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FROM DICTATORSHIP DEMOCRACY A Conceptual Framework for Liberation Gene Sharp The Albert Einstein Institution The Albert Einstein Institution Mission Statement The mission of the Albert Einstein Institution is to advance the world wide study and strategic use of nonviolent action in conflict The Institution is committed to 0 defending democratic freedoms and institutions 0 opposing oppression dictatorship and genocide and 0 reducing the reliance on violence as an instrument of policy This mission is pursued in three ways by 0 encouraging research and policy studies on the methods of non violent action and their past use in diverse conflicts 0 sharing the results of this research with the public through pub lications conferences and the media and 0 consulting with groups in conflict about the strategic potential of nonviolent action FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY A Conceptual Framework for Liberation All material appearing in this publication is in the public domain and may be reproduced without permission from Gene Sharp Citation of the source is appreciated First Printing May 2002 Second Printing June 2003 From Dictatorship to Democracy was originally published in Bangkok in 1993 by the Committee for the Restoration of Democracy in Burma in associa tion with Khit Pyaing The New Era 0urmzl It has since been translated into at least eight other languages and has been published in Serbia Indo nesia and Thailand among other countries This is the second United States printing Printed in the United States of America Printed on Recycled Paper The Albert Einstein Institution 427 Newbury Street Boston MA 021151801 USA Tel USA 6172474882 Fax USA 6172474035 Email einsteinigcorg Website wwwaeinsteinorg ISBN 1880813 092 CONTENTS PREFACE ONE FACING DICTATORSHIPS REALISTICALLY A continuing problem Freedom through violence Coups elections foreign saviors Facing the hard truth Two THE DANGERS OF NEGOTIATIONS Merits and limitations of negotiations Negotiated surrender Power and justice in negotiations quotAgreeablequot dictators What kind of peace Reasons for hope THREE WHENCE COMES THE POWER The quotMonkey Masterquot fable Necessary sources of political power Centers of democratic power FOUR DICTATORSHIPS HAVE WEAKNESSES Identifying the Achilles39 heel Weaknesses of dictatorships Attacking weaknesses of dictatorships FIVE EXERCISING POWER The workings of nonviolent struggle Nonviolent weapons and discipline Openness secrecy and high standards Shifting power relationships Four mechanisms of change Democratizing effects of political defiance Complexity of nonviolent struggle iii vi ONTgtme 10 11 12 13 13 15 15 16 19 21 21 22 23 25 26 26 29 29 30 32 33 iv SIX THE NEED FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING Realistic planning Hurdles to planning Four important terms in strategic planning SEVEN PLANNING STRATEGY Choice of means Planning for democracy External assistance Formulating a grand strategy Planning campaign strategies Spreading the idea of noncooperation Repression and countermeasures Adhering to the strategic plan EIGHT APPLYING POLITICAL DEEIANCE Selective resistance Symbolic challenge Spreading responsibility Aiming at the dictators39 power Shifts in strategy NINE DISINTEGRATING THE DICTATORSHIP Escalating freedom Disintegrating the dictatorship Handling success responsibly TEN GROUNDWORK FOR DURABLE DEMOCRACY Threats of a new dictatorship Blocking coups Constitution drafting A democratic defense policy A meritorious responsibility Contents 35 35 36 38 41 42 43 43 44 46 48 49 49 51 51 52 53 54 56 57 58 60 60 63 63 64 65 65 66 Contents APPENDIX THE METHODS OE NONVIOLENT ACTION The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion The Methods of Noncooperation Social Noncooperation Economic Noncooperation Economic Boycotts Economic Noncooperation The Strike Political Noncooperation The Methods of Nonviolent Intervention A NOTE ABOUT TRANSLATIONs AND REPRINTING OE THIS PUBLICATION 69 69 71 72 73 74 75 77 PREFACE One of my major concerns for many years has been how people could pre vent and destroy dictatorships This has been nurtured in part because of a belief that human beings should not be dominated and destroyed by such regimes That belief has been strengthened by readings on the impor tance of human freedom on the nature of dictatorships from Aristotle to analyses of totalitarianism and histories of dictatorships especially the Nazi and Stalinist systems Over the years I have had occasion to get to know people who lived and suffered under Nazi rule including some who survived concentration camps In Norway I met people who had resisted fascist rule and sur vived and heard of those who perished I talked with Jews who had es caped the Nazi clutches and with persons who had helped to save them Knowledge of the terror of Communist rule in various countries has been learned more from books than personal contacts The terror of these systems appeared to me to be especially poignant for these dictatorships were imposed in the name of liberation from oppression and exploitation In more recent decades through visits of persons from dictatorially ruled countries such as Panama Poland Chile Tibet and Burma the re alities of today39s dictatorships became more real From Tibetans who had fought against Chinese Communist aggression Russians who had defeated the August 1991 hardline coup and Thais who had nonviolently blocked a return to military rule I have gained often troubling perspectives on the insidious nature of dictatorships The sense of pathos and outrage against the brutalities along with admiration of the calm heroism of unbelievably brave men and women were sometimes strengthened by visits to places where the dangers were still great and yet defiance by brave people continued These included Panama under Noriega Vilnius Lithuania under continued Soviet repres sion Tiananmen Square Beijing during both the festive demonstration of freedom and while the first armored personnel carriers entered that fateful night and the jungle headquarters of the democratic opposition at Manerplaw in quotliberated Burmaquot v1 vii Preface Sometimes I visited the sites of the fallen as the television tower and the cemetery in Vilnius the public park in Riga where people had been gunned down the center of Ferrara in northern Italy where the fascists lined up and shot resisters and a simple cemetery in Manerplaw filled with bodies of men who had died much too young It is a sad realization that every dictatorship leaves such death and destruction in its wake Out of these concerns and experiences grew a determined hope that prevention of tyranny might be possible that successful struggles against dictatorships could be waged without mass mutual slaughters that dicta torships could be destroyed and new ones prevented from rising out of the ashes I have tried to think carefully about the most effective ways in which dictatorships could be successfully disintegrated with the least possible cost in suffering and lives In this I have drawn on my studies over many years of dictatorships resistance movements revolutions political thought governmental systems and especially realistic nonviolent struggle This publication is the result I am certain it is far from perfect But perhaps it offers some guidelines to assist thought and planning to pro duce movements of liberation that are more powerful and effective than might otherwise be the case Of necessity and of deliberate choice the focus of this essay is on the generic problem of how to destroy a dictatorship and to prevent the rise of a new one I am not competent to produce a detailed analysis and pre scription for a particular country However it is my hope that this generic analysis may be useful to people in unfortunately too many countries who now face the realities of dictatorial rule They will need to examine the validity of this analysis for their situations and the extent to which its ma jor recommendations are or can be made to be applicable for their libera tion struggles I have incurred several debts of gratitude in writing this essay Bruce Jenkins my Special Assistant has made an inestimable contribution by his identification of problems in content and presentation and through his incisive recommendations for more rigorous and clearer presentations of difficult ideas especially concerning strategy structural reorganization and editorial improvements I am also grateful for the editorial assistance of Stephen Coady Dr Christopher Kruegler and Robert Helvey have of fered very important criticisms and advice Dr Hazel McFerson and Dr Patricia Parkman have provided me information on struggles in Africa and Latin America respectively Although this work has greatly benefited from Prom Dictatorship to Democracy viii such kind and generous support the analysis and conclusions contained therein are my responsibility Nowhere in this analysis do I assume that defying dictators will be an easy or costfree endeavor All forms of struggle have complications and costs Fighting dictators will of course bring casualties It is my hope however that this analysis will spur resistance leaders to consider strate gies that may increase their effective power while reducing the relative level of casualties Nor should this analysis be interpreted to mean that when a specific dictatorship is ended all other problems will also disappear The fall of one regime does not bring in a utopia Rather it opens the way for hard work and long efforts to build more just social economic and political relationships and the eradication of other forms of injustices and oppres sion It is my hope that this brief examination of how a dictatorship can be disintegrated may be found useful wherever people live under domina tion and desire to be free Gene Sharp 6 October 1993 Albert Einstein Institution 427 Newbury Street Boston Massachusetts 021151801 ONE FACING DICTATORSHIPS REALISTICALLY In recent years various dictatorships of both internal and external ori gin have collapsed or stumbled when confronted by defiant mobilized people Often seen as firmly entrenched and impregnable some of these dictatorships proved unable to withstand the concerted political economic and social defiance of the people Since 1980 dictatorships have collapsed before the predominantly nonviolent defiance of people in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania Poland East Germany Czechoslovakia and Slovenia Madagascar Mali Bolivia and the Philippines Nonviolent resistance has furthered the movement toward democratization in Nepal Zambia South Korea Chile Argentina Haiti Brazil Uruguay Malawi Thailand Bulgaria Hungary Zaire Nige ria and various parts of the former Soviet Union playing a significant role in the defeat of the August 1991 attempted hardline coup d39 tat In addition mass political defiance1 has occurred in China Burma and Tibet in recent years Although those struggles have not brought an end to the ruling dictatorships or occupations they have exposed the bru tal nature of those repressive regimes to the world community and have provided the populations with valuable experience with this form of struggle 1 The term used in this context was introduced by Robert Helvey quotPolitical defi ancequot is nonviolent struggle protest noncooperation and intervention applied defiantly and actively for political purposes The term originated in response to the confusion and distortion created by equating nonviolent struggle with paci fism and moral or religious quotnonviolencequot quotDefiancequot denotes a deliberate chal lenge to authority by disobedience allowing no room for submission quotPolitical defiancequot describes the environment in which the action is employed political as well as the objective political power The term is used principally to describe action by populations to regain from dictatorships control over governmental in stitutions by relentlessly attacking their sources of power and deliberately using strategic planning and operations to do so In this paper political defiance non violent resistance and nonviolent struggle will be used interchangeably although the latter two terms generally refer to struggles with a broader range of objectives social economic psychological etc 2 From Dictatorship to Democracy The collapse of dictatorships in the above named countries certainly has not erased all other problems in those societies poverty crime bu reaucratic inefficiency and environmental destruction are often the legacy of brutal regimes However the downfall of these dictatorships has mini mally lifted much of the suffering of the victims of oppression and has opened the way for the rebuilding of these societies with greater political democracy personal liberties and social justice A continuing problem There has indeed been a trend towards greater democratization and free dom in the world in the past decades According to Freedom House which compiles a yearly international survey of the status of political rights and civil liberties the number of countries around the world classified as quotfreequot has grown significantly in the last ten years2 Free Partly Free Not Free 1983 55 76 64 1993 75 73 38 However this positive trend is tempered by the large numbers of peoples still living under conditions of tyranny As of January 1993 31 of the world39s 545 billion population lived in countries and territories desig nated as quotnot freequot3 that is areas with extremely restricted political rights and civil liberties The 38 countries and 12 territories in the quotnot freequot cat egory are ruled by a range of military dictatorships as in Burma and Sudan traditional repressive monarchies as in Saudi Arabia and Bhutan domi nant political parties as in China Iraq and North Korea foreign occupi ers as in Tibet and East Timor or are in a state of transition Many countries today are in a state of rapid economic political and social change Although the number of quotfreequot countries has increased in the past ten years there is a great risk that many nations in the face of such rapid fundamental changes will move in the opposite direction and expe rience new forms of dictatorship Military cliques ambitious individuals 2 Freedom House Freedom in the World The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties 19921993 New York Freedom House 1993 p 66 1993 figures are as of January 1993 See pp 7980 for a description of Freedom House39s categories of quotfreequot quotpartly freequot and quotnot freequot 3 Freedom House Freedom in the World p 4 Facing Dictatorships Realistically 3 elected officials and doctrinal political parties will repeatedly seek to im pose their will Coups d39 tat are and will remain a common occurrence Basic human and political rights will continue to be denied to vast num bers of peoples Unfortunately the past is still with us The problem of dictatorships is deep People in many countries have experienced decades or even cen turies of oppression whether of domestic or foreign origin Frequently unquestioning submission to authority figures and rulers has been long inculcated In extreme cases the social political economic and even reli gious institutions of the society outside of state control have been de liberately weakened subordinated or even replaced by new regimented institutions used by the state or ruling party to control the society The population has often been atomized turned into a mass of isolated indi viduals unable to work together to achieve freedom to confide in each other or even to do much of anything at their own initiative The result is predictable the population becomes weak lacks self confidence and is incapable of resistance People are often too frightened to share their hatred of the dictatorship and their hunger for freedom even with family and friends People are often too terrified to think seriously of public resistance In any case what would be the use Instead they face suffering without purpose and a future without hope Current conditions in today39s dictatorships may be much worse than earlier In the past some people may have attempted resistance Short lived mass protests and demonstrations may have occurred Perhaps spir its soared temporarily At other times individuals and small groups may have conducted brave but impotent gestures asserting some principle or simply their defiance However noble the motives such past acts of resis tance have often been insufficient to overcome the people39s fear and habit of obedience a necessary prerequisite to destroy the dictatorship Sadly those acts may have brought instead only increased suffering and death not victories or even hope Freedom through violence What is to be done in such circumstances The obvious possibilities seem useless Constitutional and legal barriers judicial decisions and public opinion are normally ignored by dictators Understandably reacting to the brutalities torture disappearances and killings people often have con cluded that only violence can end a dictatorship Angry victims have some 4 From Dictatorship to Democracy times organized to fight the brutal dictators with whatever violent and military capacity they could muster despite the odds being against them These people have often fought bravely at great cost in suffering and lives Their accomplishments have sometimes been remarkable but they rarely have won freedom Violent rebellions can trigger brutal repression that frequently leaves the populace more helpless than before Whatever the merits of the violent option however one point is clear By placing con dence in violent means one has chosen the very type of struggle with which the oppressors nearly always have superiority The dictators are equipped to apply violence overwhelmingly However long or brie y these democrats can continue eventually the harsh military realities usually be come inescapable The dictators almost always have superiority in mili tary hardware ammunition transportation and the size of military forces Despite bravery the democrats are almost always no match 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 Guerrilla warfare is no obvious solution particularly given the very strong tendency toward immense casualties among one39s own people The tech nique is no guarantor against failure despite supporting theory and stra tegic analyses and sometimes international backing Guerrilla struggles often last a very long time Civilian populations are often displaced by the ruling government with immense human suffering and social dislocation Even when successful guerrilla struggles often have significant long term negative structural consequences Immediately the attacked regime becomes more dictatorial as a result of its countermeasures If the guerril las should finally succeed the resulting new regime is often more dictato rial than its predecessor due to the centralizing impact of the expanded military forces and the weakening or destruction of the society39s indepen dent groups and institutions during the struggle bodies that are vital in establishing and maintaining a democratic society Opponents of dictator ships should look for another option Coups elections foreign saviors A military coup d39 tat against a dictatorship might appear to be relatively one of the easiest and quickest ways to remove a particularly repugnant regime However there are very serious problems with that technique Most importantly it leaves in place the existing maldistribution of power Facing Dictatorships Realistically 5 between the population and the elite in control of the government and its military forces The removal of particular persons and cliques from the governing positions most likely will merely make it possible for another group to take their place Theoretically this group might be milder in its behavior and be open in limited ways to democratic reforms However the