Emperor Vs Dictator

Discussion in 'History' started by OpteronGuy, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. OpteronGuy I just killed you Registered Senior Member

    What is the difference. I know a Dictator is unbound by law. What a dictator says, goes. When you say dictator words like tyrant, totalitarianism, etc. But what about an Emperor? Are they still bound by some sort of law? I can't seem to find a good definition of Emperor.
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  3. Roman Banned Banned

    Emperor implies an empire, a manifest destiny, and God.
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  5. OpteronGuy I just killed you Registered Senior Member

    Yeah... But other than that are they more similar or different?
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  7. Roman Banned Banned

    Well, in a governmental sense I think they're synonymous. However, I think what varies is their scope of power. Fidel Castro would not be considered an emperor. Dictator, yes. Constantine was an emperor, because of the scope of his power.
    Emperors, pretty much by definition, rule an empire. As they're absolute ruler of a lot of material power, they can get pretty decadent. Far more decadant than a dictator.
    However, both dictators and emperors are the same in which all power of the state are vested in them. Often times, emperors claim their power from God (Constantine converted the empire to Christianity for supposedly this reason). Dictators rarely claim divinity.

    There haven't been any emperors for awhile, anyhow, so we tend to romantisize more about emperors than we do dictators.
  8. OpteronGuy I just killed you Registered Senior Member

    Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification.

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  9. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    Now to muck it all up again... It's my understanding that an empire is defined as being multiple nations (not sure how many) united under one leader who has final say in all matters. Think organizational charts. Empire->Nation->State->County->City->District->Neighborhood->Street->Lot. Dictator, on the other hand, refers to a style of governing any society from Empires right down to Lots. An Emperor can be a Dictator if he so chooses (with all ensuing consequences), but a Dictator can't just decide to be an Emperor. He or she would need the political scope. They may be stuck just being the Dictator of some little armpit stain of a country.

    Got it? An Emperor is the title of a ruler at a specific level of political influence. A Dictator is anyone who "dictates" policy directly with absolute authority regardless of level of politcial (or social) influence. Emperors differ from Dictators in that Emperors tend to delegate the task rather than require everything to be personally approved by them. (Dictators can be seen as micromanagers from hell.)

    Roman Am I mistaken, or does Japan still have an Emperor, even if he's just a figurehead or ceremonial persona? Also, if there's still something that can be called the "British Empire", wouldn't that make the Queen an Empress?
  10. Roman Banned Banned

    I completely agree with your analysis.

    I think Japan may still have an emperor.... No, I recall reading that the dynasty died out sometime in the eighties. I'm uncertain though. Empires seem to have a monarchical element that dictatorships lack, as well. Empires do encompass diseperate states, as they would not be big enough to count as an empire if they didn't.

    The Queen was not a despot during the colonial times, and so wouldn't meet the emperor's criteria of being a dictator.

    What about Napolean and Stalin? Are they emperors?
  11. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

    Emperors and Kings sound better than dictator from a modern Public relations stand point. People get confused and think that "royalty" is special so being ruled and abused by royalty is ok.
  12. Thersites Registered Senior Member

    Empire has another meaning: "This England is an empire, entire of itself" said the first description of Englanbd as an empitre, in an act of Parliament by Henry VIII restraining foreign appeals- ie to the pope. An empire is a state with no superior political authority.
  13. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Japan still has an emperor.
    "The current Emperor is His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Akihito, who has been on the throne since his father Emperor Hirohito died in 1989."
  14. OpteronGuy I just killed you Registered Senior Member

    The more I thought about it today I agree with Oxygen as well. It would also lead me to believe that, if countries didn't start to convert to Nationalism, that America could almost be considered an Empire it's self (let's keep what America is doing throughout the rest of the world and just focus on America internally.). Am I complete baffoon for thinking this? Or is there some sense behind it?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2005
  15. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Anything could be considered an empire. The mayor of a town could call all the 'lots' of his town seperate nations or fiefdoms or states and thus say that he, in ruling all the lots, is in fact an emperor.

    It's similar for Japan. We think of Japan as a single entity. However, we're thinking with a modern eye on a modern map. Japan is a single entity because in the past an empire arose from squabbling warlords. The empire fused together disparate elements into Japan. It doesn't matter that we see Japan singly. What matters is the interpretation of ownership.

