From Dictatorship To Democracy

ISBN: 1595588507

This book offers a regressive analysis of how dictatorships have collapsed, giving a general blueprint for how to bring one down and transform it into a democracy. The key word is “general,” because there are almost no action items. Instead, it gives the theoretical means of destroying dictatorships (the author himself has not taken part in fighting against a dictator). This fact is made obvious by passages such as this:

The use of a considerable number of [anti-dictatorship] methods —- carefully chosen, applied persistently and on a large scale, wielded in the context of a wise strategy and appropriate tactics by trained civilians — is likely to cause any illegitimate regime severe problems. This applies to all dictatorships.

Spoken like a true keyboard jockey. Nonetheless, the book does share some useful ideas:

Violent rebellions can trigger brutal repression that frequently leaves the populace more helpless than before.


When conventional military rebellion is recognized as unrealistic, some dissidents then favor guerrilla warfare. However, guerrilla warfare rarely, if ever, benefits the oppressed population or ushers in a democracy.


A halt to resistance rarely brings reduced repression. Once the restraining force of internal and international opposition has been removed, dictators may even make their oppression and violence more brutal than before. The collapse of popular resistance often removes the countervailing force that has limited the control and brutality of the dictatorship.


Resistance, not negotiations, is essential for change in conflicts where fundamental issues are at stake. In nearly all cases, resistance must continue to drive dictators out of power.


Nonviolent discipline is a key to success and must be maintained despite provocations and brutalities by the dictators and their agents.


…skillful, disciplined, and persistent use of political defiance may result in more and more participation in the resistance by people who normally would give their tacit support to the dictators or generally remain neutral in the conflict.


Even when the oppressive system was brought down, lack of planning on how to handle the transition to a democratic system has contributed to the emergence of a new dictatorship.

The author mentions an interesting point that partially explains why the Occupy movement in America fizzled out:

Action based on a “bright idea” that someone has had is also limited. What is needed instead is action based on careful calculation of the “next steps” required to topple the dicatorship. Without strategic analysis, resistance leaders will often not know what that “next step” should be, for they have not thought carefully about the successive specific steps required to achieve victory. Creative and bright ideas are very important, but they need to be utilized in order to advance the strategic situation of the democratic forces.

Here is the four-step formula for bringing down a dictatorship:

1. One must strengthen the oppressed population themselves in their determination, self-confidence, and resistance skills;

2. One must strengthen the independent social groups and institutions of the oppressed people;

3. One must create a powerful internal resistance force;

4. One must develop a wise grand strategic plan for liberation and implement it skillfully.

Simply identify where the dictator gets his power, and then go about limiting those sources. Besides the highlights I’ve shared above, the book had little additional meat in the actual process of making that happen. Much of it will be common sense to a casual reader of history.

Read More: “From Dictatorship To Democracy” on Amazon

26 thoughts on “From Dictatorship To Democracy”

  1. I’d like to see the tyranny of Democracy brought down. What we have here in the US can hardly be called freedom. They aren’t even protecting my freedoms as it gets worse every year. To think we had Lawyers on TV calling for an end to jury trials because of a predictable not guilty based on the time honored beyond a reasonable doubt standard and the natural right to self defense. Yes but some one died! And some one got raped! and people are racist and people have to pay once they’re accused! Fuck democracy, give me a system that has rights that can’t be voted on. Taxes that can’t be raised, and special interests that can’t fight over who gets to rape me next.

    1. Lol its funny you say that. Because philosophically once a Democracy fails, it becomes a tyranny.

      1. Philosophically: ‘Democracy leads to tyranny’ ~ Plato, or: ‘Democracy leads to socialism’ ~ Karl Marx, if you prefer so. So don’t go with this philosophically bullshit on us.

    2. Let us make a clear distinction between different types of democracy. Representative democracy (e.g The US) is a fallacy. Participatory Democracy is the ideal system and the closest thing to Athens’ Pure Democracy that we can get to practice with a population of billions of people.