opposite is as likely to be the case After consolidating its position the new clique may turn out to be more ruthless and more ambitious than the old one Consequently the new clique in which hopes may have been placed will be able to do whatever it wants without concern for democracy or human rights That is not an acceptable answer to the problem of dictatorship Elections are not available under dictatorships as an instrument of significant political change Some dictatorial regimes such as those of the former Sovietdominated Eastern bloc went through the motions in order to appear democratic Those elections however were merely rigidly con trolled plebiscites to get public endorsement of candidates already hand picked by the dictators Dictators under pressure may at times agree to new elections but then rig them to place civilian puppets in government offices If opposition candidates have been allowed to run and were actu ally elected as occurred in Burma in 1990 and Nigeria in 1993 results may simply be ignored and the quotvictorsquot subjected to intimidation arrest or even execution Dictators are not in the business of allowing elections that could remove them from their thrones Many people now suffering under a brutal dictatorship or who have gone into exile to escape its immediate grasp do not believe that the op pressed can liberate themselves They expect that their people can only be saved by the actions of others These people place their confidence in ex ternal forces They believe that only international help can be strong enough to bring down the dictators The view that the oppressed are unable to act effectively is some times accurate for a certain time period As noted often oppressed people are unwilling and temporarily unable to struggle because they have no confidence in their ability to face the ruthless dictatorship and no known way to save themselves It is therefore understandable that many people place their hope for liberation in others This outside force may be quotpublic opinionquot the United Nations a particular country or international eco nomic and political sanctions Such a scenario may sound comforting but there are grave problems with this reliance on an outside savior Such confidence may be totally 6 From Dictatorship to Democracy misplaced Usually no foreign saviors are coming and if a foreign state does intervene it probably should not be trusted A few harsh realities concerning reliance on foreign intervention need to be emphasized here 0 Frequently foreign states will tolerate or even positively assist a dictatorship in order to advance their own economic or political interests 0 Foreign states also may be willing to sell out an oppressed people instead of keeping pledges to assist their liberation at the cost of another objective O Some foreign states will act against a dictatorship only to gain their own economic political or military control over the country 0 The foreign states may become actively involved for positive pur poses only if and when the internal resistance movement has al ready begun shaking the dictatorship having thereby focused in ternational attention on the brutal nature of the regime Dictatorships usually exist primarily because of the internal power distribution in the home country The population and society are too weak to cause the dictatorship serious problems wealth and power are concen trated in too few hands Although dictatorships may benefit from or be somewhat weakened by international actions their continuation is depen dent primarily on internal factors International pressures can be very useful however when they are supporting a powerful internal resistance movement Then for example international economic boycotts embargoes the breaking of diplomatic relations expulsion from international organizations condemnation by United Nations bodies and the like can assist greatly However in the absence of a strong internal resistance movement such actions by others are unlikely to happen Facing the hard truth The conclusion is a hard one When one wants to bring down a dictator ship most effectively and with the least cost then one has four immediate tasks Facing Dictatorships Realistically 7 O One must strengthen the oppressed population themselves in their determination selfconfidence and resistance skills O One must strengthen the independent social groups and institu tions of the oppressed people O One must create a powerful internal resistance force and O One must develop a wise grand strategic plan for liberation and implement it skillfully A liberation struggle is a time for selfreliance and internal strength ening of the struggle group As Charles Stewart Parnell called out during the Irish rent strike campaign in 1879 and 1880 It is no use relying on the Government You must only rely upon your own determination Help yourselves by stand ing together strengthen those amongst yourselves who are weak band yourselves together organize yourselves and you must win When you have made this question ripe for settlement then and not till then will it be settled4 Against a strong selfreliant force given wise strategy disciplined and courageous action and genuine strength the dictatorship will eventu ally crumble Minimally however the above four requirements must be fulfilled As the above discussion indicates liberation from dictatorships ulti mately depends on the people39s ability to liberate themselves The cases of successful political defiance or nonviolent struggle for political ends cited above indicate that the means do exist for populations to free them selves but that option has remained undeveloped We will examine this option in detail in the following chapters However we should first look at the issue of negotiations as a means of dismantling dictatorships 4 Patrick Sarsfield O39Hegarty A History of Ireland Under the Union 18801922 Lon don Methuen 1952 pp 490491 Two THE DANGERS OF NEGOTIATIONS When faced with the severe problems of confronting a dictatorship as sur veyed in Chapter One some people may lapse back into passive submis sion Others seeing no prospect of achieving democracy may conclude they must come to terms with the apparently permanent dictatorship hop ing that through quotconciliationquot quotcompromisequot and quotnegotiationsquot they might be able to salvage some positive elements and to end the brutalities On the surface lacking realistic options there is appeal in that line of thinking Serious struggle against brutal dictatorships is not a pleasant pros pect Why is it necessary to go that route Can39t everyone just be reason able and find ways to talk to negotiate the way to a gradual end to the dictatorship Can39t the democrats appeal to the dictators39 sense of com mon humanity and convince them to reduce their domination bit by bit and perhaps finally to give way completely to the establishment of a de mocracy It is sometimes argued that the truth is not all on one side Perhaps the democrats have misunderstood the dictators who may have acted from good motives in difficult circumstances Or perhaps some may think the dictators would gladly remove themselves from the difficult situation fac ing the country if only given some encouragement and enticements It may be argued that the dictators could be offered a quotwinwinquot solution in which everyone gains something The risks and pain of further struggle could be unnecessary it may be argued if the democratic opposition is only willing to settle the conflict peacefully by negotiations which may even perhaps be assisted by some skilled individuals or even another gov ernment Would that not be preferable to a difficult struggle even if it is one conducted by nonviolent struggle rather than by military war Merits and limitations of negotiations Negotiations are a very useful tool in resolving certain types of issues in conflicts and should not be neglected or rejected when they are appropriate 9 10 From Dictatorship to Democracy In some situations where no fundamental issues are at stake and therefore a compromise is acceptable negotiations can be an important means to settle a con ict A labor strike for higher wages is a good example of the appropriate role of negotiations in a con ict a negotiated settlement may provide an increase somewhere between the sums originally proposed by each of the contending sides Labor con icts with legal trade unions are however quite different than the con icts in which the continued exist ence of a cruel dictatorship or the establishment of political freedom are at stake When the issues at stake are fundamental affecting religious prin ciples issues of human freedom or the whole future development of the society negotiations do not provide a way of reaching a mutually satisfac tory solution On some basic issues there should be no compromise Only a shift in power relations in favor of the democrats can adequately safe guard the basic issues at stake Such a shift will occur through struggle not negotiations This is not to say that negotiations ought never to be used The point here is that negotiations are not a realistic way to remove a strong dictatorship in the absence of a powerful democratic opposition Negotiations of course may not be an option at all Firmly entrenched dictators who feel secure in their position may refuse to negotiate with their democratic opponents Or when negotiations have been initiated the democratic negotiators may disappear and never be heard from again Negotiated surrender Individuals and groups who oppose dictatorship and favor negotiations will often have good motives Especially when a military struggle has con tinued for years against a brutal dictatorship without final victory it is understandable that all the people of whatever political persuasion would want peace Negotiations are especially likely to become an issue among democrats where the dictators have clear military superiority and the de struction and casualties among one39s own people are no longer bearable There will then be a strong temptation to explore any other route that might salvage some of the democrats39 objectives while bringing an end to the cycle of violence and counterviolence The offer by a dictatorship of quotpeacequot through negotiations with the democratic opposition is of course rather disingenuous The violence could be ended immediately by the dictators themselves if only they would stop waging war on their own people They could at their own initiative with The Dangers of Negotiations 11 out any bargaining restore respect for human dignity and rights free po litical prisoners end torture halt military operations withdraw from the government and apologize to the people When the dictatorship is strong but an irritating resistance exists the dictators may wish to negotiate the opposition into surrender under the guise of making quotpeacequot The call to negotiate can sound appealing but grave dangers can be lurking within the negotiating room On the other hand when the opposition is exceptionally strong and the dictatorship is genuinely threatened the dictators may seek negotia tions in order to salvage as much of their control or wealth as possible In neither case should the democrats help the dictators achieve their goals Democrats should be wary of the traps that may be deliberately built into a negotiation process by the dictators The call for negotiations when basic issues of political liberties are involved may be an effort by the dicta tors to induce the democrats to surrender peacefully while the violence of the dictatorship continues In those types of con icts the only proper role of negotiations may occur at the end of a decisive struggle in which the power of the dictators has been effectively destroyed and they seek per sonal safe passage to an international airport Power and justice in negotiations If this judgment sounds too harsh a commentary on negotiations perhaps some of the romanticism associated with them needs to be moderated Clear thinking is required as to how negotiations operate quotNegotiationquot does not mean that the two sides sit down together on a basis of equality and talk through and resolve the differences that pro duced the con ict between them Two facts must be remembered First in negotiations it is not the relative justice of the conflicting views and objec tives that determines the content of a negotiated agreement Second the content of a negotiated agreement is largely determined by the power ca pacity of each side Several difficult questions must be considered What can each side do at a later date to gain its objectives if the other side fails to come to an agreement at the negotiating table What can each side do after an agree ment is reached if the other side breaks its word and uses its available forces to seize its objectives despite the agreement A settlement is not reached in negotiations through an assessment of the rights and wrongs of the issues at stake While those may be much 12 From Dictatorship to Democracy discussed the real results in negotiations come from an assessment of the absolute and relative power situations of the contending groups What can the democrats do to ensure that their minimum claims cannot be denied What can the dictators do to stay in control and neutralize the democrats In other words if an agreement comes it is more likely the result of each side estimating how the power capacities of the two sides compare and then calculating how an open struggle might end Attention must also be given to what each side is willing to give up in order to reach agreement In successful negotiations there is compromise a splitting of differences Each side gets part of what it wants and gives up part of its objectives In the case of extreme dictatorships what are the prodemocracy forces to give up to the dictators What objectives of the dictators are the pro democracy forces to accept Are the democrats to give to the dictators whether a political party or a military cabal a constitutionallyestablished permanent role in the future government Where is the democracy in that Even assuming that all goes well in negotiations it is necessary to ask What kind of peace will be the result Will life then be better or worse than it would be if the democrats began or continued to struggle quotAgreeablequot dictators Dictators may have a variety of motives and objectives underlying their domination power position wealth reshaping the society and the like One should remember that none of these will be served if they abandon their control positions In the event of negotiations dictators will try to preserve their goals Whatever promises offered by dictators in any negotiated settlement no one should ever forget that the dictators may promise anything to se cure submission from their democratic opponents and then brazenly vio late those same agreements If the democrats agree to halt resistance in order to gain a reprieve from repression they may be very disappointed A halt to resistance rarely brings reduced repression Once the restraining force of internal and inter national opposition has been removed dictators may even make their op pression and violence more brutal than before The collapse of popular resistance often removes the countervailing force that has limited the con trol and brutality of the dictatorship The tyrants can then move ahead against whomever they wish quotFor the tyrant has the power to inflict only The Dangers of Negotiations 13 that which we lack the strength to resistquot wrote Krishnalal Shridharani5 Resistance not negotiations is essential for change in conflicts where fundamental issues are at stake In nearly all cases resistance must con tinue to drive dictators out of power Success is most often determined not by negotiating a settlement but through the wise use of the most appropri ate and powerful means of resistance available It is our contention to be explored later in more detail that political defiance or nonviolent struggle is the most powerful means available to those struggling for freedom What kind of peace If dictators and democrats are to talk about peace at all extremely clear thinking is needed because of the dangers involved Not everyone who uses the word quotpeacequot wants peace with freedom and justice Submission to cruel oppression and passive acquiescence to ruthless dictators who have perpetrated atrocities on hundreds of thousands of people is no real peace Hitler often called for peace by which he meant submission to his will A dictators39 peace is often no more than the peace of the prison or of the grave There are other dangers Wellintended negotiators sometimes con fuse the objectives of the negotiations and the negotiation process itself Further democratic negotiators or foreign negotiation specialists accepted to assist in the negotiations may in a single stroke provide the dictators with the domestic and international legitimacy that they had been previ ously denied because of their seizure of the state human rights violations and brutalities Without that desperately needed legitimacy the dictators cannot continue to rule indefinitely Exponents of peace should not pro vide them legitimacy Reasons for hope As stated earlier opposition leaders may feel forced to pursue negotia tions out of a sense of hopelessness of the democratic struggle However that sense of powerlessness can be changed Dictatorships are not perma nent People living under dictatorships need not remain weak and dicta tors need not be allowed to remain powerful indefinitely Aristotle noted 5 Krishnalal Shridharani War Without Violence A Study of Gandhi s Method and Its Accomplishments New York Harcourt Brace 1939 and reprint New York and Lon don Garland Publishing 1972 p 260 14 From Dictatorship to Democracy long ago quot Oligarchy and tyranny are shorterlived than any other constitution All round tyrannies have not lasted longquot6 Modern dictatorships are also vulnerable Their weaknesses can be aggravated and the dictators39 power can be disintegrated In Chapter Four we will exam ine these weaknesses in more detail Recent history shows the vulnerability of dictatorships and reveals that they can crumble in a relatively short time span whereas ten years 19801990 were required to bring down the Communist dictatorship in Poland in East Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1989 it occurred within weeks In El Salvador and Guatemala in 1944 the struggles against the entrenched brutal military dictators required approximately two weeks each The militarily powerful regime of the Shah in Iran was undermined in a few months The Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines fell before people power within weeks in 1986 the United States government quickly abandoned President Marcos when the strength of the opposition became apparent The attempted hardline coup in the Soviet Union in August 1991 was blocked in days by political defiance Thereafter many of its long dominated constituent nations in only days weeks and months re gained their independence The old preconception that violent means always work quickly and nonviolent means always require vast time is clearly not valid Although much time may be required for changes in the underlying situation and society the actual fight against a dictatorship sometimes occurs relatively quickly by nonviolent struggle Negotiations are not the only alternative to a continuing war of anni hilation on the one hand and capitulation on the other The examples just cited as well as those listed in Chapter One illustrate that another option exists for those who want both peace and freedom political defiance 6 Aristotle The Politics transl by T A Sinclair Harmondsworth Middlesex En gland and Baltimore Maryland Penguin Books 1976 1962 Book V Chapter 12 pp 231 and 232 THREE WHENCE COMES THE POWER Achieving a society with both freedom and peace is of course no simple task It will require