Democracy Without Justice leads to Tyranny

Democracy Without Justice leads to Tyranny

The following article is written by Sameeullah Kakar, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.


Democracy is, for sure, nothing but a breeding ground for tyranny if it does not protect fundamental human rights and ensure the rule of law in a country through justice. Moreover, injustice not only hampers accountability and equality, the salient features of democracy but also encourages the concentration of powers. It is, therefore, a worldwide belief that the more the justice, the better the democracy. Currently, it can be observed that several states have found a shift from democracy to tyranny, like Russia and North Korea, due to the absence of justice. Similarly, the rise in injustice occurs in manipulating elections and discrimination among the different sects and portions of society, easily detectable from the Apartheid tyranny in South Africa and Saddam Husain’s tyranny in Iraq. Weakened democratic institutions, along with pressurized and censured media, have also resulted in the formation of tyranny in Russia under Vladimir Putin’s rule. Apart from that, Nazi Germany is the primary case study reflecting and converting an unjust democratic state tyrannical one. In short, if a state wants to sustain democracy in the future, it must maintain justice without compromise. The essay, above all, throws light on the relationship between justice, democracy, and tyranny and the major arguments proving why democracy leads to tyranny in the absence of justice.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

(Martin Luther King Jr)

Exploring the relationship between democracy, justice, and tyranny

Justice, the prime necessity of peace and prosperity in society, establishes a unique relationship between democracy and tyranny- binary opposite one another. Moreover, to certain reports and facts of history, democracy and justice promote political equality and participation in any state, establishing a symbiotic relationship with one another. In contrast, democracy and tyranny cannot sustain in a single palm as tyranny favours the concentration of powers while democracy has the characteristic of distributing powers among the different institutions and individuals of the state. Furthermore, justice cannot bear tyranny, for tyranny compromises the rights of people- the fundamental responsibility of justice. Thus, it can be concluded, in a few words, that justice and democracy cannot stay with tyranny in a single state.

How does injustice lead democracy to tyranny?

Democracy, the loved form of government by the people, is converted to tyranny, the worst form of government, in the absence of justice. Moreover, it does not happen in every state; in contrast, there are certain causes behind the conversion of democracy into tyranny. The first reason in this regard is the concentration of powers in the hands of a single ruler or only a few people. In the case of Nazi Germany, the objective of Adolf Hitler was achieved through the approval of Enabling Act of 1933 from the parliament, which granted him the power to enact laws without the consent of parliament. Furthermore, he introduced paramilitary organizations, like Schutzstaffel and Gestapo, to pressurize and misplace his political opponents, like leaders and organizations countering him in any field, which means the maximum number of powers were concentrated in the hands of Adolf Hitler only. Thus, Adolf Hitler took all the powers in his own hand and established tyranny in the absence of justice.

“To promote justice is to curtail tyranny.”

(Mohammad Abdullah Kakar- D. D. Ombudsperson Balochistan)

Furthermore, democracy turns to tyranny in the absence of justice due to the suppression or violation of rights and freedom, majorly observed during the tyrannical period of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union from 1924 to 1953. Moreover, it was his tyranny which was marked by the formation and establishment of Gulags- the labour camps- for the prisoners, state enemies, and other opponents of his ideology. The affecters had to face harsh conditions of life, such as forced labour and physical torture. Apart from that, he was famous for the elimination of certain rights and freedom, such as the freedom of speech and the formation of independent political parties, and it all happened due to the absence of justice. Thus, the lesser the justice in society, the worst the tyranny.    

In the same fashion, an unjust society with no accountability undoubtedly promotes tyranny with the discouragement of democracy. Moreover, there are several examples of states worldwide where democracy has turned to tyranny, like Saddam Husain’s tyrannical rule from 1979 to 2003. In the concerned tyranny, with prominent characteristics, like the abuse of human rights, along with torture, extrajudicial killings, and forced disappearances of people, the use of chemical weapons, mass killings, and forced disappearances had become the routine of Iraq, enabling Saddam Husain to establish tyranny. Apart from that, there was no one to be held responsible for the worst situation in Iraq because of the unjust judicial system. It can, therefore, be said that justice and accountability are a must to sustain democracy in a state.

Similarly, inequality and discrimination among sects of society do grow in an unjust society and welcome the tyrannical form of government. And the best example in this regard is the establishment of Apartheid tyranny in South Africa, in which they not only formed the government of minority white people but also established separate health, education, and voting systems. Moreover, they also introduced some acts, such as the Population Registration Act, the Group Areas Act, and the Prohibition of Inter-marriages Act, restricting the interaction of black people with whites. Separate public offices were established, and the blacks had to bear the harsh attitude of the whites everywhere due to the absence of justice and equality in society. Thus, eliminating justice from society is to accept tyranny for the state. 

Furthermore, Injustice supports the manipulation of elections and corruption in every state. And history is full of such examples, like the establishment of the Mobutu Seso Seko regime, formally known as the Zaire tyranny, in the Republic Democratic Republic of Congo from 1965 to 1997, where tyranny was established through the manipulation of elections. He, for the sustenance of power, not only manipulated elections through a number of means, such as intimidating voters, rigging votes, and outriding frauds but also ruled tyrannically for nearly 32 years. Similarly, his opponents had to face harassment, censorship, and restrictions on campaigning, but no one was able to provide justice to the sufferers. Therefore, to curtail justice is to clear grounds for tyranny in society. 

