Originally posted on Monday, January 30, 2012
The following is an excerpt from From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp (pages 26-27)
Among the weaknesses of dictatorships are the following:
- The cooperation of a multitude of people, groups, and institutions needed to operate the system may be restricted or withdrawn.
- The requirements and effects of the regime’s past policies will somewhat limit its present ability to adopt and implement conflicting policies.
- The system may become routine in its operation, less able to adjust quickly to new situations.
- Personnel and resources already allocated for existing tasks will not be easily available for new needs.
- Subordinates fearful of displeasing their superiors may not report accurate or complete information needed by the dictators to make decisions.
- The ideology may erode, and myths and symbols of the system may become unstable.
- If a strong ideology is present that influences one’s view of reality, firm adherence to it may cause inattention to actual conditions and needs.
- Deteriorating efficiency and competency of the bureaucracy, or excessive controls and regulations, may make the system’s policies and operation ineffective.
- Internal institutional conflicts and personal rivalries and hostilities may harm, and even disrupt, the operation of the dictatorship.
- Intellectuals and students may become restless in response to conditions, restrictions, doctrinalism, and repression.
- The general public may over time become apathetic, skeptical, and even hostile to the regime.
- Regional, class, cultural, or national differences may become acute.
- 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.
- 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.
- If the dictatorship is new, time is required for it to become well established.
- With so many decisions made by so few people in the dictatorship, mistakes of judgment, policy, and action are likely to occur.
- If the regime seeks to avoid these dangers and decentralizes controls and decision making, its control