YEAR 1 Under Authoritarianism

What to Expect?

  1. They will come to power with a campaign based on fear, scaremongering and distorting the truth. Nevertheless, their victory will be achieved through a democratic electoral process. But beware, as this will be their argument every time you question the legitimacy of their actions. They will claim a mandate from the People to change the system.

    Remember – gaining power through a democratic system does not give them permission to cross legal boundaries and undermine said democracy.

  2. They will divide and rule. Their strength lies in unity, in one voice and one ideology, and so should yours. They will call their supporters Patriots, the only “true Americans”. You will be labelled as traitors, enemies of the state, unpatriotic, the corrupt elite, the old regime trying to regain power. Their supporters will be the “People”, the “sovereign” who chose their leaders.

    Don’t let them divide you – remember you’re one People, one Nation, with one common good.

  3. Through convoluted laws and threats they will try to control mainstream media and limit press freedom. They will ban critical press from their briefings, calling them “liars”, “fake news”. They will brand those media as “unpatriotic”, acting against the People (see point 2).

    Fight for every media outlet, every journalist that is being banned, censored, sacked or labelled an “enemy of the state” – there’s no hope for freedom where there is no free press.

  4. They will create chaos, maintain a constant sense of conflict and danger. It will be their argument to enact new authoritarian laws, each one further limiting your freedoms and civil liberties. They will disguise them as being for your protection, for the good of the People.

    See through the chaos, the fake danger, expose it before you wake up in a totalitarian, fascist state.

  5. They will distort the truth, deny facts and blatantly lie. They will try to make you forget what facts are, sedate your need to find the truth. They will feed “post-truths” and “alternative facts”, replace knowledge and logic with emotions and fiction.

    Always think critically, fact-check and point out the truth, fight ignorance with facts.

  6. They will incite and then leak fake, superficial “scandals”. They will smear opposition with trivial accusations, blowing them out of proportion and then feeding the flame. This is just smokescreen for the legal steps they will be taking towards totalitarianism.

    See through superficial topics in mainstream media (see point 3) and focus on what they are actually doing.

  7. They will propose shocking laws to provoke your outrage. You will focus your efforts on fighting them, so they will seemingly back off, giving you a false sense of victory. In the meantime they will push through less “flashy” legislation, slowly dismantling democracy (see points 4 and 6).

    Focus your fight on what really matters.

  8. When invading your liberal sensibilities they will focus on what hurts the most – women and minorities. They will act as if democracy was majority rule without respect for the minority. They will paint foreigners and immigrants as potential threats. Racial, religious, sexual and other minorities will become enemies to the order and security they are supposedly providing. They will challenge women’s social status, undermine gender equality and interfere with reproductive rights (see point 7). But it means they are aware of the threat women and minorities pose to their rule, so make it your strength.

    Women and minorities should fight the hardest, reminding the majority what true democracy is about.

  9. They will try to take control of the judiciary. They will assault your highest court. They need to remove the checks and balances to be able to push through unconstitutional legislation. Controlling the judiciary they can also threat anyone that defies them with prosecution, including the press (see point 3).

    Preserve the independence of your courts at all cost, they are your safety valve, the safeguard of the rule of law and the democratic system.

  10. They will try to limit freedom of assembly, calling it a necessity for your security. They will enact laws prioritizing state events and rallies, or those of a certain type or ideology. If they can choose who can demonstrate legally, they have a legal basis to forcefully disperse or prosecute the rest.

    Oppose any legislation attempting to interfere with freedom of assembly, for whatever reason.

  11. They will distort the language, coin new terms and labels, repeat shocking phrases until you accept them as normal and subconsciously associate them with whom they like. A “thief”, “liar” or “traitor” will automatically mean the opposition, while a “patriot” or a “true American” will mean their follower (see point 2). Their slogans will have double meaning, giving strength to their supporters and instilling angst in their opponents.

    Fight changes in language in the public sphere, remind and preserve the true meaning of words.

  12. They will take over your national symbols, associate them with their regime, remake them into attributes of their power. They want you to forget that your flag, your anthem and your symbols belong to you, the People, to everyone equally. Don’t let them be hijacked. Use and expose them in your fight as much as they do.

    Show your national symbols with pride, let them give you strength, not associate you with the tyranny they brought onto your country.

  13. They will try to rewrite history to suit their needs and use the education system to support their agenda. They will smear any historical or living figure who wouldn’t approve of their actions, or distort their image to make you think they would. They will place emphasis on historical education in schools, feeding young minds with the “only correct” version of history and philosophy. They will raise a new generation of voters on their ideology, backing it with a distorted interpretation of history and view of the world.

    Guard the education of your children, teach them critical thinking, ensure their open-mindedness and protect your real history and heritage.

