May 09, 2009

Whence Comes Their Power?

"Dictators require the assistance of the people they rule, without which they cannot secure and maintain the sources of political power. These sources of 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 that 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 disobedience and noncooperative to ensure the submission and cooperation that are needed for the regime to exist and carry out its policies."
Dr Gene Sharp, The Albert Einstein Institute.

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