The first answer is the more honest one, because it admits that the regime believes that the people are too stupid to govern themselves. That its leadership is wiser and better than the people they rule over. Only at some future time when the people have been sufficiently reeducated, they might be ready for some power. The second answer moves into the realm of conspiracy theories, as the regime has to find internal enemies to suppress, in order to justify their tyranny. These internal enemies had to be an "elite", powerful enough to run everything in secret. Powerful enough to justify tyranny and massacres in order to combat them.
The French Revolution's Committee of Public Safety, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union all demonstrated the successive rounds of bloodshed needed to maintain their hold on power. Tyranny was justified by resorting to the powerful enemies they had to fight, which in turn justified the atrocities they committed. The freemasons, the Jews, the capitalists-- all examples of covert forces that had to be fought through repression and tyranny.
Let's begin by looking at how Lenin justified Soviet tyranny
"Infatuated with the “purity” of democracy, Kautsky inadvertently commits the same little error that all bourgeois democrats always commit, namely, he takes formal equality (which is nothing but a fraud and hypocrisy under capitalism) for actual equality! Quite a trifle!
The exploiter and the exploited cannot be equal. This truth, however unpleasant it may be to Kautsky, nevertheless forms the essence of socialism. Another truth: there can be no real, actual equality until all possibility of the exploitation of one class by another has been totally destroyed."
American liberals today routinely make Lenin's distinction between "formal equality" and "actual equality". Their mission is not that of formal or legal equality, in which people have the same rights under the law-- but "actual equality", which they like Lenin define, as the destruction of all people and institutions they consider to be an obstruction to equality.
Where formal equality is democratic. Actual equality is undemocratic, and of course unequal. It's a license to tyranny by a small unelected group that has unlimited powers to make war on everyone and everything that they label reactionary or repressive.
Today Obama and the Democrats justify their undemocratic actions in the same way. Wealth redistribution, union control of corporations, affirmative action, nationalization of industries are all tools of "actual equality". They justify their resistance to popular protest, by first resorting to the "actual equality" argument and claiming that their opponents are tools of the capitalist political elite.
This is why the left has invested so much energy into the "astroturfing" argument against Tea Parties, or why Pelosi called for investigating Ground Zero Mosque protesters. The left has been indoctrinated with political formulas in which their progressive "reforms" to enforce equality, will be resisted and obstructed by the capitalists and the bourgeoisie. Even when they can see that the protests are grass roots, they instinctively fall back on the old political dogma imprinted on their brains, in which they are the revolutionary vanguard fighting against the class privileges of the old guard.
"A state of the exploited must fundamentally differ from such a state; it must be a democracy for the exploited, and a means of suppressing the exploiters; and the suppression of a class means inequality for that class, its exclusion from democracy."
American liberals fancy themselves as championing this "democracy for the exploited", in which reactionaries are excluded from democracy. In effect this is to be the democracy that agrees with them, and that is the only democracy that counts. The views of people who don't want ObamaCare are inherently irrelevant because they are either ignorant or reactionary. Only the democracy of the exploited, who naturally want ObamaCare, count.
Championing actual equality means a "democracy for the exploited", which means a giant nanny state of social programs funded by wealth expropriation. And all of it on behalf of the exploited. Anyone who doesn't want their programs is obviously an exploiter, and does not have any democratic rights anyway. This naturally excludes anyone who disagrees with them from having a voice in the political process.
Like many such ideological tyrannies, the left justifies its actions as transitional, a means to a better end, when all the enemies of what it considers equality have been thoroughly suppressed. It rejects democracy in its current form, because it rejects the idea of legal or constitutional equality. Instead it wants to enforce a pure equality by force. Given a choice between pure democracy and pure equality, the left will choose pure equality and tyranny. And it has over and over again.
Here is how Lenin put it;
There can be no equality between the exploiters— who for many generations have been better off because of their education, conditions of wealthy life, and habits—and the exploited, the majority of whom even in the most advanced and most democratic bourgeois republics are downtrodden, backward, ignorant, intimidated and disunited. For a long time after the revolution the exploiters inevitably continue to retain a number of great practical advantages: they still have money (since it is impossible to abolish money all at once); some movable property—often fairly considerable; they still have various connections, habits of organisation and management; knowledge of all the “secrets” (customs, methods, means and possibilities) of management; superior education;
Anyone who has argued about equal rights with a well educated liberal has probably heard variations of this argument. It can be used to justify absolutely any form of tyranny in order to impossible an absolute equality. It also flies in the face of the American idea of equality as deriving from equal opportunity. The left has hijacked equal opportunity to mean equal empowerment, which justifies everything from wealth redistribution to affirmative action programs.
