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Sun Jan 29, 2017, 08:42 AM

Time to start applying Gene Sharp's From Dictatorship to Democracy to Trump and the GOP bad joke gov

Last edited Mon Jan 30, 2017, 09:43 PM - Edit history (1)

Is it overkill to use a book used to resist dictatorships to a government such as this?

I don't think so. In fact, I think this is the perfect time to start using this book, this is the best way to turn the tide against Trump and the Republicans.

Then again, as the Trump Maladministration dives deeper into insanity and state sponsored xenophobia, maybe this is the time for overkill.

Here are some samples (I will also give a link to the full book) and some comments about potential weaknesses.


Necessary sources of political power

The principle is simple. Dictators require the assistance of the people they rule, without which they cannot secure and maintain the sources of political power. These sources of political power include:

¨ Authority, the belief among the people that the regime is legitimate, and that they have a moral duty to obey it;

¨ Human resources, the number and importance of the persons and groups which are obeying, cooperating, or providing assistance to the rulers;

¨ Skills and knowledge, needed by the regime to perform specific actions and supplied by the cooperating persons and groups;

¨ Intangible factors, psychological and ideological factors which may induce people to obey and assist the rulers;

¨ Material resources, the degree to which the rulers control or have access to property, natural resources, financial resources, the economic system, and means of communication and transportation; and

¨ Sanctions, punishments, threatened or applied, against the disobedient and noncooperative to ensure the submission and cooperation which are needed for the regime to exist and carry out its policies.

All of these sources, however, depend on acceptance of the regime, on the submission and obedience of the population, and on the cooperation of innumerable people and the many institutions of the society. These are not guaranteed.

Full cooperation, obedience, and support will increase the availability of the needed sources of power and, consequently expand the power capacity of any government.

On the other hand, withdrawal of popular and institutional cooperation with aggressors and dictators diminishes, and may sever, the availability of the sources of power on which all rulers depend. Without availability of those sources, the rulers' power weakens and finally dissolves.

(Now is Trump a dictator? Not officially, not yet anyway. But this means we SHOULD have more power to resist Trump if we are still free, this means we have no excuse to not resist him in every possible legal and nonviolent way. Trump's power doesn't come from genes or a command from divine intervention, his power comes from people saying "Trump said X and I will do X/say X/follow X", the more people who reject that notion, the less power Trump has.)


Weaknesses of dictatorships

Among the weaknesses of dictatorships are the following:
1. The cooperation of a multitude of people, groups, and institutions needed to operate the system may be restricted or withdrawn.
2. The requirements and effects of the regime's past policies will somewhat limit its present ability to adopt and implement conflicting policies.
3. The system may become routine in its operation, less able to adjust quickly to new situations.
4. Personnel and resources already allocated for existing tasks will not be easily available for new needs.
5. Subordinates fearful of displeasing their superiors may not report accurate or complete information needed by the dictators to make decisions.
6. The ideology may erode, and myths and symbols of the system may become unstable.
7. If a strong ideology is present which influences one's view of reality, firm adherence to it may cause inattention to actual conditions and needs.
8. Deteriorating efficiency and competency of the bureaucracy, or excessive controls and regulations, may make the system's policies and operation ineffective.
9. Internal institutional conflicts and personal rivalries and hostilities may harm, and even disrupt, the operation of the dictatorship.
10. Intellectuals and students may become restless in response to conditions, restrictions, doctrinalism, and repression.
11. The general public may over time become apathetic, skeptical, and even hostile to the regime.
12. Regional, class, cultural, or national differences may become acute.
13. The power hierarchy of the dictatorship is always unstable to some degree, and at times extremely so. Individuals do not only remain in the same position in the ranking, but may rise or fall to other ranks or be removed entirely and replaced by new persons.
14. Sections of the police or military forces may act to achieve their own objectives, even against the will of established dictators, including by coup d'état.
15. If the dictatorship is new, time is required for it to become well established.
16. With so many decisions made by so few people in the dictatorship, mistakes of judgment, policy, and action are likely to occur.
17. If the regime seeks to avoid these dangers and decentralizes controls and decision making, its control over the central levers of power may be further eroded.

(Do you see potential weaknesses? I do. #1 is that source of power from above. #3 and #4 may be possible as time goes by if not possible today. #7 is already well known, just look at Trump unable to stop himself about the popular vote. The maladministration is already very wobbly, all it needs is a couple good pushes.)


There are some tactics in this book as well, if Trump were to ever make a Muslim registry become reality, then signing up and signing up over and over again would be a tactic this book would endorse.

If you want to resist Trump, then this is a book you need to read.


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Reply Time to start applying Gene Sharp's From Dictatorship to Democracy to Trump and the GOP bad joke gov (Original post)
ck4829 Jan 2017 OP
BainsBane Jan 2017 #1

Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Jan 29, 2017, 10:18 PM

1. The one advantage we have

Is that Trump has acted very quickly so the change is abrupt. I have no doubt he seeks authoritarian rule. It is up to us to stop him.

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