This paper aims to account for varying economic performances and political stability under dictatorship. We argue that economic welfare and social order are the contemporary relevant factors of political regimes' stability. Societies with low natural level of social order tend to tolerate predatory behavior from dictators in exchange of a provision of civil peace. The fear of anarchy may explain why populations are locked in the worst dictatorships. In contrast, in societies enjoying a relative natural civil peace, dictatorship is less likely to be predatory because low economic welfare may destabilize it.anarchy, dictatorship, economic development, predation, social order.