An intellectual is a person who uses his intelligence and analytical thinking, either in a professional capacity, or for personal reasons. This person has the ability to offer his knowledge to those that will listen to him, and discuss his ideas.

An intellectual may well be a journalist, poet, writer, author or playwright, all of whom play a certain part in the media. Arab societies also consider those that are a part of an educational institution as intellectuals.

A dictator is a ruler - absolutist or autocratic - who assumes sole and absolute power by military control but, without hereditary ascension like an absolute monarch.

When other states term the head of a particular state a dictator, that state is called a dictatorship. The word originated as the title of a magistrate in ancient Rome appointed by the Senate to rule the republic in times of emergency.

The Arabic language has accommodated the term 'tyrant' in its political context, the term in Arabic has a much more severe connotation than 'dictator'.

A tyrant in Arabic is the absolute ruler, the one single individual that demands that everyone succumbs to his control and may utilise unlimited violent methods to crush any opposition against his control.

He also issues severe and rigid laws and regulations to consolidate his position to give himself additional power and control over the people he rules.

The word for tyrant in Arabic indicates absolute evil.

A tyrant in any location around the world has a state that has different establishments and departments, but the most complicated and financially demanding departments are the one dealing with security and the one dealing with information (media).

The first establishment is operated by people trained to isolate people and keep them at arms length from events that are influenced by the despot. All conceivable methods of force or favour are utilised to achieve this objective based on a strategy devised to prolong the political existence of the tyrant in power.

The media establishment on the other hand needs someone who is able to write and influence the intellectuals of a society that may be strongly oriented towards religion or nationalism.

This writer has to be able to 'transform' lies into facts and utilise the charisma and strength of words to change people's minds.

This writer's effect on the community's intellectual structure is worse than the effect of the clandestine and security service apparatus.

The security establishment needs agents that spread fear throughout the community by utilising different methods and schemes. They need jails, torture methods, corrupt judges and spies that are its eyes in other organisations and political parties.

They also need agents to monitor every step taken by the people that make up the community, they need to spy on family relations to be able to shred all these ties into bits and pieces, to saw the seeds of suspicion and distrust among people.

This establishment also needs special policies and a budget to buy foreign media channels and outlets to turn a blind eye to the on goings inside the country.

The media establishment on the other hand, needs radio stations, TV channels, newspapers and publishing firms.

For the tyrant to make use of the media structure, he will need reporters, writers, poets, and singers to chant his praise; In short, the tyrant needs the abilities of all people that are considered to be intellectuals in society.

However, a tyrant needs intellectuals that have the ability to philosophise his era in an ideological frame, projecting the necessity of his existence according to the sequence of historical events.

Moreover, an intellectual is the one who paints the leader's image in people's minds, and he is further able to conceptualise a media policy that utilises intelligent tools to create a charisma around the leader, even if he does not process any of the publicised traits.

A tyrant may come to power riding in a tank after a military coup, exactly in the manner of a foreign invading force.

The twentieth century witnessed many of tyrants who ascended to power in the same manner, in Asia, Africa and Latin America. They came through conspiracies in the dead of night, and most of those who came to power in a similar manner have very humble abilities.

This sort of tyranny does not last long, as sooner or later a popular revolution will erupt against the ruler and his rule, led by others that are equally greedy for authority.

Even if that does not happen, nature takes its course. The tyrant will eventually die and things will improve.

Dr Mohammad Akef Jamal is an Iraqi writer based in Dubai.