    Boundaries are arbitrary.
    Titles are arbitrary.
    Emperors are emperors if they want to call themselves so.

    However. As to the difference between emperors and dictators. Oxygen said it rather well. An emperor can be a dictator if he wants to. But doesn't have to be one if he doesn't.
    However, she's (I think she's a girl. Right?) wrong in that a dictator can be an emperor if he wants to be one. After all, all he would need to do is dictate it to make it so.
    The problem, of course, comes in on the outside. How one is perceived by those outside of your power. Castro can call himself an emperor all day and to his people, to those under his power, he would be one. But, those outside would laugh at his claims and call him a petty tyrant.

    It's all about perceptions.


    I have no idea what you're talking about. People have called America imperialist for time out of mind. We do come to an interesting point here, however. Now here we have a state of affairs where the detractors of a nation find pleasure in calling it imperialistic when that nation decries any imperialism.

    The physical evidence is difficult to discern. We do have our fingers in quite a few pots and yet we have no nations that directly pay fealty to us. They don't pay us. In fact, to a large part, we pay them.

    The power politics of today's world are far different than the times when empires arose. The modern era of politics is murky and no one has the courage to rise and say "By this axe I rule."
  16. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

    "The modern era of politics is murky and no one has the courage to rise and say "By this axe I rule." "

    And I'm glad they dont.
  17. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Yes. It's much better to pretend to be altruistic lovers of freedom and to co-opt power and freedom by other, more insidious, methods.
  18. Roman Banned Banned

    You bleed less with the insidious.

    The size and scope of America leads me to think of it as an empire; somewhat. No dictator though. Soviet Russia could have been considered an empire, I guess. I really think there's a romantic, idealistic bit to someone being an emperor, and someone being a dictator. I think nirakar got with his PR bit.

    Also, I'm not sure if it's possible to have empires anymore. There's no where to expand to, and all the locals are too nationalistic to let us occupy their countries. In that regard, there can be no more emperors, as empires as they once were are gone.
    Commercial empires are a different story, though.
  19. OpteronGuy I just killed you Registered Senior Member

    This is kind of what I was getting at earlier. Nationalism took over which ended the age of empires and emperors.

    As for America as an Empire, yes it's the size, scope and the fact that we are broken down into seperate states, with local rule, yet are maintained by a larger (obviously) federal government.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2005
  20. Gambit Star Universal Entity Registered Senior Member

    I think that the definition of an emperor lies within more of a spirital cultural aspect rather than a political.
    Dictatorship on the other hand is purely a personal political agenda.
  21. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member


    How about something simpler?
    Tyrants, dictators, and despots: seen in the materialistic terms of politics and millitary power.
    Pol Pot or Castro were revered for the millitary muscle.

    Emperors and kings: seen in the spriual terms of divinty and bloodline.
    The Ceasers were revered for the religious traditions of doing so and the fear of divine punishment for not.

    Which would be why even in rags, kings are treated as holy where something like Castro is not.
  22. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member


    You don't think that Castro is treated like a holy relic by his followers?

    What you say is certainly one method of categorization, I should think. But in the end an emperor is an emperor if he calls himself one. There is the question of history, of course, but that's for someone else to decide. And I should think that it depends more on one's predispositions to believe that one man is an emperor while another is a tyrant than it does to any arbitrary means of classification.

    By the way, Gendanken, I must say that I'm somewhat surprised to see you agree with Gambit Star.
    Shocked, in fact.


    Do you really think so? Or is that you are less aware of the bleeding. Not only of your own but also of others.

    Don't you find honesty to be refreshing and wouldn't it be nice to live in a world where people actually are what they say they are? That they actually own their own power-hunger?
    Nah. That's just crazy talk.
  23. Roman Banned Banned

    Gambit Star,
    Right, it's a little more than being a despot. However, emperors are still despots, They just happen to be backed by Jesus.

    Well, there's real blood, and then there's pretend blood. Pretend blood is a hell of a better choice for an individual than real blood. Real blood removes you from the gene pool. Pretend blood puts you in a trailer.

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