great strategic skill organization and planning Above all it will require power Democrats cannot hope to bring down a dictator ship and establish political freedom without the ability to apply their own power effectively But how is this possible What kind of power can the democratic opposition mobilize that will be sufficient to destroy the dictatorship and its vast military and police networks The answers lie in an oft ignored understanding of political power Learning this insight is not really so difficult a task Some basic truths are quite simple The quotMonkey Masterquot fable A Fourteenth Century Chinese parable by LiuJi for example outlines this neglected understanding of political power quite well7 In the feudal state of Chu an old man survived by keeping mon keys in his service The people of Chu called him quotju gongquot monkey master Each morning the old man would assemble the monkeys in his courtyard and order the eldest one to lead the others to the mountains to gather fruits from bushes and trees It was the rule that each monkey had to give onetenth of his collection to the old man Those who failed to do so would be ruthlessly flogged All the monkeys suffered bitterly but dared not com plain 7 This story originally titled quotRule by Tricksquot is from Ynli zi by Liu Ii 13111375 and has been translated by Sidney Tai all rights reserved Yulizi is also the pseud onym of Liu Ii The translation was originally published in Nonviolent Sanctions News from the Albert Einstein Institution Cambridge Mass Vol IV No 3 Winter 19921993 p 3 15 16 From Dictatorship to Democracy One day a small monkey asked the other monkeys quotDid the old man plant all the fruit trees and bushesquot The others said quotNo they grew naturallyquot The small monkey further asked quotCan39t we take the fruits without the old man39s permissionquot The others replied quotYes we all canquot The small monkey contin ued quotThen why should we depend on the old man why must we all serve himquot Before the small monkey was able to finish his statement all the monkeys suddenly became enlightened and awakened On the same night watching that the old man had fallen asleep the monkeys tore down all the barricades of the stockade in which they were confined and destroyed the stockade entirely They also took the fruits the old man had in storage brought all with them to the woods and never returned The old man fi nally died of starvation Yulizi says quotSome men in the world rule their people by tricks and not by righteous principles Aren39t they just like the mon key master They are not aware of their muddleheadedness As soon as their people become enlightened their tricks no longer workquot 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 politi cal power These sources of political power include 0 Authority the belief among the people that the regime is legitimate and that they have a moral duty to obey it 0 Human resources the number and importance of the persons and groups which are obeying cooperating or providing assistance to the rulers 0 Skills and knowledge needed by the regime to perform specific ac tions and supplied by the cooperating persons and groups Whence Comes the Power 17 0 Intangible factors psychological and ideological factors that may induce people to obey and assist the rulers 0 Material resources the degree to which the rulers control or have access to property natural resources financial resources the eco nomic system and means of communication and transportation and 0 Sanctions punishments threatened or applied against the disobe dient and noncooperative to ensure the submission and coopera tion that are needed for the regime to exist and carry out its poli cies All of these sources however depend on acceptance of the regime on the submission and obedience of the population and on the coopera tion of innumerable people and the many institutions of the society These are not guaranteed Full cooperation obedience and support will increase the availabil ity of the needed sources of power and consequently expand the power capacity of any government On the other hand withdrawal of popular and institutional coopera tion with aggressors and dictators diminishes and may sever the avail ability of the sources of power on which all rulers depend Without avail ability of those sources the rulers39 power weakens and finally dissolves Naturally dictators are sensitive to actions and ideas that threaten their capacity to do as they like Dictators are therefore likely to threaten and punish those who disobey strike or fail to cooperate However that is not the end of the story Repression even brutalities do not always pro duce a resumption of the necessary degree of submission and cooperation for the regime to function If despite repression the sources of power can be restricted or sev ered for enough time the initial results may be uncertainty and confusion within the dictatorship That is likely to be followed by a clear weakening of the power of the dictatorship Over time the withholding of the sources of power can produce the paralysis and impotence of the regime and in severe cases its disintegration The dictators39 power will die slowly or rapidly from political starvation The degree of liberty or tyranny in any government is it follows in large degree a re ection of the relative determination of the subjects to be 18 From Dictatorship to Democracy free and their willingness and ability to resist efforts to enslave them Contrary to popular opinion even totalitarian dictatorships are de pendent on the population and the societies they rule As the political scientist Karl W Deutsch noted in 1953 Totalitarian power is strong only if it does not have to be used too often If totalitarian power must be used at all times against the entire population it is unlikely to remain powerful for long Since totalitarian regimes require more power for dealing with their subjects than do other types of government such regimes stand in greater need of widespread and dependable compli ance habits among their people more than that they have to be able to count on the active support of at least significant parts of the population in case of need8 The English Nineteenth Century legal theorist John Austin described the situation of a dictatorship confronting a disaffected people Austin argued that if most of the population were determined to destroy the gov ernment and were willing to endure repression to do so then the might of the government including those who supported it could not preserve the hated government even if it received foreign assistance The defiant people could not be forced back into permanent obedience and subjection Austin concluded9 Niccolo Machiavelli had much earlier argued that the prince quot who has the public as a whole for his enemy can never make himself secure and the greater his cruelty the weaker does his regime becomequot10 The practical political application of these insights was demonstrated by the heroic Norwegian resisters against the Nazi occupation and as cited in Chapter One by the brave Poles Germans Czechs Slovaks and many others who resisted Communist aggression and dictatorship and finally helped produce the collapse of Communist rule in Europe This of course 8 Karl W Deutsch quotCracks in the Monolithquot in Carl J Friedrich ed Totalitariuuism Cambridge Mass Harvard University Press 1954 pp 313314 9 John Austin Lectures on Jurisprudence or the Philosophy of Positive Law Fifth edition revised and edited by Robert Campbell 2 vol London John Murray 1911 1861 Vol I p 296 10 Niccolo Machiavelli quotThe Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livyquot in The Dis courses of Niccolo Machiavelli London Routledge and Kegan Paul 1950 Vol I p 254 Whence Comes the Power 19 is no new phenomenon cases of nonviolent resistance go back at least to 494 BC when plebeians withdrew cooperation from their Roman patri cian masters11 Nonviolent struggle has been employed at various times by peoples throughout Asia Africa the Americas Australasia and the Pacific islands as well as Europe Three of the most important factors in determining to what degree a government39s power will be controlled or uncontrolled therefore are 1 the relative desire of the populace to impose limits on the government39s power 2 the relative strength of the subjects39 independent organizations and institutions to withdraw collectively the sources of power and 3 the population39s relative ability to withhold their consent and assistance Centers of democratic power One characteristic of a democratic society is that there exist independent of the state a multitude of nongovernmental groups and institutions These include for example families religious organizations cultural associations sports clubs economic institutions trade unions student associations po litical parties villages neighborhood associations gardening clubs human rights organizations musical groups literary societies and others These bodies are important in serving their own objectives and also in helping to meet social needs Additionally these bodies have great political significance They pro vide group and institutional bases by which people can exert influence over the direction of their society and resist other groups or the govern ment when they are seen to impinge unjustly on their interests activities or purposes Isolated individuals not members of such groups usually are unable to make a significant impact on the rest of the society much less a government and certainly not a dictatorship Consequently if the autonomy and freedom of such bodies can be taken away by the dictators the population will be relatively helpless Also if these institutions can themselves be dictatorially controlled by the cen tral regime or replaced by new controlled ones they can be used to domi nate both the individual members and also those areas of the society However if the autonomy and freedom of these independent civil institutions outside of government control can be maintained or regained they are highly important for the application of political defiance The 11 See Gene Sharp The Politics of Nonviolent Action Boston Porter Sargent 1973 p 75 and passim for other historical examples 20 From Dictatorship to Democracy common feature of the cited examples in which dictatorships have been disintegrated or weakened has been the courageous mass application of political defiance by the population and its institutions As stated these centers of power provide the institutional bases from which the population can exert pressure or can resist dictatorial controls In the future they will be part of the indispensable structural base for a free society Their continued independence and growth therefore is often a prerequisite for the success of the liberation struggle If the dictatorship has been largely successful in destroying or con trolling the society39s independent bodies it will be important for the resist ers to create new independent social groups and institutions or to reassert democratic control over surviving or partially controlled bodies During the Hungarian Revolution of 19561957 a multitude of direct democracy councils emerged even joining together to establish for some weeks a whole federated system of institutions and governance In Poland during the late 1980s workers maintained illegal Solidarity unions and in some cases took over control of the official Communistdominated trade unions Such in stitutional developments can have very important political consequences Of course none of this means that weakening and destroying dicta torships is easy nor that every attempt will succeed It certainly does not mean that the struggle will be free of casualties for those still serving the dictators are likely to fight back in an effort to force the populace to resume cooperation and obedience The above insight into power does mean however that the deliberate disin tegration of dictatorships is possible Dictatorships in particular have specific characteristics that render them highly vulnerable to skillfully implemented political defiance Let us examine these characteristics in more detail FOUR DICTATORSHIPS HAVE WEAKNESSES Dictatorships often appear invulnerable Intelligence agencies police mili tary forces prisons concentration camps and execution squads are con trolled by a powerful few A country39s finances natural resources and production capacities are often arbitrarily plundered by dictators and used to support the dictators39 will In comparison democratic opposition forces often appear extremely weak ineffective and powerless That perception of invulnerability against powerlessness makes effective opposition unlikely That is not the whole story however Identifying the Achilles39 heel A myth from Classical Greece illustrates well the vulnerability of the sup posedly invulnerable Against the warrior Achilles no blow would injure and no sword would penetrate his skin When still a baby Achilles39 mother had supposedly dipped him into the waters of the magical river Styx re sulting in the protection of his body from all dangers There was however a problem Since the baby was held by his heel so that he would not be washed away the magical water had not covered that small part of his body When Achilles was a grown man he appeared to all to be invulner able to the enemies39 weapons However in the battle against Troy instructed by one who knew the weakness an enemy soldier aimed his arrow at Achil les39 unprotected heel the one spot where he could be injured The strike proved fatal Still today the phrase quotAchilles39 heelquot refers to the vulnerable part of a person a plan or an institution at which if attacked there is no protection The same principle applies to ruthless dictatorships They too can be conquered but most quickly and with least cost if their weaknesses can be identified and the attack concentrated on them 21 22 From Dictatorship to Democracy 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 regime39s past policies will some what limit its present ability to adopt and implement conflicting policies 3 The system may become routine in its operation less able to ad just 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 that influences one39s 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 system39s poli cies and operation ineffective 9 Internal institutional conflicts and personal rivalries and hostili ties may harm and even disrupt the operation of the dictatorship 10 Intellectuals and students may become restless in response to con ditions restrictions doctrinalism and repression 11The general public may over time become apathetic skeptical and even hostile to the regime Dictatorships Have Weaknesses 23 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 in cluding by coup d39 tat 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 dictator ship mistakes of judgment policy and action are likely to occur 17 If the regime seeks to avoid these dangers and decentralizes con trols and decision making its control over the central levers of power may be further eroded Attacking weaknesses of dictatorships With knowledge of such inherent weaknesses the democratic opposition can seek to aggravate these quotAchilles39 heelsquot deliberately in order to alter the system drastically or to disintegrate it The conclusion is then clear despite the appearances of strength all dictatorships have weaknesses internal inefficiencies personal rivalries institutional inefficiencies and conflicts between organizations and depart ments These weaknesses over time tend to make the regime less effec tive and more vulnerable to changing conditions and deliberate resistance Not everything the regime sets out to accomplish will get completed At times for example even Hitler39s direct orders were never implemented because those beneath him in the hierarchy refused to carry them out The dictatorial regime may at times even fall apart quickly as we have already observed This does not mean dictatorships can be destroyed without risks and casualties Every possible course of action for liberation will involve risks and potential suffering and will take time to operate And of course no 24 From Dictatorship to Democracy means of action can ensure rapid success in every situation However types of struggle that target the dictatorship39s identifiable weaknesses have greater chance of success than those that seek to fight the dictatorship where it is clearly strongest The question is how this struggle is to be waged FIVE EXERCISING POWER In Chapter One we noted that military resistance against dictatorships does not strike them where they are weakest but rather where they are stron gest By choosing to compete in the areas of military forces supplies of ammunition weapons technology and the like resistance movements tend to put themselves at a distinct disadvantage Dictatorships will almost always be able to muster superior resources in these areas The dangers of relying on foreign powers for salvation were also outlined In Chapter Two we examined the problems of relying on negotiations as a means to remove dictatorships What means are then available that will offer the democratic resis tance distinct advantages and will tend to aggravate the identified weak nesses of dictatorships What technique of action will capitalize on the theory of political power discussed in Chapter Three The alternative of choice is political defiance Political defiance has the following characteristics 0 It does not accept that the outcome will be decided by the means of fighting chosen by the dictatorship 0 It is difficult for the regime to combat 0 It can uniquely aggravate weaknesses of the dictatorship and can sever its sources of power 0 It can in action be widely dispersed but can also be concentrated on a specific objective 0 It leads to errors of judgment and action by the dictators 25 2 6 From Dictatorship to Democracy 0 It can effectively utilize the population as a whole and the society39s groups and institutions in the struggle to end the brutal domina tion of the few 0 It helps to spread the distribution of effective power in the society making the establishment and maintenance of a democratic soci ety more possible The workings of nonviolent struggle Like military capabilities political defiance can be employed for a variety of purposes ranging from efforts to influence the opponents to take differ ent actions to create conditions for a peaceful resolution of conflict or to disintegrate the opponents39 regime However political defiance operates in quite different ways from violence Although both techniques are means to wage struggle they do so with very different means and with different consequences The ways and results of violent conflict are well known Physical weapons are used to intimidate injure kill and destroy Nonviolent struggle is a much more complex and varied means of struggle than is violence Instead the struggle is fought by psychological social economic and political weapons applied by the population and the institutions of the society These have been known under various names of protests strikes noncooperation boycotts disaffection and people power As noted earlier all governments can rule only as long as they receive re plenishment of the needed sources of their power from the cooperation submission and obedience of the population and the institutions of the society Political defiance unlike violence is uniquely suited to severing those sources of power Nonviolent weapons and discipline The common error of past improvised political defiance campaigns is the reliance on only one or two methods such as strikes and mass demonstra tions In fact a multitude of methods exist that allow resistance strategists to concentrate and disperse resistance as required About two hundred specific methods of nonviolent action have been identified and there are certainly