were indirectly linked to a shift in the regime's economic and social policy. Lenin had won the 1921 Party Congress's approval for the first steps of the radical New Economic Policy (NEP). The new policy saw an end to the economically disastrous War Communism of the Civil War period, when the Communist state had taken over industry and commerce and forcibly requisitioned food from the peasantry. The NEP instead introduced a mixed, partly market economy in which the state would own only the 'commanding heights' of the economy, such as heavy industry, and would use taxation (in kind) rather than requisitions to procure food from the peasantry. Lenin referred to the NEP as a retreat and apparently expected that in the capitalist environment reintroduced by the NEP the Communists were likely to lose their political unity and sense of direction- and thus required the ideological and institutional 'stiffening' provided by his two Congress resolutions.

As for Lenin's attitude to democracy, he followed Marx in opposing what he termed 'bourgeois' democracy and in espousing its proletarian form. In fact in his State and Revolution, written in the third quarter of 1917, Lenin offered an almost anarchic vision of the amount of direct democracy and popular participation in administration that would occur in the post-revolutionary era of, first, the dictatorship of the proletariat and then the period of socialism. (Socialism was the first and lower phase of what Marx had seen as the two successive phases of communist society.) After the October Revolution, though, the role of the Party as vanguard of the proletariat returned to the forefront of Lenin's thinking on the post-revolutionary situation. In later years he would argue that the political and social system of Communist Russia 'was the most democratic and the most free in the world' because the membership of the parliamentary assemblies and municipal councils was drawn largely from the proletariat and the peasantry.'

It was not until 1923, when Lenin was incapacitated by his fatal illness, that his followers began to acknowledge publicly that his 'interpretations' of Marx constituted a distinct new generation or layer of ideology that ought to be identified as Lenin's own contribution- as Leninism." Indeed the 1923 Party Congress pledged that from now on his writings would take Lenin's place as the Party's guide. To this end a Lenin Institute was established and began publishing what would eventually be no fewer than forty-five volumes of his collected works. But already a new official ideologist, Stalin, was emerging and would add a new set of doctrines to what was now officially the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the regime.

The need to justify ideologically a drastic shift in policy arose in 1928-9, when Lenin's New Economic Policy was abandoned and replaced by the radically socialist Five Year Plan. The Plan involved not only the state's expropriation and ownership of the whole urban economy but also the forced collectivization of agriculture. Collectivization meant that the peasants and their land were to be amalgamated into very large collectively owned (rather than state-owned) farms, where each family would be allowed only a small plot of land for its own use and would be remunerated according to its contribution to the collective effort at farming the collectively owned land. The collectivization programme of the Five Year Plan originally included only 20 per cent of farming but was dramatically retargeted at the end of 1929 to include the destruction of the wealthier or more politically and socially prominent peasants, the so-called 'kulaks'. In fact by the middle of 1933 65 per cent of peasant households and 70 per cent of peasant crop land had been collectivized.

The new policy of collectivization was given an ideological gloss by Stalin in his supposedly Leninist thesis that the class war becomes more intense in post-revolutionary society as it approaches socialism, the lower phase of communism. Later he would provide a more memorable and accurate ideological interpretation of collectivization when he coined the term 'revolution from above'. The new concept was included in the main text or summation of Stalinist theory, the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik): Short Course:

This was a profound revolution... equivalent in its consequences to the revolution of October 1917. The distinguishing feature of this revolution is that it was accomplished from above, on the initiative of the state, and directly supported from below, by the millions of peasants, who were fighting to throw off kulak bondage and to live in freedom on collective farms.

By the 1930s such drastically new interpretations of Marxist-Leninist ideology had acquired official status. Stalin's writings were accorded quite comparable status to those of Marx and Lenin, and the Central Committee of the Party told the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute to begin publishing his collective works. Among his writings could be found the new doctrine that the socialist society being built in the Soviet Union still contained classes - the intelligentsia 'stratum', the proletariat, and the peasantry - but that these were 'non-antagonistic' classes because they did not exploit one another. This doctrine provided ideological legitimation for Stalin's policy of favouring the new, Communist-trained technical intelligentsia ( of managers, engineers, and the like) by giving them high incomes and other material privileges as well as encouraging them to join the Party. Moreover, Stalin justified ideologically his favourable attitude towards the state apparatus by explaining that the state would not wither away, not even when full communism was attained, until the external threat of attack by the encircling capitalist states had been removed. His most useful doctrine, though, from the point of view of ideology as policy-legitimator was his theory that 'the correctness of Marxist doctrines was limited to the period in which they were expressed'. There was no need for a loyal Communist to be disturbed if Stalin's pronouncements or policies seemed to contradict Marx's or Lenin's doctrine - the present period might require a different approach I from what was appropriate in their time.


... the great variety and innovativeness of the ideologies and political structures of the modernized, twentieth-century dictatorships - the ideological one-party states.