Lenin's formulation presumes mental inequality on the part of the "common people" he wants to protect. Their inability to meaningfully participate in the process, except as armed thugs or violent mobs, also makes democracy illegitimate. And so the left denies the political rights of the very people whose behalf they claim to be acting on. Similarly the left, in its more honest moments, describes ordinary Americans as backward and ignorant. In other words, not worth listening to.
Once you've divided up a country's population into the category of stupid people who have legitimate rights, but aren't smart enough to be allowed participate in the political process, and successful people, who are smart enough to participate in the political process, but can't be allowed to, because they're exploiting the stupid people-- then the logical outcome of your argument is that there can be no democracy at all. Because the people who can participate are illegitimate, and the people who are legitimate, can't participate anyway.
It's like holding an election and barring anyone who can read from voting, because they have an unfair advantage, and barring anyone who can't read from voting, because they can't understand what's going on anyway. That is what democracy looks like under the left.
When you reject the notion of legal equality, all you're left with is tyranny in one form or another. A system where supposedly well intentioned people take control of the country, and begin artificially trying to make themselves equal. The obvious paradox of course is that tyranny is the least equal system imaginable. And so the left creates absolute inequality in the name of absolute equality.
Beneath all the self-righteousness, the left's argument for tyranny is much the same as it was for other ideologies, including Nazi Germany. Both the USSR and Nazi Germany defended tyranny and atrocity as means of preventing exploitation of the people. Of course by putting themselves in absolute power, they are also enabled their own absolute exploitation of the people. As it always is, the "Protectors of the People" become their exploiters.
The ugly lie behind the left's talk about exploitation and inequality, is that it's not inequality of the masses they're concerned with, but their own sense of inequality. Their revolutions target a meritocracy that hasn't rewarded them with what they feel is their due. Marx, Lenin and Stalin were all utter failures as human beings in every area of life. Marxism would probably not exist, if Engels' family hadn't given him a job in the family business. Similarly Nazism probably wouldn't exist if an occult society, a club of gay ex-soldiers, and various eccentric theoreticians hadn't provided a platform for failed creative types like Hitler (a failed artist) and Goebbels (a failed writer) to express their anger over their personal failures.
Groups such as this are led by people convinced that the system is stacked against them, that their talents have not been recognized and the only way to change that is for them to take power. They have nothing but contempt for the ordinary people they promise to save. They suffer from self-hated and low self-esteem, that inspires them to lash out violently against others. They often feel that they don't belong and that others wrongly look down on them. They have personal vendettas that drive their political activism, that they rarely reveal to others. And they are good at appealing to others of their type, convincing them that they share their sense that the system has been unfair to them, and that they are the ones who will fix it. And they do, by robbing everyone blind, and rewarding their own clique with incredible wealth and ridiculous amounts of power.
Talk of "actual equality" is a distortion of language in order to sell the charade, that equality will come from them gaining power. Those in their own ranks who actually believe in the revolutionary principles will be ruthlessly purged or thrown under the bus when the time comes. The purpose of power is always power. The tyrannies of the left use ideology to come to power, but their final purpose is determined by whoever ends up in control. Revolution is a means, but tyranny is always the real end. And ultimately the wealth gets redistributed one way. Up to the people in charge.
The left uses unrealistic ideals as a facade for a power grab. It hates democracy, because it wants absolute power. It justifies that by arguing that it needs absolute power in order to bring about real equality and real change. But the purpose of power is always power.
"The proletariat cannot achieve victory without breaking the resistance of the bourgeoisie, without forcibly suppressing its adversaries, and that, where there is “forcible suppression”, where there is no “freedom”, there is, of course, no democracy"
The dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e. the organization of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy. Simultaneously, with an immense expansion of democracy, which, for the first time, becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists. We must suppress them in order to free humanity from wage slavery, their resistance must be crushed by force; it is clear that there is no freedom and no democracy where there is suppression and where there is violence.