The opposite of democracy.
No nation is an absolute dictatorship, just as no nation is an absolute democracy.
Even a primitive tribe dominated by one extremely powerful individual willing to kill any others who disagree with them is unlikely to be a total dictatorship. If a large number of others act together they can overthrow them, with little risk to themselves. The complexities of modern life, and modern technology make it impossible for one individual to totally dominate an entire nation.
In practice dictatorships rely on Middle Level Agents (MLAs). MLAs are people who are not in positions of great power, but still enjoy more power in the current system than they would enjoy in other systems - they may be army commanders, civil servants or other government appointed officials.
While senior members of such a system are easy to convince that they are better off than in an alternative (perhaps democratic) system, it is more difficult with more junior people. This can be solved in two ways. Either
This is why it is important for dictatorships to control the media. A free press allows people to actually compare their standard of living, and quality of life with those from comparable democracies, and they usually don't compare well.