scores more These methods are classi fied under three broad categories protest and persuasion noncooperation and intervention Methods of nonviolent protest and persuasion are largely symbolic demonstrations including parades marches and vigils 54 meth Exercising Power 27 ods Noncooperation is divided into three subcategories a social non cooperation 16 methods b economic noncooperation including boy cotts 26 methods and strikes 23 methods and c political noncoopera tion 38 methods Nonviolent intervention by psychological physical social economic or political means such as the fast nonviolent occupa tion and parallel government 41 methods is the final group A list of 198 of these methods is included as the Appendix to this publication The use of a considerable number of these methods carefully cho sen 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 In contrast to military means the methods of nonviolent struggle can be focused directly on the issues at stake For example since the issue of dictatorship is primarily political then political forms of nonviolent struggle would be crucial These would include denial of legitimacy to the dicta tors and noncooperation with their regime Noncooperation would also be applied against specific policies At times stalling and procrastination may be quietly and even secretly practiced while at other times open dis obedience and defiant public demonstrations and strikes may be visible to all On the other hand if the dictatorship is vulnerable to economic pres sures or if many of the popular grievances against it are economic then economic action such as boycotts or strikes may be appropriate resistance methods The dictators39 efforts to exploit the economic system might be met with limited general strikes slowdowns and refusal of assistance by or disappearance of indispensable experts Selective use of various types of strikes may be conducted at key points in manufacturing in transport in the supply of raw materials and in the distribution of products Some methods of nonviolent struggle require people to perform acts unrelated to their normal lives such as distributing leaflets operating an underground press going on hunger strike or sitting down in the streets These methods may be difficult for some people to undertake except in very extreme situations Other methods of nonviolent struggle instead require people to con tinue approximately their normal lives though in somewhat different ways For example people may report for work instead of striking but then de liberately work more slowly or inefficiently than usual quotMistakesquot may be consciously made more frequently One may become quotsickquot and quotunablequot to work at certain times Or one may simply refuse to work One might go 28 From Dictatorship to Democracy to religious services when the act expresses not only religious but also po litical convictions One may act to protect children from the attackers39 pro paganda by education at home or in illegal classes One might refuse to join certain quotrecommendedquot or required organizations that one would not have joined freely in earlier times The similarity of such types of action to people39s usual activities and the limited degree of departure from their normal lives may make participation in the national liberation struggle much easier for many people Since nonviolent struggle and violence operate in fundamentally dif ferent ways even limited resistance violence during a political defiance campaign will be counterproductive for it will shift the struggle to one in which the dictators have an overwhelming advantage military warfare Nonviolent discipline is a key to success and must be maintained despite provocations and brutalities by the dictators and their agents The maintenance of nonviolent discipline against violent opponents facilitates the workings of the four mechanisms of change in nonviolent struggle discussed below Nonviolent discipline is also extremely im portant in the process of political jiujitsu In this process the stark brutal ity of the regime against the clearly nonviolent actionists politically re bounds against the dictators39 position causing dissention in their own ranks as well as fomenting support for the resisters among the general popula tion the regime39s usual supporters and third parties In some cases however limited violence against the dictatorship may be inevitable Frustration and hatred of the regime may explode into vio lence Or certain groups may be unwilling to abandon violent means even though they recognize the important role of nonviolent struggle In these cases political defiance does not need to be abandoned However it will be necessary to separate the violent action as far as possible from the non violent action This should be done in terms of geography population groups timing and issues Otherwise the violence could have a disas trous effect on the potentially much more powerful and successful use of political defiance The historical record indicates that while casualties in dead and wounded must be expected in political defiance they will be far fewer than the casualties in military warfare Furthermore this type of struggle does not contribute to the endless cycle of killing and brutality Nonviolent struggle both requires and tends to produce a loss or greater control of fear of the government and its violent repression That Exercising Power 29 abandonment or control of fear is a key element in destroying the power of the dictators over the general population Openness secrecy and high standards Secrecy deception and underground conspiracy pose very difficult prob lems for a movement using nonviolent action It is often impossible to keep the political police and intelligence agents from learning about inten tions and plans From the perspective of the movement secrecy is not only rooted in fear but contributes to fear which dampens the spirit of resis tance and reduces the number of people who can participate in a given action It also can contribute to suspicions and accusations often unjusti fied within the movement concerning who is an informer or agent for the opponents Secrecy may also affect the ability of a movement to remain nonviolent In contrast openness regarding intentions and plans will not only have the opposite effects but will contribute to an image that the re sistance movement is in fact extremely powerful The problem is of course more complex than this suggests and there are significant aspects of resis tance activities that may require secrecy A wellinformed assessment will be required by those knowledgeable about both the dynamics of nonvio lent struggle and also the dictatorship39s means of surveillance in the spe cific situation The editing printing and distribution of underground publications the use of illegal radio broadcasts from within the country and the gather ing of intelligence about the operations of the dictatorship are among the special limited types of activities where a high degree of secrecy will be required The maintenance of high standards of behavior in nonviolent action is necessary at all stages of the conflict Such factors as fearlessness and maintaining nonviolent discipline are always required It is important to remember that large numbers of people may frequently be necessary to effect particular changes However such numbers can be obtained as reli able participants only by maintaining the high standards of the movement Shifting power relationships Strategists need to remember that the con ict in which political defiance is applied is a constantly changing field of struggle with continuing inter play of moves and countermoves Nothing is static Power relationships both absolute 30 From Dictatorship to Democracy and relative are subject to constant and rapid changes This is made pos sible by the resisters continuing their nonviolent persistence despite re pression The variations in the respective power of the contending sides in this type of con ict situation are likely to be more extreme than in violent con flicts to take place more quickly and to have more diverse and politically significant consequences Due to these variations specific actions by the resisters are likely to have consequences far beyond the particular time and place in which they occur These effects will rebound to strengthen or weaken one group or another In addition the nonviolent group may by its actions exert influence over the increase or decrease in the relative strength of the opponent group to a great extent For example disciplined courageous nonviolent resis tance in face of the dictators39 brutalities may induce unease disaffection unreliability and in extreme situations even mutiny among the dictators39 own soldiers and population This resistance may also result in increased international condemnation of the dictatorship In addition skillful disci plined 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 Four mechanisms of change Nonviolent struggle produces change in four ways The first mechanism is the least likely though it has occurred When members of the opponent group are emotionally moved by the suffering of repression imposed on courageous nonviolent resisters or are rationally persuaded that the resisters39 cause is just they may come to accept the resisters39 aims This mechanism is called conversion Though cases of conversion in non violent action do sometimes happen they are rare and in most conflicts this does not occur at all or at least not on a significant scale Far more often nonviolent struggle operates by changing the con ict situation and the society so that the opponents simply cannot do as they like It is this change that produces the other three mechanisms accommo dation nonviolent coercion and disintegration Which of these occurs de pends on the degree to which the relative and absolute power relations are shifted in favor of the democrats If the issues are not fundamental ones the demands of the opposi Exercising Power 31 tion in a limited campaign are not considered threatening and the contest of forces has altered the power relationships to some degree the immedi ate conflict may be ended by reaching an agreement a splitting of differ ences or compromise This mechanism is called accommodation Many strikes are settled in this manner for example with both sides attaining some of their objectives but neither achieving all it wanted A government may perceive such a settlement to have some positive benefits such as defusing tension creating an impression of quotfairnessquot or polishing the in ternational image of the regime It is important therefore that great care be exercised in selecting the issues on which a settlement by accommoda tion is acceptable A struggle to bring down a dictatorship is not one of these Nonviolent struggle can be much more powerful than indicated by the mechanisms of conversion or accommodation Mass noncooperation and defiance can so change social and political situations especially power relationships that the dictators39 ability to control the economic social and political processes of government and the society is in fact taken away The opponents39 military forces may become so unreliable that they no longer simply obey orders to repress resisters Although the opponents39 leaders remain in their positions and adhere to their original goals their ability to act effectively has been taken away from them That is called nonviolent coercion In some extreme situations the conditions producing nonviolent co ercion are carried still further The opponents39 leadership in fact loses all ability to act and their own structure of power collapses The resisters39 selfdirection noncooperation and defiance become so complete that the opponents now lack even a semblance of control over them The oppo nents39 bureaucracy refuses to obey its own leadership The opponents39 troops and police mutiny The opponents39 usual supporters or population repudiate their former leadership denying that they have any right to rule at all Hence their former assistance and obedience falls away The fourth mechanism of change disintegration of the opponents39 system is so com plete that they do not even have sufficient power to surrender The regime simply falls to pieces In planning liberation strategies these four mechanisms should be kept in mind They sometimes operate essentially by chance However the selection of one or more of these as the intended mechanism of change in a conflict will make it possible to formulate specific and mutually rein forcing strategies Which mechanism or mechanisms to select will de 32 From Dictatorship to Democracy pend on numerous factors including the absolute and relative power of the contending groups and the attitudes and objectives of the nonviolent struggle group Democratizing effects of political defiance In contrast to the centralizing effects of violent sanctions use of the tech nique of nonviolent struggle contributes to democratizing the political so ciety in several ways One part of the democratizing effect is negative That is in contrast to military means this technique does not provide a means of repression under command of a ruling elite which can be turned against the popula tion to establish or maintain a dictatorship Leaders of a political defiance movement can exert influence and apply pressures on their followers but they cannot imprison or execute them when they dissent or choose other leaders Another part of the democratizing effect is positive That is nonvio lent struggle provides the population with means of resistance that can be used to achieve and defend their liberties against existing or wouldbe dic tators Below are several of the positive democratizing effects nonviolent struggle may have 0 Experience in applying nonviolent struggle may result in the popu lation being more selfconfident in challenging the re gime39s threats and capacity for violent repression 0 Nonviolent struggle provides the means of noncooperation and defiance by which the population can resist undemocratic controls over them by any dictatorial group 0 Nonviolent struggle can be used to assert the practice of demo cratic freedoms such as free speech free press independent orga nizations and free assembly in face of repressive controls O Nonviolent struggle contributes strongly to the survival rebirth and strengthening of the independent groups and institutions of the society as previously discussed These are important for de mocracy because of their capacity to mobilize the power capacity of the population and to impose limits on the effective power of any wouldbe dictators Exercising Power 33 0 Nonviolent struggle provides means by which the population can wield power against repressive police and military action by a dic tatorial government 0 Nonviolent struggle provides methods by which the population and the independent institutions can in the interests of democracy restrict or sever the sources of power for the ruling elite thereby threatening its capacity to continue its domination Complexity of nonviolent struggle As we have seen from this discussion nonviolent struggle is a complex technique of social action involving a multitude of methods a range of mechanisms of change and specific behavioral requirements To be effec tive especially against a dictatorship political defiance requires careful planning and preparation Prospective participants will need to under stand what is required of them Resources will need to have been made available And strategists will need to have analyzed how nonviolent struggle can be most effectively applied We now turn our attention to this latter crucial element the need for strategic planning SIX THE NEED FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING Political defiance campaigns against dictatorships may begin in a variety of ways In the past these struggles have almost always been unplanned and essentially accidental Specific grievances that have triggered past ini tial actions have varied widely but often included new brutalities the ar rest or killing of a highly regarded person a new repressive policy or or der food shortages disrespect toward religious beliefs or an anniversary of an important related event Sometimes a particular act by the dictator ship has so enraged the populace that they have launched into action with out having any idea how the rising might end At other times a coura geous individual or a small group may have taken action which aroused support A specific grievance may be recognized by others as similar to wrongs they had experienced and they too may thus join the struggle Sometimes a specific call for resistance from a small group or individual may meet an unexpectedly large response While spontaneity has some positive qualities it has often had disad vantages Frequently the democratic resisters have not anticipated the brutalities of the dictatorship so that they suffered gravely and the resis tance has collapsed At times the lack of planning by democrats has left crucial decisions to chance with disastrous results Even when the op pressive 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 Realistic planning In the future unplanned popular action will undoubtedly play significant roles in risings against dictatorships However it is now possible to calcu late the most effective ways to bring down a dictatorship to assess when the political situation and popular mood are ripe and to choose how to initiate a campaign Very careful thought based on a realistic assessment of the situation and the capabilities of the populace is required in order to 35 36 From Dictatorship to Democracy select effective ways to achieve freedom under such circumstances If one wishes to accomplish something it is wise to plan how to do it The more important the goal or the graver the consequences of failure the more important planning becomes Strategic planning increases the likeli hood that all available resources will be mobilized and employed most effectively This is especially true for a democratic movement which has limited material resources and whose supporters will be in danger that is trying to bring down a powerful dictatorship In contrast the dictatorship usually will have access to vast material resources organizational strength and ability to perpetrate brutalities quotTo plan a strategyquot here means to calculate a course of action that will make it more likely to get from the present to the desired future situa tion In terms of this discussion it means from a dictatorship to a future democratic system A plan to achieve that objective will usually consist of a phased series of campaigns and other organized activities designed to strengthen the oppressed population and society and to weaken the dicta torship Note here that the objective is not simply to destroy the current dictatorship but to emplace a democratic system A grand strategy that limits its objective to merely destroying the incumbent dictatorship runs a great risk of producing another tyrant Hurdles to planning Some exponents of freedom in various parts of the world do not bring their full capacities to bear on the problem of how to achieve liberation Only rarely do these advocates fully recognize the extreme importance of careful strategic planning before they act Consequently this is almost never done Why is it that the people who have the vision of bringing political freedom to their people should so rarely prepare a comprehensive strate gic plan to achieve that goal Unfortunately often most people in demo cratic opposition groups do not understand the need for strategic planning or are not accustomed or trained to think strategically This is a difficult task Constantly harassed by the dictatorship and overwhelmed by im mediate responsibilities resistance leaders often do not have the safety or time to develop strategic thinking skills Instead it is a common