      1. I think with the trend of technology, a direct democracy is going to be more feasible.

        1. Representative democracy has allowed millions of people to elect a titular dictator-in-waiting (many on my side of the political fence are just waiting for a trigger event that will seal his power grab). There is no solution other than to be vigilant now and be prepared to fight.

    3. You are aware that Communism hasn’t worked – *ever* – right?
      What you are advocating is a dictatorship and the history of Latin America and Africa has shown that system fails as well.
      The real reason our system works is that it accounts for human greed – something that we need to understand and manage in a responsible way.

  2. When you get to choose one out of two choices, both of whom are paid for by the rich, then does that constitute a ‘choice’ at all? On the other end, is the tyranny of the majority in a democracy anything other than mob rule? We have always lived in a dictatorship, it just was better hidden from us and we had more perks so as not to care.
    Fuck Society.

    1. >When you get to choose one out of two choices, both of whom are paid for by the rich, then does that constitute a ‘choice’ at all?
      this is like the plot to the godawful film “the campaign”

  3. I think the crucial element to bringing down a dictatorship is that it needs to be in an advanced state of decay. The Soviet Union successfully repressed resistance movements in its satellite states for generations, once the weakness of its planned economy became clear, then it began to crumble. China avoided this fate by shifting its economy, it might be the worst dictatorship in history, and we subsidize it at the expense of our manufacturing base.
    The Tea Party and Occupy are two interesting examples of opposition to what is arguably a soft, bi-partisan dictatorship in the U.S. The Tea Party successfully promoted candidates that helped the GOP regain the House of Representatives, but the party elites also succeeded in co-opting them and maintaining the status quo. The Tea Party can’t point to a single legislative victory. Occupy capitalized on resentment towards Wall Street, but was too communistic in nature. I don’t think most people can relate to the unwashed masses we saw in NY and Oakland. They had no clear message either, other than hatred towards capitalism.
    The Arab Spring is probably the best, recent example of such movements. I think everyone got on the bandwagon way too soon though. I don’t think any of these revolutions can be considered a success. Libya=dead U.S. diplomats and a haven for al Qaeda, Syria=civil war of 60,000+ dead, Egypt=democratic leader overthrown by military coup, etc.

  4. We need to find ways to go from both democracy and tyranny to aristocracy. We live in an era post Enlightenment based on doctrines which conflict with human nature, namely, universalism, egalitarianism, democracy and feminism. After these bad experiments invented by 18th Century intellectuals have burned out, society will probably reorganize around tribalism, hierarchies, aristocracies and patriarchy.

    1. This is one of the best fucking comments I’ve read in sometime. You managed to succinctly capture my own line of thinking. Kudos.

    2. The ultimate goal of a social order should be to protect human rights and promote the general welfare of the population (right to life, right to the fruits of one’s own labor, etc). Tribalism, hierarchies, aristocracies, and patriarchy will not protect these things because they concentrate all the power into one individual or one small group of individuals.
      Democracy is not an end in and of itself because it does not necessarily deliver justice (tyranny of the majority).
      However, the best way to organize a society, in accordance with the previously mentioned goals, is to establish a democratic state with fair rule of law, multiple levels of governance (federal, state, locality), and checks and balances, along with freedom of speech and association. This was why our founding fathers established our nation the way they did.
      Just because men and women have different functions, as the feminists deny, does not mean that they don’t have equal worth and equal rights.
      For more info, see the US Constitution:
      It’s heartening to see Roosh post this after his previous “enjoy the decline” post!

    1. Recent ones, mostly in SE Asia, but he’s obviously not a historian so didn’t relay details. We’re supposed to take his word for it.

      1. Check out the USMC Small Wars Manual (circa 1940), Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife by John Nagl, and On Guerrilla Warfare by Mao Zedong. These are great pre-Patraeus primers on counter insurgency and guerrilla warfare.

