Common Threads Run Through Many of History’s Worst Dictatorships. Here’s One Way North Korea Fits In

Jan 09, 11:57 AM

By definition, dictatorial leaders wield immense power. But, as the history of 20th century authoritarianism shows, despite their power, dictators must take desperate steps to seize and hold their position. In pursuit of that goal, any would-be dictator has first had to figure out how to control the masses. But what comes next, says political scientist Natasha Ezrow, is how real authoritarian control is established.

By definition, dictatorial leaders wield immense power. But, as the history of 20th century authoritarianism shows, despite their power, dictators must take desperate steps to seize and hold their position. In pursuit of that goal, any would-be dictator has first had to figure out how to control the masses. But what comes next, says political scientist Natasha Ezrow, is how real authoritarian control is established.