pattern simply to react to the initiatives of the dictatorship The opposition is then always on the defensive seeking to maintain limited liberties or bastions of freedom at best slowing the ad The Need for Strategic Planning 37 vance of the dictatorial controls or causing certain problems for the regime39s new policies Some individuals and groups of course may not see the need for broad longterm planning of a liberation movement Instead they may naively think that if they simply espouse their goal strongly firmly and long enough it will somehow come to pass Others assume that if they simply live and witness according to their principles and ideals in face of difficulties they are doing all they can to implement them The espousal of humane goals and loyalty to ideals are admirable but are grossly inad equate to end a dictatorship and to achieve freedom Other opponents of dictatorship may na39ively think that if only they use enough violence freedom will come But as noted earlier violence is no guarantor of success Instead of liberation it can lead to defeat mas sive tragedy or both In most situations the dictatorship is best equipped for violent struggle and the military realities rarely if ever favor the demo crats There are also activists who base their actions on what they quotfeelquot they should do These approaches are however not only egocentric but they offer no guidance for developing a grand strategy of liberation Action based on a quotbright ideaquot that someone has had is also limited What is needed instead is action based on careful calculation of the quotnext stepsquot required to topple the dictatorship Without strategic analysis re sistance leaders will often not know what that quotnext stepquot should be for they have not thought carefully about the successive specific steps required to achieve victory Creativity and bright ideas are very important but they need to be utilized in order to advance the strategic situation of the demo cratic forces Acutely aware of the multitude of actions that could be taken against the dictatorship and unable to determine where to begin some people coun sel quotDo everything simultaneouslyquot That might be helpful but of course is impossible especially for relatively weak movements Furthermore such an approach provides no guidance on where to begin on where to concen trate efforts and how to use often limited resources Other persons and groups may see the need for some planning but are only able to think about it on a shortterm or tactical basis They may not see that longerterm planning is necessary or possible They may at times be unable to think and analyze in strategic terms allowing them selves to be repeatedly distracted by relatively small issues often respond ing to the opponents39 actions rather than seizing the initiative for the demo 38 From Dictatorship to Democracy cratic resistance Devoting so much energy to shortterm activities these leaders often fail to explore several alternative courses of action which could guide the overall efforts so that the goal is constantly approached It is also just possible that some democratic movements do not plan a comprehensive strategy to bring down the dictatorship concentrating in stead only on immediate issues for another reason Inside themselves they do not really believe that the dictatorship can be ended by their own efforts Therefore planning how to do so is considered to be a romantic waste of time or an exercise in futility People struggling for freedom against established brutal dictatorships are often confronted by such immense military and police power that it appears the dictators can accomplish whatever they will Lacking real hope these people will nevertheless defy the dictatorship for reasons of integrity and perhaps history Though they will never admit it perhaps never consciously recognize it their ac tions appear to themselves as hopeless Hence for them longterm com prehensive strategic planning has no merit The result of such failures to plan strategically is often drastic one39s strength is dissipated one39s actions are ineffective energy is wasted on minor issues advantages are not utilized and sacrifices are for naught If democrats do not plan strategically they are likely to fail to achieve their objectives A poorly planned odd mixture of activities will not move a major resistance effort forward Instead it will more likely allow the dicta torship to increase its controls and power Unfortunately because comprehensive strategic plans for liberation are rarely if ever developed dictatorships appear much more durable than they in fact are They survive for years or decades longer than need be the case Four important terms in strategic planning In order to help us to think strategically clarity about the meanings of four basic terms is important Grand strategy is the conception that serves to coordinate and direct the use of all appropriate and available resources economic human moral political organizational etc of a group seeking to attain its objectives in a con ict Grand strategy by focusing primary attention on the group39s objec tives and resources in the conflict determines the most appropriate tech nique of action such as conventional military warfare or nonviolent The Need for Strategic Planning 39 struggle to be employed in the con ict In planning a grand strategy re sistance leaders must evaluate and plan which pressures and influences are to be brought to bear upon the opponents Further grand strategy will include decisions on the appropriate conditions and timing under which initial and subsequent resistance campaigns will be launched Grand strategy sets the basic framework for the selection of more limited strategies for waging the struggle Grand strategy also determines the allocation of general tasks to particular groups and the distribution of resources to them for use in the struggle Strategy is the conception of how best to achieve particular objectives in a con ict operating within the scope of the chosen grand strategy Strat egy is concerned with whether when and how to fight as well as how to achieve maximum effectiveness in struggling for certain ends A strategy has been compared to the artist39s concept while a strategic plan is the architect39s blueprint12 Strategy may also include efforts to develop a strategic situation that is so advantageous that the opponents are able to foresee that open con ict is likely to bring their certain defeat and therefore capitulate without an open struggle Or if not the improved strategic situation will make suc cess of the challengers certain in struggle Strategy also involves how to act to make good use of successes when gained Applied to the course of the struggle itself the strategic plan is the basic idea of how a campaign shall develop and how its separate compo nents shall be fitted together to contribute most advantageously to achieve its objectives It involves the skillful deployment of particular action groups in smaller operations Planning for a wise strategy must take into consid eration the requirements for success in the operation of the chosen tech nique of struggle Different techniques will have different requirements Of course just fulfilling quotrequirementsquot is not sufficient to ensure success Additional factors may also be needed In devising strategies the democrats must clearly define their objec tives and determine how to measure the effectiveness of efforts to achieve them This definition and analysis permits the strategist to identify the precise requirements for securing each selected objective This need for clarity and definition applies equally to tactical planning Tactics and methods of action are used to implement the strategy Tactics relate to the skillful use of one39s forces to the best advantage in a 12 Robert Helvey personal communication 15 August 1993 40 From Dictatorship to Democracy limited situation A tactic is a limited action employed to achieve a re stricted objective The choice of tactics is governed by the conception of how best in a restricted phase of a conflict to utilize the available means of fighting to implement the strategy To be most effective tactics and meth ods must be chosen and applied with constant attention to the achieve ment of strategic objectives Tactical gains that do not reinforce the attain ment of strategic objectives may in the end turn out to be wasted energy A tactic is thus concerned with a limited course of action that fits within the broad strategy just as a strategy fits within the grand strategy Tactics are always concerned with fighting whereas strategy includes wider considerations A particular tactic can only be understood as part of the overall strategy of a battle or a campaign Tactics are applied for shorter periods of time than strategies or in smaller areas geographical institu tional etc or by a more limited number of people or for more limited objectives In nonviolent action the distinction between a tactical objective and a strategic objective may be partly indicated by whether the chosen objective of the action is minor or major Offensive tactical engagements are selected to support attainment of strategic objectives Tactical engagements are the tools of the strategist in creating conditions favorable for delivering decisive attacks against an opponent It is most important therefore that those given responsibility for planning and executing tactical operations be skilled in assessing the situation and selecting the most appropriate methods for it Those ex pected to participate must be trained in the use of the chosen technique and the specific methods Method refers to the specific weapons or means of action Within the technique of nonviolent struggle these include the dozens of particular forms of action such as the many kinds of strikes boycotts political non cooperation and the like cited in Chapter Five See also Appendix The development of a responsible and effective strategic plan for a nonviolent struggle depends upon the careful formulation and selection of the grand strategy strategies tactics and methods The main lesson of this discussion is that a calculated use of one39s intellect is required in careful strategic planning for liberation from a dicta torship Failure to plan intelligently can contribute to disasters while the effective use of one39s intellectual capacities can chart a strategic course that will judiciously utilize one39s available resources to move the society to ward the goal of liberty and democracy SEVEN PLANNING STRATEGY In order to increase the chances for success resistance leaders will need to formulate a comprehensive plan of action capable of strengthening the suffering people weakening and then destroying the dictatorship and building a durable democracy To achieve such a plan of action a careful assessment of the situation and of the options for effective action is needed Out of such a careful analysis both a grand strategy and the specific cam paign strategies for achieving freedom can be developed Though related the development of grand strategy and campaign strategies are two sepa rate processes Only after the grand strategy has been developed can the specific campaign strategies be fully developed Campaign strategies will need to be designed to achieve and reinforce the grand strategic objectives The development of resistance strategy requires attention to many questions and tasks Here we shall identify some of the important factors that need to be considered both at the grand strategic level and the level of campaign strategy All strategic planning however requires that the resis tance planners have a profound understanding of the entire conflict situa tion including attention to physical historical governmental military cultural social political psychological economic and international fac tors Strategies can only be developed in the context of the particular struggle and its background Of primary importance democratic leaders and strategic planners will want to assess the objectives and importance of the cause Are the objectives worth a major struggle and why It is critical to determine the real objective of the struggle We have argued here that overthrow of the dictatorship or removal of the present dictators is not enough The objec tive in these conflicts needs to be the establishment of a free society with a democratic system of government Clarity on this point will influence the development of a grand strategy and of the ensuing specific strategies Particularly strategists will need to answer many fundamental ques tions such as these 41 42 From Dictatorship to Democracy 0 What are the main obstacles to achieving freedom 0 What factors will facilitate achieving freedom 0 What are the main strengths of the dictatorship 0 What are the various weaknesses of the dictatorship O To what degree are the sources of power for the dictatorship vul nerable 0 What are the strengths of the democratic forces and the general population 0 What are the weaknesses of the democratic forces and how can they be corrected 0 What is the status of third parties not immediately involved in the conflict who already assist or might assist either the dictatorship or the democratic movement and if so in what ways Choice of means At the grand strategic level planners will need to choose the main means of struggle to be employed in the coming conflict The merits and limita tions of several alternative techniques of struggle will need to be evalu ated such as conventional military warfare guerrilla warfare political defiance and others In making this choice the strategists will need to consider such ques tions as the following Is the chosen type of struggle within the capacities of the democrats Does the chosen technique utilize strengths of the domi nated population Does this technique target the weaknesses of the dicta torship or does it strike at its strongest points Do the means help the democrats become more selfreliant or do they require dependency on third parties or external suppliers What is the record of the use of the chosen means in bringing down dictatorships Do they increase or limit the casu alties and destruction that may be incurred in the coming conflict As suming success in ending the dictatorship what effect would the selected means have on the type of government that would arise from the struggle Planning Strategy 43 The types of action determined to be counterproductive will need to be excluded in the developed grand strategy In previous chapters we have argued that political defiance offers significant comparative advantages to other techniques of struggle Strat egists will need to examine their particular conflict situation and deter mine whether political defiance provides affirmative answers to the above questions Planning for democracy It should be remembered that against a dictatorship the objective of the grand strategy is not simply to bring down the dictators but to install a democratic system and make the rise of a new dictatorship impossible To accomplish these objectives the chosen means of struggle will need to con tribute to a change in the distribution of effective power in the society Under the dictatorship the population and civil institutions of the society have been too weak and the government too strong Without a change in this imbalance a new set of rulers can if they wish be just as dictatorial as the old ones A quotpalace revolutionquot or a coup d39 tat therefore is not welcome Political defiance contributes to a more equitable distribution of ef fective power through the mobilization of the society against the dictator ship as was discussed in Chapter Five This process occurs in several ways The development of a nonviolent struggle capacity means that the dictatorship39s capacity for violent repression no longer as easily produces intimidation and submission among the population The population will have at its disposal powerful means to counter and at times block the exer tion of the dictators39 power Further the mobilization of popular power through political defiance will strengthen the independent institutions of the society The experience of once exercising effective power is not quickly forgot The knowledge and skill gained in struggle will make the popula tion less likely to be easily dominated by wouldbe dictators This shift in power relationships would ultimately make establishment of a durable democratic society much more likely External assistance As part of the preparation of a grand strategy it is necessary to assess what will be the relative roles of internal resistance and external pressures for disintegrating the dictatorship In this analysis we have argued that the 44 From Dictatorship to Democracy main force of the struggle must be borne from inside the country itself To the degree that international assistance comes at all it will be stimulated by the internal struggle As a modest supplement efforts can be made to mobilize world pub lic opinion against the dictatorship on humanitarian moral and religious grounds Efforts can be taken to obtain diplomatic political and economic sanctions by governments and international organizations against the dic tatorship These may take the forms of economic and military weapons embargoes reduction in levels of diplomatic recognition or the breaking of diplomatic ties banning of economic assistance and prohibition of invest ments in the dictatorial country expulsion of the dictatorial government from various international organizations and from United Nations bodies Further international assistance such as the provision of financial and com munications support can also be provided directly to the democratic forces Formulating a grand strategy Following an assessment of the situation the choice of means and a deter mination of the role of external assistance planners of the grand strategy will need to sketch in broad strokes how the conflict might best be con ducted This broad plan would stretch from the present to the future lib eration and the institution of a democratic system In formulating a grand strategy these planners will need to ask themselves a variety of questions The following questions pose in a more specific way than earlier the types of considerations required in devising a grand strategy for a political defi ance struggle How might the longterm struggle best begin How can the oppressed population muster sufficient selfconfidence and strength to act to chal lenge the dictatorship even initially in a limited way How could the population39s capacity to apply noncooperation and defiance be increased with time and experience What might be the objectives of a series of lim ited campaigns to regain democratic control over the society and limit the dictatorship Are there independent institutions that have survived the dictator ship which might be used in the struggle to establish freedom What insti tutions of the society can be regained from the dictators39 control or what institutions need to be newly created by the democrats to meet their needs and establish spheres of democracy even while the dictatorship continues How can organizational strength in the resistance be developed How Planning Strategy 45 can participants be trained What resources finances equipment etc will be required throughout the struggle What types of symbolism can be most effective in mobilizing the population By what kinds of action and in what stages could the sources of power of the dictators be incrementally weakened and severed How can the resisting population simultaneously persist in its defiance and also main tain the necessary nonviolent discipline How can the society continue to meet its basic needs during the course of the struggle How can social order be maintained in the midst of the con ict As victory approaches how can the democratic resistance continue to build the institutional base of