“The more the power to speak in society, the better the democracy.”

(Fazal ur Rehman- HOD Sociology, UOB)

Similarly, strengthening democratic institutions, such as the media, judiciary, and civil society, has become a must to counter tyranny in a democratic state. However, there are certain states and governments worldwide that lost all their democratic institutions with the establishment of tyranny, such as Viktor Orban’s Regime in Hungary since 2010. He completely controlled the media, and there existed no such type of justice system securing the institutions. Furthermore, he brought several other changes in the laws of the constitutional courts and judicial appointments to appoint judges legalizing all the decisions of Viktor Orban’s Regime. Thus, tyranny will surely be the fate of the state, allowing some individuals to make unbearable changes in democratic institutions.

The tolerance of other’s right to say and express his views is the key characteristic of democracy. Moreover, it has been clearly evident from history that whenever justice has diminished in a state, it has resulted in in-toleration, persecution of dissent, and ultimately tyranny in the state. It can easily be depicted in the tyrannical regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria since 2000, in which he had no tolerance against the opposition parties along with dissenting voices. Apart from that, when the Syrian refugees were protesting for their political rights, a violent and brutal reaction was faced by the protestors through the murder and imprisonment of thousands of people, the prominent signs of tyranny. Thus, it is proved that democracy ultimately leads to tyranny in the absence of justice.

“Protecting the basic human rights is to ensuring justice in the state.”

(Mohammad Afzal Khan Kakar- Session Judge Dalbandin)

Case studies                      

There are a number of case studies clearly depicting the conversion of a democratic government to tyranny in the absence of justice. Moreover, Germany is a distinguishing one, for it had adopted all the measures and steps required by democracy to become a tyranny. In the first stage, Germany, after World War I, became unstable, both politically and economically, and hitting the warmed iron with a hammer, Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler started propaganda movements to gain the support of the people. In the second stage, they convinced a large portion of the parliament to let them lead the office collectively, and that was the time at which Hitler and the Nazi Party started the suppression of Democratic norms. They started the suppression of opposition parties and their voices; furthermore, it was the charismatic personality of Hitler gained the support of the people despite taking multiple steps against all types of democratic values and institutions. At last, he started the promotion of Nazi ideology, which was nothing but the promotion of racial superiority of the Germans. This ideology led them to start mass actions and genocide against certain races, like Jews, and it was all due to the absence of justice for the suppressed class. Thus, the tyranny of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany shows a clear image of converting a democratic state into a tyrannical one in the absence of justice.

Secondly, the conversion of North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), from a democratic state to tyranny is another glaring case study. Moreover, Korea, after World War II, was divided into North Korea and South Korea, and Kim-II Sung remained the leader of the North Korean people due to his leading motives in the anti-Japanese movements. He first of all favoured democracy, but on taking control overpowers, he became a tyrannical ruler due to the absence of justice in society. First of all, he tried to oppress all the political opponents and parties except his own party, known as the Worker’s Party of North Korea. Furthermore, he isolated his nation from other countries by gaining complete control over the media, and after that, he violated all the basic human rights, like freedom of speech, through repression, arbitrary arrests, forced labour camps, tortures, and brutal acts of atrocities. It all happened due to the absence of justice in North Korea, and it can therefore be said that the fate of a democratic state is tyranny in the absence of justice.  

Last but not least, Iraq and its people hoped to have a democratic government under Ba’ath Party and its leader Saddam Husain. However, after coming into government, all the hopes of the people turned into ashes because he not only dismantled the democratic institutions but also tried to impose his authority over the people of Iraq. His statues and pictures were displayed all over the country to gain the support of the people, and he tried to oppress all types of political opponents, whether present in his own party or outside his party. Furthermore, he imposed strong control over the media and countered all types of free information and journalist spreading propaganda against him. He also introduced secret police collecting information about the people working against him, which, overall, instilled a factor of fear in the People. But there was no one to stop him and provide justice to society. Thus, in a few words, democracy can never sustain in a state in the absence of justice.  

Critical Analysis

After analyzing the whole essay critically, it becomes an undeniable truth that justice holds prime importance in sustaining democracy in a state. However, history shows that the conversion of a democratic government to tyranny remains the choice of the people being ruled, for the situation of the converted states does not represent stable and satisfying social and political conditions. It is, therefore, alleged that they were actually the general public demanding Saddam Husain and Adolf Hitler to rule over them and take them out of the abysmal conditions. The threats to a country, whether in the form of people, race, or any other shape, had to be removed at all costs, and the mentioned dictators did the same. Thus, justice is mandatory for the sustenance of democracy in a country, but there are multiple other factors welcoming tyranny.    


In light of the above arguments, it can be concluded that nothing is more important than justice for democracy in a state. Moreover, it takes very little time to develop tyranny in a democratic state due to the absence of justice, including the examples of North Korea and Iraq. The formation of tyranny is because of certain reasons, like the concentration of powers, the violation of rights, and the censorship of media by the rulers to get control over the people of the state. Additionally, the weakening of the democratic institutions, along with the lack of tolerance and persecution, has added salt to the injury. It can, therefore, be concluded that justice is the soul of democracy.

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