Close this search box.

4 Shocking Things All Dictators Have in Common

Mind-Bending Facts presents: shocking things all dictators have in common!

Everybody’s drawn to powerful people who know what they want and who don’t shy away from trying their best to get it. But history showed us that sometimes, too much doesn’t mean prosperity or happiness.

We’ve seen dictators, totalitarians, autocrats, and regular politicians—call them what you will—messing with civilians’ lives, changing the rules of the country, spreading misinformation and terror, or changing the perception regarding normality.

Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, and Mao are popular names across the globe, but if you’ve watched the news, you know they’re not the only ones. The Mind-Bending Facts team was curious to discover the things all dictators have in common, so we did our research.

We took all the totalitarians mentioned above, and we analyzed their behaviors, communication patterns, and values. If you were curious to know all the things these people share, there you have it.  Let’s talk about the things all dictators have in common!

facts about Hitler, things all dictators have in common
Photo by Everett Collection from

1. The personality cult

We start off this list of things all dictators have in common with the cult of personality, which is focused on the leader. You’ve probably seen on YouTube those flamboyant videos of colorful parades with thousands of spectators and people who had performances for their dear leaders.

Stalin and Lenin, two powerful men who brought extreme changes to the Soviet Union, were presented like saints on Earth; at least this is how they were portrayed in Russian iconic art.

Every single dictator loved the cult of personality, regardless of the part of the world he was ruling in. For instance, Mussolini was revered by young students in Italy. Believe it or not, after every day’s recitation of the Roman Catholic creed, people had to say their mantra, “I believe in Mussolini”.

The leader was always right, and nobody was allowed to question his decisions. When some convinced citizens started saying that he was God’s gift for the country, he liked it and allowed everyone to spread the divine news.

Adolf Hitler was another celestial blessing for the people, a wonderful savior leader the German people always prayed for. What’s wicked is that followers liked his ideas so much that they started comparing the dictator to Christ, saying that he was a man sent to purge for the better.

In China, Mao Zedong was considered to be the “Great Helmsman,” which was an honorific title for the leader of the Chinese Communist Party. His people believed that he was guiding the nation to the world’s power.

Moreover, “The Little Red Book” was full of quotes taken from Mao Zedong’s speeches, and people who agreed with the leader’s political views were convinced that the tiny book was able to cure their illnesses.

What are your thoughts on these things all dictators have in common?

2. Great self-image

We continue with these things all dictators have in common, and this time we’ll talk about self-image because it’s a big part of their achievements and political decisions.

These men’s thoughts were constantly filled with grandiose illusions about themselves, thinking that they were indeed supermen sent by God to make their countries better places.

Stalin presented himself to his people as the Vozd, or leader and teacher. Mussolini envisioned himself as the new Augustus Caesar, bringing forth the renaissance of Roman culture. But that’s not all!

After Germany’s crushing defeat in World War I, Hitler felt he was the Great Leader who would bring the country back to its former glory. As for the Chinese dictator, it is believed that Mao even called himself a god.

Even though not everybody agrees with their political views, one of the things all dictators have in common is their good image of themselves. So regardless of how dissatisfied people were with their ideas, it just didn’t matter because they didn’t care or they did things to stop people from talking negatively about them.

Do you want to know other things all dictators have in common? Then keep reading!

things all dictators have in common
Photo by Everett Collection from

3. Affinity for violence

The dictators of the previous century shared a common characteristic: they were violent, and they had no problems with that. Before they became powerful and had everybody following them, they purged those who didn’t obey and showed their disrespect and hatred for several classes and ethnic minorities.

Just think about Hitler and the Jews. He committed several crimes against those people, and he only had one exception: the doctor who treated his mother when she was sick. If you want to read more about the former Nazi leader, click here: 10 Shocking Facts About Hitler That You Had No Idea About.

Since we said that one of the things all dictators have in common is violence, we have to say a few words about other men who drastically changed the world (for the “better”, as they believe).

Lenin, for instance, had a dictum that was focused on terror. After him, Stalin was the one who put Lenin’s maxim to good use. He eliminated “enemies of the state,” including politburo members, innocent people quotas, and the entire farming class. Some people say that there’s no justification for terror, although Stalin’s purges claimed to have saved the lives of six to nine million people.

The Fasci di Combattimento was an Italian fascist terror force that Mussolini established after World War I. After the leader managed to take control of the nation, he eliminated personal friends and even his son-in-law. But that was not all: he even deported hundreds of Jews to death in Nazi camps in Austria after rounding them up.

Going back to Hitler and his efforts to “cleanse” Germany (and the globe), he said that his goal was to get rid of any group he considered non-Aryan and/or inferior, such as Jews, Marxists, and Slavs. His goals had been made clear by his searing manifesto, Mein Kampf. More than half of the eleven to twelve million people who perished at his hands were Jews.

As for the communist leader, he also had a similar approach. He was the ruler of the 80,000 communists who marched thousands of miles in the early days. Even though they had traveled a great distance together, Mao killed subordinates and supporters while they terrorized the countryside.

Sources say that only a few marchers made it out alive to share their stories. His killing techniques got more terrible as he gained power in 1949. By the time his 27-year reign over China came to an end, an estimated 42.5 million people had died from starvation, severe overwork, terror attacks, and purges.

So yes, we can say that violence is one of the things all dictators have in common, including those who rule the world nowadays.

4. Religion and selfishness

We’re almost done with these things all dictators have in common, and the last topic on our list is religion and selfishness. These political figures knew that to get the results they wanted, they had to combine their political views with religion to give their followers something to believe in.

Speaking of that, Stalin recognized the significance of religion as a unifying force among people, although people in the Soviet state were mainly atheists. After Lenin died, he portrayed the former leader as a messiah, embalming his body and putting it on exhibit forever as a sort of sacred relic.

Stalin himself would later assume the role of savior. He even wanted to have a painting that looked like an icon: an image portraying himself as Jesus at the Last Supper, with an illustration of John the Baptist that resembles Lenin placed over his shoulder.

And since one of the things all dictators have in common is their religious views, we have to see what other leaders did. After Mussolini got the power he wanted, one of his first acts as the ruler of the country was to have a crucifix placed in every classroom. He said that fascism is a religious conception of life that elevates any individual to the status of an initiated member of a spiritual society.

In the other part of the world, Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church first formed a concordat. He began using Christian rhetoric in his talks, giving the audience the idea that he was a man of destiny and a Christlike figure. Sources say that reality was different than what he kept saying because he detested Christianity. His combat theology was devoid of any notion of mercy or forgiveness.

In China, Mao Zedong liked Hong Xiuquan, who was a 19th-century Christian and self-proclaimed “Heavenly King.” Mao was a fan of Hong’s messianic government, and he was inspired by it, although Hong caused the deaths of 20 million people in the process of establishing his kingdom.

There you have it, here are the 4 things all dictators have in common! Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about this article! PS: If you want to know more about the things all dictators have in common, here’s a good book for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

related posts