  14. They will alienate foreign allies and partners, convincing you don’t need them. They won’t care for the rest of the world, with their focus on “making your country great again”. While ruining your economy to fulfil their populist promises, they will omit the fact that you’re part of a bigger world whose development depends on cooperation, on sharing and on trade.

    Don’t let them build walls promising you security instead of bridges giving you prosperity.

  15. They will eventually manipulate the electoral system. They might say it’s to correct flaws, to make it more fair, more similar to the rest of the world, or just to make it better. Don’t believe it. They wouldn’t be messing with it at all if it wasn’t to benefit them in some way.

    Oppose any changes to electoral law that an authoritarian regime wants to enact – rest assured it’s only to help them remain in power longer.

And above all, be strong, fight, endure, and remember you’re on the good side of history.
EVERY authoritarian, totalitarian and fascist regime in history eventually failed, thanks to the PEOPLE.

– With love, your Eastern European friends

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118 Comments on "YEAR 1 Under Authoritarianism"

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Jonjon
Guest

Maybe you should also have this in different languages. Please have a Filipino version. Thanks. ☺

martin
Admin

I’d love to, but I’d need to have it first 🙂 If you can translate it or have someone who would, I’d love to add it. We’re working on Polish, Turkish & possibly Hungarian versions as we speak.

terri
Guest
INDONESIAN VERSION #LearnFromEurope http://learnfromeurope.org/ #belajardarieropa TAHUN 1. Di bawah otoritarianisme Apa yang sangat mungkin terjadi? 1. Mereka akan berkuasa melalui kampanye berbasis rasa jerih, menakut-nakuti, dan membengkokkan kebenaran. Bagaimana pun, kemenangan mereka akan didapatkan melalui proses pemilih demokratis. Namun waspadalah, karena ini akan selalu menjadi argumen mereka setiap kamu mempertanyakan… Read more »
martin
Admin

Thank you so much!! Could you also translate the other pages? We’ll get it up asap. You can email the whole thing to me at martin.mycielski@kod.ngo. Thanks!!

Raul Pena
Guest

You RAWK, Martin!
We here in the Unites States WILL endure!!
RESIST, AMERICA!!!

martin
Admin

Thank you Paul! Yes you will! You are the strongest democracy in the world after all!

Mommamaestra
Guest

I can help you do a Spanish translation if needed. I think it would be great!

martin
Admin

so, any chance for the Spanish translation you offered? Would be great to have one! Thanks

martin
Admin

Absolutely! You can download the pdf and make a translation based on that, then email it to me. I will gladly add a Spanish version. Thanks so much!

Tyler
Guest

Off topic but you may also want to add some captcha to your comment section so you don’t get botted.

martin
Admin

Good point. For the moment I’m removing spam manually. I’ll try to get it done, thanks. Cheers

Kidney Symptoms
Guest

Kidney Disease: exactly what a very good medical professional should inform his patients http://renalimpairedfunction.blogspot.com/

#RESIST !!
Guest

It’s scary that we need this…

Naomi jones
Guest

This is kellyanne Conways playbook

Marlana
Guest

I think it is Bannon. Seriously the puppeteer.

Carol Hinkle
Guest

I totally agree! People seem too stunned for action., especially Congress.

GGG from Fark
Guest

It would be nice to have historical examples for each point. Thank you for posting this.

Tyler
Guest

I was thinking the same. Let’s have some citation to back up the statement.

Gudrun
Guest

Take a look at Turkey!

Piotr Gąsiorowski
Guest

Sadly, all the points can be illustrated with recent developments in Poland. The whole thing looks like the PiS party’s checklist of things to do.

Alicia
Guest
I am literally TERRIFIED for my country! I see all those things happening around me and I can’t believe it’s true. Why won’t we learn from history?? This has already happened, over and over! It’s happening in Europe RIGHT NOW! And we let it in to the birthplace of democracy!… Read more »
insane
Guest

Take it easy and make sure you’re not under influence of those who want to “come to power with a campaign based on fear, scaremongering and distorting the truth”.

Thomas
Guest

Don’t forget: polish constitution was first in Europe and second in the World…

Greg F. Matteson
Guest

This is exactly what’s happening here right now! In one week he’s ticked off most of those already! We need to wake up people! Why isn’t this in the news???

Helen R
Guest

Thank you so much! EVERY American should read this before it’s too late!

Krys
Guest

We are! 👍

Jacek Rajewski
Guest

Great blog Stan! Lets combine all our individual experience in one global knowledge base for democratic strength and peaceful future.

Joye Fisher
Guest

Thank you. I think the ship has sailed for number 2. The right wingers just don’t care about facts.

Gender+male
Guest

This reads like the Obama playbook.

