Definition of a dictatorship according to the World Book Encyclopedia: A Dictatorship is a system of government in which a single person or party has complete political power; the dictator often maintains power by employing oppressive methods. Dictatorship is an old form of government with origins in ancient Rome. Dictators often ascend to power through democratic means but use their authority to subvert constitutional safeguards.
It begins (with the help of a foreign power) when the rich become agitated over the government expanding of social programs for the poor, while they see their income decrease and begin to see their influence disappear. That's when a dictator begins giving speeches that appeal to those that are embittered and disillusioned by the policies of the government. He travels around the country blaming immigrants, his political opponents, the press, and the current government as enemies of the people and the cause of all their problems. When people begin to fear the unknown, or the possibility of their way of life being threatened, they are often willing to go along with and support terrible things that would be unthinkable in good times.
He travels around the country non-stop talking about runaway government spending, soaring taxes, more wars, inflation, economic collapse, that will destroy their way of life and that he can being back nationalism and protect the people from those enemies. Once they are in power, they often use unlawful methods to cement themselves and their party in power. They attack their political opponents, assassinate their character, destroy and criminalize political opponents, change the constitution, and manipulate the press. They also closely align themselves with the military and other dictators from other countries, and wants to be seen as a high general or the decision maker.
A dictator will being in family and close friends into his inner circle, while promoting his propaganda directly to the people. A dictator will use two or three word phrases throughout all of his speeches to plant subliminal messages inside the minds of the people. The speech may be different, but those two or three word phrases are always the same. Finally, a dictator will use fear and intimidation to gain absolute power and make it virtually impossible for anyone to seriously threaten his power.