the postdictatorship society to make the transition as smooth as pos sible It must be remembered that no single blueprint exists or can be cre ated to plan strategy for every liberation movement against dictatorships Each struggle to bring down a dictatorship and establish a democratic sys tem will be somewhat different No two situations will be exactly alike each dictatorship will have some individual characteristics and the capaci ties of the freedomseeking population will vary Planners of grand strat egy for a political defiance struggle will require a profound understanding not only of their specific conflict situation but of their chosen means of struggle as well13 When the grand strategy of the struggle has been carefully planned there are sound reasons for making it widely known The large numbers of people required to participate may be more willing and able to act if they understand the general conception as well as specific instructions This knowledge could potentially have a very positive effect on their mo rale their willingness to participate and to act appropriately The general outlines of the grand strategy would become known to the dictators in any case and knowledge of its features potentially could lead them to be less brutal in their repression knowing that it could rebound politically against themselves Awareness of the special characteristics of the grand strategy could potentially also contribute to dissension and defections from the dic tators39 own camp Once a grand strategic plan for bringing down the dictatorship and establishing a democratic system has been adopted it is important for the 13 Recommended full length studies are Gene Sharp The Politics of Nonviolent Ac tion Boston MA Porter Sargent 1973 and Peter Ackerman and Christopher Kruegler Strategic Nonviolent Con ict Westport Connecticut Praeger 1994 Also see Gene Sharp Waging Nonviolent Straggle Twentieth Century Practice and Twenty Pirst Century Potential Forthcoming 46 From Dictatorship to Democracy prodemocracy groups to persist in applying it Only in very rare circum stances should the struggle depart from the initial grand strategy When there is abundant evidence that the chosen grand strategy was miscon ceived or that the circumstances of the struggle have fundamentally changed planners may need to alter the grand strategy Even then this should be done only after a basic reassessment has been made and a new more adequate grand strategic plan has been developed and adopted Planning campaign strategies However wise and promising the developed grand strategy to end the dic tatorship and to institute democracy may be a grand strategy does not implement itself Particular strategies will need to be developed to guide the major campaigns aimed at undermining the dictators39 power These strategies in turn will incorporate and guide a range of tactical engage ments that will aim to strike decisive blows against the dictators39 regime The tactics and the specific methods of action must be chosen carefully so that they contribute to achieving the goals of each particular strategy The discussion here focuses exclusively on the level of strategy Strategists planning the major campaigns will like those who planned the grand strategy require a thorough understanding of the nature and modes of operation of their chosen technique of struggle Just as military officers must understand force structures tactics logistics munitions the effects of geography and the like in order to plot military strategy political defiance planners must understand the nature and strategic principles of nonviolent struggle Even then however knowledge of nonviolent struggle attention to recommendations in this essay and answers to the questions posed here will not themselves produce strategies The formulation of strat egies for the struggle still requires an informed creativity In planning the strategies for the specific selective resistance cam paigns and for the longer term development of the liberation struggle the political defiance strategists will need to consider various issues and prob lems The following are among these 0 Determination of the specific objectives of the campaign and their contributions to implementing the grand strategy O Consideration of the specific methods or political weapons that can best be used to implement the chosen strategies Within each Planning Strategy 47 overall plan for a particular strategic campaign it will be necessary to determine what smaller tactical plans and which specific meth ods of action should be used to impose pressures and restrictions against the dictatorship39s sources of power It should be remem bered that the achievement of major objectives will come as a re sult of carefully chosen and implemented specific smaller steps 0 Determination whether or how economic issues should be related to the overall essentially political struggle If economic issues are to be prominent in the struggle care will be needed that the eco nomic grievances can actually be remedied after the dictatorship is ended Otherwise disillusionment and disaffection may set in if quick solutions are not provided during the transition period to a democratic society Such disillusionment could facilitate the rise of dictatorial forces promising an end to economic woes 0 Determination in advance of what kind of leadership structure and communications system will work best for initiating the resistance struggle What means of decisionmaking and communication will be possible during the course of the struggle to give continuing guidance to the resisters and the general population 0 Communication of the resistance news to the general population to the dictators39 forces and the international press Claims and reporting should always be strictly factual Exaggerations and unfounded claims will undermine the credibility of the resistance 0 Plans for selfreliant constructive social educational economic and political activities to meet the needs of one39s own people during the coming con ict Such projects can be conducted by persons not directly involved in the resistance activities 0 Determination of what kind of external assistance is desirable in support of the specific campaign or the general liberation struggle How can external help be best mobilized and used without mak ing the internal struggle dependent on uncertain external factors Attention will need to be given to which external groups are most likely and most appropriate to assist such as nongovernmental organizations social movements religious or political groups la bor unions etc governments and or the United Nations and its various bodies 48 From Dictatorship to Democracy Furthermore the resistance planners will need to take measures to preserve order and to meet social needs by one39s own forces during mass resistance against dictatorial controls This will not only create alternative independent democratic structures and meet genuine needs but also will reduce credibility for any claims that ruthless repression is required to halt disorder and lawlessness Spreading the idea of noncooperation For successful political defiance against a dictatorship it is essential that the population grasp the idea of noncooperation As illustrated by the quotMonkey Masterquot story see Chapter Three the basic idea is simple if enough of the subordinates refuse to continue their cooperation long enough despite repression the oppressive system will be weakened and finally collapse People living under the dictatorship may be already familiar with this concept from a variety of sources Even so the democratic forces should deliberately spread and popularize the idea of noncooperation The quotMon key Masterquot story or a similar one could be disseminated throughout the society Such a story could be easily understood Once the general concept of noncooperation is grasped people will be able to understand the rel evance of future calls to practice noncooperation with the dictatorship They will also be able on their own to improvise a myriad of specific forms of noncooperation in new situations Despite the difficulties and dangers in attempts to communicate ideas news and resistance instructions while living under dictatorships demo crats have frequently proved this to be possible Even under Nazi and Communist rule it was possible for resisters to communicate not only with other individuals but even with large public audiences through the pro duction of illegal newspapers lea ets books and in later years with audio and video cassettes With the advantage of prior strategic planning general guidelines for resistance can be prepared and disseminated These can indicate the issues and circumstances under which the population should protest and withhold cooperation and how this might be done Then even if commu nications from the democratic leadership are severed and specific instruc tions have not been issued or received the population will know how to act on certain important issues Such guidelines would also provide a test to identify counterfeit quotresistance instructionsquot issued by the political po lice designed to provoke discrediting action Planning Strategy 49 Repression and countermeasures Strategic planners will need to assess the likely responses and repression especially the threshold of violence of the dictatorship to the actions of the democratic resistance It will be necessary to determine how to withstand counteract or avoid this possible increased repression without submission Tactically for specific occasions appropriate warnings to the population and the resisters about expected repression would be in order so that they will know the risks of participation If repression may be serious prepara tions for medical assistance for wounded resisters should be made Anticipating repression the strategists will do well to consider in advance the use of tactics and methods that will contribute to achieving the specific goal of a campaign or liberation but that will make brutal repression less likely or less possible For example street demonstrations and parades against extreme dictatorships may be dramatic but they may also risk thousands of dead demonstrators The high cost to the demon strators may not however actually apply more pressure on the dictator ship than would occur through everyone staying home a strike or mas sive acts of noncooperation from the civil servants If it has been proposed that provocative resistance action risking high casualties will be required for a strategic purpose then one should very carefully consider the proposal s costs and possible gains Will the popula tion and the resisters be likely to behave in a disciplined and nonviolent manner during the course of the struggle Can they resist provocations to violence Planners must consider what measures may be taken to keep nonviolent discipline and maintain the resistance despite brutalities Will such measures as pledges policy statements discipline lea ets marshals for demonstrations and boycotts of proviolence persons and groups be possible and effective Leaders should always be alert for the presence of agents provocateurs whose mission will be to incite the demonstrators to violence Adhering to the strategic plan Once a sound strategic plan is in place the democratic forces should not be distracted by minor moves of the dictators that may tempt them to depart from the grand strategy and the strategy for a particular campaign causing them to focus major activities on unimportant issues Nor should the emotions of the moment perhaps in response to new brutalities by 50 From Dictatorship to Democracy the dictatorship be allowed to divert the democratic resistance from its grand strategy or the campaign strategy The brutalities may have been perpetrated precisely in order to provoke the democratic forces to aban don their welllaid plan and even to commit violent acts in order that the dictators could more easily defeat them As long as the basic analysis is judged to be sound the task of the prodemocracy forces is to press forward stage by stage Of course changes in tactics and intermediate objectives will occur and good leaders will al ways be ready to exploit opportunities These adjustments should not be confused with objectives of the grand strategy or the objectives of the spe cific campaign Careful implementation of the chosen grand strategy and of strategies for particular campaigns will greatly contribute to success EIGHT APPLYING POLITICAL DEFIANCE In situations in which the population feels powerless and frightened it is important that initial tasks for the public be lowrisk confidencebuilding actions These types of actions such as wearing one39s clothes in an un usual way may publicly register a dissenting opinion and provide an op portunity 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 rec ognized 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 Most of the strategies of campaigns in the longterm struggle should not aim for the immediate complete downfall of the dictatorship but in stead for gaining limited objectives Nor does every campaign require the participation of all sections of the population In contemplating a series of specific campaigns to implement the grand strategy the defiance strategists need to consider how the campaigns at the beginning the middle and near the conclusion of the longterm struggle will differ from each other Selective resistance In the initial stages of the struggle separate campaigns with different spe cific objectives can be very useful Such selective campaigns may follow one after the other Occasionally two or three might overlap in time In planning a strategy for quotselective resistancequot it is necessary to iden tify specific limited issues or grievances that symbolize the general op pression of the dictatorship Such issues may be the appropriate targets for conducting campaigns to gain intermediary strategic objectives within the overall grand strategy These intermediary strategic objectives need to be attainable by the current or projected power capacity of the democratic forces This helps to ensure a series of victories which are good for morale and also contribute 51 52 From Dictatorship to Democracy to advantageous incremental shifts in power relations for the longterm struggle Selective resistance strategies should concentrate primarily on spe cific social economic or political issues These may be chosen in order to keep some part of the social and political system out of the dictators39 con trol to regain control of some part currently controlled by the dictators or to deny the dictators a particular objective If possible the campaign of selective resistance should also strike at one weakness or more of the dicta torship as already discussed Thereby democrats can make the greatest possible impact with their available power capacity Very early the strategists need to plan at least the strategy for the first campaign What are to be its limited objectives How will it help fulfill the chosen grand strategy If possible it is wise to formulate at least the gen eral outlines of strategies for a second and possibly a third campaign All such strategies will need to implement the chosen grand strategy and op erate within its general guidelines Symbolic challenge At the beginning of a new campaign to undermine the dictatorship the first more specifically political actions may be limited in scope They should be designed in part to test and in uence the mood of the population and to prepare them for continuing struggle through noncooperation and po litical defiance The initial action is likely to take the form of symbolic protest or may be a symbolic act of limited or temporary noncooperation If the number of persons willing to act is small then the initial act might for example involve placing owers at a place of symbolic importance On the other hand if the number of persons willing to act is very large then a five minute halt to all activities or several minutes of silence might be used In other situations a few individuals might undertake a hunger strike a vigil at a place of symbolic importance a brief student boycott of classes or a tem porary sitin at an important office Under a dictatorship these more ag gressive actions would most likely be met with harsh repression Certain symbolic acts such as a physical occupation in front of the dictator s palace or political police headquarters may involve high risk and are therefore not advisable for initiating a campaign Initial symbolic protest actions have at times aroused major national and international attention as the mass street demonstrations in Burma Applying Political Defiance 53 in 1988 or the student occupation and hunger strike in Tiananman Square in Beijing in 1989 The high casualties of demonstrators in both of these cases points to the great care strategists must exercise in planning cam paigns Although having a tremendous moral and psychological impact such actions by themselves are unlikely to bring down a dictatorship for they remain largely symbolic and do not alter the power position of the dictatorship It usually is not possible to sever the availability of the sources of power to the dictators completely and rapidly at the beginning of a struggle That would require virtually the whole population and almost all the insti tutions of the society which had previously been largely submissive to reject absolutely the regime and suddenly defy it by massive and strong noncooperation That has not yet occurred and would be most difficult to achieve In most cases therefore a quick campaign of full noncooperation and defiance is an unrealistic strategy for an early campaign against the dictatorship Spreading responsibility During a selective resistance campaign the brunt of the struggle is for a time usually borne by one section or more of the population In a later campaign with a different objective the burden of the struggle would be shifted to other population groups For example students might conduct strikes on an educational issue religious leaders and believers might con centrate on a freedom of religion issue rail workers might meticulously obey safety regulations so as to slow down the rail transport system jour nalists might challenge censorship by publishing papers with blank spaces in which prohibited articles would have appeared or police might repeat edly fail to locate and arrest wanted members of the democratic opposi tion Phasing resistance campaigns by issue and population group will allow certain segments of the population to rest while resistance contin ues Selective resistance is especially important to defend the existence and autonomy of independent social economic and political groups and insti tutions outside the control of the dictatorship which were briefly discussed earlier These centers of power provide the institutional bases from which the population can exert pressure or can resist dictatorial controls In the struggle they are likely to be among the first targets of the dictatorship 54 From Dictatorship to Democracy Aiming at the dictators39 power As the longterm struggle develops beyond the initial strategies into more ambitious and advanced phases the strategists will need to calculate how the dictators39 sources of power can be further restricted The aim would be to use popular noncooperation to create a new more advantageous strate gic situation for the democratic forces As the democratic resistance forces gained strength strategists would plot more ambitious noncooperation and defiance to sever the dictator ships39 sources of power with the goal of producing increasing political paralysis and in the end the disintegration of the dictatorship itself It will be necessary to plan carefully how the democratic forces can weaken the support that people and groups have previously offered to the dictatorship Will their support be weakened by