Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"From Dictatorship to Democracy" how-to book


"In situations in which the population feels powerless and frightened,
it is important that initial tasks for the public be low-risk, confidence building
actions. These types of actions — such as wearing one’s
clothes in an unusual way — may publicly register a dissenting
opinion and provide an opportunity for the public to participate
significantly in acts of dissent. In other cases a relatively minor (on
the surface) nonpolitical issue (such as securing a safe water supply)
might be made the focus for group action. Strategists should choose
an issue the merits of which will be widely recognized and difficult
to reject. Success in such limited campaigns could not only correct
specific grievances but also convince the population that it indeed
has power potential."

You can download Gene Sharp's "From Dictatorship to Democracy" for free, in many languages.

This is a comprehensive and careful how-to book.  It gives a nice general overview of the steps and tools needed to bring down a dictator (or cult perhaps?).  Sharp demonstrates where many revolutions go wrong and how to avoid those pitfalls.  It's clearly written and covers most every situation that could arise.  Supposedly this book was used in Serbia to great effect, and elsewhere.

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