Michael Jay
Guest
Geez dude…Obama is GONE. No longer relevant. Stop using him as an excuse to continue sucking Trump’s OBVIOUSLY small dick. He is ill equipped to deal with the pressures of the presidency. Trump supporters and toadies, you can NO LONGER bail to Obama, Hillary OR Bill…don’t want to hear about… Read more »
Kracer
Guest

And what a great playbook it is!

Patriot
Guest

This is not about Obama. This is about American Freedom. You need to get over Obama and Clinton. You have an new reason to worry, but don’t realize it yet.

Dianna
Guest

Wrong president.

Lenore
Guest

Give me a break. Look around.Let me guess: you are a white male who likes it when women know their place

PattiLaughia
Guest

You are a victim of a ruthless, long-term propaganda campaign. Help is available to deprogram you. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Critical thinking programs are available. We’ll all help you.

PattiLaughia
Guest
I was trying with my earlier comment to reply to the “Gender+male” who said it was the Obama playbook. This Survival Guide is one of the best things I’ve found. We will use this in our small Rapid Action resistance group and I will copy it to the progressive coalitions… Read more »
Kattis
Guest

No, like Trump

jill
Guest

No it sounds like Hitler and Trump is following in his footsteps and that’s what we have to be afraid of

Lisa
Guest

Nice try, Trumpie.

Afriend
Guest

Please provide examples for each point showing how Obama did any of the listed actions. Links to actual laws he signed and/or actual quotes of his statements would be preferable. Looking forward to reading your response.

martin
Admin

oh yeah, Obama was such a ruthless tyrant indeed!

insane
Guest

It’s funny how you didn’t mind working for a guy who was one of the leaders of totalitarian Communist Party of Poland before 1989, during his Parliamentary elections campaign in 2007, and how you’re suddenly against “authoritarian regime”.

martin
Admin
Stop bullshitting and creating “alternative facts”. If you’re referring to Marcin Swiecicki, do some reading before you spread your hate. He represented the communist party at the round table negotiations, AS AN ECONOMIC ADVISOR (not any “leader”), SUPPORTING THE OPPOSITION. Then in the ’90s he was crucial to the economic… Read more »
insane
Guest
Why are you whitewashing him and create “alternative facts”? Swiecicki joined ZMS (pretty much Communist Party youth) in 1967. In Communist Party from 1974 until its very end. Between 1989 and 1990 he was in a Central Cometee of the Party (its ruling body) = HE WAS ONE OF ITS… Read more »
Peggy
Guest

Mr. Gender+male is exhibit A, the result of the first few steps. Create fake scandals. Create a sense of fear. Accuse opposition of not being a real American.

Jan
Guest

Thank you for your support

insane
Guest

Właśnie od tego mamy przedstawicieli, takich jak Szanowny Gospodarz, który jeździ po Niemczech, rozmawia tam z ludźmi ze świecznika – gdzie ja, prosty robol, miałbym na to czas i możliwości. Ale niestety, “elity” wolą grać na siebie, niż zadawać niewygodne pytania, po im to by jeszcze karierę przetrąciło.

1007Y
Guest

Jeżeli chcesz, żeby Niemcy Cię szanowali i poznali Twój punkt widzenia, powiedz to im, zamiast marudzić wśród Polaków, że Cię nie szanują. Oczywiście możesz się obrazić, nie odzywać i wypiąć na nich, wyglądając dokładnie jak polnische Schweine, za jaką Cię uważają i mieć gwarancję, że to się nie zmieni.

Buzz
Guest

WHAT is BULLSHIT about it. Funny how you Trumpanzees are always getting upset when your Messiah and his plans to destroy democracy are exposed. This is right on target.

insane
Guest
Chłopie, nie kokietuj mnie tym pustosłowiem o dialogu, tolerancji i wysłuchiwaniu czyjegoś punktu widzenia, bo już dawno straciłem wiarę w takie banały. Jaki dialog prowadzą z nami Niemcy, prowadząc np. podbój rynku mediów, przejmując prasę i portale internetowe? Albo sponsorując Lisa-kodziarza? To jest dialog, że facet na niemieckiej pensji nawołuje… Read more »
martin
Admin
Przyjmuję i przyjmę zaproszenia od każdej organizacji, która chce wysłuchać mojego/naszego punktu widzenia. Musimy ze sobą rozmawiać, traktować się z szacunkiem i nie rozdzielać murem. Nie dzielić na lepszy i gorszy sort, na tych którzy mają prawo głosu, których warto słuchać, i na “zdrajców”, “kłamców” i niewartych dyskusji. Przyjąłbym nawet… Read more »
insane
Guest

A zaproszenia od fundacji Friedricha Naumanna przyjmował Pan wiedząc, czy nie wiedząc kim był ten niemiecki polityk i jaką promował koncepcję zagospodarowania “mitteleuropy”?

martin
Admin

Świetna ilustracja moich punktów 2 i 8, dzięki!!

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