revelations of the brutali ties perpetrated by the regime by exposure of the disastrous economic consequences of the dictators39 policies or by a new understanding that the dictatorship can be ended The dictators39 supporters should at least be induced to become quotneutralquot in their activities quotfence sittersquot or prefer ably to become active supporters of the movement for democracy During the planning and implementation of political defiance and noncooperation it is highly important to pay close attention to all of the dictators39 main supporters and aides including their inner clique political party police and bureaucrats but especially their army The degree of loyalty of the military forces both soldiers and officers to the dictatorship needs to be carefully assessed and a determination should be made as to whether the military is open to influence by the democratic forces Might many of the ordinary soldiers be unhappy and frightened conscripts Might many of the soldiers and officers be alienated from the regime for personal family or political reasons What other factors might make soldiers and officers vulnerable to democratic subversion Early in the liberation struggle a special strategy should be devel oped to communicate with the dictators39 troops and functionaries By words symbols and actions the democratic forces can inform the troops that the liberation struggle will be vigorous determined and persistent Troops should learn that the struggle will be of a special character designed to undermine the dictatorship but not to threaten their lives Such efforts would aim ultimately to undermine the morale of the dictators39 troops and finally to subvert their loyalty and obedience in favor of the democratic move ment Similar strategies could be aimed at the police and civil servants Applying Political Defiance 55 The attempt to garner sympathy from and eventually induce dis obedience among the dictators39 forces ought not to be interpreted how ever to mean encouragement of the military forces to make a quick end to the current dictatorship through military action Such a scenario is not likely to install a working democracy for as we have discussed a coup d39 tat does little to redress the imbalance of power relations between the populace and the rulers Therefore it will be necessary to plan how sym pathetic military officers can be brought to understand that neither a mili tary coup nor a civil war against the dictatorship is required or desirable Sympathetic officers can play vital roles in the democratic struggle such as spreading disaffection and noncooperation in the military forces encouraging deliberate inefficiencies and the quiet ignoring of orders and supporting the refusal to carry out repression Military personnel may also offer various modes of positive nonviolent assistance to the democ racy movement including safe passage information food medical sup plies and the like The army is one of the most important sources of the power of dicta tors because it can use its disciplined military units and weaponry directly to attack and to punish the disobedient population De ance strategists should remember that it will be exceptionally di icult or impossible to disintegrate the dictatorship the police bureaucrats and military forces remain fully supportive of the dictatorship and obedient in carrying out its commands Strategies aimed at subverting the loyalty of the dictators39 forces should therefore be given a high priority by democratic strategists The democratic forces should remember that disaffection and dis obedience among the military forces and police can be highly dangerous for the members of those groups Soldiers and police could expect severe penalties for any act of disobedience and execution for acts of mutiny The democratic forces should not ask the soldiers and officers that they imme diately mutiny Instead where communication is possible it should be made clear that there are a multitude of relatively safe forms of quotdisguised disobediencequot that they can take initially For example police and troops can carry out instructions for repression inefficiently fail to locate wanted persons warn resisters of impending repression arrests or deportations and fail to report important information to their superior officers Disaf fected officers in turn can neglect to relay commands for repression down the chain of command Soldiers may shoot over the heads of demonstra tors Similarly for their part civil servants can lose files and instructions work inefficiently and become quotillquot so that they need to stay home until they quotrecoverquot 56 From Dictatorship to Democracy Shifts in strategy The political defiance strategists will need constantly to assess how the grand strategy and the specific campaign strategies are being implemented It is possible for example that the struggle may not go as well as expected In that case it will be necessary to calculate what shifts in strategy might be required What can be done to increase the movement39s strength and re gain the initiative In such a situation it will be necessary to identify the problem make a strategic reassessment possibly shift struggle responsi bilities to a different population group mobilize additional sources of power and develop alternative courses of action When that is done the new plan should be implemented immediately Conversely if the struggle has gone much better than expected and the dictatorship is collapsing earlier than previously calculated how can the democratic forces capitalize on unexpected gains and move toward paralyzing the dictatorship We will explore this question in the following chapter NINE DISINTEGRATING THE DICTATORSHIP The cumulative effect of wellconducted and successful political defiance campaigns is to strengthen the resistance and to establish and expand ar eas of the society where the dictatorship faces limits on its effective control These campaigns also provide important experience in how to refuse co operation and how to offer political defiance That experience will be of great assistance when the time comes for noncooperation and defiance on a mass scale As was discussed in Chapter Three obedience cooperation and sub mission are essential if dictators are to be powerful Without access to the sources of political power the dictators39 power weakens and finally dis solves Withdrawal of support is therefore the major required action to disintegrate a dictatorship It may be useful to review how the sources of power can be affected by political defiance Acts of symbolic repudiation and defiance are among the available means to undermine the regime39s moral and political authority its legiti macy The greater the regime39s authority the greater and more reliable is the obedience and cooperation which it will receive Moral disapproval needs to be expressed in action in order to seriously to threaten the exist ence of the dictatorship Withdrawal of cooperation and obedience are needed to sever the availability of other sources of the regime39s power A second important such source of power is human resources the num ber and importance of the persons and groups that obey cooperate with or assist the rulers If noncooperation is practiced by large parts of the population the regime will be in serious trouble For example if the civil servants no longer function with their normal efficiency or even stay at home the administrative apparatus will be gravely affected Similarly if the noncooperating persons and groups include those that have previously supplied specialized skills and knowledge then the dic tators will see their capacity to implement their will gravely weakened Even their ability to make wellinformed decisions and develop effective policies may be seriously reduced 57 58 From Dictatorship to Democracy If psychological and ideological influences called intangiblefactors that usually induce people to obey and assist the rulers are weakened or reversed the population will be more inclined to disobey and to noncooperate The dictators39 access to material resources also directly affects their power With control of financial resources the economic system property natural resources transportation and means of communication in the hands of actual or potential opponents of the regime another major source of their power is vulnerable or removed Strikes boycotts and increasing autonomy in the economy communications and transportation will weaken the regime As previously discussed the dictators39 ability to threaten or apply sanctions punishments against the restive disobedient and noncoopera tive sections of the population is a central source of the power of dicta tors This source of power can be weakened in two ways First if the population is prepared as in a war to risk serious consequences as the price of defiance the effectiveness of the available sanctions will be drasti cally reduced that is the dictators39 repression will not secure the desired submission Second if the police and the military forces themselves be come disaffected they may on an individual or mass basis evade or out right defy orders to arrest beat or shoot resisters If the dictators can no longer rely on the police and military forces to carry out repression the dictatorship is gravely threatened In summary success against an entrenched dictatorship requires that noncooperation and defiance reduce and remove the sources of the regime39s power Without constant replenishment of the necessary sources of power the dictatorship will weaken and finally disintegrate Competent strategic planning of political defiance against dictatorships therefore needs to tar get the dictators most important sources of power Escalating freedom Combined with political defiance during the phase of selective resistance the growth of autonomous social economic cultural and political institu tions progressively expands the quotdemocratic spacequot of the society and shrinks the control of the dictatorship As the civil institutions of the soci ety become stronger visavis the dictatorship then whatever the dicta tors may wish the population is incrementally building an independent society outside of their control If and when the dictatorship intervenes to Disintegrating the Dictatorship 59 halt this quotescalating freedomquot nonviolent struggle can be applied in de fense of this newly won space and the dictatorship will be faced with yet another quotfrontquot in the struggle In time this combination of resistance and institution building can lead to de facto freedom making the collapse of the dictatorship and the formal installation of a democratic system undeniable because the power relationships within the society have been fundamentally altered Poland in the 1970s and 1980s provides a clear example of the pro gressive reclaiming of a society39s functions and institutions by the resis tance The Catholic church had been persecuted but never brought under full Communist control In 1976 certain intellectuals and workers formed small groups such as KOR Workers Defense Committee to advance their political ideas The organization of the Solidarity trade union with its power to wield effective strikes forced its own legalization in 1980 Peasants stu dents and many other groups also formed their own independent organi zations When the Communists realized that these groups had changed the power realities Solidarity was again banned and the Communists re sorted to military rule Even under martial law with many imprisonments and harsh perse cution the new independent institutions of the society continued to func tion For example dozens of illegal newspapers and magazines continued to be published Illegal publishing houses annually issued hundreds of books while wellknown writers boycotted Communist publications and government publishing houses Similar activities continued in other parts of the society Under the Jaruselski military regime the militaryCommunist gov ernment was at one point described as bouncing around on the top of the society The officials still occupied government offices and buildings The regime could still strike down into the society with punishments arrests imprisonment seizure of printing presses and the like The dictatorship however could not control the society From that point it was only a mat ter of time until the society was able to bring down the regime completely Even while a dictatorship still occupies government positions it is sometimes possible to organize a democratic quotparallel governmentquot This would increasingly operate as a rival government to which loyalty com pliance and cooperation are given by the population and the society39s in stitutions The dictatorship would then consequently on an increasing basis be deprived of these characteristics of government Eventually the demo cratic parallel government may fully replace the dictatorial regime as part 60 From Dictatorship to Democracy of the transition to a democratic system In due course then a constitution would be adopted and elections held as part of the transition Disintegrating the dictatorship While the institutional transformation of the society is taking place the defiance and noncooperation movement may escalate Strategists of the democratic forces should contemplate early that there will come a time when the democratic forces can move beyond selective resistance and launch mass defiance In most cases time will be required for creating building or expanding resistance capacities and the development of mass defiance may occur only after several years During this interim period campaigns of selective resistance should be launched with increasingly important political objectives Larger parts of the population at all levels of the society should become involved Given determined and disciplined political defiance during this escalation of activities the internal weaknesses of the dictatorship are likely to become increasingly obvious The combination of strong political defiance and the building of in dependent institutions is likely in time to produce widespread international attention favorable to the democratic forces It may also produce interna tional diplomatic condemnations boycotts and embargoes in support of the democratic forces as it did for Poland Strategists should be aware that in some situations the collapse of the dictatorship may occur extremely rapidly as in East Germany in 1989 This can happen when the sources of power are massively severed as a result of the whole population39s revulsion against the dictatorship This pattern is not usual however and it is better to plan for a longterm struggle but to be prepared for a short one During the course of the liberation struggle victories even on lim ited issues should be celebrated Those who have earned the victory should be recognized Celebrations with vigilance should also help to keep up the morale needed for future stages of the struggle Handling success responsibly Planners of the grand strategy should calculate in advance the possible and preferred ways in which a successful struggle might best be concluded in order to prevent the rise of a new dictatorship and to ensure the gradual establishment of a durable democratic system Disintegrating the Dictatorship 61 The democrats should calculate how the transition from the dictator ship to the interim government shall be handled at the end of the struggle It is desirable at that time to establish quickly a new functioning govern ment However it must not be merely the old one with new personnel It is necessary to calculate what sections of the old governmental structure as the political police are to be completely abolished because of their in herent antidemocratic character and which sections retained to be sub jected to later democratization efforts A complete governmental void could open the way to chaos or a new dictatorship Thought should be given in advance to determine what is to be the policy toward high officials of the dictatorship when its power disinte grates For example are the dictators to be brought to trial in a court Are they to be permitted to leave the country permanently What other op tions may there be that are consistent with political defiance the need for reconstructing the country and building a democracy following the vic tory Ablood bath must be avoided which could have drastic consequences on the possibility of a future democratic system Specific plans for the transition to democracy should be ready for application when the dictatorship is weakening or collapses Such plans will help to prevent another group from seizing state power through a coup d39 tat Plans for the institution of democratic constitutional govern ment with full political and personal liberties will also be required The changes won at a great price should not be lost through lack of planning When confronted with the increasingly empowered population and the growth of independent democratic groups and institutions both of which the dictatorship is unable to control the dictators will find that their whole venture is unravelling Massive shutdowns of the society general strikes mass stayathomes defiant marches or other activities will increasingly undermine the dictators39 own organization and related insti tutions As a consequence of such defiance and noncooperation executed wisely and with mass participation over time the dictators would become powerless and the democratic defenders would without violence triumph The dictatorship would disintegrate before the defiant population Not every such effort will succeed especially not easily and rarely quickly It should be remembered that as many military wars are lost as are won However political defiance offers a real possibility of victory As stated earlier that possibility can be greatly increased through the devel opment of a wise grand strategy careful strategic planning hard work and disciplined courageous struggle TEN GROUNDWORK FOR DURABLE DEMOCRACY The disintegration of the dictatorship is of course a cause for major cel ebration People who have suffered for so long and struggled at great price merit a time of joy relaxation and recognition They should feel proud of themselves and of all who struggled with them to win political freedom Not all will have lived to see this day The living and the dead will be remembered as heroes who helped to shape the history of freedom in their country Unfortunately this is not a time for a reduction in vigilance Even in the event of a successful disintegration of the dictatorship by political defi ance careful precautions must be taken to prevent the rise of a new op pressive regime out of the confusion following the collapse of the old one The leaders of the prodemocracy forces should have prepared in advance for an orderly transition to a democracy The dictatorial structures will need to be dismantled The constitutional and legal bases and standards of behavior of a durable democracy will need to be built No one should believe that with the downfall of the dictatorship an ideal society will immediately appear The disintegration of the dictator ship simply provides the beginning point under conditions of enhanced freedom for longterm efforts to improve the society and meet human needs more adequately Serious political economic and social problems will continue for years requiring the cooperation of many people and groups in seeking their resolution The new political system should provide the opportunities for people with varying outlooks and favored measures to continue constructive work and policy development to deal with prob lems in the future Threats of a new dictatorship Aristotle warned long ago thatquot tyranny can also change into tyranny quot14 There is ample historical evidence from France the Jacobins and Na Aristotle The Politics Book V Chapter 12 p 233 63 64 From Dictatorship to Democracy poleon Russia the