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quotations about dictators

Dictatorship quote

Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, While England Slept

Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!

J. K. ROWLING, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

A dictatorship would be a lot easier ... so long as I'm the dictator.

GEORGE W. BUSH, Governing Magazine, July 1998

One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.


So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.

ALDOUS HUXLEY, Ends and Means

In a democracy, you believe it or not; in a dictatorship, you believe it or else.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Dictatorship, by whatever name, is founded on the doctrine that the individual amounts to nothing; that the State is the only one that counts; and that men and women and children were put on earth solely for the purpose of serving the state.

HARRY S. TRUMAN, speech, 1946

Every despot must have one disloyal subject to keep him sane.

BERNARD SHAW, preface, Plays: Pleasant and Unpleasant

If you have noticed most of the world's dictators are not very handsome men. For instance Castro looks like a ZZ Top wannabe, Mussolini looks like one of the Seven Dwarfs and the guy from North Korea looks like his shorts are way too tight for him. Their homeliness makes them want to rule the world or host a game show.

BOB DUKES, Random Thoughts

The concept of the benevolent dictator, just like the concepts of the noble thief or the honest whore, is no more than a meaningless fantasy.

ALAA AL ASWANY, On the State of Egypt

Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens.

WILLIAM HENRY BEVERIDGE, Full Employment in a Free Society

Under dictatorship, the people in prison are always superior to the people who put them there.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Dictators are ingenious people;
They can put a collar to the snake
And lead it easily on a leash.

LEON TUAM, Mountains and Valleys

The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.

ERIC HOFFER, The Ordeal of Change

To be sure, dictators are crafty, evil geniuses with awesome firepower at their disposal. They are also brutally efficient at intimidation, terrorism, and mass slaughter. However, a force is able to dominate because the counterforce is either nonexistent or weak.

GEORGE B. N. AYITTEY, Defeating Dictators: Fighting Tyranny in Africa and Around the World

You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police ... yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home -- all the more powerful because forbidden -- terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, Blood, Sweat and Tears

All dictators are hypnotized and they all crawl out of the same ditch.

STEPHEN KYEYUNE, The Legacy of a Hero

The most successful form of a tyrant is the tyrant that puts into your head that he is not a tyrant.


Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what it is you want to hear.

ALAN COREN, attributed, The Mammoth Book of Great British Humor

No form of government can survive that excludes dictatorship when the life of the nation is at stake.

CLINTON ROSSITER, preface, Constitutional Dictatorship

The true essence of a dictatorship is in fact not its regularity but its unpredictability and caprice; those who live under it must never be able to relax, must never be quite sure if they have followed the rules correctly or not.


A dictator's chief problem is keeping the stomachs of his subjects full while keeping their heads empty.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own.

HERBERT HOOVER, attributed, Wit and Wisdom of the American Presidents


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