  5. The book sounds like tripe. I would suggest reading “Obra Revolucionaria” by Che Guevara. I am sure there are translations in English. At least we know that Guevara had some boots on the ground experience in overthrowing the Batista dictatorship.

  6. And how do we strengthen the opressed population?
    By sharing information and knowledge. By becoming an example of clever resistance and passing the good vibes of freedom and dignity around.
    It is of utmost importance to be able to survive within the system by playing a good game in the untaxed economy. If you depend too much on a job where you can be easily replaced and your social network is a potential source of conflict… then your contributions are minimal… unless you become a whistleblower or something more creative than that.

  7. “The author mentions an interesting point that partially explains why the Occupy movement in America fizzled out”
    Occupy disappeared because liberals have no real power. I don’t mean political power, or wealth power. The most important people in any civilization are the proles, the laborers and soldiers; the people who keep bread on the shelves and barbarians outside the walls. Rome ended because they gave their NATION over to a different CULTURE (the Visigoths) through centuries of slavery. By the time the Visigoth barbarians reached the gates, they were rather effortlessly welcomed as the new overlords by a largely Visigothic populace.
    The people in the occupy movement were mostly white, educated, secular liberals. They are not ‘Murica. Most of the jobs that matter (public works, public safety, food, manufacturing), are dominated by ‘Murica. ‘Murica is predominately white but not entirely so, possessing a room temperature intellect and indifferent but typically non-secular faith. ‘Murica likes football, explosions, and patriotism, and doesn’t much care if hippies get some boot force trauma.

  8. Roosh, let me recomend you na history book: “Tragedy and Hope” (1965) by Carrol Quigley.
    This work should be mandatory for those interested in better understanding the last 200 years…
    From page 1035 (of my .pdf copy)
    “The chief problem of [the Eastern Establishment] … for a long time has
    been how to make the two Congressional parties more national and international.
    The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies,
    one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is [to the Eastern
    Establishment] a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic
    thinkers. Instead, [they believe that] the two parties should be almost
    identical, so that [can control the elections] … without leading to any
    profound or extensive shifts in policy. The [Eastern Establishment believes
    that] policies that are vital and necessary for America are no longer subjects
    of significant disagreement, but are disputable only in details of procedure,
    priority, or method: we must remain strong, continue to function as a great
    world Power in cooperation with other Powers, … keep the economy moving
    without significant slump, help other countries do the same, provide the basic
    social necessities t or all our citizens, open up opportunities for social
    shifts for those willing to work to achieve them, and defend the basic Western
    outlook of diversity, pluralism, cooperation, and the rest of it, as already
    described. These things any national American party hoping to win a
    presidential election must accept. But either party in office becomes in time
    corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigor-less. Then it should be possible to
    replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be
    none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the
    same basic policies.”

    1. Great book. Some prominent people in US politics have definitely been influenced by Quigley’s writings. He essentially advocates for a permanent aristocracy that has the trappings of a representative republic. When you peel away the social issues that the two major parties use to divide the electorate, the foreign and domestic policies of the US have changed very little in the last 50 years.

  9. Roosh man, I don’t know if this blog is a democracy or vertically managed. I hope it is the latter, because some of the other writers here are a complete waste of time. I respect your work and some of the other guys, some of the workout tips are good, but for god’s sake, some of the writers are just weak. Just off the top of my head – the bozo who is the LA club promoter pushing the line about how to go for bottle service and velvet rope. I mean really? Like he is actually making a real contribution to expanding men’s horizons. Tell us something we didn’t know, like Neil Strauss, Mystery or Tyler Durden discussing how they roll. Another guy wrote about how he couldn’t be friends with 10’s, boohoo. How do these people get qualified writing here?
    Please exercise some editorial discretion. I don’t want this betas dragging you down.

  10. Non-violence only works as long as the government is afraid to use violence; ask the Tibetans if it’s changed the Chinese occupation of their country.

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