Bolsheviks Iran the Ayatollah Burma SLORC and elsewhere that the collapse of an oppressive regime will be seen by some persons and groups as merely the opportunity for them to step in as the new masters Their motives may vary but the results are often approxi mately the same The new dictatorship may even be more cruel and total in its control than the old one Even before the collapse of the dictatorship members of the old re gime may attempt to cut short the defiance struggle for democracy by stag ing a coup d39 tat designed to preempt victory by the popular resistance It may claim to oust the dictatorship but in fact seek only to impose a new refurbished model of the old one Blocking coups There are ways in which coups against newly liberated societies can be defeated Advance knowledge of that defense capacity may at times be sufficient to deter the attempt Preparation can produce preventionl5 Immediately after a coup is started the putschists require legitimacy that is acceptance of their moral and political right to rule The first basic principle of anticoup defense is therefore to deny legitimacy to the putschists The putschists also require that the civilian leaders and population be supportive confused or just passive The putschists require the coop eration of specialists and advisors bureaucrats and civil servants admin istrators and judges in order to consolidate their control over the affected society The putschists also require that the multitude of people who oper ate the political system the society39s institutions the economy the police and the military forces will passively submit and carry out their usual func tions as modified by the putschists39 orders and policies The second basic principle of anticoup defense is to resist the putschists with noncooperation and defiance The needed cooperation and assistance must be denied Essentially the same means of struggle that was used against the dictatorship can be used against the new threat but applied immediately If both legitimacy and cooperation are denied the coup may die of political starvation and the chance to build a democratic society restored 15 For more information on anticoup resistance see Gene Sharp The AntiCoup Boston MA The Albert Einstein Institution 2003 Groundwork for Durable Democracy 65 Constitution drafting The new democratic system will require a constitution that establishes the desired framework of the democratic government The constitution should set the purposes of government limits on governmental powers the means and timing of elections by which governmental officials and legislators will be chosen the inherent rights of the people and the relation of the national government to other lower levels of government Within the central government if it is to remain democratic a clear division of authority should be established between the legislative execu tive and judicial branches of government Strong restrictions should be included on activities of the police intelligence services and military forces to prohibit any legal political interference In the interests of preserving the democratic system and impeding dictatorial trends and measures the constitution should preferably be one that establishes a federal system with significant prerogatives reserved for the regional state and local levels of government In some situations the Swiss system of cantons might be considered in which relatively small ar eas retain major prerogatives while remaining a part of the whole country If a constitution with many of these features existed earlier in the newly liberated country39s history it may be wise simply to restore it to operation amending it as deemed necessary and desirable If a suitable older constitution is not present it may be necessary to operate with an interim constitution Otherwise a new constitution will need to be pre pared Preparing a new constitution will take considerable time and thought Popular participation in this process is desirable and required for ratification of a new text or amendments One should be very cautious about including in the constitution promises that later might prove impos sible to implement or provisions that would require a highly centralized government for both can facilitate a new dictatorship The wording of the constitution should be easily understood by the majority of the population A constitution should not be so complex or ambiguous that only lawyers or other elites can claim to understand it A democratic defense policy The liberated country may also face foreign threats for which a defense capacity would be required The country might also be threatened by for 66 From Dictatorship to Democracy eign attempts to establish economic political or military domination In the interests of maintaining internal democracy serious consider ation should be given to applying the basic principles of political defiance to the needs of national defense16 By placing resistance capacity directly in the hands of the citizenry newly liberated countries could avoid the need to establish a strong military capacity which could itself threaten de mocracy or require vast economic resources much needed for other pur poses It must be remembered that some groups will ignore any constitu tional provision in their aim to establish themselves as new dictators There fore a permanent role will exist for the population to apply political defi ance and noncooperation against wouldbe dictators and to preserve demo cratic structures rights and procedures A meritorious responsibility The effect of nonviolent struggle is not only to weaken and remove the dictators but also to empower the oppressed This technique enables people who formerly felt themselves to be only pawns or victims to wield power directly in order to gain by their own efforts greater freedom and justice This experience of struggle has important psychological consequences contributing to increased selfesteem and selfconfidence among the for merly powerless One important longterm beneficial consequence of the use of non violent struggle for establishing democratic government is that the society will be more capable of dealing with continuing and future problems These might include future governmental abuse and corruption maltreatment of any group economic injustices and limitations on the democratic quali ties of the political system The population experienced in the use of politi cal defiance is less likely to be vulnerable to future dictatorships After liberation familiarity with nonviolent struggle will provide ways to defend democracy civil liberties minority rights and preroga tives of regional state and local governments and nongovernmental insti tutions Such means also provide ways by which people and groups can express extreme dissent peacefully on issues seen as so important that op position groups have sometimes resorted to terrorism or guerrilla warfare The thoughts in this examination of political defiance or nonviolent 16 See Gene Sharp CivilianBased Defense A PostMilitary Weapons System Princeton New Jersey Princeton University Press 1990 Groundwork for Durable Democracy 67 struggle are intended to be helpful to all persons and groups who seek to lift dictatorial oppression from their people and to establish a durable demo cratic system that respects human freedoms and popular action to improve the society There are three major conclusions to the ideas sketched here 0 Liberation from dictatorships is possible 0 Very careful thought and strategic planning will be required to achieve it and 0 Vigilance hard work and disciplined struggle often at great cost will be needed The oft quoted phrase quotFreedom is not freequot is true No outside force is coming to give oppressed people the freedom they so much want People will have to learn how to take that freedom themselves Easy it cannot be If people can grasp what is required for their own liberation they can chart courses of action which through much travail can eventually bring them their freedom Then with diligence they can construct a new demo cratic order and prepare for its defense Freedom won by struggle of this type can be durable It can be maintained by a tenacious people commit ted to its preservation and enrichment APPENDIX THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION17 THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION Formal statements Public speeches Letters of opposition or support Declarations by organizations and institutions Signed public statements Declarations of indictment and intention Group or mass petitions P S PWN Communications with a wider audience 7 Slogans caricatures and symbols 8 Banners posters and displayed communications 9 Leaflets pamphlets and books 10 Newspapers and journals 11 Records radio and television 12 Skywriting and earthwriting Group representations 13 Deputations 14 Mock awards 15 Group lobbying 16 Picketing 17 Mock elections Symbolic public acts 18 Display of ags and symbolic colors 19 Wearing of symbols 17 This list with definitions and historical examples is taken from Gene Sharp The Politics of Nonviolent Action Part Two The Methods of Nonviolent Action Boston MA Porter Sargent 1973 69 70 20 Prayer and worship 21 Delivering symbolic objects 22 Protest disrobings 23 Destruction of own property 24 Symbolic lights 25 Displays of portraits 26 Paint as protest 27 New signs and names 28 Symbolic sounds 29 Symbolic reclamations 30 Rude gestures Pressures on individuals 31 quotHauntingquot officials 32 Taunting officials 33 Fraternization 34 Vigils Drama and music 35 Humorous skits and pranks 36 Performance of plays and music 37 Singing Processions 38 Marches 39 Parades 40 Religious processions 41 Pilgrimages 42 Motorcades Honoring the dead 43 Political mourning 44 Mock funerals 45 Demonstrative funerals 46 Homage at burial places Prom Dictatorship to Democracy Appendix 71 Public assemblies 47 Assemblies of protest or support 48 Protest meetings 49 Camou aged meetings of protest 50 Teachins Withdrawal and renunciation 51 Walkouts 52 Silence 53 Renouncing honors 54 Turning one39s back THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION Ostracism of persons 55 Social boycott 56 Selective social boycott 57 Lysistratic nonaction 58 Excommunication 59 Interdict Noncooperation with social events customs and institutions 60 Suspension of social and sports activities 61 Boycott of social affairs 62 Student strike 63 Social disobedience 64 Withdrawal from social institutions Withdrawal from the social system 65 Stayathome 66 Total personal noncooperation 67 Flight of workers 68 Sanctuary 69 Collective disappearance 70 Protest emigration hijmt 72 From Dictatorship to Democracy THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION 1 ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS Action by consumers 71 Consumers39 boycott 72 Nonconsumption of boycotted goods 73 Policy of austerity 74 Rent withholding 75 Refusal to rent 76 National consumers39 boycott 77 International consumers39 boycott Action by workers and producers 78 Workmen39s boycott 79 Producers39 boycott Action by middlemen 80 Suppliers39 and handlers39 boycott Action by owners and management 81 Traders39 boycott 82 Refusal to let or sell property 83 Lockout 84 Refusal of industrial assistance 85 Merchants39 quotgeneral strikequot Action by holders of financial resources 86 Withdrawal of bank deposits 87 Refusal to pay fees dues and assessments 88 Refusal to pay debts or interest 89 Severance of funds and credit 90 Revenue refusal 91 Refusal of a government39s money Action by governments 92 Domestic embargo 93 Blacklisting of traders 94 International sellers39 embargo 95 International buyers39 embargo 96 International trade embargo Appendix THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION 2 THE STRIKE Symbolic strikes 97 Protest strike 98 Quickie walkout lightning strike Agricultural strikes 99 Peasant strike 100 Farm workers39 strike Strikes by special groups 101 Refusal of impressed labor 102 Prisoners39 strike 103 Craft strike 104 Professional strike Ordinary industrial strikes 105 Establishment strike 106 Industry strike 107 Sympathetic strike Restricted strikes 108 Detailed strike 109 Bumper strike 110 Slowdown strike 111 Workingtorule strike 112 Reporting quotsickquot sickin 113 Strike by resignation 114 Limited strike 115 Selective strike Multiindustry strikes 116 Generalized strike 117 General strike Combinations of strikes and economic closures 118 Hartal 119 Economic shutdown 74 From Dictatorship to Democracy THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION Rejection of authority 120 Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance 121 Refusal of public support 122 Literature and speeches advocating resistance Citizens39 noncooperation with government 123 Boycott of legislative bodies 124 Boycott of elections 125 Boycott of government employment and positions 126 Boycott of government departments agencies and other bodies 127 Withdrawal from government educational institutions 128 Boycott of governmentsupported organizations 129 Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents 130 Removal of own signs and placemarks 131 Refusal to accept appointed officials 132 Refusal to dissolve existing institutions Citizens39 alternatives to obedience 133 Reluctant and slow compliance 134 Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision 135 Popular nonobedience 136 Disguised disobedience 137 Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse 138 Sitdown 139 Noncooperation with conscription and deportation 140 Hiding escape and false identities 141 Civil disobedience of quotillegitimatequot laws Action by government personnel 142 Selective refusal of assistance by government aides 143 Blocking of lines of command and information 144 Stalling and obstruction 145 General administrative noncooperation 146 Judicial noncooperation 147 Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents 148 Mutiny Appendix 75 Domestic governmental action 149 Quasilegal evasions and delays 150 Noncooperation by constituent governmental units International governmental action 151 Changes in diplomatic and other representation 152 Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events 153 Withholding of diplomatic recognition 154 Severance of diplomatic relations 155 Withdrawal from international organizations 156 Refusal of membership in international bodies 157 Expulsion from international organizations THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION Psychological intervention 158 Selfexposure to the elements 159 The fast a Fast of moral pressure b Hunger strike c Satyagrahic fast 160 Reverse trial 161 Nonviolent harassment Physical intervention 162 Sitin 163 Standin 164 Ridein 165 Wadein 166 Millin 167 Prayin 168 Nonviolent raids 169 Nonviolent air raids 170 Nonviolent invasion 171 Nonviolent interjection 172 Nonviolent obstruction 173 Nonviolent occupation 76 From Dictatorship to Democracy Social intervention 174 Establishing new social patterns 175 Overloading of facilities 176 Stallin 177 Speakin 178 Guerrilla theater 179 Alternative social institutions 180 Alternative communication system Economic intervention 181 Reverse strike 182 Stayin strike 183 Nonviolent land seizure 184 Defiance of blockades 185 Politically motivated counterfeiting 186 Preclusive purchasing 187 Seizure of assets 188 Dumping 189 Selective patronage 190 Alternative markets 191 Alternative transportation systems 192 Alternative economic institutions Political intervention 193 Overloading of administrative systems 194 Disclosing identities of secret agents 195 Seeking imprisonment 196 Civil disobedience of quotneutralquot laws 197 Workon without collaboration 198 Dual sovereignty and parallel government A Noted About Translations 77 A Note About Translations and Reprinting of this Publication To facilitate dissemination of this publication it has been placed in the pub lic domain That means that anyone is free to reproduce it or disseminate it The author however does have several requests that he would like to make although individuals are under no legal obligation to follow such requests 0 The author requests that no changes be made in the text either addi tions or deletions if it is reproduced 0 The author requests notification from individuals who intend to re produce this document Notification can be given to the Albert Einstein Institution contact information appears in the beginning of this pub lication immediately before the Table of Contents 0 The author requests that if this document is going to be translated great care must be taken to preserve the original meaning of the text Some of the terms in this publication will not translate readily into other languages as direct equivalents for noniolent struggle and related terms may not be available Thus careful consideration must be given to how these terms and concepts are to be translated so as to be understood accurately by new readers For individuals and groups that wish to translate this work the Albert Einstein Institution has developed a standard set of translation procedures that may assist them They are as follows 0 A selection process takes place to select a translator Candidates are evaluated on their uency in both English and the language into which the work will be translated Candidates are also evaluated on their general knowledge surrounding the subject area and their understand ing of the terms and concepts present in the text 78 From Dictatorship to Democracy An evaluator is selected by a similar process The evaluator s job is to thoroughly review the translation and to provide feedback and criti cism to the translator It is often better if the translator and evaluator do not know the identities of each other Once the translator and evaluator are selected the translator submits a sample translation of two or three pages of the text as well as a list of a number of significant key terms that are present in the text The evaluator evaluates this sample translation and presents feedback to the translator If major problems exist between the translator s sample translation and the evaluator s evaluation of that translation then either the trans lator or the evaluator may be replaced depending upon the judge ment of the individual or group that is sponsoring the translation If minor problems exist the translator proceeds with the full transla tion of the text keeping in mind the comments of the evaluator Once the entire text is translated the evaluator evaluates the entire text and gives feedback to the translator Once the translator has considered this feedback and made any nec essary changes the final version of the text is complete and the trans lated book is ready to be printed and distributed ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gene Sharp D Phil Oxon is Senior Scholar at the Albert Einstein Insti tution in Boston Massachusetts He holds a BA and an MA from Ohio State University and a D Phil in political theory from Oxford University He has also been awarded honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws from Man hattan College and Doctor of Humanitarian Service from Rivier College Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth he has also taught at the University of Oslo the University of Massachusetts at Boston and for nearly thirty years held a research ap pointment at Harvard University39s Center for International Affairs His books in English include The Politics of Nonviolent Action 1973 Gandhi as a Political Strategist 1979 Social Power and Political Freedom 1980 Making Europe Unconqaerahle 1985 and CivilianBased Defense A PostMilitary Weapons System 1990 A new major book is now in preparation 2003 Waging Nonviolent Straggle Twentieth Century Practice and TwentyFirst Cen tury Potential His writings have appeared in more than thirty languages
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