The official ideologies contain a huge range of ideas, principles and goals. Liberalism seems to be the only significant ideological or philosophical doctrine not included in any of the ideologies examined or any others that come to mind. If an attempt to analyze or categorize them were to be made, one possibility would be to categorize them into groups according to the ideology's degree of 'particularity' or uniqueness. First there is the group of ideologies which are addressed to a particular nation or race and therefore inevitably have some unique features - such as in Fascism's glorification of the Italian nation or Nazism's of the German Aryan race. Then there is a group which espouses some form of socialism but a form adapted to national or regional requirements, such as Burmese socialism, Arab socialism, and African socialism. A third group, the Communist, comprises those ideologies with a commitment to an apparently standard or universal form of socialism, namely Marxism-Leninism, that is addressed to one or two particular classes - the workers and/or the peasantry. Several of the Communist regimes have developed their own interpretations of the core ideology but such variations as Stalinism, Maoism, Titoism and Castroism are still classed as examples of Marxism-Leninism. A fourth group consists of universally applicable principles that have been combined into particular and unique 'packages' that are relevant to their country of origin but could also be applied to many others. Kemalism, for instance, comprised the six principles of secularism, nationalism, republicanism, populism, revolutionism/reformism and statism. Another example is the Pancasila ideology of Indonesia, which comprises the five principles of nationalism, internationalism/humanitarianism, democracy, social justice and religious tolerance.

There have also been great variations in several different aspects of the political structure of the ideological one-party states. The parties vary in such matters as their type of membership and their structure. The Communists' elitist approach to party membership contrasts with the Guinean PDG's innovation of bestowing membership upon the whole adult population, while the Egyptian ASU was actually meant to have three different types of membership - inactive, active and secret vanguard. There have been such innovations in party structure as the Peronist movement's being organized into separate male and female Peronist parties and the Mexican PRM's opting for an affiliate structure divided into separate sectors for peasants, labour, 'popular' groups, and the military. There have been several examples, each unique in one aspect or another, of the combining of equivalent party and state posts or powers at the regional/local level - in Nkrumah's Ghana, Toure's Guinea, Franco's Spain and Kemal's Turkey.

As for the state apparatus itself, there have been such innovations as Primo de Rivera's military delegados to local government, the Burmese regime's establishment of a pyramid of Security and Administration Committees, and the Indonesian army's creation of the karyawan system of Supervised officers on detachment to civilian posts. There have even been cases of separate, autonomous instruments of rule being created within the party or the state. The secret Blue Shirt organization was set up within the Kuomintang, and the presidential military/security/bodyguard unit, the National Security Service, was formed within the Ghanaian state apparatus. Finally, the most unique and notorious of all these structural innovations has been the expansion of Hitler's SS into a personal bodyguard/police/military force that also became his instrument for genocide.

It is this innovatory capacity, this political creativity, of the twentieth-century dictatorships which suggests that it is far too early to view dictatorship as an endangered species. The dashed hopes of 1918 for a world 'safe for democracy' should remind democrats not only that such optimism may be premature but also that any new threat to democracy may take the form of regimes that are not yet conceived of or that are not yet recognizable as a new type of regime - as with Communism when still in its Bolshevik infancy or Fascism after the March on Rome. Thus the next century could well see a wholly new, twenty-first-century form of dictatorship.

However, what is more likely is the re-emergence of the innovative twentieth-century form in a new guise, hiding behind a facade of multi-party democracy. A few twentieth-century dictatorships have already shown how the outward forms of multi-party democracy, including supposedly competitive elections, can conceal dictatorship. Two of these regimes ... suggest two main strategies for such a form of regime - an Indonesian-style multi-party system with one or more official, neutered (not puppet) opposition parties, and a Peronist-style use of material and other benefits to buy an electoral support base sufficiently broad not to need too obvious use of anti-democratic methods against opponents. A further development of these two variants of semi-competitive one-party state would be a regime whose ideology incorporated an explicit commitment to Western-style democracy and whose regime party had only the more subtle methods of state intervention (notably state patronage) used on its behalf in the regime's semi-competitive multi-party elections.

Adopting such a sophisticated facade of democracy would force the twentieth-century form of dictatorship to shed the multi-role aspect of its ideology and party. For in order to maintain the credibility of its democratic facade. It would have to use its ideology and party in the same way as a democracy, confining them to the political roles of legitimating the regime and helping with the electoral process. Therefore it would have to relinquish the apparent edge or advantage in modernity that a multi-role ideology and party had given the twentieth-century dictatorships when they were openly challenging democracy in ideological and political combat. But camouflage, rather than combat, will probably be the best survival and revival strategy for the twentieth-century form of dictatorship in the [21st] century. And its resort to camouflage will produce a new and perplexing challenge for the democracies - how to prevent the twenty-first century from being the century of pseudo-democracy.

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