Is Trump on the Path to Dictatorship?

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Photo by Ninian Reid | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Ninian Reid | CC BY 2.0

Dictators always need to justify the concentration of power within themselves.   Josef Stalin, for example, argued that because political power belonged to the Soviet proletariat and that the Communist Party was its manifestation, as leader of the Party, he manifested (and could exercise) its power himself.  This enabled him to establish a totalitarian regime. In Germany, Adolf Hitler argued that that political power belonged to a ‘superior’ Aryan race, and that its manifestation was the National Socialist party. Defining himself as the Führer, he declared himself its manifestation and assumed the right to exercise power on behalf of the ‘Aryan race’. In Iran, Khomeini also argued political power belonged to God and that God had conferred this power upon the prophets and Imams, and through them directly to him. He argued that he exercised power on behalf of God.

In his inauguration speech, Donal Trump also revealed this intention when he said: “Today’s ceremony…has very special meaning, because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the people.”

Unlike rights which everyone has, power needs to concentrate in one person or privileged group.  It was obvious that when Trump spoke about giving power back to the people, he was in fact saying “power belongs to me”.  This…

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